Bentley Systems makes a huge bet for the GIS when acquiring Agency9

Since 2004, when Bentley incorporated XFM in to its new V8i developments, Bentley had been adding spatial features that went from the Geographics legacy to Bentley Cadastre, PowerMap and BentleyMap. However, it had always been engineering technology, which also made geo with the high level of CAD precision required by engineers, surveyors and architects.

For those of us who have used BentleyMap since its inception with the Geospatial Administrator, we were always looking forward to when the next step could be seen. With great satisfaction, the news that Bentley Systems has acquired the creative company of CityPlanner and 3DMaps is only evidence of the potential accumulated by this initiative born in 2003 in Sweden, from primitive versions of spatial data visualization to web deployment and integration solutions. collaborative of high competition to this day; just a time when the geospatial potential has grown at ease both in the OpenSource field and privative.

Now that we are part of Bentley, we are confident of achieving the full global potential of Agency9 innovations. - Håkan Engman, CEO ofAgency9.

Agency9 had signed up important implementations in Nordic cities, an area where the Microstation line has been well received; I still have that BeAward from 2004 in Orlando fresh, when the Helsinki Cadastre made its galas in a competition of the Environment Management category. It is also valuable to recognize that listening to users has certainly influenced Bentley to focus on this solution that is implemented in a large number of cities in Sweden, with the ability to integrate photogrammetric data from Bentley ContextCapture.

What products have Agency9?

Talking about products is somewhat limited, considering that these do not always reveal the potential behind a technological concept, in addition that Agency9 served them separately although together they represented the same collection that we now assume Bentley will integrate transversally in the Digital Twin line Services. To give a sample of this, Agency9 has at least four solutions with a lot of potential:

CityPlanner

Based on the cloud, this solution is focused on collaborative planning. It allows to visualize data 2D, 3D and GIS in a three-dimensional environment. Being a web, it hardly occupies a browser to work, even in creation mode.

The CityPlanner smoke has an excessively efficient stream core, because the 3D deployment is extremely fast even if it is massive data. Hence, for issues such as territorial ordering, it has a lot of potential, since it can be seen both layers of complex geometries at a national / regional level, as well as layers of urban parcels with three-dimensional definition.

In some of my posts of thetwitter account I presented it as a Google Earth on vitamins.

The best of the best, the capacity of edition, being able to load models CAD, BIM, XNUMXD, raster or coverages of web services. Some of the functionalities remind us of the contextual actions of the web editor of OpenStreet Map, but with much more features of course, and a valuable practicity, almost -but not so much neither - as if we were playing CityVille. You can work collaboratively, so that based on roles, the team operates in controlled workflows.

3D Maps

This is a tool set with the SDK, for the construction of 3D models, with the facilities of the recently popularized disruptive photogrammetry of texturized model: DSM, Smart3DCapture, StreetFactory, PhotoScan, 360 views, oblique images and services with OGC standards.

The runtime version have the minimum, but with the sdk you can build new 3D-GIS developments, mostly with JavaScript.

DBConnect

This is practically an 3D viewer of spatial data, being able to connect in edition mode to virtual urban environments locally or in the cloud, individually or in batches, with formats such as CityGML, KMZ, Collada or SQL geometries. It usually comes with 3DCityDatabase as the default.

It is interesting that it allows efficient management of complex geometries with textures, with historical versioning. Ideal, for the construction of virtual cities.

DataManager

This is the data manager, which allows the administration of sources in different formats or services. Among these, are:

  • Surface models DSM / DTM: GeoTiff, ASCII files
  • Orthorectified or georeferenced images: Geo-Tiff / JPG / PNG
  • Surfaces with image texture (PhotoMesh): ContextCapture, PhotoScan, SURE, StreetFactory, Rapid3D
  • Point clouds: LAS
  • Geometric topologies: polygons, lines, points as footprints, trees, street furniture, etc.

Regarding services, it supports:

  • Context coverages in OGC WCS standards
  • Map and tile services WMS, TMS, WMTS, Slippy
  • ESRI Image Service
  • And of the most desired, images from DigitalGlobe ImageService
  • Bing
  • Google

With this acquisition, Bentley obtains an impressive potential to materialize its Digital Twins at the level of urban areas, with the CAD and BIM potential required by the trend toward holistic SmartCity type designs.

About the acquisition of Agency9

Bentley has made the announcement of this acquisition, in the Annual Infrastructure Conference, where together with Topcon, Siemens and Microsoft present the Pavillion Alliance trends and award the best projects that have innovated in the field of Geo-engineering.
Its immediate integration will be Bentley ContextCapture, as a digital context to visualize urban infrastructure assets represented in GIS data, terrain models and BIM, structured in the new iTwin ™ cloud services, presented at the conference. Interesting bet, at a time when the two giants ESRI and AutoDesk line up rows as other competitors are doing in virtual environments, with an approach of the GIS-CAD barriers, in the evolution of the BIM.

It will be important that BentleySystems makes an integral adaptation not only of the interface, but also to the i-model, as it has done in an appropriate way with other solutions that it has acquired. This will be a strong challenge, especially with the trend we see; where competing GIS solutions have taken the correct reading of the web trend, despite having had a successful positioning in desktop software, situation in which achieving balance should not be easy, before the user who looks too extended the timeline that It takes to migrate and simplify everything to the new web context.

On behalf of Bentley, Phil Christensen, senior vice president said:

Our users in many cities have been requesting the necessary capabilities of what Agency9 has successfully implemented on all Sweden, to take advantage of its reality modeling programs. In fact, when we combine the photogrammetric capabilities of Bentley ContextCapture -which includes hybrid images obtained by aerial autonomous vehicles - with our technologies of Connected Data Environment (CDE) for the geospatial integration to BIM, makes the Digital Twins at city scale be a efficient cloud service.

The reality and the 'virtuality' of CityPlanner, offers the perfect web solution to allow that the information can mutate and to be preserved of controlled and precise form."

Congratulations for the users of Microstation, who will be able to expect fresh geospatial functionalities integrated to the vertical AECO industries that currently operate on ProjectWise and AssetWise.

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