September software launches

September software launches

Bentley Systems, Inc., released WaterGEMS V8 XM Edition, which the company says is the only water distribution modeling solution to unify modeling across MicroStation, ArcGIS, AutoCAD, and stand-alone platforms. New features include a utility that helps identify critical assets in water distribution infrastructure and evaluate the risk associated with their failure; addition of hydrants, isolation valves, and variable-speed pump batteries to the framework to support asset management and hydraulic modeling workflows; user-defined demands as a function of pressure to model intermittent water supply scenarios, sprinkler heads, and unaccounted-for water; and new geospatial demand allocation methods, unit demand engineering libraries, and global management for estimating simple, composite, and pressure-dependent demands. For more information, visit www.bentley.com/watergems.

Autodesk launched an online community site (http://civilcommunity.autodesk.com) to help engineers stay informed about the latest developments to its Civil 3D software, including its use on interesting projects. The site is intended for professionals who want to network with peers and stay abreast of the industry’s trends and news, the company says. Users can share templates, participate in discussion groups, access training materials, and receive invitations to participate in webcasts. Additionally, Autodesk is presenting a four-part webcast series following Sitelines, a real, 10-person civil engineering firm based in Maine, as it migrates to Civil 3D. Called The Chronicles of Civil 3D, the series follows the firm’s first use of Civil 3D for a commercial subdivision project. The third part of the series will be webcast on Friday, Sept. 29, from noon to 1:00 p.m. EST. Register for the webcast and follow Sitelines Technician Darlene Estabrook’s blog about the migration process at www.deploy3d.com/news.php.

Adobe Systems, Inc., introduced its upgraded and extended Acrobat software family, which includes Acrobat 8 (Professional, Standard, Elements, 3D, and Reader) and Acrobat Connect and Connect Professional (formerly known as Breeze Express and Breeze 5.5). Acrobat 8 enables users to convert Microsoft Office, Microsoft Project, and Autodesk AutoCAD files, among others, into Adobe PDF files and to share them for review and comment, including with users of the free Acrobat Reader 8. Related but separate documents can be grouped together in a single Adobe PDF package. By clicking a "Start Meeting" button in any Acrobat 8 program, users can take advantage of Acrobat Connect software for real-time, web conferencing and collaboration. Connect is a hosted service (monthly subscription) that provides screen sharing, whiteboarding, chat, and video and audio conferencing between anyone with Flash software-enabled web browsers. Acrobat Connect is expected to be available in November as a free trial version through the end of 2006. More information about the Acrobat family is available at www.adobe.com/acrobat.

Commuter payback

Commuter payback

At 12:33 a.m. on Aug. 29, Dan Ruefly of Accokeek, Md., achieved ultimate payback for the frustration and pain he has faced for 28 years from traffic jams caused, in part, by the old, narrow Woodrow Wilson Bridge spanning the Potomac River between Maryland and Virginia on the south side of Washington, D.C. As winner of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project’s Toughest Bridge Commute contest, Ruefly got to trigger detonation charges that cut and brought down about a half-mile stretch of elevated steel girders that supported the old bridge. (Watch a video of the blast at www.wilsonbridge.com/bridgeDemolition.htm.) Ruefly endures a daily, 120-minute commute to work and a 90-minute commute home. Additionally, in 1999 he was involved in a serious accident on the old bridge. Ironically, Ruefly attended the dedication ceremony for the old bridge in 1961 when he was eight years old.

A new Woodrow Wilson bridge opened in June, which currently is carrying both northbound and southbound traffic on I-95. Following demolition of the old bridge, a second new span will be built in its place to carry southbound traffic. The project remains on schedule to open the second new bridge in mid-2008.

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