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.


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…


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!


Washing Sketchup 3D models

Washing Sketchup 3D Models - 1

Ron Couillard over at CADsoft Consulting has 2 great posts here and here on doing laundry.  I mean using Civil 3D as a way to wash the 3D models in the Trimble 3D warehouse (previously known as the sketchup warehouse) so they can be used in Infrastructure Modeler. Pick you favorite model and drop it in AIM, or whatever we’re calling it now.  🙂

Or I should say Infraworks for the 2014 version. Man, can somebody just buy everything once so I can keep track of all these things? I’m not getting any younger….  🙂Washing Sketchup 3D Models

Hacking PDF into Nook Color


Just a quick tidbit about getting things done. As part of my current job, I have to lug around several reference books for training and consulting. I also carry a Nook Color for personal reading purposes and thought…

“Wouldn’t be great to get all these heavy books out of my bag and into the Nook?”

Well, for the most part it’s pretty simple to move documents between my computer and the tablet using the USB charger. What is often the problem is the format. ePub files tend to be oriented for text documents.


But if you need images, PDF files seem to be the friendliest so far. The same page in ePub above is shown in PDF below.

PDF Letter

But as you can see, while PDF documents look a better, they are generally formatted for letter sized paper and still don’t look so good on small tablets. You can pan and zoom on a page, but sometimes that’s a bit more trouble then its worth.

So what’s the issue? Ownership I suppose. Some are published by myself and others are not.  If you have any chance to control the output, then read on…. Read more of this post

AutoCAD Fundamentals for Civil Engineers – Part 325

As Civil Engineers, we often dive pretty heavy into the tools we use. For me, one of those tools is Civil 3D of course. What, with all of its styles and settings, tabs, external databases and such, sometimes I forget about the underlying nuances of both AutoCAD and Map that live within Civil 3D. That brings us to our next AutoCAD tidbit.

Of note today is something I noticed probably 3 releases ago but quickly pushed it to the side; coordinate entry troubles. For whatever reason, entering coordinates with DYNAMIC INPUT toggled on would give me incorrect results. While I would get the right answer with it toggled off. So, given the finicky nature of Dynamic Input with Civil 3D functions, that was a no brainer to toggle off.


I figured I wasn’t reading the prompts correctly. I certainly wasn’t being patient enough to find out what was happening. Until now….

Read more of this post

Vault Apps for Free!

A quick note for everyone. First, if you are unaware, Autodesk has something called Autodesk Exchange Apps; very similar to the Google Play store or iTunes store.  The major difference, of course,  is that the apps in this store all relate to Autodesk applications.

The cool part is that there are apps for the products we use daily.

  • AutoCAD
  • AutoCAD Civil 3D
  • Autodesk Vault

So check it out. Today, I would like to highlight two specific apps for Vault. There are many more listed in the store.  The point here is that it seems  the more transparent we can make data management, the better the user experience will be. Read more of this post

Twitter profile picture

Now, this is just completely random.  While browsing my twitter feed the other day, I realized most people might not know what my profile picture represents.


At that resolution, it kind of looks like a poorly drawn happy face. I can tell you that it is not a happy face on purpose. Read more of this post

How to do anything well

I’m working on a post that is taking more time than I want and should be an opinion piece in the local paper, but I digress.  Through doing that and other things that interest me, I’ve been reading a book entitled, “Writing Better Lyrics.” And there, in chapter one is probably the best advise for doing anything well – and that advise is written like this; TEN and ONLY TEN minutes.

Read more of this post

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