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Monday, November 12, 2012

At the BE Inspired Conference (#BeIn2012) this week in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Bentley Systems CEO Greg Bentley (pictured at right) opened the media day by blitzing analysts and editors with a barrage of statistics about the market, software successes, economic reality and the introduction of mobile apps for tablets.

"With apps at $.99 do we have a business model that is sustainable?" questioned Bentley. Even though his company offers engineering design solutions built for professional users, Bentley believes that his company sits at the crossroads of product consumerization. He feels that the mobile consumer products like tablets and apps offer an opportunity. "Consumerization is accelerating information mobility," says Bentley.
Hence Bentley wants to develop software for handheld devices that puts data into field workers hands, for example.  The company demonstrated Bentley Map running on an Android tablet.

But as a Wharton graduate, Bentley also did not stray far from his roots during his keynote. Bentley reported  $534 million in revenues in 2012 (9/30/2012) an increase of $11 million over 2011.  Asia continues to be a place where infrastructure professions are very busy. The EMEA index is spotty mostly because Europe has had some headwinds. In the Americas there has been resilience, according to Bentley, but this index includes Latin America where there is more growth than there is in North America.

Bentley’s utilization index shows the millions of hours every week in the usage of the company's software solutions. Globally,  47% of application utilization hours are in building information models (BIM). Civil and geospatial product utilization is good and estimated to be in the high single digits.

The average overall spending per application utilization hour  from Engineering News Record's (ENR) top design firms is less than $1.00. Of the ENR top design firms that are Bentley enterprise license subscribers  (ELS) spend on average 12% less per application utilization hour. Bentley’s rate of price increase over the last three years has averaged under 1.5% annually and, including discount changes, the net price increase over last three years has averaged only 2.5%.

New ELS subscribers increase their application utilization hours by 59%. Bentley instituted an annual "portfolio balancing" option for users so that there is alignment and no waste of Bentley software applications. Users can trade products of utilization of others is low.

The focus on asset performance is key. No company wants to waste money especially on software that goes underutilized. Bentley's approach toward giving customers metrics on usage provides the foundation for a better partnership between solution provider and user.

Disclosure: Bentley Systems supported travel to the Be Inspired Conference.

by Joe Francica on 11/12 at 02:48 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

There is some great writing and thinking about geography and geography education outside of our little world. I found these worthy examples today, the Monday of Geography Awareness Week:

David Trumbore argues that Hollywood should adapt the now 30 year old (yikes!) video game turned PBS TV show, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego, as an action adventure film.


Derrick Rossignol asks: Does geography restrict bands’ chances?

And finally in the geography matters department, consider Stanford Senior Miles Unterreiner. He needs to be in two places at once: in Seattle on Saturday for the all-important Rhodes selection committee interview but also in Louisville, Ky for the  cross country NCAA championship. There is an answer - and it does not break NCAA rules.

- Oroville Mercury Register

by Adena Schutzberg on 11/12 at 06:18 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

@Pictometry posted on Twitter:

Students from the NYS GeoSpatial Summit 2012.

I looked around and learned Pictometry was the "Educational Sponsor" for the event. What does that mean? I dug up a post from Bruce Oswald in which Bill Johnson explains:

Great news for students:  Pictometry International has agreed to be a Gold Education Sponsor for the upcoming NYS GeoSpatial Summit!  This additional sponsorship is enabling us to reopen the student registration rate of just $30 to attend the Summit.  This compares with the regular registration rate of $145.  We had a such a strong response to the initial subsidized student registration that we had to close the student rate when we reached 25 students.  We are pleased to now allow an additional 10 students to be part of the GeoSpatial Summit.  

That's a nice way to support education! Can your organization help one or more students get to a professional conference?

via @pictometry

Colorado State now offers a The Master of Engineering, with a geospatial enginreering focus online.

more info via @josephkerski

A nearly AU$7 million grant to the University of Wollongong from the Australian Research Council (ARC) will fund geospatial research, among other things.

- Illwarra Mercury

AidData [ project at the College of William and Mary] received the five-year, $25 million award as part of USAID’s Higher Education Solutions Network Program to establish institutional partnerships for global development initiatives. The College is one of seven institutions chosen out of a pool of 500 applicants. Other institutions selected include Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of California-Berkeley, Texas A&M University, Michigan State University, Duke University and a university in Uganda.

With the money, the College will take the lead in creating the AidData Center for Development Policy that will use geospatial data to create open-data collections which track the impact of foreign aid. The College will collaborate with Development Gateway, Brigham Young University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Esri, a Global Information Systems technology company.

The Flat Hat

by Adena Schutzberg on 11/12 at 02:58 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Scotts Bluff County [NE] Surveyor Duane Stott said the county has received calls from many residents who did not know where they needed to go to vote. He said the online map is a new way for residents to pinpoint poll places within their individual precincts.

“We’ve had a lot of interest,” Stott said. “For the more tech-savvy people, you can use this to find out where you need to go to cast your ballot.”
The interactive app does indeed require some knowhow. Curiously, it also has links to Esri (I'm not sure why you'd send the public there), the Esri Support Center (I'm not sure why you'd send the public there, either) and then, to the far right, a Help link not specifically focused on this app. One example for Identify in the help is about Brazil.
Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners signed a contract Monday morning to continue its contract with the company that provides and updates property search, property tax search and mapping information for the assessor's and treasurer's computer webpages.

Commission chairman Earl McNutt said if the county didn't continue the GIS Workshop contract, the county would basically have to start over on the property search webpages. Assessor Sandra Kotschwar told commissioners, "I would hate to lose it."

Wow, that sounds like lock in!

- McCook Gazette

The Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys has released its first interactive web map application, the Alaska Geologic Data Index, (AGDI). AGDI is an actively growing index of unpublished geologic data collected throughout the state of Alaska. To use this new research tool, go to

I see OpenLayers in the viewer.

- Juneau Empire

by Adena Schutzberg on 11/12 at 02:53 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

IHS Energy Editorial API: The service provides daily updated information about markets for petroleum and other energy sources. It delivers news and analysis from the provider's industry experts covering activities in oil and gas, as well as electrical power generation and renewable energy and water supply. The provider's expertise covers exploration and production of fossil fuels, government energy policy and legislation, environmental effects, and risk assessment.

API methods support queries against the service for content matching specified keywords and/or for the newest available news and analytical reporting. The API provides mapping capabilities to integrate data from the service with external geographic information services (GIS).


Environmental Life Cycle Impact Assessment API: The service from the Center for Energy and Processes (CEP) in France provides estimates of environmental impact of photovoltaic (PV) technologies over their complete life cycles. It assesses impact of PV solar electricity technologies and installations based on a number of established computation methods. Calculations of cost and benefit over the life of an installation help to guide decision-making and justify the investment.

API methods support estimates of photovoltaic technology performance both at a geographic point on a map and within a defined area of interest (AOI). Life cycle cost and benefit are then estimated from the Ecoinvent database. Mapping data comply with the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) 


Hydro1K API: The service provides a digital model of terrain elevation and slope based on a database of terrain features compiled by the EU-funded MESoR project. Elevation and slope affect the efficiency of solar energy collection and electricity generation via photovoltaic (PV) power plants. In addition to the data service, a mapping function allows for interactive consideration of sites for solar power plants.

API methods support designation of an area of interest as a mapped bounding box or specific location. Returned data provide mapping data to represent elevation, slope, and other topological features.

Mosaik Solutions Cellmaps API: Mosaik Solutions, formerly American Roamer, provides a range of geospatial and map design solutions including CellMaps, an interactive global coverage map service. The Mosaik CellMaps API exposes data formatted as XML or JSON via REST techniques.


SRTM API: The service provides a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) build from data representing terrain features as detected by the Shuttle Radar Tomography Mission (SRTM). Elevation affects the efficiency of solar energy collection, including photovoltaic (PV) electricity production. By modeling terrain features and elevation, the service helps to improve accuracy of estimates of solar energy production at a location.

API methods support specification of an area of interest (AOI), either a bounding box defined by mapped coordinates or a single location. Methods return high-accuracy elevation data for use in solar energy production estimates.


Clean Power Estimator API: The service provides a tool for estimating cost savings and environmental benefits from renewable energy system installations. It is available both via a customizable web interface and a SOAP API. It accepts inputs such as the location of a proposed system and its likely performance parameters such as technologies employed, specific models and numbers of equipment to be used, and similar project specifications.

API methods support analysis of project characteristics to generate estimates of economic benefits and environmental improvements. Specifications to be input include equipment, quantities, and costs as well as other relevant estimates such as natural gas prices, electric service rates, weather data source, and financing details. The API generates summaries of system cost and financial performance, expected utility bills and system cash flow, and power load along with reduction in emissions from conventional electricity generation.


Clean Power SolarAnywhere API: The service provides accumulated data about solar energy potential and weather relevant to solar energy production for specified locations. It helps to estimate the effectiveness of solar power installations, including photovoltaic (PV) technologies. A PVSimulator function provides analysis of aggregated data to project likely behavior of a PV system installed at a specified location. Data provide hourly readings recorded by weather satellites.

API methods support submission of a location specified as latitude and longitude to retrieve measures of solar irradiance, measured as direct normal irradiance (DNI), global horizontal irradiance (GHI), and diffuse horizontal irradiance (DIF). Related data provide measures of weather conditions such as cloud cover, precipitation, and temperature that can also affect solar power production.


Pro6PP API: Pro6PP is a postcode database provided by d-centralize, a Dutch software company. A collection of SOAP-based calls enable users to find nearby postcodes, get auto-complete suggestions for place names or streets, and suggest new data offerings for the database. Services still in beta enable reverse geocoding and downloading of the entire database.

The d-centralize website is provided primarily in Dutch with some parts available in English.

- Programmable Web







by Adena Schutzberg on 11/12 at 02:48 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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