Site Investigation News October 2010

Please note that the following news item is an archived article. Therefore any links and information may now be out of date.


Hello and welcome to the October edition of Site Investigation News – the monthly newsletter of Keynetix Ltd.

My first task this month is to urge you to sign up for your nearest User Group Meeting (UGM), if you haven’t already done so. The UGM’s are free to all of our customers (with current, valid Maintenance Agreements) and are designed specifically to inform you of the latest developments within the geotechnical market-place, such as AGS4 as well as offering advice and tips on getting the most from your software. Places are limited so your early registration will be much appreciated.

The UGMs also offer you the chance to network with your peers, compare notes and enjoy a good lunch at some excellent venues. The venues and dates are listed below along with a hyperlink which will take you directly to the registration page.

Southern UGM: Tuesday 30th November: The Watermill Hotel, Hemel Hempstead

Midlands UGM: Thursday 2nd December: Warwick Castle

Northern UGM: Tuesday 7th December: Crown Hotel, Boroughbridge

Register here for the Keynetix User Group Meetings 2010

Thanks to those of you who have already registered and I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the UGMs.

We have been taking full advantage of the conference season in recent weeks. Chris Bray spoke on the benefits of Open Source Software when combined with OS OpenData at the prestigious AGI GeoCommunity Conference at the end of September. This event was remarkably well attended given the economic climate (by my estimate there were at least 400 delegates) and it was great to see the commitment and engagement of speakers and delegates alike.

Chris Bray: 

Speaking at AGI 2010

Gary Morin also put his head above the parapet at GeoCommunity, taking on the challenge of a 5 minute soapbox “georant” at the AGI fringe on the subject of ‘Don’t leave your CAD users out in the cold’. Gary’s rant was one of ten and he was lucky/unlucky enough to be drawn to speak first!

Gary Morin:

Geo-Ranting at AGI 2010!

Gary got the rants off to a flying start, making some strong points and getting plenty of laughs along the way. The georants are really tough as you only get 5 minutes to deliver 15 slides, all of which are timed to move on after 20 seconds. Add to this copious amounts of free beer for the couple of hundred attendees and active encouragement to heckle and you get a really boisterous atmosphere.

Still on the conference theme, I visited the annual  Brownfield Briefing Risk and Remediation Conference recently which was another very strong event. Despite looming cuts the tone at the event was upbeat and convinced me that opportunity is still out there if you talk with your peers and offer a service that gives real value for money. So with that in mind, please come and see us at the UGMs in a few weeks time!

Fionn Wardrop
Editor – Site Investigation News
01527 68888


Keynetix Releases First Product to Support AGS 4

Keynetix is delighted to announce the release of an upgrade to KeyAGS, which now supports the brand new AGS 4 data format. “We are very pleased to able to announce the first product anywhere in the world that is AGS 4 compatible” says Dr Roger Chandler, Technical Director at Keynetix. “The AGS data transfer format has transformed the way the SI industry has viewed data in many countries and we continue to be very strong supporters.”

The KeyAGS upgrade includes an AGS 4 data checker, routines to allow the easy importing of AGS 4 data into Microsoft Excel and sophisticated export routines to allow users to create AGS data from new and historical Excel spreadsheets.

The new version of KeyAGS is available in two versions:

The KeyAGS Free Version includes full capabilities to check and import AGS data into Excel as well as some limited exporting capabilities. “KeyAGS Free Version will allow everyone to explore the possibilities of AGS 4 data and the new format rules without delay or charge.” said Dr Chandler “Users can download, install and start to work with AGS 4 data within a few minutes.”

The KeyAGS Professional Version includes all the capabilities of the KeyAGS Free Version together with a comprehensive list of features to export AGS data from spreadsheets and fix errors present in existing AGS data files. Creating a new data format is like the Chicken and Egg problem. It is difficult to review and comment on the capabilities of the format until a company provides software that allows users to do something with it. The timely arrival of KeyAGS provides this opportunity.

“We hope that the early introduction of this software will help the industry provide feedback to the AGS Committee on the new functions of AGS 4. We have a whole host of additional functionality that we are working on for KeyAGS and our other AGS compatible products (which include HoleBASE, KeyLAB, Pocket SI and KeyLogbook) and any feedback we get will help us to make these features even better and in turn assist the AGS at their forthcoming Data Management Committee meeting” said Dr Chandler.

The upgrade includes all the AGS 3 and AGS 3.1 capabilities and can be downloaded from Users who have already purchased KeyAGS and have a maintenance agreement with Keynetix are able to upgrade free of charge to the KeyAGS Professional Version via their Keynetix website account.

KeyCSM Version 2 is now available

We are pleased to announce the release of KeyCSM version 2, our Conceptual Site Modelling program that we produce in association with Paul and Judith Nathanail at LQM.

This is a major new release and contains 15 new major features and speed increases. The top 10 new features are listed below to whet your appetite.
1. Isometric Model assistant
2. Source and receptor guidelines on section diagrams
3. Linking objects via a Network diagram
4. A Data Manager to allow you to quickly add sources, pathways and receptors.
5. Default label settings
6. Improved Report generation
7. Improved options for allowing your project data to be included in your main report
8. Importing Shape (SHP) files
9. Compatible with 64 bit operating systems.
10. Concurrent Licence available
The program is now available licenced to a machine, licenced to a dongle, or on our Network Floating Licence Manager.  If you are a current user of KeyCSM and wish to upgrade to one of the new methods of licencing then please contact us for more information.
The new build of KeyCSM is free to users with a valid maintenance agreement and can be downloaded from our website.

Are there no limits to the abuse of Excel?
Following on from my “Sand and Data” article last month I was contacted by an excited user who is currently facing the task of extracting borehole data out of Excel spreadsheets and into HoleBASE via AGS.  Their excitement had been triggered by the article’s promise of no longer having to cut and paste from these spreadsheets into their KeyAGS template  – however as it turned out their excitement was a little premature…
After a couple of email exchanges I was sent an example of their data. To my surprise (or should that read horror?) I had been sent beautiful borehole logs done in Excel.  The logs were a work-of-art, the rows had be made small enough to be equal to 0.25 m and the hatching patterns were done by hand using the lines and circle drawing options in Excel.   To the eye they looked impressive but to a datahead they looked insane.  Someone had spent hours putting the data into these logs and someone else was going to have to spend hours getting it out again!
This story has a happy ending…  The user now has a way to extract the data automatically using a tool we have provided for them and this tool has saved around 2.5 man weeks of time on this one project alone.
Having successfully accomplished this task I am ready for the next one!  Do you have a Data Nightmare you wish to challenge me with?  If so please let me know and I’ll do my best to generate the same level of time saving as this customer gained.  Go on – I like a challenge!

Roger ChandlerDirector
01527 68888



Keynetix Training Course Schedule

Places are now available on our training courses dated well into 2011. Check out our training pages for more information.

At a time of reduced budgets and lower than usual staffing levels, professional training can rarely have been more important. If your team can offer a broader range of skills or process the work that you have faster, and with greater accuracy, then your business will be that much stronger.

It doesn’t need to cost much to make a great investment, so why not take a look at our range of professional training courses below?Training Dates:

3rd November
AutoCAD Architecture: Essentials (3 Days)

16th November
AutoCAD Part 1: Essentials (3 Days)

24th November
AutoCAD: Advanced Interactive Workshop

11th January 2011
GO DM1: SI Reporting using the Geotechnical Office

12th January 2011
GO DM2: Customising the Geotechnical Office

KeyLogbook goes on tour in Ireland!

The Drilling Academy™ are taking KeyLogbook on a tour of Ireland from Monday 15th November 2010 to Friday 19th November 2010.

Interest in the revolutionary digital driller’s log, which is developed in partnership with Keynetix Ltd, has been phenomenal since the official launch in September. The team are very encouraged by the interest shown already and have received very positive feedback from early users of the rugged solution. The tour will include visits to the majority of the specialist geotechnical contractors across Ireland and a KeyLogbook Demonstration Day on 15th November 2010.

The demonstration day will be held at the National Materials Testing Laboratory in Tullow, Co. Carlow and is open to all consultants, contractors and clients. KeyLogbook is unique in that it provides benefits for all parties involved throughout the whole project life by capturing vital data at source and then providing the mechanism to create and send quality controlled digital data on the data journey.

If you would like to attend the Demonstration Day or learn more about KeyLogbook and its benefits then please contact The Drilling Academy™ on  01295 670990  or email:

Want to learn more about AutoCAD Map?

Keynetix offer a variety of services to help you expand your expertise.  For those who are new to Map and simply need some worked examples of how to get started take a look our free AutoCAD Map training website

For those who want to get a bit more hands on and explore Map in a more formal manner consider coming along to one of our formal classes.

Don’t forget – all new purchases are currently offered with a £50 discount voucher, redeemable against any of the courses held by Keynetix at Systems House.

As AutoCAD upgrades fall under this offer, you can complement your investment with knowledge to maximise the benefit at a very reasonable rate.

Where to see us in the next few weeks…
Gary Morin will be presenting at the AUGI Geospatial User Group Meeting on the 16th Nov at Autodesk HQ in Farnham.This user group meeting organised jointly by AUGIuk (Autodesk User Group International) and
Autodesk explains the latest in Geospatial products, tools, tips and tricks while inviting the attendees to share their ideas and experiences.Gary’s talk is entitled ‘Using and deploying FDO with AutoZoom Pro’.Feature Data Objects (FDO) is a very powerful tool within AutoCAD Map, AutoCAD Civil and
MapGuide. FDO gives fast access to a wide range of data including Opendata. This presentation
will look at how FDO can be used, some of its pitfalls and how tools like AutoZoom Pro makes
using and deploying FDO easy for all CAD users.
Coming in the November Edition of SI News

An update on the 2010 User Group Meetings.

News of our training schedule for 2011.





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