Maryland Considering Digital Signatures


Maryland Digital Signature

Hey… I just read (i got it almost 3 months ago in the mail…) the quarterly newsletter from the Maryland State Board of Engineers. An article in this newsletter caught my eye simply because every firm and government agency I visit is talking about how to streamline plan delivery and recording of said plans.

Here’s a snippet of the newsletter:

Regulations Allowing Digital Signatures to be Published
For several years, the Board for Professional Engineers has been discussing how to implement the use of digital signatures on engineering documents that are submitted to clients and public authorities for permit purposes. This spring, a set of proposed regulations has been formulated, and the Board intends to have them published in the Maryland Register shortly.The regulations are intended to allow for, but not require, the use of digital signatures by professional engineers. They do so by clarifying the definition the definition of “original signature” in Md. Code Ann., Bus. Occ. And Prof. §14-4A-02(a)(1). If a professional engineer opts to sign and seal documents with digital signature instead of a handwritten one, the digital signature will be acceptable in Maryland as long as it satisfies the following four requirements:

  1. It contains identification unique to a licensee using it, such as the licensee’s name and license number;
  2. It is under the exclusive control of the licensee using it;
  3. It cannot be repudiated and is independently verifiable; and
  4. It is linked to the document in such a manner that the digital signature is invalidated if any data in the document is modified.

After the proposed regulations are published, there will be a comment period for the public to respond, followed by final action to adopt them at the next open meeting of the Board.

The question is more around defining authenticity it seems. We all like to DIGITIZE our signatures for letters and other transmissions. In this case, it seems the Board is looking more for a DIGITAL signature. What’s the difference? Wikipedia says…

digital signature is a mathematical scheme for demonstrating the authenticity of a digital message or document.

What do think, is this a digital signature?

MDpeseal

Me thinks this would meet three of the four requirements mentioned above. The difference is the fourth requirement – invalidating the signature if the file is modified. To get that level of authenticity, we can create our own PKI or self signed certificate. But this can be duplicated by anyone. What may be a solution is for a firm to create a Coporate PKI. Many states already have a requirement that the firm maintain a Certificate of Authenticity to practice Surveying/Engineering in a given state. Interestingly, Maryland is also implementing this requirement in October 2015. They are terming it a FIRM PERMIT.

So, it seems that the onus of authenticity may shift from the individual to the firm in order to manage the digital stamps. What say you community?

Profile Abbreviations broken?


I know everyone is well aware of drawing settings in Civil 3D. And in those settings is a tab for various abbreviations used throughout Civil3D. That dialog box looks like this:

Default Drawing Settings

Default Drawing Settings

If you collapse all of the headings, the very last group is for profile label abbreviations. Yeah, yeah, get to the point.

They don’t work.

See, be careful of what you wish for.  All other properties work in each group except for PROFILE.  Wait a minute… Civil 3D has been out awhile and so has abbreviations. This can’t be right, could it? So here’s the details….

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Automatically Adjust Pipe Labels for Pipe Length


Kevin:

Brian nails this… Always good to see tiny user workflows that pay huge dividends!

Originally posted on Civil 3D Plus:

So you have some short pipes and you have some long pipes. Labeling the long pipes is just fine but when you label the short pipes, the text is longer than the pipe so you have to manually edit the label and put those line breaks in or you have to change the style the label is using for one that stacks the different pieces of data. Well NO MORE! Come on now! This is CIVIL 3D we’re talking about!

As long as you have Civil 3D 2012 that is…

Anyways, in Civil 3D 2012 there is a new option in the label style to set a maximum length to a text component. We can use this to specify how long we want the label to be. Now, the trick here is to use an expression for the maximum label length. We have to do this because the length of…

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Infraworks offerings got you confused?


visual storytelling

For those keeping up with the Autodesk offerings of Infraworks, there are several flavors to choose from. We have the following choices:

  1. Autodesk Infraworks – included in the Infrastructure Design Suite Premium & Ultimate as well as Building Design Suite Ultimate, no direct access to cloud collaboration and tools.
  2. Autodesk Roads and Highways Module – new functionality in the 2014 version of Infraworks
  3. Autodesk Infaworks 360 – subscription benefit for owners of the various Suites mentioned earlier. Added cloud collaboration and tools to Suite version.
  4. Autodesk Infraworks 360 Pro – Rental option for those without the Suite; reduced functions compared to the Suite version
  5. Roadway Design for Infraworks 360 Pro – additional road design functions in the rental version to match the Suite version

Sadly, even with the brevity I used above, I barely keep the various offerings organized in my head. If you have happened to download the subscription update to Infraworks (R2), this added to the confusion with several icons on your desktop.

SNAG-0324

And, only one version would work depending on what you were actually authorized to use.

SNAG-0323

Well, as of tomorrow, Autodesk has thankfully decided to reorganize a bit to help reduce confusion by defining two key points; where are various functions and who has access to those functions.

  1. For those with the various Design Suites
    1. Autodesk Infraworks – included version in the Suite
  2. For those using the Rental option
    1. Autodesk Infraworks 360 – renamed without the PRO label, only way to access cloud based features
    2. Roadway Design for Infraworks 360 – requires 360 license; moved roads and highways functionality from Suite to Rental version
    3. Bridge Design for Infraworks 360 – requires 360 license; NEW functionality added today!

These changes DO NOT affect the software you currently have installed, only new purchases using the updated installer will be affected. So, the additional roads and highways module in the new release will be there for current installations.

Here’s my takeaway:

  • if you don’t collaborate on the infraworks models, then you will be happy with the Suite offerings.
  • If you need to collaborate (use cloud services), chances are good that you are working on transportation projects so the Rental option will be applicable to you.
  • If you need to collaborate or share the model but aren’t doing transportation work, you will still need the Rental version, sorry. There is no current option to include those cloud services in the Suite version of Infraworks.

GIS Data with Google Maps or Infrastructure Map Server


Good morning.  This is just a quick note for those government agencies that publish GIS data. I just discovered that Google has a Public Data program to make the information available to a wider audience. Organizations simply need to fill out a form to apply to the program.

SNAG-0223

I also found out that individuals can create their own maps using the Google Maps Engine Lite.  For me, this will provide a great venue to present my project history. You may have similar needs as an individual. But if you want to create online maps for your business, they also have something called Google Maps for Business. It appears that this service will only let ESRI users connect directly…

SNAG-0224

If you don’t want to pay a subscription, you could setup your own web mapping service with Infrastructure Map Server. With this application, you can publish and share GIS data as well as CAD data with a web-based or mobile browser interface! And Map 3D /  Civil 3D will natively work with this option!

SNAG-0225

Are your gutter calcs incorrect?


SNAG-0197

It has been brought to my attention that folks are seeing different values with a model being analyzed in SSA 2013 versus SSA 2014. Alas, this falls back to an error in the 2013 version that was corrected in the 2014 version. The problem it seems relates to bypass flow and gutter spread for inlets. And I quote….

The curb and gutter inlet calculator and the inlet calculations sometimes produce different results in 2013 than in 2014. In some cases, the gutter width is missing in the spread calculations.

The corrections made now follow normal expectations in the HEC-22 model. So fear not, here is a case for at least moving your hydrology calculations to 2014 if nothing else! 

Service Pack time…


Design features include dynamic model updatesComplementary workflow features for better collaboration

Just your friendly reminder that a service pack for Civil 3D 2014 has been released.  Go get the update here.

In a continuing effort to provide high quality products, Autodesk has released Autodesk® AutoCAD® Civil 3D® 2014 Service Pack 1, which fixes or addresses a variety of issues discovered by Autodesk’s internal testing team and by customers using the Customer Error Reporting Utility.

If you’re wondering what’s in the update, well you’ll need to read the notes. There are lots of little fixes, resolutions and enhancements. So if you’re that firm that waits for the first update, here ya go!

 

{EDIT – For the industrious few, there is a “master” update page that all support references are shown. That link is shown below. It unfortunately does not have an RSS feed. So you will have to check it occasionally or just continue to let us do the heavy lifting!}

www.autodesk.com/supportupdates

 

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