November 26, 2007
Utility Challenges, ROI with Autodesk Topobase and the New Topobase Electric
Please note that contributed articles, blog entries, and comments posted on are the views and opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the management and staff of Internet Business Systems and its subsidiary web-sites.
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!

Topobase also stores relationships within the database, and has the rules and topological relationships that make design data entry a lot more seamless.

Technical features of Topobase Electric:

1) Data model for transmission and distribution. This data model includes transmission to and from a substation, then passes it out to commercial and housing areas. It enables you to store both structural and electrical assets. “Structural assets” include manholes and underground ducts, towers, any physical assets that would hold electrical assets. Electrical assets are what form the circuit or the network and consist of transformers, conductors, fuses, switches, etc.

2) Connectivity. Checking for connectivity includes doing a trace to find an open switch but this can also be done physically from a fieldworkers’ point of view. Topobase Electric also has some industry workflows and business rules so that a user can say, show me all the open devices coming from my circuit breaker. It has the ability to manage overhead as well as underground utility data.

3) Infrastructure utility data tends to be more complex because there is more happening within those assets. “For example, if you look at a conduit, or electrical duct, it may have multiple cables within to form a part of a circuit,” Ganguly explained. “Traditionally, from a representational point of view, you represent that by a line, but there is more happening within that line that tends to be more than you visualize. Traditionally, you would pick that line and see a text box showing all the conductors within. With Topobase we give you a graphical view that allows you to visualize that cross section, to actually feel the conductors that fit within that duct. You can
define the type of duct it will be, which automatically defines the number of conductors you would have for the specific duct. Once you have that, you can insert your duct, and it automatically detects what it’s connected to. If it’s an extension to a existing circuit, it will automatically inherit the value of that circuit.”

4) Smart assemblies allow you to automatically insert into the database multiple assets that are related in one step.

5) Electrical connectivity tools allow you to connect upstream and downstream, and allow you to create space in certain phases. You might have some residential housing that’s fed by multiple phases and you can do a trace to find out which houses are being fed by which phase. This functionality would be very useful to customer service, and maintenance and operations field workers.

6) A cross section view enables a user to visualize all complicated data that might be housed within a single representational line. From a real world perspective, that line is actually a physical 3D dot, which has multiple conductors within. This capability allows the user to visualize these complex layouts of assets right on the screen, and automatically visualize what it looks like within that dot.

Top News of the Week

Garmin Ltd. announced that its subsidiaries, Garmin International Inc and Garmin Corporation, have signed a six-year extension to their agreement with
NAVTEQ, a provider of digital map data for location based solutions and vehicle navigation. The agreement allows Garmin to continue using NAVTEQ data through 2015, with an option to renew for an additional four-year period. In addition, the parties have agreed to pursue expanded points of cooperation that will result in improved mapping quality and coverage worldwide, and will drive further device innovation into the future. The parties did not disclose specific details of the agreement.

Infoterra France, a provider of geo-information products and services for managing the development, environment and security of our changing world, has landed an agreement with popular search engine
Google, to provide them with a unique image processing technology that will be employed in particular to process geographic images. This technology inherits from more than 15 years of Infoterra France experience in the domain, having led to world class products such as the Pixel Factory.


MapQuest, in partnership with
Telmap, announced that the newest version of its voice-guided, GPS-enabled wireless application, MapQuest Navigator 5.0, is now widely available to consumers through a new direct-to-consumer storefront on Customers, including the 50 million monthly users(1), who sign up for new version 5.0 at the
MapQuest Navigator  link between now and December 31, 2007 can download the application directly to their handset and purchase the service for the promotional price of $4.99 per month for the life of the subscription.

In addition, MapQuest(R) Navigator 5.0 includes feature enhancements such as live traffic, gas price and station locator, and City's Best(R) ratings from AOL(R) CityGuide.

ESRI and
Hart InterCivic, Inc., have expanded their relationship to develop and offer geographic information system (GIS) solutions to the election community. This is the first time GIS-enabled election management solutions will be commercially available and marks a significant opportunity for state and local governments to enhance election processes. The initial offerings will focus on real-time election results and polling place locator applications.

Avatech Solutions, Inc., the technology experts for design, engineering, and facilities management, has become a high definition scanner Gold Dealer with
Leica Geosystems. Avatech is among the largest US distributors for Leica Geosystems high definition scanners (HDS), serving companies engaged in surveying, plant design, architecture, and facilities management.

Telog Instruments Inc. (Victor, N.Y.) the supplier of remote monitoring systems to the water markets, and
Wallingford Software Limited (Oxfordshire, England), the developer of hydraulic modeling software for the water industry, have agreed to collaborate on the development of a real-time, networked water modeling application.

The application solution combines Telog’s Enterprise data acquisition system with Wallingford Software’s InfoWorks modeling software application to provide calibrated, real-time website hosted information on environment water events and forecast management. This will allow users and emergency response teams to more accurately deploy resources during storm events.

ESRI Canada is pleased to announce their partnership with
Keigan Systems Inc., developers of CLEER™ (Catastrophic Level Event Emergency Response). Keigan and ESRI Canada have partnered to provide a complete web-delivered decision support system for public safety and emergency management and preparedness. CLEER – ESRI Version uses a blend of digital maps, ongoing field output and sophisticated Intellectual Property (IP) to arm first responders with a highly visible, real-time, mapping portal from which to manage an entire catastrophic event.


Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC(R)) seeks public comment on a draft Sensor Alert Service (SAS) Standard.

The draft OGC(R) Sensor Alert Service standard defines an alert and notification mechanism that specifies how alert or alarm conditions are defined, detected, and made available to interested users. The Sensor Alert Service uses the Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) to provide the push-based notification functionality. The focus of SAS is on alerts from sensors and sensor webs, a more narrow scope than a complete Web-wide alerting service.

This draft standard can be downloaded from the

Garmin has announced that Volvo Cars Corporation has selected the nüvi 760 as a customized navigation solution for select Volvo cars, including the new Volvo C30 and Volvo XC70. The Volvo specific nüvi 760 will be available at dealerships across Europe and North America.

PCI Geomatics, a developer of software and solutions for geospatial imaging applications, is pleased to announce its support of image products from the satellites WorldView-1 and TerraSAR-X, and enhanced coverage for ALOS (Advanced Land Observing Satellite) in the form of additional JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) files support.


CARIS, the provider of marine and hydrographic software, has appointed Mark Matthews as Senior Business Developer to focus on fostering business opportunities for the company’s complete Ping to Chart product line across Asia Pacific.

You can find the full GISCafe event calendar here.

To read more news, click here.

-- Susan Smith, Managing Editor.


Review Article Be the first to review this article
GeoRover Mobile Download Trial>>

Featured Video
Currently No Featured Jobs
Upcoming Events
Commercial UAV Expo 2016 at MGM Grand Hotel Conference Center Las Vegas NV - Oct 31 - 2, 2016
GIS-Pro 2016: URISA's 54th Annual Conference at Toronto Canada - Oct 31 - 3, 2016
24th ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference at San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA San Francisco - Oct 31 - 3, 2016
Textron - Countless CAD add-ons, plug-ins and more.

Internet Business Systems © 2016 Internet Business Systems, Inc.
595 Millich Dr., Suite 216, Campbell, CA 95008
+1 (408)-337-6870 — Contact Us, or visit our other sites:
AECCafe - Architectural Design and Engineering EDACafe - Electronic Design Automation TechJobsCafe - Technical Jobs and Resumes  MCADCafe - Mechanical Design and Engineering ShareCG - Share Computer Graphic (CG) Animation, 3D Art and 3D Models
  Privacy Policy