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Thursday, April 13, 2006

Bentley Systems announced a new program for municipalities that would significantly reduce the cost of ownership for a suite of software solutions in geospatial technology. Based on population, a municipality can obtain the entire Bentley suite of software under a single licencing agreement called the Municipal Licensing Subscription (MLS). For example, a municipality of approximately 20,000 people can sign on to the MLS agreement for about $20K…again roughly $1 per person. For cities of 4.5 million or more, the fee is $425K. Bentley’s objective is to achieve better interoperability when a customer needs to step from design/build to asset management…said another way, from civil engineering and construction to geospatial applications of planning and asset management.

Styli Camateros, Bentley’s VP of product marketing said that "Municipalities are really owner assets of diverse assets…I think we have forgotten that we have created a lot of friction between those who design the assets and those who manage the assets. We should be creating software and creating models that can do facilities management from the same model." So, when a customer who is engaged in an engineering project now needs GIS technology, they can obtain the software without additional administrative licensing fees. The Bentley website has more information about the MLS program.


by Joe Francica on 04/13 at 12:09 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The trend of mapping site traffic going up continues, according to comScore Media Metrix. An article at iMedia details the trends including a full 19% increase in traffic to mapping sites this year over the same time last year. The order of the top players remains the same: MapQuest, Yahoo, Google, though the article notes some up and coming sites including with 400% increase of last year.

The only site in the top ten of which I’d never heard: HOMETOWNLOCATOR.COM. It offers: “HTL profiles include census, demographic and income data, parks, schools, libraries, hospitals, airports, hotels, environmental conditions, local newspapers, media outlets, employment, maps, coordinates and aerial photos.”

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/13 at 08:14 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

c|net reports that Zillow has added Pictometry’s oblique imagery to its popular real estate website via a deal with Microsoft. The report claims that via the deal which allows use of Microsoft’s Virtual Earth platform the Zillow is the first real estate site to offer obliques. For now, they are available for select cities including San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, Boston and Las Vegas. More are expected later in the year. Zillow is currently the fourth most popular real estate site in the U.S. per Hitwise.

What’s interesting here is that Pictometry is using Microsoft to license its imagery. Who better?

More on Microsoft Virtual Earth real estate deals at Seattle Post Intelligencer.

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/13 at 08:01 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share reports on the speaker list for Where 2.0. What’s interesting is the description of the event:

O’Reilly has published a list of speakers for its second annual conference on global information service (GIS) and location-aware technology. The “Where 2.0” conference is set for June 13-14, 2006, at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose, Calif., and will include several presentations on location-aware devices.

Now of course whoever wrote this doesn’t seem too familiar with GIS, but more interestingly, O’Reilly simply doesn’t use the term GIS to describe the conference. GIS is mentioned in describing sessions, speakers and companies, but not to describe the event. Somehow, LinuxDevices thinks its about GIS…

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/13 at 12:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Recently, I noted the launch of the print Inside GNSS. Not too long ago I received an e-mail noting that Geospatial Solutions is now avialable electronically. In the past that print publication offered selected articles online. Now Questex, the publisher, offers the entire magaine in NXTbook form. That’s a format that mimics the page turns of a real publication, allows zooming and panning over the text and the like.

The reason NXTbook is popular is that it exactly represents the print magazine. (Bentley uses it for its BE Magazine and several other CAD publications use it as well.) Another reason, so far as I know, the solution is popular with publishers, is that you go through the same production as you would for a print publication to create it. So, in a sense there’s no more “work” for the reader and no more “work” for the publisher. Of course the publisher saves money by dropping printing and distribution costs, a large cost these days. It seems Questex will publish both a print and electronic version, at least for now.

Having been involved with the conversion of a print publication to an online one, I’ve thought about this quite a bit. While the NXTbook technology is very cool, I found it frustrating exactly because it mimicked a print publication. I wanted a Web publication to be formatted for the Web. I’ve tried PDF magazines and them tough to manage while reading 40-90 pages.

I kept going back to the format of one of my favorite online publications, Wired. (I’ve had an interesting relationship with Wired: I was an early print subscriber, but dropped it when the magazine became hard to read. I began reading the online version daily some five years ago. And, in the last few months actually re-upped for the print version.) Wired online does not pretend to be a magazine; it is a website and is formatted for easy navigation and reading. Images are offered in galleries with thumbnails that expand.

The big challenge, I learned, in moving from print to the Web is advertising. Free industry publications, Directions Magazine included, depend on advertisers to pay the bills. NXTbook allows those same full page, full color ads, another draw for publishers and perhaps advertisers.

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/13 at 12:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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