GIS Tech News (#124)

15 Oct, 2013 By: Cadalyst Staff

Editor's note: This is the final issue of the GIS Tech News, but we will continue to cover the intersection of GIS and CAD technologies in the AEC Tech News. To sign up for the AEC Tech News, or any of our other free newsletters, please visit ournewsletter registration page. Thank you for your interest.

Study Explores How Local Governments Use GIS

Esri Australia and the Surveying and Spatial Science Institute back a research initiative to better understand users' attitudes and capabilities.

By Cyrena Respini-Irwin

Geographic information system (GIS) technology finds application in a broad range of markets, but it holds particular value for local governments, which need to manage city planning, emergency services, and other complex, location-specific undertakings. But is that value apparent to all the users who could benefit from it? How is the technology being applied? What kinds of information are being communicated to the public?

These are the types of questions that the Surveying and Spatial Science Institute (SSSI) and Esri Australia set out to answer with the 2013 GIS in Local Government Benchmark Study, released last month. The report provides insight into the use of GIS technology by local Australian governments — known as councils — which are the largest collective user of GIS technology in the country.

The study compiled feedback from 150 Australian councils and six international local government groups. Most survey respondents think that GIS technology has a role to play in policy development, and that crowdsourced information is important to emergency response activities. A whopping 99% believe GIS technology can improve communication with the public. Only a little more than two-thirds trust that the value of GIS technology is widely understood in their organization.

Josh Venman, GIS solutions architect at Esri Australia, provided further insight on the results of the study.

Cadalyst: How have these statistics changed in recent years? How do you expect them to change in the future?

Venman: As we've seen in the Benchmark Study, the ever-growing demand for GIS capabilities means there has been significant change across the spatial industry. With more than 150 councils surveyed, the Benchmark Study received more than double the number of participants [in] the last study, in 2011. I believe the increase in participants is the result of more councils realizing the value of GIS technology — particularly when it comes to facilitating communication with the public. Read more »
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Cyrena Respini-Irwin is Cadalyst's senior editor.

Cambashi's Observatories Focus on the Expanding Universe of Technical Applications

Tony Christian, director of independent market research firm Cambashi, expects to see steady growth in the global demand for CAD, PLM, GIS, and related software.

By Cyrena Respini-Irwin

Cambashi is a UK-based research and analysis firm that focuses on the business value of information technology — including CAD and product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions. The company's market data offerings include the Cambashi Market Observatories, a portfolio of research reports covering various aspects of the global markets for design, engineering, PLM, and systems engineering applications. For example, the Provider by Industry Observatory explores the competitive landscape for solutions providers in categories including AEC, automotive, and consumer goods; the Country Observatory examines market demand by region.

In August, the company released the Q2 2013 editions of these reports. They indicate that in 2012, technical application software spending in emerging countries grew 12% to $1.7 billion. This group includes the fast-growing BRIC nations — Brazil, Russia, India, and China — as well as a second set of nations that account for 11% of technical application spending in emerging countries: Columbia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Turkey. The research also predicts continued growth on technical application investment in these emerging economies, driven by the modernization of manufacturing and construction and the expansion of industrial capabilities.

Following that release, Cambashi Director Tony Christian shared his perspective on the global market for technical applications.

Cadalyst: What kinds of software do you cover in your research?

Christian: We use the term technical applications to define the scope of the market that we study — we haven't been able to come up with a better one yet! The scope covers CAD, CAM, simulation, analysis, PLM, and associated data management applications and geographical information systems [GIS] across all manufacturing (discrete and process), AEC, and utility industries. In fact, the scope also includes visualization technologies used in film, TV, and computer games applications — there is increasing overlap of these and the applications used for virtual visualization of products or buildings. Hence the difficulty in defining an all-inclusive term! Read more »
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Cyrena Respini-Irwin is Cadalyst's senior editor.

Mark Your Calendar: GIS Events

Best Practices in Laser Scanning
October 18, 2013
12 noon ET
The next Fridays with Trimble webinar will examine three applications of laser scanning on construction projects and offer practical advice about offering these services and deliverables to owners. Read more

9th International gvSIG Conference
November 27–29, 2013
Valencia, Spain
The 9th International gvSIG Conference, organized by the gvSIG Association, will be held under the slogan "Matter of Sovereignty." gvSIG is open-source geographic information system software. Read more

Autodesk University 2013
December 3–5, 2013
Las Vegas, Nevada
This annual conference is designed for users of Autodesk software, including architects, engineers, and designers. The event comprises more than 650 classes, networking receptions, preconference events, and an exhibit hall. 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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About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff

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