A couple of weeks ago I was at the Intergraph conference in Las Vegas, where Ola Rollén, President and CEO of Hexagon AB, presented his vision of where the integration of Intergraph’s technologies with the precision measurement platforms already in the Hexagon family would take them.  This injection of huge volumes of inexpensively acquired, highly precise data into the mature Intergraph geospatial suite of products should open up a set of new application areas to the family of companies. Add in the introduction of GeoMedia 3D, and potentially the raster expertise of Hexagon-owned ERDAS, and I can see the swirl of convergence over Huntsville.

Then upon my arrival home, I received an email from my hip younger sister (the well-known and highly regarded Casual Baker) pointing me to the interactive music video recently released by Canadian band, Arcade Fire. Mapping in a music video? If this was around 25 years ago, even I would have had a shot at being cool in high school.

Just a few days ago I received an email from a potential customer, who was looking to perform true ETL on raw BIM information.  Not really to translate it to another system, but to extract the “business” information from a BIM for transforming and loading into reports. In the email exchange, he mused:
“How complex is BIM… How can you really store every informational data point about every item that goes into a building?  <<insert intentionally long ponderous thought here>> Hmm, how complex would a database need to be if it organized every anatomical and/or physiological  attribute of every living thing on earth and organized the attributes and linked the living things according to a set of rules?

Well, there are several projects to do just that, several which SBRML, SBOXML, MATHXML, and SBML, are all XML derivatives similar to OWL (Web Ontology Language).  I personally find these interesting, considering the amount of time and the number of resources thrown at IFC (XML), since its original 1997 inception.  Is there no synergy, are the data-building-blocks really so different that the structure for the organization and storage of data can’t be reused?????  I guess that is the multi-(x)illion dollar question.”

Sounds like a great project for our R&D group…

And then yesterday, I read that IBM is set to acquire Netezza.  Netezza’s approach to spatial and its implications have been well discussed (thanks Peter), but hosting this in an organization the size and power of IBM would seem to increase the possibilities.

With all this convergence all around us, it would seem our R&D group at Safe is going to have plenty of work in the weeks, months, and years ahead, as we continue to find ways to speed the compounding flow of data in an increasingly connected and converging world.  As is often said in the halls at Safe Software, “It is all coming together”….


Michael Jackson’s Billy Jean Video was really an integration of state of the art 80s raster processing into music – well ahead of its time

About Data BIM Convergence Data Formats Hexagon Intergraph Interoperability Transformation

Dale Lutz

Dale is the co-founder and VP of Development at Safe Software. After starting his career working spatial data (ranging from icebergs to forest stands) for many years, he and other co-founder, Don Murray, realized the need for a data integration platform like FME. His favourite TV show is Star Trek, which inspired the names for most of the meeting rooms and common areas in the Safe Software office. Dale is always looking to learn more about the data industry and FME users. Find him on Twitter to learn more about what his recent discoveries are!

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