Saturday, December 11, 2010

Project Galileo - where CAD+BIM+GIS meets

The new "Project Galileo", a technology preview from Autodesk Labs is a tool for creating digital cities - models integrating mapping data, CAD, geospatial, building, utility networks and database data.

It may resemble a combination of computer games Sims and Trainz Simulator, but on a professional level - with precise tools, with support of professional file formats, and with support of very large datasets. It still keeps the ease of use known from the country-editors in the kids games. In Galileo, you can sketch streets, add rivers and ponds, elevate terrain, sketch buildings and apply their facade pictures, add city entourage (city furniture). You can create proposals, analyse, navigate and animate the models.

Galileo saves its projects (cities) in the .alxdb format. You can import terrain surface and terrain pictures (aerials) in the most common file formats (.dem, .tiff, .ecw, .jpg, .png, ...). Building and entourage models can be imported from .dae, .fbx, .obj, .sff and .3ds formats. You can also create 3D buildings (in fact: 2.5D buildings) from 2D footprints. The standard LandXML format is also supported for importing data, or you can use WFS web sources. Any object can be linked with database data in the .sdf, .shp and .sqlite file formats or directly from an ODBC, Oracle, MS SQL, ArcSDE or MySQL database.

Project Galileo emerges from an older project "Metropolis" and from the existing Autodesk product - "Land Xplorer Studio".

Download the city planning tool at Autodesk Labs - Galileo.

Galieo - above ground
The same scene with "negative elevation" - Galileo supports also underground objects:
Galileo - under ground

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Bunch of news from Autodesk University 2010

The Autodesk user conference "Autodesk University 2010" held currently in Las Vegas brings a series of interesting news and new product announcements. You can also take part on this conference as a virtual attendee - see "AU virtual" for Autodesk subscription customers.

Here is a short list of the most important news from different areas covered by Autodesk technologies:

  • Inventor Fusion (the simple-to-use 3D CAD with direct editing) will be offered for free with AutoCAD
  • A very promising cloud application Autodesk Photofly (reconstruction of 3D point clouds from a series of photos) will be updated to directly generate 3D models from photos
  • Sketchbook Express (Sketchbook Mobile) was released for Android mobile devices - as a free version and $1 version - see the Android Market (there are not many Autodesk products for $1 ...)
  • Project Galileo is a new tool combining large CAD, GIS and BIM data - e.g. for modelling of cities
  • Autodesk Tinkerbox is a new learning software for design and simulation of mechanical devices/systems
  • Autodesk plans a new scripting tool DesignScript for automation of operations in AutoCAD and other products
  • The web application Homestyler (easy and free interior- and home-design 2D/3D tool) now generates photorealistic 3D views (render snapshots)
  • AutoCAD WS (AutoCAD version running inside web browsers and on Apple iPads/iPhones, now with more than 500.000 users) is being released in version 1.1 - supports off-line mode, direct upload of DWGs and other functionality from the full AutoCAD
  • Project Vasari - the simplified conceptual version of Revit is now available in an enhanced version with new editing tools and enhanced solar radiation