New GIS, CAD Integrated Software Enables Users to Map and Manage

Article December 28, 2000
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In the past users of Autodesk software
have had to count on add-on software to enable the company's
AutoCAD software to work between GIS and CAD, but within the
last year the company has released new software products, that
better integrate GIS and CAD data.

AutoCAD Map incorporates
automated GIS tools with the drafting ability of AutoCAD
software and the data management functionality of AutoCAD Data
Extension software. It has an extensive application programming
interface (API) for designing custom applications.

This API
is fully object oriented, allowing software developers to
optimize coding efforts and performances. This results in a
combination of map creation and maintenance capabilities that
engineers, planners, utility managers and technicians can use to
accurately map and manage assets and infrastructure.

It
allows the users to take advantage of existing data by using
AutoCAD DWG as its native file format, as well as importing
MIF/MID (MapInfo), SHP (ESRI), DXF, and DGN (Intergraph)
formats--and exporting complete and accurate files in the same
formats. AutoCAD Map runs on Windows 3.1x, Windows NT, and
Windows '95 operating systems.

The market segment this
software was developed for is the CAD-based mapping and GIS
market-users who focus on map creation and maintenance. Targeted
customers include engineers, planners, utility managers and
technicians who create and maintain their own maps and those
users that prefer a CAD-based mapping solution.

For those
who feel that a CAD-based mapping technology can not adequately
perform GIS, Autodesk offers a GIS-based solution called
Autodesk World, based upon technology from the company's South
African development group. It is a data-centric product for the
traditional GIS segment, with a strong emphasis on geographic
data management. The product is Windows '95 compliant, with a
Microsoft Office look and feel. It also can run on Windows NT.

It can perform stand-alone, as well as corporate GIS
applications, providing spatial data capture, maintenance and
interrogation tools. It provides seamless access to distributed
databases, integrating raster, vector, alphanumeric and TIN data
from multiple sources, in multiple formats.

The software
combines CAD, GIS and database technology in a single
environment, and offers the ability to create, edit, query,
present and integrate GIS data from a variety of sources without
conversion. It incorporates the DWG file format, the de-facto
standard for digital map creation worldwide.

Targeted users
include GIS and mapping professionals in industries such as
utilities, telecommunications, government, natural resources,
oil and gas, and education.

Plant flow software

A new
software program has been designed for the person who has never
used a computer, as well as for a seasoned engineer. AggFlow 4.0
from BedRock Software, Portland, Ore., is a design and
calculation tool that contains information on most aggregate
plant equipment, plus a custom feature to add your own data.
Plant flow diagrams are built on-screen by using a mouse to
place equipment onto a worksheet and drawing the flow
connections and conveyors.

The program determines operating
limits based on manufacturer's data or plant specific data
entered by the user. Any equipment working beyond its capacity
will be red-flagged. Once all equipment has been selected and
custom data is entered, the user will be able to produce
scapling area calculations, reports and CAD quality diagrams.

Wide format digital copier

High-resolution, stand-alone
copier features 400 DPI laser-quality LED imaging with 32 levels
of halftone and 25% to 400% zoom in 0.1% increments to capture
the fine details of complicated design drawings and engineering
blueprints. Available from Mita Copystar America, Fairfield,
N.J., the PointSource Xi-3648 also comes with automatic roll
paper feeding and synchronized cutting to make copying of large
format originals such as blueprints, possible.

GPS vehicle
location system

Using a combination of business radio and
GPS, Trakit from the Ida Corp., Fargo, N.D., offers features
designed to increase efficiency and safety of fleet vehicles.
Its Windows '95 software application tracks and displays vehicle
locations on a computer at the dispatcher home base, in real
time, on supplied computer maps.

A VCR-like playback
function can be used to review vehicle activity for analysis.
Vehicle location data is captured and stored in computer files
which can be exported to various formats for use by other
applications such as costing analysis and customer billing. The
system is designed for use on 220 MHz, 450 MHz, 800 MHz, shared
of dedicated, trunked or conventional radio systems.

Ground-penetrating radar

A radar system that combines
data-collection, analysis and report-writing capabilities for a
variety of engineering applications in a single unit has been
introduced by Geophysical Survey Systems Inc., North Salem, N.H.
The new Subsurface Interface Radar System-2P is the first
ground-penetrating radar to perform all three functions in one
unit, in the field. It has twice the hard-drive capacity of
standard units and has Windows '95, Microsoft Office and Radan
post-processing software installed. It also comes with a module
that adds ports for a keyboard, external SVGA monitor, mouse,
serial and high-speed ethernet data transfer.

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