What Is Topobase? – Part 1

Maybe you have seen this article before:

Google Interview Questions that Were at One Time Used by Microsoft and Might Not Really Even be Used at Google

It’s as the internet hive mind would say, old (around 7 million hits since last year), but if you have not seen it, the questions are quite fun.  This Link will take you to my favorite one that I’ve been pondering for the last year.

How do you explain a database in three sentences to your eight-year-old nephew?

A database is a computer system that lets many people store, manipulate, and read information.  The most common type of database is a relational database where data is stored in tables that are linked together.  This provides a quick and logical way to access the information, much like how Toys-R-Us organizes their toy sections.

How do you explain GIS in three sentences to your eight-year old nephew?

If you understand what a database is, then you understand GIS.  GIS, geographic information systems are databases that also store geographic drawing information.  Google Maps is an example of a GIS system, with locations on a map related to restaurants, hotels, and the route that will take you from your hotel to the restaurant..

Recently, a lot of us at CAD Masters have been working with Topobase and other GIS systems.  Most people that have never worked with Topobase have almost no clue what it is or does, leading to the next question…

How do you explain Topobase in three sentences to your eight-year old nephew?

If you understand what GIS is, then you understand Topobase.  Topobase is Autodesk’s complete GIS solution that runs on Oracle RDBMS (relational database management system) for data storage and lets you read the data using AutoCAD or a web browser.  It is infinitely customizable, like having a gazillion pieces of wooden train track to play with.

So, as you can guess, I do not have any eight-year old nephews.  They’ve all outgrown that age and if they were that age, they’d probably be bored before I even finished my second sentence.  That’s okay though since I’m not applying at Google and you’re not an eight-year old nephew.

Since you’re not an eight-ear old nephew, this question will probably interest you too…

How do you explain what BIM is in three sentences to your eight-year old nephew?

I’ll leave that to you or one of my coworkers to answer…


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