At Autodesk University 2014 held in Las Vegas in December, Joe Hedrick, Infrastructure Solutions Team Manager, IMAGINiT Technologies, spoke with GISCafe about how projects in general are becoming bigger, along with ever-increasing use of reality capture. IMAGINiT is a provider of software, training, support and services to design and engineering companies and Autodesk Authorized Reseller and Autodesk Training Center.
“Bigger datasets, more partners and consultants are involved,” said Hedrick. “We continue to see a huge increase in people looking for ways to manage data. We’ve had several contracts with the army where they are managing everything from facility drawings to various documents and spreadsheets. In addition, private and commercial engineering and architectural firms are looking for ways to share data and projects.”
IMAGINiT will sometimes have to build tools inhouse, but mostly they use Autodesk Vault for integrations and data storage. “Commercial firms may want to tie into accounting, and we have integrations into some of the popular accounting packages out there,” said Hedrick. “We’re in the middle of a big one for the government. We are using our system and then programmatically writing to the data tables that they have in place.”
A cheaper solution to integration and managing data is Autodesk’s Fusion A360, said Hedrick. “I think it will change how we manage data. It’s going to integrate very nicely into the design platforms and apps.”
With data management, Hedrick said the biggest challenge is the size of the models. “How do you share a model that could be several gigabytes? With one of the army projects, we’re talking about 3 TB of data. How do we share that information? With pure sizes, there’s not a great way to share that amount of information. This becomes particularly difficult when you incorporate scanned data into it.” Hedrick said it used to be hard to find anyone to embrace the cloud but now the government is beginning to embrace it and the security is better. The cloud holds a lot of promise for managing large datasets and is being offered as a service in the InfraWorks 360 Model Builder cloud service.