Esri UC: Mapping Elections, Launching an LBS Startup and Exploiting WAMI

These are some of the interesting stories and products I ran into during a single day at the Esri User Conference.

Mapping Elections on TV

Esri Australia worked with a TV station ABC7 for the 2013 election. With just a few weeks between making an “in kind” agreement, the tech staff whipped up a runtime based app and worked within the challenging TV station parameters (constantly changing plans, no Internet on the set among others, limited knowledge of producers and hosts). Check out a video of the app running on the air.


Here are the lessons learned. Solutions for TV:

  • need to be fit for purpose (in this case including a second screen for users and the whiz bang flash)
  • will complement, not replace, what in Australia they call “the tally room model”
  • may create stories that are used just once as they loose relevance at the broadcast continues
  • can tap geolocated tweets, but in this case only 10% were geolocated; ideally you’d want more

Launching an LBS Startup


PathGeo is a start up spun out of a National Science Foundation funded project to San Diego State University. The basic technology collects information from social media within a geography and then presents it as a solution to a problem. CityBuddy helps visitors find the “hot” events and even ranks them by popularity on social media. Geo-Win collects content about elections. The business model? CityBuddy does not yet have one. Geo-Win ideally would be sold as a service to campaigns to monitor content. I'm not sure PathGeo will fly with a stronger business model, but best of luck!


Exploiting WAMI (and yes the acronym was new to me, too!)


Wide Area Motion Imagery (WAMI) is video imagery that spans about the area of a city at 3-10 images per second. That’s a far larger area of coverage than most video but at a resolution (1 M) and time scale that’s valuable for public safety type issues. Pixia wrote the WAMI specification and provides the tools to manage that large flow of data that’s typically coming from sensors in planes, balloons, drones and the like. Had such data been available during last year’s Boston Marathon bombings, I’m told by a Pixia rep, once the bombs exploded, officials could have followed the video back in time, determined which “dots” put down the backpacks and tracked them back from whence they’d come. Perhaps the bombers would have been identified and found far faster than the week it took. Pixia is excited to be integrating its tools into ArcGIS.

Published Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

Written by Adena Schutzberg

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