GIS Tech News (#92)

19 Jan, 2010 By: Cadalyst Staff

AU Online Offers GIS Learning On Demand

Autodesk University's online incarnation lets you catch classes at your convenience.

By Cyrena Respini-Irwin

While most Americans spent the week after Thanksgiving bemoaning their over-consumption, I was among those burning calories by scurrying about a monstrous Las Vegas convention center. If your experience at Autodesk University (AU) 2009 was anything like mine, the number of classes, keynotes, and other activities left you wishing for a clone of yourself — or at least a Pause button. Fortunately, the latter is available, courtesy of AU Online.

In December, Autodesk added more than 500 sessions from the AU 2009 conference and AU Virtual to the AU Online site. Keynote speeches, classes, and other sessions are offered in a variety of formats, including web-, screen-, and podcasts. Supporting materials, such as PowerPoint files and data sets, are included as well. Most of this content — including the class handouts, all the podcasts, and a handful of the screencasts — is free to those who register as AU Online members, whether you attended AU in person or not. Access to "premium" content is restricted to AU conference attendees, Autodesk Subscription customers, and those who have registered for AU Virtual Premium ($99).

Filtering the 2009 offerings with the keyword "GIS" yields some 40 sessions, most of which focus on AutoCAD Map 3D. A few of the classes that struck me as useful to GIS Tech News readers are:

  • "Using AutoCAD Map 3D and LiDAR Data to Enhance 3D Maps and Designs," by Justin Lokitz
  • "CAD, GIS, ERP, and Web Integration at Ergon Energy," by Rick Chappell
  • "Generate DWG, DWF, and Raster from FDO and Autodesk Mapguide Open Source," by Clayton Hotson
  • "From CAD to Autodesk Topobase: Migration to Enterprise GIS," by Louis Ball
  • "Using AutoCAD Map 3D Tools to Ingest Point Cloud Data," by Nathan Moore.

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Cyrena Respini-Irwin is Cadalyst's senior editor.




CAD Manager's Toolbox:
Archiving Installation CDs and DVDs

Maintaining backups in case of disaster is a chore, albeit an essential one. Make it easier by storing just the files, not the disks themselves.

By Robert Green

I recently experienced a machine crash that made me very glad I had the backup disks I needed to recover. After some thought, however, I've decided that I've been spending way too much time and effort keeping track of disks when I could have digitally archived those backup files. I'd like to share my method of archiving disks with you, in the hopes that you too can clean house and manage all your installation disks this way.

Step 1: Locate the original disk (CD or DVD) and the required product installation key information provided with it.

Step 2: Place disk in drive.

Step 3: Use your CD writing software (I use Roxio CD Creator because it came preinstalled on my machine, but you can use whatever you like) and find the Save/Create Image task similar to what I've shown below. Read more »


Mark Your Calendar: GIS Events


2010 ESRI User Group Conference
February 3–4, 2010
Redlands, California
Professionals from California, Hawaii, Nevada, and the Pacific Islands are invited to connect with peers, colleagues, and ESRI contacts at this conference. Read more

Be Together: The Be Communities 'Live' Conference
May 17–20, 2010
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
In the spirit of Be Communities, Bentley's professional networking site, this community-minded event for architectural, engineering, construction, and geospatial professionals will be built on the ideas of its members, as well as of Bentley User Groups around the world. Read more 

GSDI12 World Conference
October 19–22, 2010
This conference is jointly organized by the Singapore Land Authority, the GSDI Association, and the Permanent Committee on GIS Infrastructure for Asia and the Pacific (PCGIAP). The GSDI 12 World Conference will include a range of geospatial events, in addition to the 12th GSDI Conference and the 16th PCGIAP 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

New Year, New Resolutions for CAD Managers
Determining to eat better and get more exercise is a good start, but don't stop there. In 2010, resolve to be proactive and organized in the office, too. Read more

Announcing the Return of Cadalyst Magazine
Longitude Media, the new publisher of Cadalyst, is proud to announce the return of Cadalyst magazine. The great content you expect from Cadalyst is available again in the print format you enjoy. Read more

Event Report: Autodesk University 2009
In a year when canceled events were not uncommon, Autodesk presses forward and draws nearly 6,000 to Las Vegas and 19,000 to AU Virtual for learning opportunities and technology updates. Read more

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

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