ESRI User Conference 2006 Update

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Welcome to GISWeekly! This year's plenary session and theme of the conference “Geography and GIS - communicating our world” speaks to the sustainability of our environment and civilization itself. In his keynote, Mr. Dangermond cited increasing population growth, resource consumption, development and globalization as some of the issues contributing to the problems of our world. ArcGIS 9.2, ArcGIS 9.2 Server, Image Server and ArcWeb Services were demonstrated and discussed. Included in our coverage is an interview with Jack Dangermond. Another article, “From the Exhibit Floor,” details some new technologies being showcased at the conference.

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ESRI User Conference 2006 Update
by Susan Smith

This year's plenary session and theme of the conference “Geography and GIS - communicating our world” speaks to the sustainability of our environment and civilization itself. Awards were presented by ESRI president Jack Dangermond at the beginning of the session, one of which was the Presidential Award accepted by Dr. Vanessa Lawrence, Director General and CEO of Ordnance Survey of Great Britain. Dr. Lawrence presented a video showing how they collect terabytes of data with ArcGIS.

In his keynote, Mr. Dangermond cited increasing population growth, resource consumption, development and globalization as some of the issues contributing to the problems of our world.

To meet these challenges, we need to participate, need to have greater understanding for each other, a shared sense of responsibility, courage and will to act, collaborative efforts, strong leadership. GIS provides a framework in society and it provides a new medium for understanding, modeling physical and cultural knowledge of our world, and breaks down the earth into components and systems.

GIS influences how we see and do things and allows us to build a common understanding, create a sense of engagement, providing more science, accuracy/detail, realism, logic and analysis, immediacy.

The Web is becoming geographically enabled and allowing for the proliferation of many services and lots of communities. The future of the web will have distributed collaboration, many authors and publishers, and interconnection. According to Dangermond, Google and Microsoft are already changing things: they have introduced dynamic and continuous content, fast and natural interaction, and web based applications.

GIS on the web will provide many additional possibilities such as the GeoWeb in the form of data maps, models, analysis, globes, and metadata.

Individual systems and communities will use these other services, break them down into components while dynamically integrating. This requires geographic framework, collaboration, enabling technology, and sharing freely.

The GeoWeb enabling technology offers
- faster processing, multi-core, blades
- increased bandwidth
- larger storage
- web services standards
- mobile technologies
- real time networks - GIS software
ESRI's development focus has been on making products
-easier to use
- reliability and quality
- new capabilities
Dangermond said that ArcGIS 9.2 is one of the biggest, most productive releases ESRI has ever embarked upon. It promises better quality productivity, fixed several thousand bugs, many new tools for intuitiveness and ease, more content. It has standards based interoperability, supports multiple approaches and supports various technology and web services standards including OGC, ISO, DXF and KML.

It also supports ETL or transformation procedures for formats. ArcGIS 9.2 uses the web as a platform.

ArcGIS 9.2

ArcGIS 9.2 is a complete system for authoring knowledge. ArcGIS Desktop tools are becoming more stable and include extensions with new techniques. Some of those improvements include:
- data compilation and editing
- added COGO construction tools, better attribute editing, ArcScan Tracking/Feature Recognition, CAD integration, Survey Analyst (Cadastral Editor)
- new keyboard shortcuts and mouse wheel support
- support for ISO 19139 metadata and OGC GML Simple Features data
- Direct read of Microsoft Excel files
- an integrated help system
- ability export to PDF with new capability to include named layers. You can turn on and off layers in PDF files and view, change and print the files.
Cartography tools -

- Tools for intelligent cartography include: finishing tools, rule based symbology, generalization, and better PDF support, conflict resolution - multiple representations

Visualization and Analysis -

- Ability to build models in ModelBuilder that iterate multiple times, which makes it possible for outputs to influence inputs at the next iteration.
- New graph tools allow the visualizations of data and link data between map and graph.
- Integrating time and modeling including netCDF time based and multidimensional data using new geoprocessing tools.
- new animation tools for creation, playback and export.
- stronger raster/image capabilities
- ArcGIS Desktop 9.2 offers improved annotation style matching and support for standard CAD annotation in ArcGIS
- improved CAD symbol support including fills and line symbols and colors.
- dynamic georeferencing of CAD files

ArcGIS 9.2 Server

ImageServer, announced last year, will be part of ArcGIS 9.2 Server, offering fast processing, reducing time between capturing data and using it. With Server the geodatabase is simplified and extended, so that any SQL programmer can work with the geodatabase.

ArcSDE is also embedded into the ArcGIS geodatabase. With Server you can create maps, globes and geoprocessing tasks on the desktop and publish them to the server to use on the Web, desktop or mobile devices.

ArcGIS Server supports distributed geodatabases using replication services such as the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI).

ESRI Server Platforms extend and integrate the server technology already built. ArcIMS 9.2 offers fast modern web mapping, has the web map viewer, .net and java integration , easy install and administration.

ArcGIS Server also includes a new platform Manager with a number of free, scalable clients out-of-the-box to do data management which empowers the non-GIS professional.

Server is open and interoperable and integrates with any application, works with open APIs, serves information on Google Earth, metadata in standards formats, serves information with SOAP, XML and SQL so it can work inside any enterprise application like SAP.

In a video presentation, Scott Morehouse said that a lot of work is involved in creating infrastructure, but ArcGIS Server comes with wizards that make it easy to publish maps. In addition, it has geoprocessing functionality, it comes in .NET and Java editions, supports web browsers, OGC/WMS based applications, also includes ArcGIS Desktop, which can be pushed out to everyone who has a web browser.

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