The ESRI UC 2010 Plenary was short on jaw-dropping announcements, but solid in message: ArcGIS is a complete system for GIS and you should use it!
The conference boasts its largest attendance ever, per Jack Dangermond, citing visitors from 6000 organizations from 134 countries. The rest of the early plenary included introductions, user submitted maps on the “regular topics” but peppered with newsworthy ones including the oil spill, earthquake and those addressing buzzwords like transparency, crowdsourcing and accountability.
Dangermond gave the Secretary General of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed Ahmed Al Bowardi the “Making a Difference Award.” Dagermond noted not only the Emirate’s use of GIS but also it dedication to serving others - those in Haiti, Africa and Afghanistan. He also acknowledged the U.N. The City of Frisco, TX won the President’s Award for its SAFER, public safety application. It includes 1700 live video cameras to let public safety personnel look inside buildings.
The theme of “opening the work to everyone” reflected geography’s history in exploration and how computational geography (the mathematical revolution) advanced it to new forms of exploration. That new exploration involves exploring current challenges: population, climate change, livable cities, etc. Now that GIS allows us to organize our information, the next step is sharing that information.
That sharing was illustrated by a demo by CitySourced which offers mobile and Web-based reporting of local issues (potholes, graffiti, etc.). Of note for me was one of the demoers comments that analysis was possible (“85% of graffiti reported was within a mile of the freeway”) and how that was new and exciting to the company, one steeped in social media, not geography. Also noteworthy: their use of the term “routing” to mean moving a complain to the correct department, not physically route a vehicle. (I noted CitySourced back in June since you could follow reports via Twitter.)
Dangermond introduced ArcGIS 10 as a complete system and shared some highlights (that were illustrated in the second half by John Caulkins and colleagues). He and Bernie Szukalski showed of the Community Basemaps program sourcing data from professional GIS providers (was once just called Community Maps), ArcGIS.com and ArcGIS Explorer Online.
In the “announcements” category were:
- new global imagery and elevation services and downloadable data coming in 2 months
- Social and Community analyst - akin to Business Analyst - coming
- certification program - coming early next year - will “enhance your reputation and status”
- virtual classroom - online delivery of teacher led classes - already occurring (ESRI blog post)
The second half of the plenary was a rundown of highlights of ArcGIS 10 as the complete system. Scott Morehouse and Clint Brown compare the vision for ArcGIS to how we use music now. That is: it’s everywhere and you access it with whatever device you have at hand (desktop, laptop, tablet, phone, etc.)
We learned about productivity, field user, map automation using Python, the image server extension (massive, fast and accessible data), network analyst with new location/allocation tools, ArcLogistics Online, Business Analyst on iPhone, 3D GIS, time and space awareness.
For our response to this session, check out tomorrow’s podcast!