Postby garethace » Wed Mar 10, 2004 9:55 pm

CAD tends to work from the hard copy backways to the system of inputting/storing and organising your visual information.

Whereas designers tend to think in the opposite direction.

Is a profession like Architecture still awaiting a time when it will merge better with computers, than the way in which CAD has done?

At the end of the day, I know a very many architects nowadays are trying to be geographers and a very many geographers are trying to be architects. It is a crazy and confused world we are growing up in people.

Very, very nice ESRI Volumes, tonnes of stuff.

Geography—Creating Communities
The maps in this volume show how GIS is cutting across disciplines, providing a common language for discussion, and bringing people together in the decision making process. GIS enables us to share data in different societal communities thereby creating a framework for this global information network.
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Postby ro_G » Wed Mar 10, 2004 10:52 pm

speaking as someone who is intimatley involved in the GIS world and with ESRI I can tell you that the promise of GIS data is at present far greater than its exploitation

by the way - ESRI have an irish operation if you want to pick up any of their 'off the shelf' packages
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Postby ro_G » Wed Mar 10, 2004 10:54 pm

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Postby garethace » Wed Mar 10, 2004 11:01 pm

I am in the middle of using AutoCAD 2004 in a heavy, get-up-and-go plotted hard copy outputting environment. I.e. Organising information specifically so that it plots as you want, and conveys the message.

But usually I find myself working from the HP large format plotter back to my drawing. I find, then when I put my designer, architectural thinking cap on...... I am sketching etc, or making a card board model..... and I am thinking a lot more in the opposite direction.

I have a lot of respect for the people who use CAD and organise CAD data everyday of their lives. But they generally do have to be very sure about what their ultimate goals are. I hardly ever see a stage at which 'design goals' do become integrated with CAD goals. And I have looked at all the newest, latest softwares from AutoDesk etc out there.

It always boils back down to the same thing - a plotted hard copy drawing with proper dimensions, text, scalebars, linewidths, colours etc, etc, etc. I entertained myself with a bit of a speech to the nation over here: If you are interested. :)
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Postby niall murphy » Wed Mar 10, 2004 11:22 pm

what does GIS stand for or what is it?
niall murphy
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Postby RichardC » Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:27 pm

GIS - Geographic Information Systems. It's a bit like CAD, but think of it as a map with a full database attached to it.

It's certainly quite heavily used by planners in this country, but I don't know of any architects who use it. It tends to be used at the national / regional / local scale rather than the site specific scale that most architects work at.

As a GIS user since the early 90's I agree with Ro, the technology is not being expoloited to it's fullest by any means.
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Postby garethace » Fri Mar 12, 2004 9:03 pm

that is basically what it does alright.... in the general sense, but the ERSI link also proves how many 'architectural' conclusions a GIS approach is capable of generating.

While CAD may be very geared toward representing the advanced language of 2D line weights, dimension lines, hatching, shading, .....

I don't think a CAD software is going to generate any great conclusions on its own. But I do see architects trying to modify their CAD type software as 'design generation tools'.

Looking at those ERSI projects, I am just wondering is a GIS still approach far more suit towards generating results, based on values or 'rules' you would input into the computer.

Some of the visual information coming from those GIS generated presentations was very interesting from an architectural point of view. This is interesting, as geographers are often times accused by architects of NOT being 'visual' kinds of people, or as much 'spatially minded' so much as verbal people.

If GIS still has to be exploited, I would say that CAD has pretty much past that point, and every new release these days, finds it very difficult to justify itself at all.

This AutoCAD Upgrade Makes Sense

Guest Editorial
by Darren J. Young

After reading comments regarding AutoCAD 2005, I come to the conclusion that most have lost their sense of objectivity. I've done my fair share of Autodesk bashing, but some of the reader's comments seem out of place -- considering the product isn't on the dealers' shelves, and there's very few who have even seen it.

While it may seem like Autodesk thinks we have all the time in the world to learn new things, this doesn't mean they should stop development, or be geared toward writing functions for which there are already a wealth of free AutoLISP routines to take care of. Would anyone in their right mind pay $300 for an update that allows you to glue a couple lines back together?

As far as Autodesk ignoring basic drafting needs with AutoCAD 2005, I think people are missing the significance of this release. You want to revise a detail number? Or add a sheet in the middle of a set, and have all references update automatically? It's in there. From what I've gathered, sheet sets are not the easiest to set up, but AutoCAD'll do it, and do it automatically once configured properly.

Built-in table objects? Seems like a basic drafting need to me.

I can't think of any release since I started back on R10 that has the potential to significantly impact the productivity of such a wide range of users -- if people would only take the time to learn of it.

It seems to me as if nobody is happy unless the product is easy and tailored to them -- at the expense of everyone else. Until such time that Autodesk adds a mind-reading module, there's no way AutoCAD will EVER offer the flexibility everyone demands, and make it so simple that it just happens the way you want it.

I, for one, welcome the shift Autodesk seems to be making: from minor, token, little, polished enhancements that touch the lives of a small handful of users, to a more big-picture approach that includes some real vision into the future. Autodesk shouldn't focus on helping people do tasks better, like drawing lines and arcs; they should focus on helping users do their jobs better. AutoCAD 2005 is the first time in a long time, if not ever, that I've seen Autodesk move in what I think is the right direction.

If someone wants the polish, they should look into buying third- party add-ons, like Terry Dotson's ToolPac <> or Owen Wengerd's QuikPik <>. Both add a lot of polish and day-to-day productivity enhancements for a lot less than the price of an AutoCAD upgrade. There's a wealth of talented good third-party developers out there for specific needs.

For once, Autodesk has stopped listening to the naysayers who think AutoCAD is a mature product, and that there's really nothing left for Autodesk to do with it. That lack of imagination is what's left users reluctant to upgrade -- not the absence of a routine that heals a couple broken lines.

If AutoCAD 2005 sales do poorly, it'll be a result of people being complacent about accepting what's handed to them, and not demanding real insight and imagination.

(Darren J. Young is a CAD/CAM systems developer in Minnesota, USA.)

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Postby ro_G » Sun Mar 14, 2004 9:32 pm

i'd argue cad is still very much relevant as a tool for manipulating outputs of GIS tools. it's still relevant - it's just a bit down the food chain. There are function of Autocad that GIS tools can't and shouldn't ever provide
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Postby garethace » Sun Mar 14, 2004 9:46 pm

One of the only advantages of keeping everything 'inside' a system like AutoCAD for architects, is having access to all that data from the one software.

Architects in practice are forever scared of the 'guy who would use the different programme' not being there on any given day, or leaving the practice altogether and being impossible to replace.

Meaning that all that data automatically becomes redundant too. This tends to the be the driving force behind use of software in general, and you see people 'trying' to do some pretty crazy stuff with AutoCAD... the kinds of operations you could just munch through using a more suitable application.

Sad, but true. :)

I was kinda hinting at this here:
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Postby garethace » Tue Mar 16, 2004 10:49 pm

When I was in the
field in 1982, the
firm I was working
for had just
acquired the state-of-the-art technology, a
total station that essentially combined a
theodolite and a distance meter into one
instrument. The party chief had a handheld
HP calculator that could do an
incredible new task—perform inversing
calculations in the field. The survey manager
sat inside and calculated traverse closures
on a Monroe desktop calculator with
a big handle on the side. We plotted the
survey points on paper with a circular compass,
and a scale, then we interpolated
contours with a plastic strip marked with
little equally spaced lines and drew them
on the plan by hand.

From an article in the Jan/Feb PDF issue of AUGI world,

Registration is free.

Just thought you might be interested.
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Postby garethace » Wed Mar 17, 2004 8:03 pm

What an amazing and exciting time to be
“in the field.”

Land XML

The idea of sharing civil data between
applications has been a dream for many
years, and LandXML is increasingly becoming
the answer to that need. LandXML files
provide a format for storing points, surfaces,
alignments, parcels, pipe runs, and roadway
models. Any civil/survey software developer
can now develop the code to read and write
these files, thereby easily sharing these
types of data.

The following extract from another article in the Sept/Oct 2003 issue of AUGI world magazine sounds quite familiar actually to how Architects can sometimes prolong a design stage, or feasability stage in CAD, for ages, literally.

Part of our civil engineering solution is a
product called Autodesk Envision 8, which
allows the user to present land development
plans to clients and reviewers in
terms they understand.

Autodesk Envision
allows the planner to bring in all the different
data types from CAD to engineering
data to GIS information to imagery and
put it into one solid model, what I call a 3D
model of existing conditions. You can take
the imagery, for example, and drape it over
the terrain model; you can bring in some
preliminary design information—from
roads to houses to parcels—and display it.

You can show the model from any perspective
to show people what it will look
like from their view, not just yours. You get
an engineering accurate model but have
not wasted hours and hours to do it.

Time at this point in the project is critical as you
are not sure if the plan is viable and costs
are tight. Envision allows you to communicate
and show the plan and let people suggest
changes and collaborate to buy into
the concept.

I found this particular quote revealing too, about the gap that currently can exist in large government planning/engineering departments who use ERSI or AUtoCAD etc:

One example is
the City of Seattle. The City of Seattle is integrating
many of its departments, which traditionally
have been silos where GIS was one
group, survey was one group, and engineering
was one group. Even though the departments
were individually very efficient, when
they had to pass information from one
department to another, it was another story.
They spent more time doing data conversion
than they spent on design work.
By having software tools for each phase
of the project lifecycle, with the ability for
each to work off the same information
from any source, you can link in all the various
players on a project, creating a more
efficient way to get the project done. It
allows you to get the right data to the right
people at the right time, resulting in a better
and more predictable delivery schedule
and a better bottom line. And in the end
what you get is a very happy client—all
because more time was spent with them
and their design than on converting data.

I honestly have to wonder, in my own mind, how much of the above could have been also true with LUAS?

Thread I found here at Cyburbia about a very similar topic.
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Postby garethace » Tue Mar 23, 2004 8:53 pm

Map geeks aren't made. They're born. They come into this world with a special sense of spatiality, a heightened awareness of their place in the world and a need to help others find theirs.

A preacher guides lost souls. A map geek points to Page 830, Grid E-4, and says, "There you are."
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Postby garethace » Tue Mar 23, 2004 9:00 pm

The friendly face of privatisation? :) Free market economy and all of that? Anyone care to comment on this situation of three ESB poles.
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Postby garethace » Tue Mar 23, 2004 11:08 pm

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Postby garethace » Tue Mar 23, 2004 11:10 pm

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