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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

 Inspiring What’s Next at Esri User Conference 2018

July 13th, 2018 by Susan Smith

President and CEO of Esri, Jack Dangermond, was proud to point out at his Plenary at the Esri User Conference this year, this is the 38th conference, and the purpose of the conference is the same as it was 38 years ago: to be together, share knowledge and have fun.

There is always a vision for the conference and the company going forward: this year it is “Inspiring What’s Next.”

“What’s next for our planet and in turn what does that mean for you personally, and organization family?” asks Dangermond of the audience.

He spoke of how the issues of the day: overpopulation, climate change, affects on drought, loss of biodiversity, increase in urbanization are all changing our world and how the human footprint on the natural world is impacting the world exponentially.

He spoke about accelerating the abilities that we currently have in GIS: managing and applying geospatial information and solving problems, to keep moving and learning toward a more sustainable world.

“The science of where provides us with a framework to better analyze our world,” says Dangermond. “We can collect and analyze data this way. It’s the driver to make better decisions.”

The application of geography is through GIS, mapping, and location intelligence.

Dangermond called the geoscience-based foundation for our future, “Societal GIS.”

The vehicle for all this in the Esri world is ArcGIS technology.

For those not readily familiar with ArcGIS, ArcGIS is a comprehensive geospatial platform, open and completely web services based, and it’s also for individuals, teams, workgroups, organization, and it’s involving and spreading to communities.

ArcGIS supports two kinds of communities – traditional GIS and the emerging world of mapping and location analytics. It embodies the ability to organize, manage and store all types of data, and it does this by organizing all models you create and people. It can organize geographical knowledge across the organization. It organizes all types of measurements – image data, lidar data, measurement data, and through abstraction into all kinds of layers. It focuses on all departments of enterprises, first in data management, and second, in a system of insights, and third, in a system of engagement, everyone in organization and in communities.

“What’s happening inside the tools you use every day,” continues Dangermond, “both in intelligence and core GIS: at the core of GIS is data management. We’re supporting new stuff: adding new data types:  unstructured data, that allows you to read text files and find geocodes, gazetteers, improved editing in 3D, new tools in geodatabase support, and full support of databases and SAP HANA. We can now direct engineering before BIM modeling and ArcGIS being able to read ArcGIS directly inside Autodesk products, then can read BIM products inside ArcGIS.”

ArcGIS supports apps in the field, including field data collection, field coordination, digital map books into the field. These are all connected to the Enterprise system so everyone can coordinate their work. Dashboards have been completely engineered with web services. This is the second most popular app to story maps, “People love them, they’ve deployed over 300 dashboards in Wichita, Kansas, a smart city. The content we keep in ArcGIS Online are yours that you’ve shared that other people can use. We have set about 6,000 data and services around the globe in the Living Atlas. We spend a lot on curating this data into services. It now includes all new vector-based maps, and OpenStreetMap service.”

A vector data set will soon be available in minutes, with the addition of Sentinel space imagery from Europe as an online service and new imagery styles. The Living Atlas is used to fuel lots of things. Smart mapping allows customers to create maps. And now a dynamically drive map involves vector tiles that have features carried with them for client-side analytics.

Esri web services have been brought into Adobe Creative Cloud. The maps for Microsoft Office have also been integrated.

In 3D mapping there are new symbologies, smart maps, and you can look at your device and employ ArcGIS Online Scene Viewer. There is augmented reality and shared reality to take GIS into the field. 3D also embodies analytics – 3D measurement, 3D analytics volumetric, underground, real time analytics for integrating sensor networks and IoT using the GIS – these are the key for robotics, smart cities, autonomous cars, etc.

ArcGIS Pro Desktop has been extended with Image Analyst – it takes Pro and turns into a high-power image workstation, and reads drone imagery right in. It accomplishes exploitation of the image and analytics. AI and deep learning devices have also been integrated into the product.

Insights for ArcGIS is now available in ArcGIS Online, and provides location analytics and visualization for people who aren’t GIS professionals.

The world of AI and machine learning is now being integrated into the core platform, with clustering prediction, object identification, feature extraction, etc. These have been implemented as geoprocessing tools that you can use now. They are being extended into big AI platforms like Microsoft, and other popular frameworks back and forth between your workstation and the Cloud.

App builders allow you to build apps without programming. Last year alone ½ million apps were produced In App Studio by customers and distributed to the public.

ArcGIS Developer Platform is designed for extending the basic platform but also for the Developer community, with Python Scripting API, Pro SDK that allows you to do add-ins, and JAVA Script API. Feature tiles get access to full data. JAVA Script API is a bunch of software that lives in your browser that does powerful things with your data, such as rendering locally within your browser.

ArcGIS API for Python is in the Desktop and a new Python API that lives in Enterprise ArcGIS Online, allows you to script and automate online. They’re written in Python, and open opportunities to use the Python system with open source.

ArcGIS is engineered to be open and interoperable, in the following ways: 1. by supporting open formats and standards, 2. integrating with Adobe Cloud and Autodesk, 3. Design with the core platform and open source components and integrated with open source tools with open architecture to be used by developers.

ArcGIS has four components:

ArcGIS Pro, the professional GIS desktop will support ArcMap for years to come. This summer we introduced 2.2, to read BIM files, and 3D multi-patch editing dynamically. What’s coming will include: complete 3D voxel, interpolation work, parcel management support, dimensions, etc. Extensions: analytic, visual, Image Analyst, LocateXT – for unstructured text integration.

ArcGIS Online, a complete mapping & location intelligence platform, will include the following improvements: easier search, smart mapping in 3D. Esri received a notice from the federal government about a major security authorization test they passed, the FedWrap authorization, that means they have passed the test for secure management of data. Other new features coming: the ability to store and manage imagery, IoT integration and much more.

ArcGIS Enterprise is all about data management, analytics, and server-based mapping. This summer’s release includes Sites, a microsite builder that can build focused web sites within your organization to make it easier and focused, and support for Level 1 users Enterprise is now available. With new DevOps tools to be released in the fall and winter, it will be easier to install with Enterprise Builder.

Enterprise architecture is modular and massively scalable, which means you can deploy ArcGIS Server at scale and in real time with data analytics. ArcGIS Monitor allows you to monitor what’s going in your eco system. This allows distributed collaboration, which means servers can be in different places, so you can replicate them inside the organization and externally through ArcGIS Online. Traveling with the apps is the related content. This is one of the keys to making collaboration at scale work.

ArcGIS Solutions are solution components, industry specific apps, maps and tools that extend basic enterprise systems. Esri has had over a million downloads in the past year. There are 400 of them, all open source that come as part of the platform. They are fully supported and free.

Esri is announcing solution configurations, which take these solution building blocks and organize them into preconfigured, ready to deploy bundles that can be rapidly implemented by individuals or business partners.

Esri is also introducing a whole new class of software products supporting specific workflows, separate but integrated with GIS. Last summer they introduced Hub, which supported community engagement. This year they introduce Indoors, and ArcGIS Urban.

Hub is designed to transform relationships with citizens and cities, communities, open data and policy initiatives, and community portals, with dashboards engaging citizens. Indoors is about smart buildings, looking at transactions for use and management of smart buildings, operations and solutions management in a complete indoor location and mapping system.

ArcGIS Urban will revolutionize how city planning and design around the world is achieved, and involves buildings, plans, indicators, etc.

Throughout the Monday plenary and keynotes, the message was reinforced that “the science of where” was everywhere, “inspiring what’s next” is on everyone’s minds, and that the focus of the conference and the work that Esri professionals do is on supporting that work and advancing science and technology.

As Jack Dangermond said that can serve as a summation, “we are not changing our focus, we are strong in engineering and science, education and conservation. These are areas we care about deeply. We like to be able to collaborate with you to make a difference.”

Support from Esri goes “beyond software.” It is why people learn more, grow their skills, meet others who are in complementary professional fields.

It is probably why so many people return each year to the conference to hear the message, a message of hope and reaffirmation, this year tinged with a great urgency for acceleration of our skills and technologies to address the very challenging state of our planet.

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Categories: Big Data, cloud, data, Esri, geospatial, GIS, location based services, mapping, mobile

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