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Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Officially, Bentley's unnofficial earnings call (since it's not a public company) is titled an Annual Corporate Update Conference Call. This was the second one, though the company has offered an annual recap for more years than that.


Let's start with the numbers. CEO Greg Bentley shared that revenue growth was up 10% to a record $523 million for 2011. Asia contributed 19% of that, up from 16% in 2010. Software subscriptions accounted for 72% of revenues.

In general, explained, building and plant revenues were up since they are typically privately funded. Geospatial and construction revenues were down, since they are publicly funded. Still, the company has weathered the economic storm and expects 6% organic growth in 2012. The products that drove growth in 2011 include: ProjectWise, STAAD, Bentley Map, ProSteel and AutoPLANT.

Bentley holds its rank as #2 in AEC behind Autodesk, which had $626 million in revenues last year. Bentley had record research and development and acquistion spending in 2011 of more than $1 billion. the company has been repurchasing stock, some of which was Intergaph's and that of the equity firm that acquired Intergraph before selling it to Hexagon. Now the Bentley family and eployees own 92% of the stock. Bentley has been redo-ing its financing and now has a credit line of $350 million at a low cost of about 3%.

Subscriptions are a success story. Subscriber levels are now back up where they were before the downturn and last year's Portfolio Balancing program, which allows subscribers to swap seats for what's in need at any time, has been popular. Enterprise License Subscriptions are also popular and serve 29 emmber of the ENR top 50 and 21 of the Bentley Infrastructure 100.

Bentley Learn, the company's on-demand learning has revenues up 36% and has overtaken the revenue lead from "ad hoc" education.

The big news is the growth in China. Last year Greg Bentley reported doubled growth in three years in China. This year that time frame is down to two years. Bentley also detailed an enterprise impelementation with the London area Crossrail high frenquency train network.

The company did announce an acquitision: elco Systems of Germany. The company specializes in electric sector offerings and will now lead the company's electric portolio.

Q &A 

There really were no specific questions related to geosptial, but these were the interesting more general ones. Questions and answers are paraphrased.

Q: How are point clouds and PoinTools (acquired last year) doing?
A: A new release of ProjectWise sill support streaming point clouds. Soon, point clouds will be treated like any other data type. [It's worthy noting that the term LiDAR did not come up.]

Q: Cloud?
A: We are working with Micrsoft on an Azure-based solution for transmittals.

Q: What other geographies beside China are hot?
A: BRIC countries, Middle East, Africa, Chile (where the company has its latest direct operations offie, its 50th country to have one), Southeast Asia... anywhere extractive resource reside.

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/06 at 09:31 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

In collaboration with the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies Health Policy Institute and the Virginia Network for Geospatial Health Research, the VCU Center on Human Needs is releasing the first of eight studies assessing population health inequities and related social and economic conditions in urban and rural communities across the United States. Working alongside the project partners are eight “Place Matters” teams consisting of individuals who work and live in each of the communities studied.

The first report examines health disparities for the large rural population in the San Joaquin Valley of California. In this migrant farm community, social determinants of health and health equity – such as income and education - are playing an important role in shaping health outcomes. ...

In the San Joaquin Valley population, the VCU team examined how health and environmental conditions impacted mortality and life expectancy. They observed that the risk of premature death – before the age of 65 – in the lowest-income zip codes is nearly twice that of those in the highest-income zip codes.

- press release

... University of Georgia researchers developed a new method for determining where emergency vehicle stations should be located. The results of their work could improve ambulance response time for the 200 million Americans who dial 911 each year, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

"If we can meet this critical time window [of 8 minutes], we can maximize benefits," said Ping Yin, a UGA graduate student studying geography who co-authored the paper.

...The study used sample data from Georgia's EMS Region 10, which includes Jackson, Madison, Elbert, Oglethorpe, Greene, Morgan, Walton, Barrow, Clarke and Oconee counties. The data set included 58 ambulances and a selection of potential base locations. Distributing the vehicles over 82 potential locations gave 87 percent of the population service in less than 8 minutes. When the locations were limited to 20, 78 percent of the population would receive help within 8 minutes, according to the study.

Results will be published in the May issue (fee) of Applied Geography.

- press release

Cholera rates worldwide are some 10 times higher than official reports indicate, and more of than half of those cases are in children younger than 5 years, according to a report published online January 24 in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization(WHO).

Mohammad Ali, PhD, senior scientist and head of the Data Management, GIS, and Statistics Unit of the International Vaccine Institute, Seoul National University Research Park, Republic of Korea, and colleagues examined data reported to WHO, as well as medical literature, alternative disease monitoring systems, previous multicountry studies, data from the Global Infectious Disease and Epidemiology Network database, media reports, and online government reports to arrive at the estimates.

The under reporting is often a consequence of not wanting to hurt tourism as well as the challenge of disease surveillance, even though cases are required to be reported to WHO. The result is that treatment levels may not match need in many countries.

- Medscape

The Guardian has tried to map deprevation in England, only to find the need for very fine scale area polygons. One critic on Twitter suggests the analysis fails ot answer the last two of the four questions of geography: What is Where? Why? So what?

- The Guardian

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/06 at 06:04 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The Associated Press and Google are rewriting the book this year on how to provide fast, accurate election results, and the theme of the latest chapter is cooperation.

Tuesday night, news outlets that pay AP for election results for particular states will be able to embed Google Maps of the results on their sites.

- Poynter

Time Magazine is offering some special content to Foursquare users who check in at the Republican National Convention in Tampa in August or the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.

Users who unlock the Time-Foursquare badge get “access to a curated list of must-attend venues and events,” plus convention tips from Time reporters—like historical facts from past conventions and 2012 campaign tips about the nominees and delegates.

- Paid Content

Two fascinating and useful studies of California’s political landscape have been published in recent days, one mapping the geographic variations of attitudes and the other creating and applying a scientific measure of communities’ ideologies.

“California’s Political Geography” by Eric McGhee and Daniel Krimm of the Public Policy Institute of California, matches California counties by residents’ party identification, 2008 presidential vote and by responses to two social and two fiscal survey questions with what McGhee calls “clear liberal or conservative dimensions.” ...

“The California Political Precinct Index” by David Latterman at the University of San Francisco, is a powerful tool for assessing counties and electoral districts according to actual precinct votes on nine ballot measures that are “easily interpretable” as liberal or conservative.

- CalBuzz

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/06 at 05:38 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Yandex, one of Russia's top Internet portals, announced on March 5 that it has integrated maps of some 40 cities in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan created by its users to Yandex.Maps. If "professional" maps of an area are not avaiable, the Pubilc Maps are returned instead. In other areas, where both maps are available, the user can select which layer to view. Users can also edit and submit new data to the Public Map.

Is the the "lifecycle" of a mapping portal? Start with commercial data, then mix in user generated (sometimes open, but not always) data, then perhaps go 100% crowdsourced data? Google, MapQuest, Microsoft and now Yandex are heading along something like that trajectory.

- press release

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/06 at 05:23 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Azavea's first "Summer of Maps" is inspired by the Google Summer of Code. The program will offer stipends to student GIS analysts to perform geographic data analysis for non-profit organizations.  Azavea will match up non-profit organizations that have spatial analysis needs with talented students to implement projects over a three-month period during the summer.  

 * Feb 28 – Mar 16 – Non-profit organizations can submit brief proposals for spatial analysis projects to Azavea
 * Mar 17 – 20, – Azavea will review organizations
 * Mar 21 – April 2 – Students submit proposals and applications
 * April 2 – 13 – Top candidates are interviewed in Philadelphia
 * April 16 – Azavea announces successful Summer of Maps fellows
 * May 14 – August 31 – Summer of Maps fellows work on spatial analysis projects
Azavea is looking for:
Non-Profit Organizations
 * Combine your data with other demographic and geographic data
 * Get high quality maps that can be used to make a case to funders or support new initiatives
 * We want good analytical projects that ask challenging spatial data analysis questions - we're trying to avoid projects where we're just putting dots on a map.  Some examples might be:
  -> Arts - analyze geographic location of ticket sales and donations to both identify existing clusters and untapped markets
  -> Environment - develop fund-raising plan based on geographic prioritization
  -> Food - identify three potential sites for a new soup kitchen and perform a market analysis to determine how each will affect existing sites
  -> Housing - analyze housing needs to determine the best site for a new low income housing development
  -> News - Combine several data sets to show patterns in a city government's expenditures
  -> Land and water - develop green infrastructure plan that maximizes impact of stormwater interception
  -> Transportation - identify the next 10 streets for the addition of bike lanes by scoring all street segments based on a variety of geographic criteria
 * Those who are interested or know an org that is can apply via a Google Doc by March 16.
 * We want people who are either living or can live locally in Philadelphia for the summer
 * Work on a spatial analysis project that supports the social mission of a non-profit organization
 * Work with Azavea staff to improve your GIS skills
 * Receive a monthly stipend
 * Gain work experience implementing a GIS project 
 * Applications will be made available in mid-March
On a personal note, I met the Azavea folks at a business GIS event years ago where they showcased their pro-bono work for a local non-profit arts organization. They've impressed me with their commitment to education and service ever since. 
by Adena Schutzberg on 03/06 at 04:16 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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