June 02, 2008
BE Conference 2008 Focuses on CAD and GIS in Infrastructure
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| by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
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BE Conference 2008 Focuses on CAD and GIS in Infrastructure
By Susan Smith
Bentley has carved out a niche for itself in its very natural progression from a provider of software for the architecture, engineering and construction industries, to encompass geospatial as it pertains to the management and creation of infrastructure. The industry sectors Bentley Geospatial focuses on are cadastre and land development, water/wastewater, gas and electric, and telecommunications. Traditionally, there has been a separation between GIS and engineering, as it has been difficult to integrate the two different types of data in the past.
Bentley’s focus is on maintaining infrastructure and this year, and with its theme “Best Practices for Sustaining Infrastructure,” the company’s geospatial vision becomes very clear.
Not surprisingly, Bentley’s new, preconfigured yet customizable data models designed for land parcels, water, electric, gas, telecommunications allow geospatial technology to be integrated into engineering workflows seamlessly.
Richard Zambuni, Global Marketing Director for Bentley Geospatial moderated a keynote address given by Ton de Vries, Solutions Executive, Cadastre and Land Development for Bentley Geospatial on Monday evening. Following de Vries’ address were contributions from VPs of three solutions groups: water and wastewater, electric and gas, and communications.
The foremost announcement was that Daratech ranked Bentley as the world’s No. 2 geospatial software provider for 2007 (a figure which includes design applications) in its second consecutive research study.
“Bentley’s successful strategy of advancing GIS for infrastructure has resonated with the user community and enabled this fast-growing provider of software for the world’s infrastructure to once again secure the No. 2 position in our geospatial software study,” said Charles Foundyller, president and CEO of Daratech, Inc. in a press release. “And, Bentley has reinforced its commitment to the geospatial community with the recent release of Bentley Map, Bentley Geospatial Server and Bentley Cadastre.”
Bentley announced a new geospatial product portfolio that focuses on making spatial data and GIS functionality available within engineering workflows, without conversions or file translations. Part of that announcement includes the announcement that Bentley is going green.
The new comprehensive set of products includes:
For the desktop – Bentley Map and Bentley Cadastre
For server – Bentley Geospatial Server
Since September of 2007, Bentley Map has been adopted in 64 countries in over 500 accounts.
Bentley Map is a full featured GIS designed to address the needs of organizations that map, plan, design, build and operate infrastructure.
It has all the power of MicroStation, Map Manager, XML feature modeling, Oracle Spatial Editing, a Geospatial Administrator to configure business and topological rules without programming. It can edit other GIS data types such as ESRI shape files and output 2D and 3D PDFs.
Bentley Cadastre is an efficient application for creating, maintaining, and analyzing land information. It has all the power of Bentley Map, logical business rules, Oracle Spatial Editing, dynamic topology editing, integrated COGO editor, linear adjustment, flexible reporting and other features for managing the day-to-day maintenance of cadastral fabric.
Bentley Geospatial Server
brings together engineering unstructured information such as drawings and business documents, and can combine it with spatial information such as satellite imagery in spatial databases, through the unique Federated Information Management approach which merges information independently of its source. Based on ProjectWise, Server extends ProjectWise capabilities by adding enterprise access to Oracle Spatial and other GIS data stores.
De Vries notes that the value proposition for the new Bentley products advances GIS for infrastructure by providing
· Diversity – Federated Information Management
· Modeling Reality -3D (OGC initiatives on BIM/Geo integration)
· Model the real world
· Engineering users –
· One environment for planning, analysis, design and facilities management
· Openness—Environment based on Oracle 10g Spatial, OGC. Bentley believes the world is moving to Oracle and will include support for other spatial databases as they become available.
“We are trying to integrate GIS information in the engineering world, not trying to map the butterfly population,” de Vries pointed out, noting the difference between Bentley Geospatial and other popular geospatial systems.
Key Differentiators –
For integrating GIS and engineering information, the Bentley platform is productive in data capture, data aggregation, precision, and publishing. Bentley products have the ability to integrate with other platforms and are positioned within engineering workflows, and from this vantage point, able to place engineering information into real world environments.
“We have an emphasis on customization – being able to configure it to your needs, rather than customize through programming using Geospatial Administrator,” said de Vries.
Jack Cook, VP Water & Wastewater Solutions
Cook came to Bentley with the Haestad acquisition. For water, wastewater, and stormwater challenges include:
· Prioritizing resources to support aging infrastructure
· Ensuring regulatory compliance
· Controlling operating costs
· Supplying treatment and system capacity
· Consolidating fragmented information systems
Bentley’s solution for these challenges spans several technology areas:
· Building on Bentley Map with Bentley Water and Wastewater
· Analysis – Haestad Methods Solutions Center, WaterGEMS, SewerGEMS, SewerCAD, Civil Storm, StormCAD
· Treatment Plant Design – PlantSpace AutoPlant, OpenPlant for ISO 15926
Addressing top challenges across lifecycles, Cook cites several advantages:
· Comprehensive end to end software solution with product support, and services from single vendor
· Fills application spectrum across lifecycle and engineering disciplines
· Exclusive interoperability protects existing investing in information systems
· with Geospatial Server core
Bentley released Bentley Water V8 XM Edition, a water distribution design system which is built on Bentley Map. In additional to Bentley Map features, the release provides easy access to enterprise data for the improvement of management of the asset lifecycle. The new product integrates with Bentley’s Haestad Methods hydraulic modeling and analysis software, so that current users of the Haestad products WaterGEMS, WaterCAD and HAMMER can share networks, maintenance data and operational data to run hydraulic simulations of potable water distribution systems. Cook said that Bentley does a lot of R&D on sustainability in the area of linkage control. Technology to discover leakage is
built into Bentley Water, so that customers can prevent surges from blowing open pipes and losing water. Non-revenue water loss is as high as 60%.
Larry Robert, VP Electric and Gas, came from Cook-Hurlbut which specialized in electric and gas engineering on the distribution side.
Industry challenges in gas and electric include:
· Integrating of design and mapping technology
· Controlling operating costs
· Improving service levels
· Consolidating legacy information systems
The integration of CAD and GIS is paramount in this industry, and the need to extend productivity benefits gained from automation and workflow throughout operations.
Basically the advantages for this market sector are much the same as they are for water, as follows:
· Products, support, and services from a single vendor.
· Lifecycle workflows across engineering disciplines. Entire utility design, estimating, mapping, and facilities management workflows from generation through distribution.
· Next generation interoperability protects existing investment and positions for the future
· Unique Geospatial server capabilities unifies system of CAD, GIS and best of breed engineering solutions.
Technology to see at BE included:
Bentley electric and gas workflows and
· fast schematic design
· real time cross referencing
· automatic wire numbering
· logical error checking
· integrated parts database
· panel layout and terminal plan modes
· automatic generation of parts lists and other documentation.
· Electrical symbol library included.
· can pull unit costs in to design – can connect to those vendors over the web as part of the design process
In the area of Communications, Bentley is now in a position to move into specific industry areas in a broad way, as it can handle the GIS and engineering requirements that customers have.
One such area is automation in the field, explored in Bentley’s Applied Research division which tests new and innovative product applications, including a camera/GPS device that can view a 2D paper drawing and display onscreen a 3D model representation of the building design, from various perspectives.
Industry challenges include:
· Cost effectively providing 21st century services
· Time to market
· Controlling operating costs
· Improving service levels
· Consolidating legacy information systems
· Integration and openness are critical
Bentley is working on disaster recovery, responding to the need of utilities and telcoms to restore service as quickly as possible after a disaster. The single end to end software solution that can do engineering, planning, product support from a single vendor is a method in itself for approaching the vast demands of disaster response and recovery.
Bentley Comms XM will be released this year.
Related news that participants learned about was “geocoordination,” a feature to be included in the Athens release (new release of MicroStation). Geocoordination will allow users to coalesce spatial content in different formats and from different sources, geolocate images, and make it possible to ignore the complexities of geographic coordinate systems.The GIS and BIM Convergence: Broadening Interoperability with Standards
Louis Hecht of the OpenGIS Consortium spoke on the topic, “The GIS and BIM Convergence: Broadening Interoperability with Standards,” citing three areas standards need to address: things, business process and coordination.
The integraed project delivery process is being adopted across the board, said Hecht. “Open standards means agreeing on a common definition of terms and names, attributes, properties and information,” he quoted. Open standardization also means agreeing on a common means of communication.
With regard to open interfaces and interoperability, he said that it’s about balancing users’ needs for compatibility with autonomy and heterogeneity of interoperating systems. “We need to agree on a definition of open interfaces.”
BIM is one of many tools to migrate the market to interoperability, with its method of collecting information once for reuse. The buildingSMART Alliance is working on this approach.
The buildingSMART Alliance, the OGC and Sponsors of the AECOO (Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Owner and Operator) Testbed issued a Request for Quotation (RFQ) and Call for Participation (CFP) for the AECOO-Phase 1 Testbed.
The OGC and buildingSMART are collaborating on the AECOO Testbed to address the productivity problems in the AEC industry which are fragmented by professions and skills.
“Testbeds yield accelerated alignments of industry on solutions using open standards,” explained Hecht. The feedback then goes back to the standards bodies.
Another challenge is to coordinate the testbed with other standards such as IFC. A testbed results in a prototype/alpha software with interoperability “baked in.” It is then submitted to the standards organization knowing that it works in the software.
AECOO-1 strives to incorporate:
Hecht said that anyone can join the testbed. For more information see
Look for photos on the GISCafe Home Page. The full report on the BE Conference will be posted on
Top News of the Week
The acquisition of digital map maker Tele Atlas by TomTom marks a watershed for the industry with vastly more accurate maps and new products, Tele Atlas Chief Executive Alain De Taeye said. (Reuters)
Bentley announced that Attica Telecom, a telecom provider recently acquired by hellas online, a leading fixed telephony and broadband operator in Greece, has selected and deployed Bentley’s communications software solution to design and build a 450-kilometer fiber network in Athens and other major cities in Greece, including Thessaloniki.
Bentley released its May 2008 Annual Report, which was distributed to the conference’s record number of more than 2,000 attendees, reviews Bentley’s business priorities and highlights milestones for the past year, including:
· 2007 revenues reached $450 million, reflecting 16 percent growth over 2006,
· Bentley colleagues around the world now exceed 2,800,
· Bentley users work in 169 countries,
· Almost 80 percent of the ENR Top 50 rely on ProjectWise collaboration services,
· Bentley was named the world’s No. 2 provider of geospatial software solutions in a just-completed Daratech research study.
IDV Solutions announced a new strategic partnership with Cedarswiss, an international solutions provider. In this partnership, Cedarswiss will be able to offer customers the most advanced location-based data mashup software by offering IDV Solutions’ Visual Fusion Suite.
China TransInfo Technology Corp., provider of public transportation information systems technology and comprehensive solutions in the People's Republic of China ("PRC"), announced that it has entered into equity transfer agreements to acquire majority ownership of China TranWiseway Information Technology Co., Ltd. for RMB 6.5 million (approximately $0.93M) in cash.
GIS Development, the organizer of Map World Forum, is pleased to announce that world-renowned primatologist Jane Goodall, Ph.D., DBE, will attend and lecture at the second biennial Map World Forum, a global conference of geospatial professionals. The upcoming event – scheduled for February 10-13, 2009 – will address various issues related to developing a sustainable planet using geospatial technologies.
ERDAS announces the opening of a new office in Liège, Belgium. Effective May 27, 2008, ERDAS has moved from its Grâce-Hollogne, Belgium office to a new, larger location in Liège. Supporting ERDAS’ growth in Europe, the Liège office includes state-of-the art training and meeting facilities, in a convenient and central location for customers and business partners.
Trimble introduced an innovative Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) reference sensor for infrastructure and network applications -- the Trimble(R) NetR3(TM) GNSS reference sensor. Designed to seamlessly integrate into any Trimble VRS(TM) (Virtual Reference Station) network or other infrastructure application, the Trimble NetR3 offers a new option for tracking and streaming data.
ESi has released a new GIS product that is free for all WebEOC(R) 7 license holders. The new application, WebEOC(R) Mapper Lite, integrates online mapping with WebEOC to spatially display information associated with WebEOC status boards.
GeoLytics’ GeocodeDVD Version 5.0 just released, has improved address matching based on the 2007 TIGER/Line Shapefiles. In addition, with GeoLytics’ GeocodeDVD with 2008 Estimates and 2013 Projections users can append the most up-to-date demographic data directly to addresses. With this product users assign address coordinates and append data in one simple process, letting business and academic researchers quickly profile their clients, customers, or research subjects.
Now you can automatically model any of CONTECH’s stormwater detention products with HydroCAD – a computer aided design tool for modeling stormwater runoff available from HydroCAD Software Solutions LLC.
The CMP and concrete products produced by CONTECH Stormwater Solutions can be easily included in any HydroCAD model for simplified design and simulation of stormwater detention or infiltration systems.
ERDAS announced the release of ArcGIS 8.x and 9.x ECW JPEG 2000 Plug-in 4.1. This updated plug-in provides seamless interoperability with ArcGIS desktop products and the ECWP high-performance streaming imagery protocol. The ECWP protocol allows users to access massive amounts of image data (1000s of gigabytes or more) easily over the internet or intranet.
JPEG 2000 is the non-proprietary standard image format for the International Organization of Standardization (ISO), supported by most major geospatial applications. ECW is an image compression format developed by ERDAS.
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|Ottawa Congress Centre
|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.
|Estes Park, CO USA|
|Located in the heart of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, GeoGathering 2008 is a conference dedicated to providing oil and gas gathering system professionals a venue to share their experiences and best practices with geospatial information while learning about current industry regulations and GIS solutions.
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-- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.