GISCafe Weekly Review March 16th, 2015

Esri, Me and my Cats
March 12, 2015  by Matt Sheehan

I like writing.

Writing helps me pull my thoughts together. Helps me understand. I write in large part for myself. Over time my 2 cats have joined me. Sitting on my lap, letting me know in their own special way when they disagree with something I have written (they were particularly amused by my reference to the Osmonds in my recent Utah blog post.)

Over time I have realised these blog posts and articles I write have a reach wider than just my cats. It would seem others (you) are reading these regular missives. I find that very interesting and in many ways surprising.

So why title this post “Esri, Me and my Cats”? Regular readers will note I often reference esri.


Simply put I love esri technology, and I think they have arguably the most huggable group of employees on the planet (its ok, i am European we are like that). The thrust of much of my writing is around what I call emerging GIS. Its the move from a niche technology to core. Much of this is being driven by the new recognition and demand for location based information. Now don’t get me wrong i don’t agree with everything esri. But they are helping to forge the path forward for much wider acceptance and adoption of location technology.

Let’s talk about traditional and emerging GIS. And within the same discussion consider how esri are changing the old models. I see traditional GIS like taking a cruise (stay with me here). Huge ships, filled with everything you could imagine to do (and eat). They move slowly, take an age to turn, are tough to dock. They live in isolation. I see emerging GIS as that slick speedboat we have always wanted. Cool looking, fast, easy to manoeuvre, does one thing really well, can dock anywhere and with anything.

I believe esri are now focused on providing ready built tools for us to easily construct these lightweight, highly focused (GIS) speedboats. To me that is what they mean by configure first. Today GIS is all about providing tools which work super well, are simple, and focused. See Web AppBuilder (widgets), see App Studio (templates), see the ArcGIS platform itself: a web map and identity provide access to a plethora of tools and applications.

Its hard to leave those comfy (traditional) cruise ships. But those of us who have embarked on the emerging GIS path (and I spoke to many last week at the esri EPC in Palm Springs) are in for an exciting ride. One which will bring enormous value to our customers.

I wanted to find a good video to finish off this post. The “laughing Gnome” really does not fit well with the discussion, but its the cats favourite ….

Uber acquires deCarta
March 11, 2015  by Susan Smith

Last week, Uber announced that it acquired deCarta, a small location based services (LBS) company. As Uber has made its name as the “ridesharing giant,” a company spokesman said that they hoped to improve Uber’s ETA times as well as carpooling service with the acquisition. It also will reduce the company’s reliance on Google and Apple.

Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 9.40.55 AM

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