Thursday, July 28, 2005

GTViewer – More than a Viewer

Names have a funny way of becoming misleading, especially for software. In the beginning, GTViewer was a “Viewing” product and was aptly named. Now, however, GTViewer has grown and evolved beyond just being a viewer to include a variety of other capabilities, yet its name has not change to describe all of its talents. There are 4 different aspects to GTViewer:

Viewing is the foundation of GTViewer and from this aspect all of the others are possible. Viewing entails the graphical display of geospatially related graphics: Streets, buildings, conductors, mains, transformers, valves, terminals, etc. Viewing is in a seamless map environment that is easy to display what you want to see and easy to go where you need to go. Viewing GIS data is more than simply looking at maps; the database information behind the graphics is just as important and is readily available. Intelligent features are “smart” because of this tabular data and without access to it you are really not viewing GIS data.

Redlining goes hand in hand with Viewing; however, Redlining is a distinct aspect of GTViewer. Redlining allows a non-destructive mechanism for marking on top of your GIS data. Redlining includes more than just the basic drawing tools (lines, circles, shapes, text, etc.); more sophisticated tools are also available like dimensioning, symbols, and hyperlinks. Redlining is not just graphical either; you can add tabular data to your drawings and link them to other files such as photos or documents. Redlines also provide an easy method for GTViewer users to share information in a geospatial manner.

Analysis is a step above Viewing. Instead of just looking at the data as it comes from your GIS, GTViewer can help you analyze the data to see what it means. GTViewer provides two very power tools for analyzing data: Thematic Queries and Feature Counting. Thematic Queries allow you to view all features that match a specified criteria. For example, you can show all cast iron main, all wooden poles, all valves from a particular manufacturer, etc. Combined with GTViewer’s fast display and Emphasize mode, patterns in your GIS data become apparent and provide decision making information. Feature Counting allows point and linear features to be counted within a polygon. A polygon can be an existing feature (such as municipal boundary or tax district boundary) or drawn as a Redline. Feature Counting provides both graphical and tabular results to help you make the most of your data.

Applications is the most powerful aspect of GTViewer. With Applications built on top of GTViewer, you are not limited to what GTViewer provides off-the-shelf. Applications can be used for Inspection, Inventory, or other Data Collection. Even more power from your GIS data is liberated by applications that perform complicated tasks like network tracing, such as outage analysis, value isolation, and load computation. Applications can leverage all of GTViewer’s other aspects, Viewing, Redlining, and Analysis, to implement complete Engineering and Design workflows. GTViewer can be the basis of any application that can use your GIS data.

GTViewer is more than just a viewer. It is a powerful Viewing tool, but is has many other aspects that you can exploit. Redlining and Analysis are just the beginning of what GTViewer can do for you while Applications built on top of GTViewer open the door to opens the door to anything you can imagine with GIS data.

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