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Dotted Eyes, Autodesk partner on CAD and GIS

UK’s Dotted Eyes has become a reseller of design software from Autodesk Inc. The partnership includes AutoCAD Map 3D to benefit business analysts and managers in both the public and private sectors who manage spatial data using CAD-based drawing and editing tools. The company is already the biggest Pitney Bowes MapInfo partner in the UK and a premier partner of Ordnance Survey. Dotted Eyes Managing Director Benjamin Allan said the partnerships with Autodesk and Pitney Bowes MapInfo would support the development of a consultancy-led model for integrating CAD and GIS software, the Unified Spatial Environment (USE).

Benjamin Allan said: “Becoming an Autodesk reseller is a key part of our strategy to help bridge the gulf between CAD and GIS. By working with Autodesk and Pitney Bowes MapInfo we want to bring together map data, geographic information systems and CAD software in a shared environment, allowing the cross-functional management of spatial data.

Tracey Stone, Geospatial Sales Manager – Northern Europe for Autodesk, said: “By partnering with a well respected company like Dotted Eyes who are experts in helping their customers get the best from their spatial data, we are in the strongest position possible to deliver these cutting edge solutions to the market.”

Commenting on USE, Gary Roberts, UK General Manager for Pitney Bowes MapInfo, said: “The distinction between the CAD and GIS worlds is diminishing. Companies want answers without needing to determine whether it is a CAD or GIS problem in advance. The benefit of a unified approach is that it offers a wider range of capabilities to a broader audience.”

Among those to benefit from USE in the public sector will be business analysts and GIS professionals in local authorities, the NHS and housing associations. They will find support for ensuring the accuracy of GIS projects through easier incorporation of CAD. Local authorities in particular will be helped as they strive to meet data sharing guidelines to be introduced under the European INSPIRE directive.

At the same time, more traditional CAD users such as engineers, architects and designers can look to USE to help them query the kind of complex spatial issues typically tackled in GIS. Components such as geo-referenced files, thematic mapping, photo-imaging and attribute data will all help those more familiar with CAD to visualise and design larger infrastructure projects such as roads, tunnels and bridges.

Under USE, Dotted Eyes consultants will tailor training and support for clients based on a combined infrastructure of CAD and GIS. Training will specifically address issues such as semantic differences, consistency of data updates and enterprise-wide deployment.

Closer integration of GIS and CAD is a long-standing subject for debate in the field of geographic information. Examples include the management of underground utility assets where the difficulties in surveying buried infrastructure have fuelled an interest in CAD models as part of 3D GIS modelling.