September 25, 2006
Autodesk Topobase for Infrastructure Design and Management
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Susan Smith - Managing Editor

by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
Each GIS Weekly Review delivers to its readers news concerning the latest developments in the GIS industry, GIS product and company news, featured downloads, customer wins, and coming events, along with a selection of other articles that we feel you might find interesting. Brought to you by If we miss a story or subject that you feel deserves to be included, or you just want to suggest a future topic, please contact us! Questions? Feedback? Click here. Thank you!

Brockwell went on to describe the geospatial value chain that would furnish a road map for customers on how to improve their business by having more accurate asset information in a geospatial context without having to go all the way from AutoCAD to Topobase, which requires significant IP investments and business practice changes.

Each step of the way they can have multi user editing of drawing files, tiled and layered drawing files that are seamlessly integrated, and coordinate systems. As they move up, they can start to access ESRI data via FDOs so they can integrate that into their CAD design processes.

According to Brockwell, in most organizations, actual mapping information lags behind the actual constructed network. There is still a wide gulf between GIS and CAD. From a finance point of view this can create a problem because the organization lacks an accurate picture of the capital value of their assets at a given point in time.

Topobase is designed to put information on a much more modern network-centric architecture with standard interfaces rather than ad hoc interfaces between business systems. “By using a completely standard backbone technology such as Topobase, these IT departments can integrate their system using whatever technology they normally use to integrate peer to peer business systems such as finance and operations that might typically be an SAP or financials.”

Topobase uses Oracle and all its features for system integration at the backend and integrates with many other systems. End users get a seamless view and access to the information as an enterprise resource without the need to move all their business systems to Oracle.

“You can pass information along a business process rather than ship a file from one person to another,” said Brockwell. Planning can be based on more up to date information, and information can be shared more efficiently. Each data model includes data integrity relationships, workflows and business rules that keep your integrity intact so you are not inadvertently including inaccurate attributes.

A real difference between the AutoCAD view of the world and the asset management view is the display model, or, the way you present information to your different users. In Topobase, a water asset starts out as an idea to be built in the ground, goes into design in AutoCAD, then goes into the database as an actual object. “All the graphical information about that design element is useful for construction but may be very different for operational users,” Brockwell concluded.

Autodesk has a non-exclusive partnership with Oracle for the integration of Oracle Spatial 10g into Topobase 2007. They are also partnering with CH2MHill for implementation services and are developing a new geospatial channel to support Topobase.

Sample pricings (unlimited configurations):

- Typical configuration ~ $50K to $150K including system integration

- 50% software / 50% services

Top News of the Week

ESRI is demonstrating
enhancements in the company's new
ArcGIS 9.2 software this fall during a series of
worldwide seminars developed for
geographic information system (GIS) professionals. The complimentary day-long presentations are being held in 46 states, ending in December. Seminars also are planned for customers outside the United States, starting in Sweden, Finland, and the United Kingdom, and expanding to other countries.

ArcGIS 9.2 is a complete system for authoring, serving, and using geographic knowledge. "This release, for us, is one of the biggest, most productive releases that we have ever done," said Jack Dangermond, ESRI president. "Our goal is to make the products much easier to use, more reliable, of higher quality, and with many new capabilities," he said.


Intergraph Corporation announced a teaming agreement with James W. Sewall Company, a leading provider of comprehensive GIS software and consulting services. Intergraph will integrate its geofacilities management offering with Sewall's suite of pipeline integrity tools to deliver a complete utilities pipeline integrity management solution.


ESRI is pleased to announce that the Ninth Annual
Middle East and North Africa Conference for ESRI Users will be hosted by InfoGraph, LLC, its distributor in Jordan, at the Le Royal Hotel in Amman, Jordan. The conference will be held October 31-November 2, 2006.

ORBIMAGE Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: GEOY), which does business under the name GeoEye, announced that The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC has approved its application to list its securities on The Nasdaq Global Market. GeoEye began trading its common stock today, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2006 under the symbol “GEOY.”

The Company's common stock was previously traded as “ORBM” on the National Quotation Service Bureau, known as the over-the-counter Pink Sheets, since January 13, 2004.

The Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA) has announced that author and motivational speaker Dorothy Waldman will present the keynote address at the 15th annual GIS for Oil & Gas Conference and Exhibition, slated for September 18-20, 2006, at the JW Marriott Hotel in Houston, Texas.

Waldman, a self-proclaimed “biker babe,” infuses her presentations with humor and wit as she details how she discovered transforming life lessons by overcoming a lifelong aversion to motorcycles and ultimately embracing the sport of motorcycle riding.


GeoDecisions is pleased to announce the promotions of three key staff members. Stephen A. Ellis was promoted to vice president, Miomir Ivanovic was promoted to director of intelligent transportation systems (ITS), and Brian J. Smith was promoted to director of state government.

BAE Systems has named Drew Fisher as commercial sales manager for North America, representing the company's Geospatial eXploitation Products (GXP). Fisher is responsible for managing the sales for SOCET SET® and SOCET GXP™ software in the region.

Avineon, Inc., a successful provider of IT, geospatial, engineering and program management services, announced the promotion of Xiaodong Hong to director of Avineon's Technical Solutions Group (TSG). In this role, Hong will be responsible for managing TSG projects and personnel and delivering highly specialized geographic information systems (GIS) consulting and application development services to a diverse client base. TSG is a new segment of Avineon's Geospatial and Engineering Services division created to better focus geospatial services the company has provided for several years.

ESRI is pleased to announce that David M. Danko, manager of
GIS standards, was recently honored by the International Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS) with its Merit Award for his work in developing spatial data standards.

Optimal Geomatics Inc., a geomatics solutions provider to engineering and geospatial professionals, is pleased to announce the appointment of John Leahy to the position of Director of Energy. Mr. Leahy who joined Optimal in 2002 as Senior Account Manager for Electric Transmission, will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the Division's sales, business development, and application of technology to enhance the company's leading position in the Energy sector.

SeaZone Solutions Ltd, the UK's leading supplier of marine data, has announced the appointment of two new team members to reinforce its commitment to the marine GIS market.

The UK's coastal zone has become an increasingly valuable resource for oil and gas reserves, renewable energy and tourism. Lucy Connor joins SeaZone's customer service team and will be responsible for client orders, license renewals and general enquiries. SeaZone is also welcoming Mike Glassborow, who joins the company as a Sales Consultant. With more than eight years experience in the strategic sales field, Mike will be managing contracts for companies within the private sector.

Optimal Geomatics Inc., a geomatics solutions provider to engineering and geospatial professionals, is pleased to announce the appointment of John Leahy to the position of Director of Energy. Mr. Leahy who joined Optimal in 2002 as Senior Account Manager for Electric Transmission, will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the Division's sales, business development, and application of technology to enhance the company's leading position in the Energy sector.

You can find the full GISCafe event calendar here.

To read more news, click here.

-- Susan Smith, Managing Editor.

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GIS Analyst for Horner & Shifrin at Poplar Bluff, Missouri
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