2006 April 13

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Editor's Introduction

This week I review the Pharos Traveler GPS 525 and report on the implementation of Bentley’s ProjectWise by the Port Authority of Genoa, Italy. Because I am travelling, this issue does not include my usual round up of news from press releases.


Review of the Pharos Traveler GPS 525

The market for hand-held GPS-based navigation devices is exploding, a headline in an Italian newspaper announced a few days ago — followed by a subhead pointing out that digital maps are multiplying too. No longer limited to luxury vehicles, these devices are now increasingly factory-installed in mid-range cars and even on motorcycles. From conversations with people in various Italian cities, including employees of electronics stores, I am convinced that Italian consumers are well on their way to overtaking U.S. consumers in incorporating GPS receivers into their daily lives. After all, Italy has been for many years the country with by far the highest number of cell phones per capita.

While the abbreviation GPS is commonly used here and, for now, GPS is the only satellite navigation system in use, the expression "satellite navigator" is more common. It is also more appropriate, in the long, because of the advent of Galileo, Europe's counterpart to GPS, and the revival of GLONASS, the Russian system. Already many devices on the market feature more than 12 channels; this can only mean that they are intended for use with multiple sat-nav systems, because it is impossible to receive signals from more than 12 GPS satellites from any one spot on Earth. …Read more …

Genoa's Port Authority Implements Bentley's ProjectWise

Last week I met in Genoa, Italy, with Giuliano Ferretti, information systems manager, and Fiorella Rebuffa, CAD manager, both members of the technical staff of the city's Port Authority ("Autorita` Portuale di Genova"), Andrea Marilone, a GIS consultant, and Laura Roveda, a sales manager for Bentley Systems Italia S.r.l.. Twenty years ago the Port Authority (PA) had a staff of about 3,500 that operated what is one of the largest and busiest harbors in the world, about 15 kilometers (9.4 miles) long. That ended in 1994, when all operations were privatized. Now the PA staff, down to only 200, supervises about 800 30- or 50-year concessions to private companies that handle such operations as loading and unloading cargo. The PA is also responsible for land use planning within its territory and for building and modifying large structures, such as new piers, funded by the European Union, the national government, or income from the concessions.

The meeting was arranged by Roveda because the PA — a long time Bentley client, having used MicrStation since 1998 —recently signed a new contract with Bentley to implement ProjectWise, starting in early May. It was very interesting to not only hear about the project's history and requirements, but also the staff's expectations for it. …Read more …

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