Update 3: Wed Morning Plenary #FedUC

The FGDB API was announced yesterday. Details.

—- update 1/20/11——

Bill Dollins reports (via twitter): @billdollins “FGDB API due for public beta today-ish.” I didn’t get that response when I asked on the show floor yesterday, but I feel vindicated that I heard Dangermond say it yesterday!

—- update 1/19/11 8 pm.——

Update: Dangermond’s keynote video online.

—- original post 1/19/11 12:00 PM EST—-

Alas, Jack Dangermond started out with bad news: Anneesh Chopra, CTO got called away to the White House. He was going to speak. Dangermond suggested he may be able to come back later in the week. (I for one was disappointed!)

That did not stop Dangermond from jumping right into his vision.

A Vision

Dangemond described that the attendees are about scaling GIS up, to a national level to address the challenges we face. He asks “Can we [I presume Esri + community] build a platform that supports G to G but also citizens? There’s about $1 billion of mission focused tech in the federal government but it’s not leveraged very much.

China already has an implementation of a national GIS. So does Abu Dhabi. Planning for other implementations goes on in many areas including Australia, Europe and others. Can we do create such a thing in the U.S.? Many forces are evolving to help it happen: cloud computing, measuring things that move (via sensors), software is evolving to the Web and is more friendly, science is building new models of networks, open data policies are spreading (not just data but services). And, GIS users can citizens (crowdsourcing) are working together to integrate data and ideas.

Dangermond says such a platform is not just possible but inevitable. Professionals will build the services. It will be based on the clouds and sharing. It will be based on easy to use technology.

Esri’s Work

ArcGIS is an evolving platform. Patterns:

(old ones)
Desktop - ad hoc work on a single desktop, like Microsoft
Server - workgroup and enterprise where apps are served, like Oracle
Federated - multiple servers are connected, plug SAP and CRM together, like IBM
Cloud/Web - use things in the cloud pervasively, like Yahoo, Google, Microsoft
Device - personal portable tools, like Apple

ArcGIS 10 was to bring all those patterns together in a single ecosystem. “You are buying into an ecosystem.” It’s richer than accessing it via any one client and allows storage of content locally, at the enterprise level, or in the cloud. “It’s [ArcGIS is] open. There are open APIs to it.”

Esri didn’t get it all done in 10; more of it is coming in 10.1. “Intelligent Web Maps” tap into data source and are sharable. This is the vision for the user experience. (This is not Web GIS.) These are well designed maps. We’ve reinvented Web cartography based on the services behind them. “One map” concept. Maps should be able to go anywhere (like photos on an iPhone) onto any platform/device. And, I can sketch on top of it and share that sketch.

Announcement: 50 million sq km (corrected from miles) of GeoEye imagery coming as a service. (Added: That’s 5x the size of the U.S.)
Announcement: Landsat service coming.

ArcGIS in the cloud. One hundred plus (federal?) user organizations have used the cloud implementation since it was announced last year.

ArcGIS Online has really been here 5 months; it’s now serving 10-15 million maps per day. (Google does a billion a day.) But this is different; it’s authoritative data.

Announcement: NGS global basemap service coming.

ArcGIS Online

Bernie Szukalski describes ArcGIS Online as an open community based portal integrated with Esri’s and other datasets. The basemaps are all free, though some of the data is licensed.

ArcGIS.com has ArcGIS Online baked in. There are datasets and apps there. Szukalski showed how to search the gallery and how to make a map. Why is Esri so often demoing this? It’s clearly where it wants users to go. And, clearly there’s a lot of inertia in the geospatial community, perhaps more in the federal community, to such change. Thus, the argument for using ArcGIS.com/ArcGIS Online must be made regularly. Further, unlike a move to the cloud, these resources can be used by individuals within government (and elsewhere). So, the goal seems to be to convince individuals to explore and use these tools.

Announcement: The ArcGIS Portal is a local implementation of ArcGIS Online.

Coming in ArcGIS Online:

1. World does not stop at the date line.
2. Temporal slider.
3. Support for WMS, KML and CSV.

Coming in ArcGIS Explorer Online

1. New sketching tools, symbols.
2. Titles

Announcement: GovMaps.org - a view of ArcGIS Online with nationwide datasets.
Announcement: Open API for file geodatabase.
Announcement: Community Analyst now in beta.

Preview of ArcGIS 10.1

“Simplifies and strengthens the platform.” Internal beta is in a few weeks.

1. Simplifies geographic knowledge sharing - easier sharing of the six knowledge elements.
2. For example an analysis can share content as a map package (with all of its metadata, symbology, workflow, etc.), save the package on a local server, Esri’s ArcGIS Online, or in the cloud), and then *automatically* turn it into a map service.
For example, you can sharing analysis, that is models. You can find and use a workflow, for example for hotspot crime analysis. 3. You can apply it to your own data and even update the model. You can turn a model into a geoprocessing service (as easily as above) and have others use it. You can even tap into data from Community Analyst data to better understand the crime patterns.

User requests Esri’s has been working on for ArcGIS 10.1:

- Better support for KML
- More integration with DBMSs, especially on the Web
- More integration with LiDAR (mosaics coming, along the lines of Image Analyst)
- Integration of CAD - direct editing of geodatabase from the CAD client

Lightweight runtime for a thumb drive, that supports local data and from the Web, WIndows and Linux, 64-bit. Advantages: No install required. Data included, along with symbology and analysis.Uses existing models. In Damian Spangrud showed using such an app on a thumb drive that determined where a lost hiker might be. Next step after CGMTK.

Also noted:

- Better tech support
- Online instructor-led classes (tripling use of these)
- New certification program
- GeoMentoring
- NGO Program (free software for NGOs and those who support them)

Morning Keynote

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator William Craig Fugate gave the keynote.

FEMA is:
Changing how we use GIS - from printing maps to producing data feeds that all can use

FEMA should:
Use basemaps others are making and we, across the federal family and produced the dynamic data

FEMA did:
Take advantage of the standing cell network in Haiti to get information, even from people who didn’t know where they were. Took advantage of others on the ground and elsewhere.

FEMA sees:
The public is putting out better situational awareness than we can. The need to tap into social networking. (Haiti’s “up” network convinced FEMA this was possible. Before then, the sense was there’d be no communication nets up.)

FEMA acknowledges:
Crowdsourcing is faster at correcting itself. “Bad information gets swamped and drowned.”

FEMA needs to get beyond:
The government-centric data system. “We have to adapt to what the public’s doing,” that is, to use social media. The government-centric data system “will fail” in a big disaster.

FEMA needs:
a GIO. (Really, he is looking to hire one.)

Fugate’s colleagues showed off FEMA’s S.A.V.E.R. platform: Situational Awareness Viewer for Emergency Response
Big Idea: The fact that people can see their reports on the map is a big factor in having people participate.

Fugate sums up:
Data should be open.
Two way communication.
Don’t force people to your way of doing things.
The public is a resource.

Published Friday, January 21st, 2011

Written by Adena Schutzberg