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Friday, October 21, 2005

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 | Comments | Bookmark and Share

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 | Comments | Bookmark and Share

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 | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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