Wrap Up Synergis University 2012

Last Wednesday, May 30th, was my first experience with Synergis University.  I am now employed by Synergis and this event is their effort to provide a close to home, low cost alternative to Autodesk University.  For a measly $75 (on subscription with Synergis, otherwise the cost jumped to a whopping $175), you got the whole day of classes as well as breakfast and lunch.  As many of you know, the cost of AU is about ~$1500 not to mention what you might loose at various establishments around Vegas… In this case for SU, the venue was the Sands Hotel and Casino in Bethlehem, PA. So even if you still needed your fix for risk and chance, that was covered!

About the sessions… There was a mixture of Autodesk and Synergis folks there to provide the technical support for the attendees.  Lynn Allen started the day with a session entitled, “The Future of Design.”  Sadly, I did not get a chance to attend her session. I heard that she talked about clouds and suites…  After that, there were five basic tracks to follow; either AutoCAD, Manufacturing, Building, Data Management (Synergis not only supports Vault but has their own custom solution called Adept), or Civil Engineering.

The CE track had four sessions;

  • Infrastructure Design Suite and Infrastructure Modeler presented by Tanya West of Autodesk fame,
  • Vault for AEC presented by David Wyer of Synergis, and
  • Civil 3D – Planning and Analysis, which was my class at the end of the day…

Overall it was a good day.  Lots of contact with folks who have relationships with Synergis, putting faces to names.  That was the good part. The bad part, I actually had the BSOD to start my session. Really.  I’m going to blame it on the projector and the WMS data over the Hotel’s Wi-Fi network.  🙂 One of the cool aspects was showing everyone the PASDA LiDAR data that was collected between 2006 and 2008.

The data was collected from the western portion of the state and moving to the east. According to the PA Dept of Conservation and Natural Resources, the data was collected with a 2 m maximum spacing and with a bare earth vertical spacing of 18.5 cm and broken into 10,000 foot square grids. The data collected was processed and is available to the public. It’s broken into 4 types of “products”; the LiDAR piont cloud, a 1 m DEM, 2 ft contours, and 3d breaklines. The contours and breaklines come in a shapefile format.

Enough… the coolest aspect about the point cloud data is that each point has been classified as either;

  • Class 1 (Default) – These are the points that are a mixture of the remaining points after the ground classification. These would contain bridges, overpasses, buildings, cars, parts of vegetation, etc.
  • Class 2 (Ground) – These are points on the bare earth surface. They are from the automated processing, as well as the manual surface review.
  • Class 8 (Model Key) – These are the educated, thinned points to represent the final bare earth surface. This is from our automated processing. These are the points that we have used to generate the final contours.
  • Class 9 (Water) – These are points inside of hydrographic features, as collected by photogrammetric methods. These are from automated processing, as well as the manual surface review.
  • Class 12 (Non-Ground) – These are points that are identified as first of many return or intermediate of many returns from the LIDAR pulse. These are points that are most likely vegetation returns or points identified to be not on the ground surface.
  • Class 15 (Road Edges) – These are the points that fall within +/- 1.5′ of road break lines.

Surfaces can be created pretty quickly from this data and conceptual land planning, floodplain review, etc. can begin almost immediately during the early stages of a project!


About Kevin
Hi… I am a husband, father, brother and neighbor. I am employed as a Civil Engineer and have enjoyed playing the drums for the last 30+ years.

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