Geo Week News

January 30, 2013

Bentley drops new Pointools, free add-ons


EXTON, Pa. – Bentley Systems today announced the immediate availability of the Bentley Pointools V8i application and two new free “iWare” apps: Bentley Pointools View, for point-cloud data visualization and sharing, and Bentley Pointools PODcreator, for converting laser scans to the POD file format. In total, the company said, “these offerings provide powerful, intuitive, and seamless preprocessing of point clouds for distribution, facilitating information mobility across the entire infrastructure lifecycle.”

This is the first new Pointools release since Bentley purchased Pointools in the fall of 2011.

New Bentley Pointools V8i features include point-cloud differencing and clash detection functionality that makes differences and clashes “easy to detect and visualize,” the company said. This same capability will also soon be available through a Clash Resolution Visa for Bentley’s information modeling, review, and analysis applications, including MicroStation and Bentley Navigator.

Pointools is a favored tool for point cloud visualization and many of the fly throughs you’ll find on YouTube and elsewhere were created with Pointools.

Jiri Blazek, co-founder of the Czech Republic-based BW Precision Systems, endorsed the product, saying, “Using Bentley’s Pointools we can work with huge point clouds without loss of software performance or data quality. We can work in a number of CAD environments and can create high-resolution orthographic point-cloud images and high-quality videos for presentation purposes. That’s why Pointools has become an integral and essential part of our scan data processing workflow.”

Bruno Van Bastelaere, co-owner of Belgium-based Teccon, similarly said in a statement, “The speed at which Bentley’s Pointools is able to render these huge point clouds is amazing. In fact, we sometimes find ourselves panning through a new data set just for the fun of it! Before, good point-cloud software was expensive and limited in the number of points we could handle – a maximum of 50 million on a workstation. Using the free Bentley Pointools View, we can load and visualize a billion plus points on a standard laptop. This has unlocked the potential of laser scanners for us and for our clients, and we are proud to act as resellers for this industry-leading software.”

The freely offered Bentley Pointools View iWare app enables the visualization of point-cloud models with billions of points, annotations, and distance measurements, and the production of orthographic and perspective images. This “facilitates the sharing of rich point-cloud data with all project stakeholders and makes this process more cost effective,” according to Bentley.

The also-free Bentley Pointools PODcreator iWare app facilitates the batch processing and conversion of a range of laser scan formats to the Pointools POD file format. This enables the one-time creation of POD models for distribution and reuse, reducing the time required for data conversion.

Faraz Ravi, Bentley director, product management, and founder of Pointools, said in a statement, “With the release of Bentley Pointools V8i, infrastructure professionals and owner-operators gain substantial new value that comes from the increased mobility of point-cloud data throughout the infrastructure lifecycle. Moreover, existing Pointools Edit and Pointools Suite users can benefit from this added value by upgrading to Bentley Pointools V8i through our SELECT subscription program, which includes maintenance and technical support. This immediately gives them access, at no additional product cost, to the differencing and clash detection functionality supported by this release, as well as all the innovative features coming in future releases of Bentley Pointools.”


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