Autodesk meets Google

Application bundles don't normally excite us, but we're interested in a deal now available through General Services Administration Schedule 70 (though if it piques your interest, you need to act soon). Autodesk Inc. of San Rafael, Calif., ( recently integrated several of its mapping programs with Google Earth's geographic information system capabilities. Juliana Slye, director of Autodesk Government, told GCN, 'We're democratizing GIS.'

Called (and this is a mouthful) the Autodesk Government Geospatial Solution with Google Earth Pro, the software bundle is designed to combine the best of Autodesk's precision GIS features with Google's easy interface. For example, Autodesk users can now publish data sets directly to Google Earth or plug Google Earth into their AutoCAD systems. It also means agencies can seamlessly join their internal GIS data with Google's external data in order to add new functionality to their e-government systems.

Stephen Brockwell, an Autodesk solution architect, said the company's developers worked hard to ensure the server component ran on multiple major application platforms: Apache to support open-source PHP; Tomcat to support J2EE; and Microsoft Internet Information Services to support .NET.

The bundle includes Autodesk Map 3D 2007, Raster Design 2007, MapGuide Studio and MapGuide Enterprise 2007 (an integrated development environment) and 10 seats of Google Earth Pro for $8,967. If you'd rather use the MapGuide Open Source IDE, you can get it and five Google Earth Pro licenses for $6,652. Both are available through DLT Solutions' GSA schedule, but Slye tells us the bundle pricing will end Sept. 30. No word yet on what the suite will cost afterwards.

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