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Thursday, January 05, 2006

Autodesk announced the acquisition of Applied Spatial Technologies today. I confess that I know about it since I’m in New England and have known Dusty Smith, once of Computersmith, for just about as long as I’ve been in CAD/GIS. AST’s FMDesktop is an AutoCAD-based facilities management system, or better, what the company calls a “Computer Aided Facility Management (CAFM) system.  It is a full suite of scalable FM products that use industry standard components to help manage your facility drawings, data, assets and occupants graphically.”

Ever since Visio (remember that? it’s still around) people thought there was money to be made in this space. I recall companies looking to build systems on heavy duty GIS platforms. But, it never seemed to pick up. The big player in the Autodesk space is another New England company, Archibus, that’s still going. But, clearly, AST provided a solution “good enough” to get Autodesk’s attention at time where most acquisitions (and new products, for that matter) did not include AutoCAD engines.

Is there overlap between CAD CAFM and GIS? Mostly, it seems to me, its in the publishing to the Web part. It’ll be interesting to see how Autodesk integrates this product line into its Building Solutions Division.

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/05 at 03:13 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

“MapQuest helps people find places. This helps people find places where people are at.”

-James Greiner, MapQuest’s vice president and general manager, MapQuest quoted in the New York Times (free registration may be required). He was commenting on the company’s “FindMe” offering, which can locate a person with a phone or share their location with others. It’s my experience that the first question people ask after picking up the phone is “Where are you?”

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/05 at 07:15 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Randall Newton at AECNews.com points out that last week’s ExtractKML from Avatech is now the Avatech Earth Connector. It’s a free AutoCAD plug-in that makes it possible to place 2D and 3D structures developed in AutoCAD-based products directly into Google Earth. He notes, correctly, that the marketing folks earned their pay for that change.

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/05 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Apparently, an unsavory pair has been visiting gas stations, stealing atlases, and then trying to return them to other unsuspecting stations as defective. The atlases, including some from Midwest Map, run between $25 and $50. One suspect has been identified and law enforcement has been requested to put out a scam alert.

Via GMToday.com (Greater Milwaukee)

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/05 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Greg Sterling posting at Search Engine Journal tipped me off to a new mapping function appearing in Gmail. Turns out, messages that come in with addresses have a link on right titled “Map This.” It’s near the sponsored links, reports Sterling. He points to this page for Google’s explanation (no human reads your mail!).

Sterling makes a good point that putting something of value “over there” draws more attention to the ads “over there.”

I guess once we all griped about the autolinks appearing magically by default on webpages when the Google Toolbar was installed, Google pushed that functionality over to GMail.

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/05 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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