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Cyndi Smith
Cyndi Smith
Cyndi Smith is a senior industry marketing director for Bentley Systems’ utilities, water, and communications industries. In her 16 years at Bentley, Smith has also led Bentley’s product marketing team and the global utilities solutions strategy as solution executive. She has an extensive … More »

Communications Organizations Capitalize on ContextCapture to Reduce Costs and Safety Risks of Tower Inspections

 
December 11th, 2017 by Cyndi Smith

Communications tower inspections typically require the site to be shut down and the tower climbed by an expert rigging team. If the tower is non-climbable, an elevated work platform must be used to allow close-up inspection of the antennas and equipment. Capturing imagery and other information with drones enables significant cost savings, eliminates health and safety risks of tower climbs, and reduces the time required to assess tower conditions. The 2017 Be Inspired Awards submissions included several compelling examples of the use of reality modeling for tower inspections.

SEIKEY S.r.l. is using an innovative method for inspecting the operating parameters of 11,800 radio base stations (RBS) in Italy for risk prevention, compliance, and the maintenance and development of the 3, 4, 4.5, and 5G networks. Inspections are carried out through high definition photography, LiDAR sensors, thermographic cameras, and spectrum analyzers. During the inspection phase, it is possible to view the data that the drone is acquiring in real-time through ProjectWise. Using ContextCapture, MicroStation, and Bentley Map, data is collected, processed, and managed in ProjectWise where, through Bentley Navigator, 3D visualization provides a comprehensive and realistic view of situations requiring intervention. The management of flight schedules, the collection and preparation of the necessary permits, and the management of collected and processed data posed significant challenges. ProjectWise proved to be essential for this operational management. The inspection method led to a reduction in the risk to human life and a reduction in inspection times, where previously it took five days to perform an RBS inspection, it can now be done in six hours.
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Reality Modeling Empowers Governments with Digital Cities and to Explore the Future for Autonomous Vehicles

 
December 4th, 2017 by Cyndi Smith

Reality modeling assists governments to keep pace with changing environments and population growth by improving planning, design, construction, and operation of urban infrastructure. The Yangzhou City Planning Bureau and the Singapore Land Authority are visionary organizations building digital cities with the aid of reality modeling. Reality modeling also enables organizations such as Sanborn to produce highly accurate 3D HD maps for autonomous driving support that can be used in simulators, bringing areas such as Santa Clara County, California closer to realizing the true potential of self-driving vehicles.

3D reality model of the existing urban environment in busy Santa Clara County, California
Image Courtesy of The Sanborn Map Company
(The Sanborn Map Company, Sanborn3D HD Maps for Autonomous Driving: Santa Clara, Santa Clara County, California, USA)

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Surveying & Mapping with UAVs

 
March 28th, 2016 by Jeremiah Karpowicz, Executive Editor for ProVideo Coalition

surveyingIt’s easy to see why surveying and mapping professionals have taken such a keen interest in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology. Gathering info from the sky has been an approach that’s been utilized for a long time now, but the costs associated with traditional manned aircraft makes the endeavor extremely expensive. UAVs offer a cost effective alternative with far more flexibility in terms of being able to get into the air quickly and without as much logistical support.

What’s more, UAVs can improve data collection accuracy and efficiency, optimize a workflow while also enabling the production of cost effective turnkey DSM’s and orthos whenever they’re needed. Simply put, UAVs make it far easier to gather the info needed to create maps by reducing costs and simplifying the image-capturing process.

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Working it: How Autodesk InfraWorks is Revolutionizing Infrastructure Projects

 
August 24th, 2015 by Orly Bisquera

In a world that is constantly changing and rapidly growing, having a stable infrastructure is vital to the economy and everyday life.  It’s fair to say, we take our infrastructure for granted and only give it the attention that it needs when something goes wrong or is in need of repair, resulting in interruption of traffic flow, transportation of goods and utilities, and high costs.  The facts are clear that an aging infrastructure is inevitable. Roads, bridges and rail tracks age through usage over the years and damage due to natural disasters and accidents can speed up that aging process.

Transportation Departments and local governing agencies usually team up to create Operating and Maintenance Plans (O&M Plans) to keep their infrastructure in optimal condition.  O&M Plans usually are a direct result of a well-devised project plan and development at the birth of a project, before it even breaks ground.  In today’s economy, every dollar counts and every decision needs to be a good one in order to obtain a better world of transporting people, goods and materials safely and efficiently.  Autodesk’s Infraworks is the tool that can and has been making project planning and development for infrastructure designs better and more efficient.

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How GIS Professionals Can Create a Flexible, Mobile Workflow

 
July 15th, 2015 by Bob Honn

The demand for Geographic Information Systems (GIS) services and tools continues to rise. This was reflected in a recent industry survey in which 73% of respondents noted experiencing a growth in demand for GIS services. Many of the respondents already include GIS in their survey workflow or offer it as a service, and when asked which GIS tools have the most potential, 42% reported Mobile GIS Applications, with cloud-based GIS Applications/Web Portals next at 27%.1
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The Value of GIS in Education

 
April 29th, 2015 by Kamy Anderson

In a recent blog on this site, Matt Sheehan suggested that many people who are new to GIS don’t truly understand the value of the technology. He suggested several ways to demonstrate the value of GIS technology in the workplace, such as showing people how it can help them perform tasks more quickly and easily.

Another area where more work is needed to demonstrate the value of GIS is in education, especially in K-12. Last year in the National Geographic blog, National Geographic’s Vice President for Education Daniel C. Edelson called GIS the “missing educational technology.” While various initiatives have focused on how to use more technology in the classroom, Edelson wrote that applications like GIS tools are often left out.

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Maptitude Mapping Software 2014 Review

 
September 10th, 2014 by Sanjay Gangal

Article source: Caliper Corporation

Maptitude Review

The Good

Large feature set; easy to use. Excellent support of Office apps; new tools create maps that display sales or service territories; best drive-time tool; updated demographic data includes Census estimates; competitively priced.

The Not So Good

A little expensive for an Office-style product (though inexpensive for a business mapping application); requires 4GB minimum disk space; lacks a ribbon interface.

The Verdict

This excellent map-based business data analyzer is a smart addition for any organization running Windows and Office who wants to do geographic analysis.

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Leveraging GIS Data for Mobile Marketing

 
August 5th, 2014 by Tim Garcia

Data companies are not a novelty in the marketing world. For instance, RL Polk, a leader in automotive data was founded in the late 1800’s, Acxiom emerged in the late 1960s, Experian flourished most notably in the 1990’s when it was purchased by GUS (Great Universal Stores) and later demerged. All provide valuable insights on audiences, specific consumer behaviors and tendencies. GIS companies, such as Esri, are also driving a stake in the ground as the mapping giant gathers a vast amount of info and redistributes to companies that can leverage the data. Each data provider brings their own insights and flavors to the table.   Complementing how those insights are packaged, delivered and reinforced provide the real value.

Location-based advertising technology companies have been known to team with consumer data providers to draw insights from demographic and lifestyle data. This data is then presented to marketers with the ability to reach specific consumers on their desktop and mobile devices.   The consumer currency can be pulled, sliced-and-diced from the provider’s proprietary database and suited to fit most ad technology, depending how granular the data can be packaged.

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Census Mapping Made Easy with OpenLayers 3

 
July 8th, 2014 by Andreas Hocevar

Three months ago, Paul Ramsey created a tutorial that builds an example census mapping application using OpenGeo Suite. Since then, we’ve released OpenGeo Suite 4.0, which includes early access to OpenLayers 3, and we’ve updated the tutorial to use OpenLayers 3 instead of GeoExt.

A Different Approach
GeoExt, a combination of ExtJS and OpenLayers 2, allows one to create web applications without writing any HTML and CSS, which was useful back when all browsers behaved differently. However, with HTML5 and CSS3 available in all modern browsers, a more modular stack adds flexibility.

With GeoExt, the easiest way to read in the list of available census variables (topics) was to pre-process them and load them as JSON. Rather than spending much time on user interface work, we’ve added Bootstrap to leverage the JQuery dependency and save some lines of JavaScript code. With JQuery, a few lines of code are enough to create drop-down options directly from the lines of the original metadata text file:

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QGIS US User Group: The beginning of something big

 
May 23rd, 2014 by David Dubovsky

Last month, Boundless and others hosted the first ever QGIS U.S. User Group meeting with 75 attendees at OpenGovHub in Washington DC.

The event attracted a diverse group of experts and novices from organizations such as NOAA, the World Bank, USAID, the American Red Cross, Deloitte, Lockheed Martin, the CDC and many others. It’s amazing to watch this group’s energy and how the project is rapidly unfolding

Many great presentations and talks shaped the QGIS User Group meeting. Jeff Johnson and Larry Shaffer presented the highlights of the history and evolution of QGIS from a shapefile viewer to full-fledged desktop application. Jeff went into detail about specific applications of QGIS, highlighting examples from NOAA and NASA. Larry then discussed the QGIS ecosystem and open source development community, noting that plug-in development has been a long-time focus within the community and core development is expected to pick up steam in the coming year.

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