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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

GIS at Autodesk’s AEC Media Summit

May 28th, 2015 by Susan Smith

Last week media trekked to Autodesk’s new Innovation and Design Building in the heart of Boston for the Autodesk AEC Media Summit. While the previous LEED Gold headquarters in Waltham, Mass. was a testament to the company’s commitment to sustainable design, the Innovation and Design Building speaks to their branching out in their innovative capacities.

AutoCAD Civil 3D 2016 & InfraWorks

AutoCAD Civil 3D 2016 & InfraWorks 2016

The presentations and site visits were not limited to discussions of architecture and building, however. A significant part of Autodesk’s vision includes the real world building of major infrastructure and cities, all of which require that geospatial information take a significant role.

Paul McRoberts, Senior Director, Infrastructure Product Group, began his presentation by saying that you will want to “layer in good quality engineering information so you can see if the project will behave as you want it to. And, you need to be able to share things openly.”

Immersive user experience

Immersive user experience

Real World Context

McRoberts said that the following represent a real world approach to looking at infrastructure design:

  • Exploring Design alternatives – what the future could look like. What’s the best design to get you from point a to b?
  • Accelerate approvals – better views into the data
  • Informed decisions early in project – help you decide
  • In context engineering – bury analytics into the project
  • Better project delivery
  • Connected Building Information Modeling (BIM) for infrastructure

“We have ModelBuilder in InfraWorks, and with it, within seven minutes you have a model in context of the real world. You can then begin layering in additional information,” McRoberts said. “You can pick an entire town or polygon oriented environment, with ModelBuilder.”

An example of unifying data successfully is AECOM’s project with the City of Edmonton, where they are unifying data such as GIS, CAD, BIM and LiDAR.

A 78 kilometer highway proposal in China introduces design alternatives that interconnected different parts of the city. Planners could explore design alternatives to quickly plan new projects for stakeholder review.

“The analytic is driving the geometry in the project itself,” McRoberts pointed out. “The geometry is designed so that the analytic and rules can change when other ideas are introduced.”

The analytic is taken down to a generalist’s view as an engineer.

The result is in-context engineering, where engineers can drag and drop to put new designs into their models.

In running traffic analysis – in a parking garage design example, the analytics look at traffic flow and see what impact it will have.

With the use of multiple services running in the cloud, you can bring in data on restricted areas, watershed, cemeteries, tribal lands, cost level information. You can determine the best way to get from point a to b, and can run vertical optimizations and see how cut and fill determine the project.

“These two things combined make a difference,” said McRoberts.

In another in-context example, for road drainage analysis, the road is designed by road and road type. You will need to remove water from the road. You will run an analytic to see if water is falling at 2 inches an hour, etc. and then get it running simultaneously in the model.

Bridges are big analytical projects, and by using cloud services, you can also produce a code report. You can connect all workflows together with seamless connection to production and delivery for Roads and Bridges.

“You can bring all information into Civil 3D and get your drawings out, then move it into other products such as Revit Structure and InfraWorks,” said McRoberts.

AutoCAD Civil 3D 2016

The newest release of Civil 3D includes the following features:

  • Seamless connection with InfraWorks 360
  • Civil project data integrates with Bentley GeoPAK and Inroads projects
  • Solids from Surfaces for IFC and Machine Control
  • Team Collab
  • Better project delivery
  • Taking model from InfraWorks model to NavisWorks, Vault Professional, Revit Structure and InfraWorks 360.
  • Urban Canvas and urban simulation environment – this is data driving geometry.

“In making changes to the environment, the intelligence is driving the model to help you see how well city is doing,” said McRoberts.

Using flood simulation in the UK, you could see the difference between water elevation, water depth and velocity build with InfraWorks ModelBuilder, then put in point cloud information.

Flood Analysis

Flood Analysis

“Within InfraWorks, we handle massive amounts of point cloud data,” said McRoberts. “What we’re more interested in is classification of assets and recognized features of assets, then we can take assets and convert them into asset data.”

The product also includes Presenter Mode that is more interactive. You don’t have to be an InfraWorks creator to use it to get in front of an agency or town council.

“This is a way for someone to get up in front of an audience and explain the project proposed,” said McRoberts.

Field Asset Management

Field Asset Management is built for people in the field who need to access data that comes from any GIS, Maximo, ERP systems, etc., and collect assets while they’re in the field.

An example is the maintenance department at Penn State, that has cut work orders by having information going back and forth from the field. They are using voice recognition, snapping a photo, they can develop heat maps around professors, and use crowdsourcing information for jobs on campus.

311 public engagement into cities includes the feature app Street Bump on citizens’ phones, that every time they hit a street bump or pothole it registers, goes to a map, the map goes to the DOT and they can register it.

“This crowdsourcing is all driven from this mobile environment and tied to location,” said McRoberts. “You can also develop heat maps around where to send the service crew.”

He added that a lot of potential for the way to change asset management was to bring it to the field.

Autodesk is getting pulled into the 2024 Olympics because they have customers bringing them to other companies. “Companies are more engaged with their process of putting to put a bid together,” said McRoberts. “Also, cloud services with multiple releases allow you to have more interaction with customers.”

Site visit: BioGen pharmaceutical company built their own cogeneration plant to provide efficient energy to all  buildings on their Cambridge campus. The plant converts natural gas fuel into electricity. The waste heat generated by making electricity creates steam used to heat and cool the buildings.

Customer site visit: BioGen pharmaceutical company built their own cogeneration plant to provide efficient energy to all buildings on their Cambridge campus. The plant converts natural gas fuel into electricity. The waste heat generated by making electricity creates steam used to heat and cool the buildings.

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Categories: 311, 3D Cities, 3D designs, 3D PDF, analytics, asset management, Autodesk, Big Data, citizen science, climate change, cloud, cloud network analytics, conversion, crowd source, data, developers, geomatics, geospatial, GIS, GPS, image-delivery software, integrated GIS solutions, iPhone, LBS, lidar, location based sensor fusion, location based services, location intelligence, mapping, mobile

One Response to “GIS at Autodesk’s AEC Media Summit”

  1. Rafa says:

    Wow, these are great! You really ceuaprtd how we felt that day! And now, we’ll be able to share them for a lifetime. Juan Carlos and Sandra were so wonderful to work with you both were so encouraging, flexible and great! We can’t wait to see the rest of our pictures so we can share them with our family and friends. Thank you for capturing our memories of our very special day.

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