March 08, 2010
Intelligent Cities, Intelligent Campuses
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Susan Smith - Managing Editor

by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
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When serving data to Geo Web Publisher as KML, Bentley Geospatial Server will serve only the information that is required, so it streams over the network more simply and is easy for users to use.

What Tools Are Needed

According to Zambuni, if users want to take full advantage of 3D City GIS workflows, Bentley Map and Bentley Descartes are for desktop operations. A large city would need some form of enterprise GIS like Bentley Geospatial Server in order to structure workflows and be able to access data and be able to have off line access to data, long transactions, which can't be obtained solely with a desktop interacting with a server.

The major issue with desktop operations is that there is no security and no auditable workflow. “You can't see who last touched a file, you just have people calling on a database and then doing what they want to that data,” said Zambuni. “If you have Bentley Geospatial Server you can have all sorts of approval checks built into it so when you're making changes to data that can go through the correct approval chain before it's committed to the final complete data set.” If users add Geo Web Publisher they get a 2D web GIS environment as well as a 3D data server and Google Earth.

In addition to Bentley Map, Geospatial Server, and Geo Web Publisher, Bentley Power Map and Bentley Power Map field are available to use in the field for data capture.

A spatial database such as Oracle is not a prerequisite for any of the new Bentley tools, however, Geospatial Server helps managing spatial databases and offers a direct connection from Bentley Map to a spatial database. Geospatial Server offers five basic services - document management, indexing and searching services, spatial database service, workflow services as well as plotting services. People implement just a portion of it or the entire portfolio.

Bentley Map has a strong API and same for Geo Web Publisher geospatial services. These tools can also be leveraged by partners and customers.

Besides Oracle Spatial, ArcGIS can also be accessed via Geospatial Server using a different Connector. Bentley uses the ESRI API to access the richness in a server to server interoperability so Bentley Map doesn't connect directly to SDE, for example. With the FME plug-in it's possible to import/export from FME but with the ArcGIS Connector which is part of Geospatial Server, the native ArcGIS API is used for interoperability.

Open Source

Bentley has found that their customers are not asking for open source, but are instead asking for interoperability, according to Zambuni. So customers have the ability to plug the Bentley technology into other systems rather than building the product themselves.

Some open source is used inside Bentley Map and the coordinate system, and for importation of native format such as shapefiles and MapInfo format. It sounds as though Bentley is more committed to open standards than open source.


The iModel initiative is a self contained geometry and read-only file meant for distribution and interpretation among different applications, and is currently used for exchange. “We can push our 3D model that we built inside Bentley Map to an iModel and that can be viewed by a simple viewer such as Bentley View and annotated with tools like our Navigator product,” said Valois. “This is a great way to get data out to other people. We have written tools inside Autodesk Revit to get data from Revit into an iModel that we can then consume. The idea of the iModel is that every application of Bentley's 150 products can push iModel and be understood by other disciplines such as civil to
GIS, GIS to BIM and vice versa.”

For more on i-models and V8i (SELECTseries 1), see

Top News of the Week

With mail-out of the 2010 Census forms less than one month away, the
U. S. Census Bureau unveiled a
new online mapping tool that allows communities nationwide to prepare for the 2010 Census by seeing how well they did mailing back their 2000 Census forms.

Visitors to the new Google-based map will be able to find the 2000 Census mail participation rates for states, counties and cities, as well as smaller areas called "census tracts." After the 2010 Census forms are mailed out in mid-March, the online map will be updated to include a tracking tool with daily updates of the 2010 Census mail participation rates for local areas across the nation. Users will be able to compare their 2010 Census progress using their 2000 Census rates as a benchmark.

Acquisitions, Agreements, Alliances

SuperGeo Technologies announced its partnership with
GeoEye, Inc.

SuperGeo Technologies is delighted to announce its partnership with
Luminous ETS (Luminous Engineering & Technology Services Pvt. Ltd), who will exclusively resell SuperGIS series software in whole India (except for the State of Karnataka, where SpaceInfo continues to be the exclusive reseller).

PCI Geomatics has announced it has signed a significant six-figure contract with
MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) to develop and deploy an enterprise level image management system to support the processing of RADARSAT-2 satellite imagery for an international customer.

PCI Geomatics, a world leading developer of geo-imaging software and systems, is pleased to announce it has signed a million dollar contract with
Beijing Space Eye Innovation Technology Co. Ltd. (BSEI) to supply an automated image processing system to the China Centre for Resources Satellite Data and Application.

Under the terms of the contract, PCI Geomatics has been entrusted to provide an advanced image processing system for the automatic registration and mosaicking of multi-sensor imagery.

Intermap Technologies, the foremost 3D digital mapping and geospatial solutions company, announced the sale of a nationwide digital elevation model of Ireland - one of the countries included in its NEXTMap Europe digital mapping program, providing high-resolution elevation models and images of Western Europe. Ireland's Office of Public Works (OPW), the lead agency for flood risk management in Ireland, has licensed the digital mapping data in support of the European Union directive aimed at reducing the risks and adverse consequences of floods throughout Europe.

Location intelligence specialist
ESRI Australia announced it has finalised its acquisition of
MapData Sciences (MDS), an established online digital mapping and hosting company with clients across a variety of industry sectors.

The acquisition of MDS will further enhance ESRI Australia's ability to provide comprehensive location intelligence solutions in the Australian market.

Aerial survey specialist
Bluesky has signed a reseller agreement with
Landmark, British supplier of land and property search information. The deal will see the UK's largest collection of historically important commercial aerial photographs being made available through the Envirocheck website further helping professional users to make informed decisions based on comprehensive environmental site assessment information. The million plus photographs, from Bluesky's Old Aerial Photos archive, date back as far as 1917 and include some of the earliest commercial survey images, military photography and many national archives.


URISA seeks to encourage students in a variety of academic settings and disciplines to write and publish papers and projects for the URISA membership and others in the spatial technologies industry. To promote this objective URISA has established a student competition.

The 2010 Student Competition will consist of a three-tier approach that includes Papers, Presentations and Posters. Submissions are due on or before May 1, 2010. For complete details:

RapidEye satellite imagery now extends across areas of New Zealand. In the last few weeks substantial coverage with less than 20% cloud has been placed in the archives.


You can find the full GISCafe event calendar here.

To read more news, click here.

-- Susan Smith, Managing Editor.

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