GIS Tech News (#97)

23 Jun, 2010 By: Cadalyst Staff

In the Eye of a BIMStorm

Onuma's online platform facilitates collaboration on recovery and reconstruction projects in Haiti.

By Kenneth Wong

A storm is brewing in Haiti. It's been brewing since early February. Unlike the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that struck the impoverished country on January 12, this storm is expected to last months, perhaps years.

But this is not a natural disaster; this is a manmade storm, driven by building information modeling (BIM) and collaboration technologies, aimed at delivering relief to the quake-ravaged region. Modeled on several successful BIMStorm exercises of the past, Plan Haiti BIMStorm would let emergency responders, planners, architects, government agencies, and citizens view the damage to their cities, coordinate with one another, participate in brainstorming sessions, and help rebuild the country's broken infrastructure.

In This Storm Together

A BIMStorm is a collaborative planning and design session facilitated by Onuma System, a web-based platform conceived and developed by Onuma Inc. founder Kimon Onuma. To borrow a description used by the U.S. Coast Guard, an early adopter of the system, it is a "framework for integrated decision making."

Previous BIMStorms have been lightning-fast, with the bulk of the brainstorming, analyses, discussions, and decisions completed in just a few days.

  • BIMStorm Oslo. Seventy participants from 14 countries took part in a hands-on workshop to design an energy-efficient hospital in Norway.
  • BIMStorm LAX. Some 130 architects and engineers programmed and designed more than 50 Los Angeles city blocks — covering 55 million square feet — in 24 hours.
  • BIMStorm Tokyo. BuildingSMART Japan and Onuma Inc. came together for a 48-hour workshop to design a Tokyo high-rise.

Read more »
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Freelance writer Kenneth Wong explores the innovative use of technology and its implications.

First Look Review: Dell Precision M6500 Mobile Workstation

System provides stellar performance and expandability for demanding users on the go.

By Ron LaFon

Highly Recommended

For some time, Dell's Precision line of mobile workstations has met the needs of high-performance users on the go. Now, the company's new Precision M6500 mobile workstation raises the bar even higher with its performance and flexibility. Dell made a splash a few months ago when it launched the model at Autodesk University 2009, calling it "the world's most powerful mobile workstation." We decided to put this model to the test in Cadalyst Labs.

The Precision M6500 is based on the Intel Core i7 quad-core processor. The system we reviewed was built on the Intel i7-920XM processor Extreme Edition, which uses a 45-nm die. The base frequency of the i7-920XM is 2.0 GHz, and the maximum frequency while running in Turbo mode is 3.2 GHz. This processor features 8 MB of Intel Smart Cache and a 64-bit instruction set.

The Dell Precision M6500 has four memory DIMM slots and can accommodate 16 GB of installed RAM, although the review system came with 4.0 GB of 1,333-MHz DDR3 SDRAM. Memory bandwidths available for the system are 1,066, 1,333, and 1,600 MHz. Graphics power was provided by the NVIDIA Quadro FX 3800M, which is one of many available NVIDIA and ATI cards. Several LCD screen options also are available. The review system included a 17" RGB LED LCD panel that has an integrated camera and microphone. Display resolution as high as 1,920 x 1,200 is available with this particular panel. 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


Map Asia 2010 & ISG 2010
July 26–28, 2010
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
This year GIS Development and The Institution of Surveyors, Malaysia, are jointly organizing the 9th Annual Asian Conference and Exhibition on Geospatial Information Technology and Applications (Map Asia 2010) and the International Symposium and Exhibition on Geoinformation (ISG 2010) to foster the growth of geospatial sciences. Read more

GEOINT 2010 Symposium
November 1–4, 2010
New Orleans, Louisiana
The seventh annual GEOINT Symposium, designed for the defense, intelligence and homeland security communities, will include keynotes from community leaders, panel discussions, breakout sessions, and networking opportunities. Read more 

6th International gvSIG Conference
December 1–3, 2010
Valencia, Spain
This goal of this event, represented by the slogan "Knowledge for Change," is to promote the common values of free software in the scientific field. 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

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Cadalyst Labs Review: ARES Commander Edition
Low-cost 2D/3D CAD software holds promise as an AutoCAD replacement for some, including Mac, Linux, and mobile device users down the road. Read more

CAD Management in a New Economy, Part 1
CAD managers report that the economic recession has wrought changes in their companies — and their jobs. Read more


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