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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Once again, the topic of a declining workforce of experienced engineers and GIS professionals came up in discussion at the Autodesk University conference. The topic came up previously in our coverage at the GEOINT conference earlier this month.

During the press briefing with Chris Bradshaw, VP of Autodesk’s Infrastructure group, he mentioned that with a baby boomer generation heading toward retirement and with American universities graduating fewer engineers a crisis looms on the horizon. Bradshaw mentioned that this was not the case in India and China where a baby boomer generation is non-existant and that some jobs may be outsourced to these countries.


by Joe Francica on 11/28 at 11:50 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Chris Bradshaw, VP of Autodesk’s Infrastructure Division put his company’s total market share for GIS and mapping products at approximately 1% given that his division sales were $175 million in 2005 and that the worldwide market is about $2 billion. Looking at his customer base specifically, he estimates that 300,000 of the 6 million AutoCAD user licenses are using it for mapping. These users may also have Map 3D or other mapping products but basically this reflects licenses of AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT.

Bradshaw understands that there are different levels of user maturation and market dynamics that affect software usage. As such, he divides his users into five levels of maturation. He said that he is currently conducting a survey of users to determine at what level he classifies his customer base. However, from anecdotal evidence, he estimates that perhaps more than 50% are using AutoCAD only for mapping or what he terms a "level 1 or 2" user. So, many users have not migrated to Map 3D or other more complex mapping add-ons. Some departments are higher up the value chain of application complexity such as moving data to an Oracle Spatial database. Hence, he sees an enormous potential for growth just within his own customer base.

Bradshaw wants to expand his market share as well as helping existing customers move up the value chain. Autodesk expects the company’s market share in geospatial technology to grow at 20-30% per year. But Bradshaw sees the overall GIS market is growing at only 4-5% annually so he expects to take market share from competitors.

by Joe Francica on 11/28 at 11:40 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The most impressive demo of the opening plenary session (from a geospatial perspective) hosted by Carl Bass, CEO of Autodesk, was given by GMJ Design, a firm that helps architects visualize their design work. Autodesk released information about their 3D model of London in early November but reading about it and seeing it are two different things. The 3D model, accurate to 1:500 scale, was captured using aerial images and ground control points…not LIDAR…which is the only thing I could see would have been able to capture that much data on such a large scale. The application that they promoted was using the model for urban planning, a major concern for Londoners. However, everyone in the audience is thinking about security and high threat concerns, and the ability to provide a very detailed viewshed analysis of any part of the city.

GMJ hopes to create these models for other cities. Their business model is to license the data, all of it or part of it, for a variety of applications. Remember, this is a digital model created in Autodesk 3ds Max so much of the data capture work is already done and can interoperate with other Autodesk software. My question is how many other cities would want to license this kind of 3D model data? I am thinking lots.

by Joe Francica on 11/28 at 11:17 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Virginia will launch an online map-supported dangerous dog registry - sort of a companion to registries of sex offenders and other potentially dangerous people. Dog owners are not too pleased. A similar registry, apparently without a map, exists in San Francisco with just 135 dogs listed.

by Adena Schutzberg on 11/28 at 07:44 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

There’s no sign yet of the press release at Pacific Alliance Technologies or DM Solutions, arguably the leading open source geospatial services provider, but the announcement of planned integration of iVault 2007 and DM’s Fusion has made the open source press and our websiteiVAULT 2007 allows installation of MapGuide Open Source without programming. It will in time be integrated with DM’s Fusion, a tool to extend MapGuide Open Source. DM is working with Pacific Alliance Technologies (PAT), a Canadian Autodesk reseller, of which I’ve never heard. This announcement is being made in conjunction with Autodesk University.

by Adena Schutzberg on 11/28 at 07:22 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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