GIS Tech News (#26)

4 Dec, 2006 By: Andrew G. Roe,P.E.

Untitled Document

Project Management Software Diagnoses Sick Projects

New tools help measure health of construction jobs, predict success or failure

Anyone who has worked in a construction-related field has probably worked on a project with seemingly insurmountable problems. Unrealistic schedules, personnel turnover, design and construction quality problems, and general project mismanagement are all common. Other projects are simply riddled with enough unavoidable technical challenges to make success an elusive goal. 

Whatever the causes, a common trait of problematic projects is that they are not properly assessed to determine the depth of their problems -- until it’s too late. Conventional project management software can offer helpful insight if used appropriately, but not all tools are sophisticated enough to pinpoint problems, and not all project managers properly apply the tools available.

A new software tool offers assistance in identifying ailing projects. PHI (Project Health Indicator), an Excel-based tool from CII (Construction Industry Institute), uses 43 key indicators to assess project health and identify warning signs of an unhealthy project. Geared primarily toward construction projects, PHI considers wide-ranging factors such as team expertise, schedule flaws, plan deficiencies, financial problems and cultural differences to identify potential problems and possible solutions. Read More >>

3Dconnexion Expands Line of Navigation Tools

By Sara Ferris

3Dconnexion today announced two new models in its line of 3D navigation tools: SpaceNavigator ($59-$99) and SpaceExplorer ($299). The company also reports it will also drop the suggested retail price on its high-end SpacePilot to $399 from $599.

The new SpaceNavigator is an entry-level 3D navigation device that incorporates two buttons preprogrammed to fit image to screen and display the 3Dx control panel. The device runs on Windows XP (32- and 64-bit) and also works with Vista. SpaceNavigator PE (personal edition, $59) is for noncommercial use and is backed with online support only. SpaceNavigator SE (standard edition, $99) can be used for commercial work and comes with online, e-mail and phone support. Both are covered by a two-year warranty. 3Dconnexion president Rory Dooley expects the prices to appeal to students and others who previously weren't able to afford a 3D navigation device.

The new SpaceExplorer is a full-featured midrange device ($299) with 15 preconfigured function keys (two are unlabeled and can be customized). Operating systems supported include Windows XP/Vista, Linux and UNIX. (It's available with a serial interface for Linux/UNIX systems.) Warranty coverage runs three years. The SpaceExplorer is designed to replace the company's SpaceBall product, which, along with the SpaceMouse model, will be discontinued as of December 31, 2006. Support for both products will continue through the end of 2009, according to 3Dconnexion. Read More>>


ESRI CA/HI/NV/GU Regional User Group Annual Conference
February 6, 2007 - February 8, 2007
Sacramento, California
This conference enables members of the California/Hawaii/Nevada/Guam ESRI Regional Users' Group to share GIS projects, learn how colleagues have tackled similar challenges, and discuss initiatives and partnerships in the region.

ESRI Business GeoInfo Summit
April 23, 2007 - April 25, 2007
Dallas, Texas
This fourth annual conference will brief C-level executives, managers and developers on geospatial analysis and business intelligence capabilities for the enterprise.

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