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May 29, 2006
BE Conference 2006: Geospatial Report
Please note that contributed articles, blog entries, and comments posted on GIScafe.com 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 GISCafe.com. 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!

Message from the Editor -

Welcome to GISWeekly! The focus of Bentley Systems is on Infrastructure, according to Bentley Geospatial vice president Styli Camateros, and that extends also to their Geospatial division as well. The Enterprise Server is core to the technology. “Connectors” provide geospatial functionality. What was previously MicroStation Geographics and the
Geographics Connector is now the Geospatial Connector, and its role is to provide solutions for government, utilities and communications.

For the full report on the BE Conference, read AECWeekly's
BE Report.

GISWeekly welcomes letters and feedback from readers, so let us know what you think. Send your comments to me

Best wishes,

Susan Smith, Managing Editor

Industry News

BE Conference 2006: Geospatial Report

by Susan Smith

Greg Bentley
The focus of Bentley Systems is on Infrastructure, according to Bentley Geospatial vice president Styli Camateros, and that extends also to their Geospatial division as well. The Enterprise Server is core to the technology. “Connectors” provide geospatial functionality. What was previously MicroStation Geographics and the
Geographics Connector is now the Geospatial Connector, and its role is to provide solutions for government, utilities and communications.

The geospatial umbrella at Bentley covers the areas of mapping, geospatial engineering, integration with AEC applications, geospatial information management and publishing, and interoperability. Because Bentley is historically based in the AEC market with its flagship 2D/3D design product, MicroStation, the company's approach to geospatial stems from those beginnings.

Products are included under the heading 'geospatial engineering' for each of these: electric and gas, water resources, and communications. There are also products listed under mapping, geospatial publishing and interoperability. Under geospatial engineering, MicroStation V8 XM Edition, Bentley Copper, Bentley Coax, Bentley Descartes, Bentley PowerField for Communications, Bentley Plant, and Bentley View are included. Under electric and gas, Expert Designer is one of the additions. Under water resources, the product line includes the newly acquired WaterGEMs from Haestad Methods and a product called CivilStorm, plus much more. In Geospatial publishing, Geo Web Publisher and Interplot are two
of the offerings, and for Interoperability Bentley offers ProjectWise, Bentley Geospatial Management, GISConnect, and other specialized connectors. Under mapping is the new Bentley Map. For each category there are obviously specific products to address that industry's specific requirements.

Some features of the new Bentley Map include an ability to

-attach shapefiles directly

-display correction, so you don't have layers overlaid incorrectly

-support for new file formats, such as MrSID, ECW

-ability to make transparent parcels, in both raster and vector

Bentley Descartes works with Bentley Map and has the following new features:

- ability to select seamlessly vector using MicroStation tools

- new feature for enhancing imaging, including highlights, shadows, luminescence

- buffering around a parcel is now very easy to do - it previously took 12 steps and now it's down to one. You can also find parcels intersecting the buffer.

- GEOPAK is now seamlessly integrated with Bentley Map, and can use Map Manager

- ability to add a 3D view of a 2D file for public viewing

The features of the new V8 XM release of MicroStation make it possible to display in smooth shading and zoom in to see details. You can use the 3D PDF feature also for creating 3D PDFs of your maps, integrating a 3D model with PDF and all the data that is attached to it.

Google Earth Tools Integration offers a new way to share information. A file can be overlaid on top of Google images and reprojected to other coordinate systems.

Other features of Bentley Map include:


full 3D support

feature modeling (XFM)

data management

spot analysis

Oracle support

Camateros defined the meaning of “cadastre” as a public record of property ownership. Bentley Cadastre is built on top of Bentley Map. “We provide a data model to understand cadastre,” he explained. Parcels come in from Oracle Spatial with Oracle Topology, and make use of the spatial and attribute data in Oracle. Cadastre allows you to edit attributes. The COGO Editor allows you to give a description of what is owned in the parcels.

The vertex or node is a cornerstone of topology, noted Camateros. When you select a boundary you want to see the node sliding along the boundary to where you want it placed. AccuSnap is used to place the nodes where you want them.

When creating boundaries, the parcel fabric can be incorporated into Cadastre. All this activity is being updated into Oracle using the Topology Model.

A distributed network can be created using Bentley Network, Expert, Model and Designer. A smart set of rules in the background is being defined as the design is taking place to provide materials, cost, etc. As new costs are added to the project, for example, the design environment automatically adds them to the environment.

Summing up, indexing rather than conversion of documents preserves the richness of the original design documents. Features and text can be found quickly regardless of their original format.

The WaterGEMs product coupled with Bentley Navigator make it possible to do GIS analysis at the same time as hydraulic analysis. Fiber Tool provides tools for engineering and design of broadband networks with complete connectivity with Inside Plant.

Q&A Session with Styli Camateros

Does Bentley Geospatial work with other database models? Yes, not everything has to be in Oracle, it could be in SDE or another geospatial database. Were going to piggyback on anyone who has spatial technology.

Can you position Bentley GIS relative to Smallworld? Where they don't intersect is in environmental analysis, marketing analysis, retail analysis. We're not going to focus on that. We're interested in owner operators, people who build things, and local governments.

Smallworld is such a closed system, big in electric utilities. Expert Designer grew up in a Smallworld environment. Most of Expert Designer's customers had Smallworld first.

Can you expand on the concept of federated data?

The Geospatial Server has that technology, so every application that works on the server has that technology, so you can do the same kind of searches as we did with Oracle Spatial. Geospatial Server has the clients: WaterGEMs, MicroStation, Power Map Field, and we load the Oracle Connector in the Geospatial Server.

What are the biggest bottlenecks for big projects? When doing large projects people are trying to put all the data in one database. Google's search engine analogy shows a way of indexing which is the basic idea of federated information and of amassing GIS for infrastructure. If you can't handle data without amassing it all in one place, then you're stuck.

What percentage of sales are in the U.S.? Two thirds of sales are in North America.

Is there organic growth for Geospatial? Most of our acquisitions are geospatial. We have an aggressive integration program, we buy something with a straight line to what we want to do with it in terms of integration into our platform.

What is your strategy for open source? It is a big deal in Europe. Bentley will keep an eye on it. We are going to release a post GIS connector. Where we see value for our customers we'll support them.

There is an increasing overlap of GIS and CAD - how do you appeal to that community? We say 'GIS for infrastructure' although we are trying to integrate GIS and CAD. The functionality that CAD gives you and that GIS gives you, you have in the Bentley Map platform, in one product.

Tell us about your product strategy. Geographics had an enormous amount of functionality and was very difficult to use. We didn't understand how to make things simple then. The technology you see in Map is largely Geographics, but with indexing added. Geographics is the same technology as Map, and all of it that is in Map as a subset.

We have piggybacked on everything Oracle has done. Whatever you can do with Oracle as far as time components, spatial, and version management, we just leveraged Oracle standard. It allows you to interface that into our applications. It brings a lot of functionality to our users very quickly.

Top News of the Week

Merrick & Company is proceeding with the third year of a multiyear contract with Lake County, Illinois. Merrick will provide black & white digital orthophotography at a half-foot pixel resolution for 470 square miles. This follows previous projects in the same coverage area. The 2002 project included 1”= 100' 6-inch pixel resolution digital black and white orthophotography, LIDAR based two-foot contours, and planimetric features. The 2004 project included black and white digital orthophotography at a 1-foot pixel resolution and the 2005 project included black and white digital orthophotography at a half-foot pixel resolution.

Web developers can now purchase Microsoft MapPoint Web Service usage transactions in small blocks for their applications. Maps4MyApps.com provides access to the MapPoint web platform for transactions usage starting out as low as 1,500 transactions per month - ideal for small or start up applications requiring map look up and driving directions.

Maps4MyApps.com provides developers direct access to the Microsoft platform under a cell phone model, utilizing monthly usage charges, and transaction rollover, all under an annual contract. These is no activation fee, and developers can select usage plan between 1,500 and 50,000 usage transactions per month. As your application grows, usage plans may be upgraded at any time.


SRC, LLC., a developer of geographic business intelligence software, announced the addition of real-time article access functionality from MetaCarta, a geographic intelligence provider, and content from Lebhar-Friedman, Inc., independent publisher and provider of information to the retail, foodservice, and healthcare communities, to

Currently, the Web site enables users to run timely and comprehensive analysis for all U.S. geographies and addresses in seconds. Unlike other demographic data that is available from the government or other Web sites,
www.DemographicsNow.com now gives its subscribers search engine functionality with the ability to research leading industry articles and news, which are geographically relevant, based on the users' geographic area of interest.

SRC also announced the addition of its Portfolio Guzzler to the business intelligence industry's premier demographic analysis Web site
http://www.DemographicsNow.com. Portfolio Guzzler, the industry's first drive time engine to follow actual road networks, is an application that accurately analyzes any geographic information with designated drive times for a specified location, i.e. 5, 10, 15 minute drive times around an existing or potential retail location, cell phone tower, car dealership, real estate property, etc.

Tele Atlas, a global geographic content provider, announced at Telematics Update Detroit 2006 it is expanding its Latin American map coverage with the acquisition of detailed source data covering Mexico's highway and street network. The company also announced it will grow its operations in Mexico with the opening of an office focused on sourcing and data validation.


DigitalGlobe's European business partner, Italy-based Eurimage, has entered into a contract with the European Commission (EC)'s Joint Research Center to supply worldwide satellite imagery over a four-year period. The DigitalGlobe portion of the contract is valued at $7.7 million USD (6 million Euro) and will support all EC institutions, services and agencies.

Bentley Systems, Incorporated previewed its enhanced SELECT subscription program at BE 2006. The program, which will be available September 1, 2006, provides three new offerings - nine in total - exclusively to SELECT subscribers. It offers organizations comprehensive investment protection for Bentley software, team productivity, and engineering information.

The new SELECT offerings are: an annual license exchange that enables users to rebalance their technology portfolio for optimum productivity in the year ahead, OnDemand eLearning resources to improve user performance and productivity, and a ProjectWise user subscription to help extend the reach of content across a distributed enterprise.

Contract Awards

Intermap Technologies Corp. announced that its Intermap Federal Services subsidiary has been awarded a $5.6 million contract to collect and deliver geographic three-dimensional elevation and imagery data via Intermap's radar mapping technology. Under the agreement, the company will deliver Digital Surface Model (DSM) and Orthorectified Radar Imagery (ORI) data incrementally through 2006 and into early 2007.

MapInfo Corporation, a global provider of location intelligence solutions, announced that IBM has selected MapInfo(R) technology to power the new Prospecting portlet in IBM's Core Life Solution for the insurance industry. Building on the company's relationship with IBM, the MapInfo Prospecting portlet enables insurance agents to identify and locate target customers based on neighborhood demographic, lifestyle and consumption patterns, helping increase sales and market share.


Bentley Systems, Incorporated announced the winners of the 2006 BE Awards of Excellence, which honor the extraordinary work of Bentley users improving the world's infrastructure. See
press release

IBSystems, Inc. announced that Ms. Elisabeth Sardin is the winner of the iPOD Nano sweepstakes drawn on April 15, 2006. Ms. Sardin is a Design Engineer who is working for TI.

New Products

Bentley Systems, Incorporated released the commercial version of MicroStation V8 XM Edition - the most powerful and most accessible MicroStation release ever.

An intuitive new interface places powerful new features within easy reach of the user and an unchanged DGN file format and full support for existing V8 standards allow projects to proceed uninterrupted.

ESRI announced that a North America street dataset for
RouteMAP IMS 3.0 is now shipping. The latest release of this data pack,
Tele Atlas' Dynamap Transportation, includes updated street data, postal boundaries, landmarks, and water features for the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.

NAVTEQ, a global provider of digital maps for vehicle navigation and location-based solutions, has announced that its map data is now available through the Oslo based GIS specialist, Geodata AS - a company which over the last 19 years has developed solutions to help expanding companies find the right sites, assist in routing emergency vehicles and contribute to the fight against crime.

DM Solutions Group Inc., a provider of open source web mapping technologies and solutions announced the introduction of a new addition to their line of data products, Maps for MapServer - Global Edition.
The Maps for MapServer product line services the map data needs of the rapidly growing MapServer user community.

Blue Marble Geographics announces the release of GeoObjects 4.1, a map display tool kit for GIS developers. Blue Marble, known for their coordinate conversion technology, is also the creator of industry leading map display, image reprojection, referencing, and map file translation technology. Their libraries are used worldwide by thousands of GIS developers at software companies, universities, oil and gas companies, civil engineering, surveying, technology, enterprise GIS groups, and military organizations.

Byers SpatialAge Solutions Division announced significant enhancements to its Map Viewer application. Map Viewer Version 8.3 is now available and sets new industry standards in AM/FM/GIS viewing technology. The upgraded software provides the functionality to support installation and maintenance, engineering, planning, field capture, and spatial analysis applications at a cost of up to 50-60 percent less than other currently available, comparable products.

Upcoming Events

GeoAlberta 2006

Date: May 30 - June 1, 2006

Place: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Join us for Western Canada's #1 independent GIS and Geomatics show! This year, GeoAlberta will be held at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta from May 30 to June 1st, 2006. It features world class keynotes including Joseph Berry from the University of Denver and Peter Batty, CTO of Intergraph. The three-day conference is also packed with hands-on workshops, insightful sessions, engaging speakers, and plenty of fun, entertainment, and networking opportunities. This event is vital to professionals who create and promote the effective application of GIS and Geomatics. Early bird registration deadline is April 30, 2006.

AGI "How To" Webinar: Make Movies in STK Using Advanced Techniques

Date: June 8, 2006

Place: Webinar USA

Intergraph 2006 International Users Conference

Date: June 12 - 15, 2006

Place: Disney's Coronado Spring Resort, Orlando, FL USA

In its inaugural year, Intergraph 2006 will bring together all of our customers and partners from around the globe. We will invite our shareholders and community and government leaders, as well as each of you - senior executives, business managers, decision-makers, and other users. You will have the opportunity to explore industry-specific challenges and imperatives for success in today's dynamic marketplace. In addition to hands-on training and networking, you will have the opportunity to discuss and evaluate industry insights and best practices that will help you gain the greatest value from Intergraph's full range of spatial information management technologies.

GeoTec Event 2006

Date: June 18 - 21, 2006

Place: Ottawa Congress Centre Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

The GeoTec Event provides a unique gathering place for geospatial technology professionals from all disciplines to interact and learn from each other's experience and knowledge. The program is designed to help you discover cutting-edge geospatial technology solutions from diverse application areas.

Summer Institute on Geographic Information Science

Date: June 26 - July 7, 2006

Place: Fattoria Montebeni Florence, Italy

Celebrating the fifth centenary of Vespucci's discoveries, the Vespucci Initiative recaptures his spirit of multi-disciplinary intellectual enquiry to explore new frontiers of knowledge. To that end it organizes and conducts a range of research and teaching activities, bringing together senior scientists and promising young researchers from around the world. This unique interdisciplinary mix creates what has been called the Medici Effect. (Perhaps it is no coincidence that the summer institutes are held in Florence!) What these particular researchers have in common is a special interest in the locational aspects of societal challenges.


Date: June 27 - 29, 2006

Place: Hong Kong, Japan

Geospatial Research and Application Frontiers in Environmental and Public Health Systems The 1st International Conference in GIS and Health hosted by HKU and LREIS of Beijing

You can find the full GISCafe event calendar here.

To read more news, click here.

-- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.