GIS Tech News (#59)

2 Jun, 2008

Sustainable Is a Many-Splendored Wordp>

Civil and geospatial software find a natural niche in working toward a sustainable environment, as evidenced at this year's Bentley Conference.

By Andrew Roe

Andrew Roe photo

The phrase "sustainable infrastructure" may conjure up various images, such as energy-efficient buildings, environmentally conscious land-development projects, and the wise use of natural resources. All may be on target for civil and geospatial professionals, but the word sustainable can also apply to the software and data we use on a daily basis. At least that's one of the messages conveyed at the recent BE Conference, Bentley Systems' annual gathering, which took on a different format this year.

Titled "BEst Practices for Sustaining Infrastructure," Bentley's May 28-30 conference at the Baltimore Convention Center featured less hands-on training than in previous years and more management-oriented sessions about designing more efficiently, conveying designs digitally, and reusing data. The words integration and interoperability flowed freely through keynote talks, discipline-specific sessions, and hallway discussions.

Bentley apparently feels a calling to encourage sustainable design, a cause that's been promoted heavily in recent years by groups such as the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Institute of Architects. The message is still captivating interest, as evidenced by the 2,000-plus attendees who heard of the urgent need to shore up infrastructure in the United States and around the world and saw impressive project renderings illustrating how Bentley users are building new infrastructure.

Sustainable Software
In the civil and geospatial software spectrum, Bentley sees more opportunities for data sharing, and is promoting its Microstation DGN-based platform as a means to share data across product lines and throughout various project phases. With the same data files potentially shared by GIS professionals using Bentley Map and engineers using InRoads and GEOPAK, the common platform "relieves the disconnects between traditionally separate CAD and GIS," said chief executive officer Greg Bentley in his opening keynote speech. Read more »

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Cadalyst contributing editor Andrew G. Roe is a licensed civil engineer and president of AGR Associates. He is also the author of Using Visual Basic with AutoCAD, published by Autodesk Press. E-mail him at


Circles and Lines AutoCAD Tutorial:

AutoCAD 2009: Action Recorder

By Lynn Allen

An AutoCAD Macro recorder has been on my wish list of desired features for a long time, so I was absolutely thrilled that AutoCAD 2009 has finally fulfilled my dreams with a low-stress means of recording actions for future use. You know this new feature has got to be good because those fabulous Express Tools programmers wrote it. (And you know I can't possibly say enough good things about them!)

The concept is simple. We all have tedious tasks that we do throughout our drawing day. Maybe we could write an AutoLISP routine or a menu macro to automate these tasks, but who has time to figure that out? The new Action Recorder literally lets you record your actions once, and then you can play them back over and over in the future. No programming skills needed here! You just press the Record button.

Your first task is to figure out what those tedious tasks are. Take note as you use AutoCAD and see if you can identify a series of steps that you perform a lot. It might not necessarily be the creation of an object (since we tend to create blocks to speed that process), but surely you've encountered repetitive steps during the editing process. Read more »

Mark Your Calendar: GIS Events

Autodesk Road and Highway Design Seminar
June 4, 25, & 26, 2008
Various Cities in Wisconsin
DLT Solutions, Autodesk, and IMAGINiT Technologies will demonstrate how to use AutoCAD Civil 3D 2009 in data management, survey, design and analysis, and documentation. Read more »

Autodesk Solutions for Public Works & Utilities Half Day Seminar
June 3, 4, & 5, 2008
Various Cities in Florida
DLT Solutions, Autodesk, CH2M Hill, and CADD Centers of Florida will host this series of public works and utilities events for the public sector. Read more »

GeoWeb 2008
July 21-25, 2008
Vancouver, BC, Canada
The GeoWeb 2008 conference is one of a few conferences focusing exclusively on the convergence of GIS and the Internet. The GeoWeb 2008 conference welcomes public and private organizations to meet, discuss, and learn about today's most innovative geospatial technologies. 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.