Bentley Systems, Incorporated recently announced that it has connected MicroStation to the Google Earth service. As a result, for the first time, users can view and navigate 2D/3D models of infrastructure projects in the context of the Google Earth environment.
MicroStation is Bentley’s desktop platform for the design, construction, and operation of the world’s infrastructure, including buildings, roads, bridges, power plants, telecom networks, and much more.
GIS Development put forth a few questions to Bentley Systems Incorporated on the announcement of its connection with the Google Earth services. Mr Christopher Rogers from Bentley Systems Incorporated responded to these questions.
Is the aspect of richer visualization for Bentley’s infrastructure projects the prime objective behind the newly established connection of Bentley’s MicroStation to the Google Earth service?
Certainly the rich visualization that MicroStation offers is a prime benefit
of MicroStation’s connection to the Google Earth tools. However, the most
important take away from this achievement is that, for the first time, users
can view and navigate 2D/3D CAD and GIS models of infrastructure projects in
the context of the Google Earth environment.
What will be the prime advantages for MicroStation users when they publish their DGN & DWG models of infrastructure assets to the Google Earth environment?
DGN and DWG models of infrastructure assets can now be viewed and navigated
in the context of this rich geographic imagery with associated content, including buildings, transportation systems, boundaries, bodies of water, and census information – to cite just a few examples.
What about the Internal Security aspect, when the infrastructure designs which are being shared through Google and hacked by unsocial elements?
When publishing MicroStation models to a KML or KMZ file the user saves the file to his or her own computer or a local server. The user is not therefore automatically publishing the file to the Google Earth community at large. Hence the user controls exactly how that KML or KMZ file will be distributed to third parties, in much the same way one would control distribution of DGN, PDF and Word documents and spreadsheets.
Do you want to create a community of drawing publishers and viewers?
These vibrant communities already exist. We have a long track record of helping our users publish their work in a relevant format that best serves their colleagues and consumers. MicroStation has always enjoyed an enviable reputation for its modeling and
visualization capabilities as demonstrated by signature users and their designed products.
We offer Bentley View as a free viewing tool so that anyone, anywhere, may view drawings and documents of the world’s infrastructure in its native format. We estimate that over 1,500,000 copies of Bentley View are in use around the world. Bentley Redline is an added benefit for our SELECT subscribers so that they may review and mark up their files within their project teams. We also encourage SELECT subscribers to share Redline with their colleagues outside of the design team who need to comment on project
data. Last year, we announced support for 3D within PDF, enabling design professionals to share drawings, renderings, and animations with anyone in the most ubiquitous file format available. Ultimately, all of these developments – inclusive of MicroStation’s
connection to Google Earth tools – extend the relevancy and reach of the 2D and 3D data of the world’s infrastructure projects and the associated geospatial and civil information.
How will the general user of Google Earth benefit from this alliance, or is it only for MicroStation users?
It’s clear that soon the Google Earth environment will be well populated with more of the world’s infrastructure projects. Bentley is proud to be the first company to create a single-point solution for the publishing of 2D and 3D models with raster, GIS and civil data from both DGN and DWG files. We are very proud of being the first to embrace this wonderful tool with such a complete strategy for all kinds of data used on all major infrastructure projects. Our online eSeminar showing San Diego is a case in point where the basic, 3D block models already in Google Earth are enriched by the addition of the MicroStation 2D GIS and utilities data.
What has been the initial response from MicroStation users after the
announcement of this alliance?
We were thrilled to be able to announce this achievement on Wednesday, and we’re happy to report that response has been overwhelmingly positive. Users have validated our belief that these tools give a ubiquitous, global audience the ability to review, navigate, and query the world’s infrastructure within the context that only Google Earth can provide.
One user, David Allerton, ICT associate at MacCormac Jamieson Prichard,
London, UK, said
“…tried it yesterday and, well, it just works! And it’s amazingly simple and easy to use. We’re involved in a competition and I just opened up the MicroStation model in V8 XM, setup the monument point in Google Earth and away we went! Really useful for checking sight lines, massing impacts and also as a marketing tool”.