GIS Tech News (#96)

25 May, 2010 By: Cadalyst Staff

Bentley Forges GIS Tools to Build 3D Cities

The latest infrastructure-management software enables city officials to model their domains more realistically and completely.

By Cyrena Respini-Irwin

If you live in the United States, odds are good that you live in a city — a complex network of infrastructure that encompasses buildings and bridges, subways and sewers, freeways and fire hydrants. More and more city governments are turning to geographic information systems (GIS) to better manage the masses of data involved in such a multifaceted system.

Furthermore, those already making use of GIS are increasingly transitioning from 2D to 3D systems, which enable more sophisticated simulations, analyses, and disaster mitigation efforts. The value of 3D is also apparent to nontechnical stakeholders, who can more easily comprehend the impact of a proposed highway overpass or waterfront development project when it's presented in a realistic, familiar format.

"[You need] that 3D component to visualize, analyze, and manage city infrastructure," said Damon Dougherty, product marketing manager for Bentley Systems' geospatial product line. Bentley demonstrated that belief earlier this year, when it released V8i (SELECTseries 1) versions of its portfolio of 3D GIS software. Users can access information from spatial databases, drawings, and other sources with Bentley Geospatial Server; create and edit 3D objects and renderings with Bentley Map; process and edit images in Bentley Descartes; and publish their 3D city models with Bentley Geo Web Publisher.

Francois Valois, senior product manager for geospatial desktop products, explained that Bentley Map — a desktop analysis and editing application built on top of MicroStation — offers 3D editing capability and features that go beyond CAD. Users can build a 3D model with photogrammetry or LIDAR data, then, with the help of Decartes, texture it with pictures taken on the street. "You can create a high-quality 3D scene at low cost ... any camera will do," said Valois. Read more »
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Cyrena Respini-Irwin is Cadalyst's senior editor.


Mark Your Calendar: GIS Events


Second Open Source GIS UK Conference
June 21–22, 2010
Nottingham, United Kingdom
The OSGIS conference series has an international focus and brings together speakers and delegates from government, academia, industry, and open-source communities. Read more

2nd Latin American and Caribbean gvSIG Conference
July 12–16, 2010
Caracas, Venezuela
This event, which includes FOSS4G workshops, paper sessions, technology sessions, and panel discussions, is intended to serve as a meeting point where the Latin American community can exchange ideas and experiences in the field of geographic information and free technologies. Read more 

ESRI International User Conference
July 12–16, 2010
San Diego, California
All ESRI technology users are encouraged to attend this conference, which comprises preconference seminars, a plenary session, a map gallery, user presentations, technical workshops, an exhibit pavilion, an ESRI showcase, and networking opportunities. 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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