Dangermond Opens 23rd ESRI User Conference in San Diego

By Joe Francica

Jack Dangermond opened the ESRI International User Conference with a copious display of end-user applications from business to biodiversity. Striking in their multiplicity, it was a demonstration of just how extensive the network of ESRI customers is.Dangermond's focus during the keynote was centered on GIS as an instrument of managing an "increasingly human-affected world." Always the environmentalist, Dangermond espoused the benefits of using GIS to educate a larger body of people to effect public policy as well as to institute best practices in business and government.

One avenue to facilitate this vision is web services."I like web services a lot," said Dangermond, and just to illustrate this is ESRI's participation in the Geospatial One Stop (GOS), a portal for collected, visualizing and analyzing data and "one of 24 e-government initiatives sponsored by the Federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB)."

Dangermond said that he sees web services "as a platform for sharing our knowledge" and that "GIS professionals will serve the world by working on your own 'patchwork' of the world."

He also provided details about the future for ArcGIS by announcing that ArcGIS 9.0 will be in beta next week, known more popularly as the "ArcInfo Release." With the 9.0 release, the functionality that many users had come to rely upon in ArcInfo will now, finally, be brought within the ArcGIS suite.Some of the additions of 9.0 that Dangermond highlighted are an improvement in performance for ArcSDE and the introduction of ArcGIS Server, a developer-focused product for implementing enterprise GIS.ArcGIS Server will focus on data management and services and support a centralization of GIS processing through thin clients.Dangermond believes that this will aid in bring GIS more into the "mainstream."

In addition, Dangermond announced a few details on ArcGIS 9.1, an extension of the ArcGIS architecture that will more completely embrace:

1.Network analysis
2.Database cartography - moving to the storage of cartographic layers in the database and a way to persist linkages to the cartographic base

Dangermond made particular mention of the need for a closer relationship with professional surveyors.Survey Analyst is a product for managing survey data and developed in conjunction with Leica Geosystems.In addition, ArcGIS Engine comprised of a full compliment of ArcObjects will enable "cross-platform" development of applications in either Windows, .NET, Java or Linux environments.

Mr.Dangermond concluded his remarks by saying that community geography "is my life," emphasizing his passion for just how useful he believes the technology can be and already is to both business and government but also how a sharing of data and knowledge will facilitate best practices for improving the quality of life in an increasingly "human-affected" world.

Published Tuesday, July 8th, 2003

Written by Joe Francica

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