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Monday, November 26, 2012

"Taking what's on the desktop and making accessible in the cloud" was the message heard today repeatedly at press day presentations by executives from Autodesk at this year's Autodesk University in Las Vegas.

Autodesk's Andrew Anagnost, the senior vice president for Industry Strategy & Marketing  said that Autodesk 360, a cloud service, is helping the company take building information modeling (BIM) to a cloud environment. Autodesk's suite of 360 services include BIM 360, Simulation 360 and PLM 360, a project lifecycle management solution. Autodesk 360, launched at the start of 2012 now serves 1 million users.

BIM 360 has seen 100% growth in the last four months with 7000 models added. Simulation 360 has 1000+ active evaluation and testing solutions in a production environment; Autodesk PLM 360 has 360+ companies actively using and evaluating the solution in production.

Mary Hope McQuiston, the director of Marketing and Business Development for Autodesk's Consumer Group said that the company is building professional design software and personal creativity solutions as well. She said the company has looked to aggressively pursue the consumer space for these reasons:

  1. Consumerization of IT - today, technology is adopted first by individuals in their personal life and then bringing them into the office. This is a reversal of what happened in the mid 80's and early 90's.
  2. Many individuals want to participate in the design process leading to more creativity and personalization of design.
  3. Emergence of the Maker Movement. Makers are solving important problems and coming up with new businesses. The movement parallels the hobby PC makers of the '80s that eventually disrupted the computer movement. Autodesk sees this as a great opportunity.

McQuiston was asked why Autodesk thinks that it will be successful in the consumer market. She responded by saying that they feel that they have a deep reservoir of creativity in their solutions today. Which segments of the market will it serve? McQuiston believes that for each segment that they serve in the professional arena, they feel they can reach a consumer type as well. For example in the design arena there is the consumer parallel like the Homestyler product. And for personal creativity, they have  sketch designing products such as Autodesk Sketchbook.

Editor's Note: Autodesk partially funded travel to Autodesk University 2012.

by Joe Francica on 11/26 at 09:43 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

At the Autodesk University Media/Press Day in Las Vegas, chief financial officer Mark Hawkins laid out the numbers justifying why his company is racing to provide applications for the consumer marketplace:

Ninety-five (95) million people comprise the potential addressable consumer market for Autodesk applications. And while Hawkins acknowledged that his company has 12 million professional users of its core 3D engineering software tools and 50 million student users that have access, it's the consumer market that is driving the company's direction.Homestyler, a personal home design solution, and 123D Catch, a product that turns photos into 3D models, are examples of products that Autodesk is offering to consumers.

"These are the numbers that make everything else possible in the company," said Hawkins. He went on to say that Autodesk is well positioned to capture a significant share of the consumer space because of its size ($2.3 billion annual revenue; $1.7 billion in marketable securities) and stability plus being located at the "epicenter" of Silicon Valley. "[We have] the right financials, the right acquisition resources, the ability to grow organically and we're located in the right place to leverage the cloud revolution," said Hawkins.

What financial challenges confront Autodesk these days?  Hawkins said it is finding the right balance for short and long term investing. "During the downturn, we invested during the down cycle of the recession," he said. He said this was a concerted effort because as they come out at the other end of the cycle Autodesk is better poised for the future. "Autodesk is investing more than our competitors," he said.

Editor's note: Autodesk partially supported travel to Autodesk Univeristy 2012.

by Joe Francica on 11/26 at 09:09 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

At the media/press day at Autodesk University 2012, held this year in Las Vegas, AEC Conceptual Design Manager Matt Jezyk provide a preview of Autodesk FormIt, a freely downloadable app designed to bridge the gap between mobile computing and building information modeling (BIM) and design.

FormIt is a 3D solid modeling app that enables a tablet form factor like the iPad to support designers who want to work more freely in a mobile environment, both connected and disconnected.

The goal behind FormIt, according to Autodesk, was to give designers who sketch in 2D a pathway to see their designs in 3D. Some of the key product features are the ability to capture information about the project, add contextual features like gross area and location. Users can also share sketches using ADSK 360, a cloud environment.

The app can connect to Apple Map services as well as Google Earth. Users might start in Apple Maps and sketch a model so that it is first georeference and then store the model in a library.

Using on a tablet, users can use a stylus or hand gestures. And how does it compare to Trimble's (formerly Google's) SketchUp? FormIt is designed to take conceptual design farther by adding more and more information about the BIM model. FormIt can read Revit (.rvt) files natively and work in the Autodesk Vasari environment as well for more advanced modeling.

Watch the video below for a brief preview of FormIt's capabilities.

Continue reading...

by Joe Francica on 11/26 at 08:34 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

RadMap API: The service provides a mapped image for U.S. weather conditions as detected by NEXRAD weather radar stations. Also available are GOES imagery created by geostationary weather satellites for inclusion in GIS output, local storm reports, and warnings and watches issued by county authorities.

API methods support submission of a query with URL parameters that specify location, desired image size, and technical specifications for radar data to be selected. Returned data provide a link to a PNG image showing the most recently recorded radar results illustrated as storm cells, cloud cover, and related weather phenomena. Methods allow specification of location by named places according to the list in the 2010 U.S. Census.

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 11/26 at 06:10 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The proposed Land Surveying and Mapping Bill 2012 will entrust all mapping responsibilities in Pakistan to the Survey of Pakistan (SoP).

It will require all mapping organizations, academics or anyone making maps to register with the SoP. Failure to do so may result in arrests or fines. The implications for full use of geospatial technology in a country that really needs it are significant. It's worth reading the full description of the proposed law, the reasons for it and the implications by Murtaza Haider, Ph.D., Associate Dean of research and graduate programs at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University in Toronto, a GIS guy. 

- via @edparsons

by Adena Schutzberg on 11/26 at 04:13 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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