Bentley Systems BE Conference 2004 Awards of Excellence in Geospatial Projects

By Joe Francica

Bentley Awards of Excellence - BE 2004



Each year, Bentley Systems nominates projects in which its user's have been engaged over the past year for one of their "Awards of Excellence" in a specific discipline.In Geospatial, thirty-one projects were nominated in five categories.Directions Magazine Editor-in-Chief, Joe Francica, was one of the adjudicators along with Carey Mann and Styli Camateros, vice presidents of Bentley, and Matt Ball, Editor of GEOWorld Magazine.The projects represented a diverse cross section of applications that were submitted from local governments, federal agencies, utilities, engineering firms and research laboratories.Greg Bentley, CEO, commented that he always enjoys being involved with these projects because they have a conclusion, a finished result.The awards were announced at a dinner in their honor and hosted by Alan Farkas of Farkas Berkowitz & Company, a Washington-based management consulting firm. This year's award winners are listed below.

Award Category
Submitting User - Project Name
Project Information & Highlights
(Source: Information provided from award submission material)
Project Example
AEC-GIS Vision
Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council, United Kingdom - Environmental Protection Management Project
Oldham and its districts were at the heart of the Industrial Revolution.This brought with it prosperity but left a legacy that required investigation.Through the use of Bentley V8 Geographics, PowerMap, Descartes, Publisher, NTF Translator and particularly the benefits of Training Subscription this dilemma was successfully resolved.Bentley's versatility even allowed Oldham to link into non-ODBC compliant databases.Historic raster maps were made available by means of Descartes warping and locating tools.These provided a backdrop that was not available or possible before.Being able to quickly load, manipulate and view these raster files has allowed investigations to be carried out at the users desk.

The project was started in April 2003 and was completed for use in July 2003.The Bentley based corporate infrastructure previously installed allowed this project to be achieved at a cost of approximately £11,000.

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Extreme Mapping
City of Toronto, Canada - 3D Topographic Mapping
In just nine months, the entire topographic mapping base for the City of Toronto had been rebuilt.To date, the City of Toronto has collected over six million features across the entire city, including 427,392 building outlines, 1,174,297 trees (differentiated by public and private, coniferous and deciduous), 132,893 catch basins, 187,805 streetlights and 36,852 hydrants.The project has cost approximately $4 million to date, but has saved the City of Toronto an estimated $7 million.

Data stored in the MicroStation Geographics files; all vectors contained in the DGN file are linked to a table stored in an Oracle database that describes the vectors.The fundamental challenge of rebuilding the City of Toronto's topographic mapping base and being able to maintain it in a cost efficient manner was achieved through the development of an environment called Enterprise Stereoscopic Model (ESM).The ESM consists of two major components: an aerial image vectorization program combined with MicroStation Geographics.

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Integrated City
Gdansk Development Agency - Urban planning as part of the Gdansk Municipal GIS
In June 1999, the City Council of Gdansk set up the Gdansk Development Agency (BRG).The main task of this organization was to produce local urban plans in order to ensure sustainable development of Gdansk, which is more than 1,000 years old and has about 500,000 inhabitants.

One of the challenges for a new management team of BRG was to develop an IT system which would allow for the efficient production of local urban plans as well as the effective data exchange between the City Hall and BRG.The system needed to allow for continuous adjustment due to changing legal requirements, which is typical for countries in transition to EU.As a digital base map in Gdansk is maintained in the MicroStation/GeoGraphics format, the same platform was chosen for developing applications to be used in BRG.To date both software and hardware related expenditures have amounted to about $400,000 USD.Some of the benefits realized by the project was that the time of production of one local urban plan was shortened by about 50% and there was a significant increase in quality and coherence of plans.

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New Technology Adoption
City of Helsinki, Finland, City Survey Division - 3D Municipal Information System
A general 3D model of whole city territory was completed in the year 2002.This model was created from the 2D base map database, city's building cadastre and orthophotos.Laser scanning and digital photogrammetry were used in collecting 3D information of built and terrain objects.The general 3D model was used in the Helsinki Master Plan 2002 project, which was approved by Helsinki City Council in November 2003.The accurate 3D city model, which is replacing the digital 1:500 base map, is widening constantly and is used in many city planning and construction projects.

Laser point clouds and orthophotos have been applied in mapping out dated map features and in vectorizing 3D buildings and 3D streets manually, semi automatically and automatically.In modeling, MicroStation was used as well as TerraScan, TerraPhoto and TerraModeler software packages, which are developed in Finland for 3D modeling purposes.

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Spatially Enabled Managed Environment
Proyecto de Administracion de Tierras de Honduras (PATH) - Sistema Unificado de Registro (SURE)
PATH is a World Bank financed project.The Land Administration Project of Honduras has as its main objective development of an integrated and decentralized land administration system (composed of public and privates entities) to provide users in the project area with accurate information on urban and rural land parcels and effective land administration services (purchase, mortgages, cadastral and registry certifications, etc.) in a timely and cost effective manner.The Unified System of Registries (SURE) is part of the National System of Property Administration (SINAP) and is a pivotal tool of PATH.It has been conceived with the purpose of administering the rights of property that fall on personal property and real estate in Honduras.The scope of administration extends to the geometric and alphanumeric attributes of these goods and their respective legal reference.

SURE is built under a multi tier web architecture that allows complete access through the intranet of the project and related institutions. The development of the first phase of SURE started in September of 2002 and was finalized in October of the 2003.This first phase includes the management of the information of the offices of Cadastre and Real Estate Property and the production process of the Project: a massive process of investigation and legalization.SURE was developed with an approximate cost of US$270,000.00 (without including the cost of development software).

PATH has a ProjectWise Extranet server to enable work in a managed environment.SURE has used the SDK API of ProjectWise to build a web base system to manage each legalization request.It is expected that more than 800,000 legalization requests will be managed in ProjectWise following a workflow operated by each municipality, the Instituto Nacional Agrario (INA) and PATH.

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Published Thursday, May 27th, 2004

Written by Joe Francica



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