Sharing Digital Data
A number of applications allow landscape architects to send
and receive large digital files.
By James L. Sipes, ASLA
It is a common scenario—you are hard at work trying to meet
a deadline on a project and you get a call from a client telling you that he or
she desperately needs information for a big meeting. And of course the client
needs it ASAP, which is supposed to mean As Soon As Possible, but in the design
world it seems to mean Right Now! Patience is supposed to be a virtue, but that
does not seem to be the case in the design world, especially when it comes to
sharing digital information.
When we hit send on an e-mail, we expect it to be zapped
across the country in the blink of an eye. This works great for simple messages
and text documents, but it is not a viable option for many of the large files
that landscape architects produce. CAD, GIS, building information modeling, and
raster imagery applications all produce large files, in large part because they
use high-resolution aerial images, detailed terrain models, and increased
detail in vector-based drawings. Microsoft PowerPoint is still the program of
choice for putting together presentations, and files can be massive in size. I
have a tendency to create presentations with lots of slides and lots of
graphics, so the files often exceed 50 megabytes in size.
How, then, do we share large CAD, GIS, and other files in a
way that is fast, simple, secure, and affordable? One option is to burn a CD or
load files on a portable drive, then send the files via traditional mail or an
overnight delivery service. But no self-respecting design professional would
make a client or colleague wait three or four days to receive information by
“snail mail.” FedEx is always an option, although it is expensive. Why pay $15
or more to send a CD when you can send the same digital file in a fraction of
the time for free?
…To read the entire article, subscribe
New | LAND | Annual
Product Profiles & Directory