GIS Tech News (#100)

18 Aug, 2010 By: Mandy Hawkey

Australian Utility Maps Meters with Customized GPS Software

A made-to-order handheld application helps Goulburn Valley Water's field workers collect data quickly and accurately — without becoming GIS experts.

By Mandy Hawkey

"To the left of the driveway behind the shed." Imagine how long it takes to locate a particular water meter when that's all the information you have about its position. Now imagine it has been several years since anyone visited the meter at this property, and the shed no longer exists. That's a typical dilemma facing Goulburn Valley Water (GVW), a water utility located in Victoria, Australia.

GVW provides urban water and wastewater services to 121,000 people in 54 towns and cities in an area stretching from the outskirts of Melbourne to the Murray River. With 58,000 water meters spread over 12,000 square miles, checking water readings and maintaining meters is a time-consuming and costly exercise.

The utility intends to reduce that cost by accurately capturing the locations of all 58,000 meters, and replacing hard-to-access meters with meters capable of transmitting readings on water usage. GVW intends to have whole towns outfitted with this technology, which will enable the organization to obtain hourly flow data to gain an accurate snapshot of the water network. Utility personnel will be able to use this information to track down leaks and other problems in the system, leading to better water conservation and management, as well as savings for customers.

"With this technology, we'll be able to get a snapshot of the network at a particular point in time, whereas at the moment we can't. It's physically impossible to read every meter in a town at the same time," said Noel Squires, information systems manager at GVW. Currently, meters are read every four months. "That means a customer can have a leak for four months and won't realize it until they get their next bill. This can result in customers paying for water they're not actually using," Squires explained. Read more »
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Mandy Hawkey is a documentation and user experience designer for Trimble Navigation Limited.

Cadalyst Labs Review: NVIDIA Quadro 5000

New 'ultrahigh-end' graphics card is so fast that it should
pay for itself quickly.

By Ron LaFon

Based on NVIDIA's new Fermi architecture and part of the new group of professional graphics cards that the company classifies as "ultrahigh-end," the Quadro 5000 graphics card introduced today succeeds the company's speedy and deservedly popular Quadro FX 4800. In addition to dropping the "FX" designation, the Quadro 5000 differs from its predecessor in a number of ways.

The NVIDIA Quadro 5000 is a double-width graphics card. Measuring 4.376" wide x 9.75" long, it requires a single PCI Express 2.0 x 16 slot but occupies the space of two slots. It has one dual-link DVI-I connector, two DisplayPort connectors, and a single stereo connector. Maximum power consumption is 152 W. I have heard of heating problems associated with the Fermi architecture cards, but none were evident during the course of my tests, indicating that the active thermal solution for the Quadro 5000 is effective.

The NVIDIA Quadro 5000 is among the first of the Quadro line that is based on the company's new Fermi architecture. It boasts 2.5 GB of onboard GDDR5 memory. Read more »
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Ron LaFon is a principal at 3Bear Productions in Atlanta and a contributing editor for Cadalyst.


Mark Your Calendar: GIS Events

Intergraph 2010
August 30–September 2, 2010
Las Vegas, Nevada
Intergraph 2010, the international conference for users of the company's engineering and geospatial software, will feature nearly 200 sessions, keynotes on industry and corporate trends, and structured networking opportunities. Read more

September 6–9, 2010
Barcelona, Spain
The FOSS4G open-source geospatial software conference will include a three-hour gvSIG Workshop, as well as a gvSIG Mobile and gvSIG Mini tutorial. Read more

GSDI12 World Conference
October 19–22, 2010
The theme of this conference is "Realizing Spatially Enabled Societies." The gathering will include a range of geospatial events in addition to the 12th GSDI Conference and the 16th PCGIAP (Permanent Committee on GIS Infrastructure for Asia and the Pacific) Annual Meeting. Read more 

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to


What's New at

Avatech Tricks Tutorial: Using Design Review with Autodesk Inventor Files
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New Z Corporation 3D Printers Start at $14,900
The modest purchase and operational costs of the company's latest models, the ZPrinter 150 and 250, may make 3D printing more appealing to price-sensitive professional users. Read more

Cloud-Based CAD, Part 3
CAD can find a home in the cloud — under certain circumstances. What scenarios favor this technology over conventional software? Read more

CAD Manager's Toolbox: Stopping Viruses Spread through Social Networking
Educate your users to help prevent infection from image-sharing applications. Read more

About the Author: Mandy Hawkey

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