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Friday, May 30, 2008

Reminiscent of this post describing Scottish officials warning ambulances not to trust satnavs, come this story from Australia. After several incidents were motorists were lead onto unsuitable roads in rural areas, The Age newspaper reports:

Police are now urging motorists to take maps instead of blindly following instructions from a GPS.

These warnings will no doubt increase, but it doesn’t seem to impact GPS purchases or perhaps common sense.

by Adena Schutzberg on 05/30 at 07:20 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

It wasn’t too hard to miss that building information models (BIM) was a key topic that percolated through many geospatial presentations in addition "BIM and Beyond" that was one of the main tracks that was organized at Bentley’s BE Conference. Greg Bentley, in his keynote, commented on a common misunderstanding about BIM as simply just rendering building assets but is more significant in providing a better way to manage building infrastructure.

Continue reading...

by Joe Francica on 05/30 at 02:38 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

In piecing together the salient geospatial product news from this year’s BE Conference I can’t say that I heard much new news! In fact, much of what we covered at last year’s BE Conference seems to be a repeat. But let me give you the "Cliff Notes" version of what I heard and what is possibly some new information:

  1. The operative word now for Bentley Map is "infrastructure" such that the product is offering features and functionality for infrastructure management and has all of the bells and whistles of MicroStation V8 XM Edition.
  2. Will Bentley Map be able to import an ESRI SDE Geodatabase and not just shapefiles? Robert Mankowski of Bentley says there are plans to do so. Today, if you point it to a personal ESRI Geodatabase, you can import it now using an open source library for personal Geodatabase. For SDE databases, Bentley doesn’t have it today. With ProjectWise Connector for ArcGIS, you can exchange data with ArcGIS. If ESRI provides a API in the future for SDE, Bentley intends to use that library. You might want to check out James Fees’ blog for some additional information.
  3. If you have Bentley MicroStation and Bentley Cadastre, a parcel management solution, you don’t need Bentley Map as Cadastre contains all the functionality of Map.
  4. Athens, the new Bentley platform that was announced last year, was given its full intoduction this year. We’ll have a more comprehensive report on Athens at a later time. No press releases were issued at the event. With respect to Bentley Map, Athens will provide better querying and joining to other database tables as well as adding more advanced labeling and annotation functionality.
  5. Bentley Geospatial Server (BGS) is Bentley’s answer for "enterprise GIS." BGS performs spatial indexing and searching and has the ability to manage complex files with references; and multiple application integration (MS OFFICE, AutoCAD, and ESRI). BGS uses a federated approach to data management that allows you to get both geospatial data and other unstructured data as well. BGS is comprised of ProjectWise Integration Server, ProjectWise Geospatial Management, ProjectWise Connector for Oracle and ProjectWise Interplot. What’s coming in BGS? Spatial indexing and searching feature though a “google-like” toolbar; better backround map using Bentley Geoweb publishing engine. Spatial Database Services support for Oracle GeoRaster, Oracle Cartographic text and ArcSDE Raster to get extraction of raster from ArcSDE database. Implementation of standard OGC specifications WFS, WMS; SOAP Wrapper and WSDL support (post Athens).

[Disclosure: Bentley covered travel, hotel and food.]

by Joe Francica on 05/30 at 02:09 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Police and others in Dover, Delaware are now using GIS to better respond to issues related to the large crowds that come to town twice a year for the races. Credit is given to “Gary Nowak, the city’s new geographic information system chief,” for writing a computer program with the required data. The systems runs on laptops and helps law enforcement respond to situation in the Dover Downs “campgrounds” where tailgaters gather. Apparently near real time data is added, but it’s not clear how. Says the local paper: “The program details the status of crowds around the racetrack.”

- Delaware Online/The News Journal

To get the rest of the story, read this article from ESRI. It notes the underlying technology and how the data are updated.

Using ArcGIS Server and ArcGIS Mobile software from ESRI, staff operating in the command center and in the field can visualize where disturbances, code violations, accidents, and other incidents occur.
This view of the entire race, with real-time event data being posted by field personnel using ArcGIS Mobile, provides the command center with a common operating picture that can be shared with other personnel in different locations. The server-based GIS provides an enterprise platform that can be accessed using browser-based desktop or mobile clients. It makes extensive capabilities available without having to install any special client software and without training.

The project won an ESRI SAG Award in 2007.

by Adena Schutzberg on 05/29 at 08:57 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

It’s being developed at Harvard.

The CEGRP website is a gateway to maps, GIS data, and GIS analysis to facilitate and to share research efforts focused on the recent earthquakes in China.

Building upon the Task Force initiative of Bao Shuming (China Data Center) and Lin Hui (Institute for Space Earth and Information Science), the CEGRP will collect, document, and distribute GIS datasets and related information to assist in ongoing research.

The CEGRP has support from the Harvard Center for Geographic Analysis and the Harvard Fairbank Center for East Asian Research.

And, they are looking for content.

> GIS layers and datasets related to the earthquake zone

> Photos and narrative documentation of specific sites

> links to agencies conducting GIS analysis about the earthquake

> historical and demographic information related to the earthquake region

> FTP files to our server for distribution and archiving on CERAP portal

- via Twitter


by Adena Schutzberg on 05/29 at 08:26 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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