Since Autodesk stopped offering a free viewer for AutoCAD some years ago, users have turned to all sorts of other vendors freebies (including Bentley!) We in the press have pointed out Autodesk’s “missing piece” in gentle and not so gentle terms. So, it was nice to see in Tenlinks Daily that Autodesk has relented by offering DWG TrueView, a free, 100MB download that will read DWG v2-16 and do other things, too, including publish DWFs. (That’s what the other 94 Mb are for!)
As is the prefered method, the product was announced via a corporate blog. Why pay a press relations staff when all important announcements are by blog? Yahoo and Google seem to do it that way, too. I guess it’s very Web 2.0…
Update: Randall Newton at AECNews.com (he’s a real CAD guy) points out that Autodesk’s own comparison chart suggests that DWG TrueView does not have an easy-to-use interface. Ha! He also adds more details about competing products.
by Adena Schutzberg on 10/21 at 12:40 PM |
The BE Newsletter, published by Bentley quotes Jon Fairall, editor of the fine Postion Magazine in Australia, in his coverage of Styli Camateros’ (vice president, Bentley Geospatial) speaking at the Spatial Sciences Institute Biennial Conference in that country. What struck me was this segment:
“The other area that has Camateros intrigued, is indexing. ‘Google and other search engine companies have managed to tame the internet. They did this - not by following any of the standards-based, or structurally-focused strategies that have been tried historically in this industry - but by providing an indexing system. It leaves Internet pages exactly as they are, but finds the common key words in the documents.’
“His belief is that the same index-based approach can be used in the spatial industry. Software that could trawl through files, and recognize strings or numbers that are spatially meaningful, would be invaluable.
“The first example of this sort of capability is a feature of the latest rendition of Bentley’s ProjectWise suite.”
That’s a bit of change in positioning for ProjectWise, as I see it. The Bentley website describes ProjectWise as “an integrated suite of collaboration servers that enable AEC project teams, their information, and their tools to work as one.” There is nothing about indexing or searching. I suppose trying to market your offerings as “like Google” is all the rage. I do have to disagree with Fairall; I believe MetaCarta offered the first such capability, especially with regard to “strings or numbers that are spatially meaningful.”
by Adena Schutzberg on 10/21 at 07:00 AM |
Here’s a twist: MapInfo announces its User Conference for next May in Phoenix, Arizona and offers a drawing for a prize to those who submit why they will not attend. I’d offer the URL, but I suspect its only for those who sign up for the company’s newsletter. So, look for an e-mail about MapWorld in your in-box.
by Adena Schutzberg on 10/21 at 07:00 AM |
In a recent post, I questioned the use of GPS in a new service called EatNow.com which claims to only provide listings for restaurants (in several cities) that deliver to specific street addresses. Today I spoke with Nat Turner, the founder of EatNow.com, who confirmed that GPS had nothing to do with his solution. He explained that the press relations firm insisted on including some, alas incorrect, information about the business.
EatNow.com is planning to put out an updated news release soon, which I applaud. (I hope the PR firm does that gratis!) By the way, two other individuals also called the company on the error! That means more people actually understand what GPS is and how it works!
So, how does EatNow.com work? And, how is it different from other offerings? The big differentiator is that EatNow.com actually contacts restaurants and asks about the delivery area, which is rarely a ZIP Code polygon or defined neighborhood bounary, but rather some irregular custom polygon. EatNow.com uses a Google Maps mashup to draw the polygon, then adds it to its database. When an address is entered to look for restaurants that deliver to the address, the system performs geocodes it and does a “point in polygon” query to return all the polygons into which the address falls. Interestingly, Turner reports that no restaurants turned down the request for the delivery information.
Turner, 19, is jazzed at the response to the one-month old business and hopes to use his site for very focused location-specific advertising. He’s one of the new generation of geospatially savvy entrepreneurs; stay tuned!
by Adena Schutzberg on 10/20 at 02:39 PM |
The New York Times continues the hype of map mashups, touting (free registration may be required) Google Maps as the early winner. It doesn’t even mention Google Earth. It does highlight the challenge of finding the right mapshup for your purposes, though it lauds Google Maps Mania for its efforts. (Mike Pegg who runs it has offered tips to this blog and I hope I’ve reciprocated by sending material his way.) Maybe it’s time for an index/catalog for map mashups?
We are to the point with the Web where if you think there should be a website for [insert idea here], there likely is, or should be one. I don’t believe I’ve found the map mashup index yet… I came up with this idea (that if you think there should be a book about something, there probably is) in high school. After a Shakespeare quiz, the kind where you have to identify the character who said a certain line, I went to the library to check my mostly guessed answers. I said to the reference librarian, “There’s a book that indexes all the words in the Bible. There should be one for Shakespeare.” To which she smiled and handed me the Concordance of Shakespeare. (Boy, did I think I was smart!) Well, the same should be true on the Web today. (Why then am I still waiting for a good index of geospatial data?)
Back to the article… One interesting tidbit: “Google’s openness to the use of its maps does have limits, though. Once a mash-up turns into a large-scale commercial enterprise, Google looks to share in the revenue. That is happening at Trulia [yet another real estate site]; Google lawyers are trying to negotiate a royalty agreement. ‘At the moment it is free,’ Mr. Flint said, ‘and we are taking advantage of it.’” Will that insistence push developers to say, Virtual Earth?
by Adena Schutzberg on 10/20 at 11:39 AM |