GIS Tech News (#47)

5 Nov, 2007

Rapid Design Visualization Bridges 3D Gap

Software that works inside and extends popular CAD applications helps engineers and their clients understand how finished projects will look.

As CAD tools have become more powerful in recent years, more engineers and other infrastructure professionals have delved into preparing 3D visualizations. By developing roadway, bridge, and site designs in 3D, users of most major CAD packages can view those designs from a 3D perspective, apply basic materials and textures, adjust lighting, and perhaps even develop simple animations that simulate drive-through or fly-through experiences. The 3D visualizations can help technical professionals refine their designs and help clients understand what projects will look like when built.

But novice 3D modelers often find a big gulf between making simplistic 3D visualizations and developing photorealistic images. Rendering and visualization tools in basic CAD products provide limited capabilities, while advanced visualization tools often require significant training and model development time.

To become visualization savvy, some firms are turning to a third-party solution. Geosyntec Consultants -- a consulting and engineering firm with practice in environment, natural resources, and civil infrastructure -- has used Rapid Design Visualization (RDV) from Lod, Israel-based RDV Systems to develop visualizations on five projects in the past year. Geosyntec project engineer Yiwen Cao says the software, which works as an add-on to AutoCAD-based products such as Land Desktop and Civil 3D, has proven worthy of its name, enabling rapid visualization of designs such as landfills and other environmental projects. Read more>>

Rev It Up (Cadalyst Labs Review)

By Ron LaFon

The newest generations of workstations based on the PCI Express 2 (PCIe2) graphic bus -- and the new graphics cards that will take advantage of it -- are still on the horizon, so Cadalyst wants to share the currently available crop of graphics cards for CAD and digital content creation (DCC). All of the graphics cards in this roundup review are based on the PCI Express (PCIe) bus, and they offer entry-level to ultrahigh-end performance. Early next year, Cadalyst plans to cover the new PCIe2 systems and graphics cards in more depth, but for many users, the current batch of cards will be the workhorses that get the job done. Read more>>


Geographic Information Education Program
November 7, 2007
Belfast, United Kingdom
The GeoInformation Group will sponsor a free educational event for everyone in the geographic information community from recent graduates to highly experienced professionals. Read more

Autodesk University
November 27-30, 2007
Las Vegas, Nevada
Autodesk University is a multilevel experience in training and networking, which over four days offers a choice of more than 500 classes: advanced, hands-on labs, business-management solutions and strategies, and more. Read more

Cadalyst's complete list of upcoming events is always available on our Web site. Cadalyst's sister publication, Geospatial Solutions, also offers a full calendar of GIS-related events.