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Sunday, July 13, 2014

At the Esri Senior Executive Seminar, four executives shared their success stories on how GIS became an operational necessity within their individual lines of business.

Jack Verouden, the general manager for geomatics at Royal Dutch Shell has inserted GIS into five lines of business for upstream lifecycle operations. Exploration, oil field appraisal, field development, production and finally well decommissioning all employ GIS in some part of the management process. A common operational picture supports applications in surveying, positioning, geodesy, remote sensing and underpinning it all is geospatial information management. Investor relations has even recognized the importance of maps and at times has actually impacted the share price.

Paul deBoer, director of asset management at the Port of Rotterdam, The Netherlands, articulated four guiding for GIS. deBoer said that there must be a 1) simple information model combined with a 2) single integrated system with 3) map uniformity. The final principal is that he adheres to the concept of "3 clicks to any content." He wants to be able to reach the content he needs within three clicks on the web map of his operations.

Bruce Wong of advanced network analytics at General Motors is revolutionizing the way GM tackles information. He calls it P-E-D:  performance enhanced data. But in using GIS to assist dealers with consumer information, he's gone a step further by advocating "internal open data." That is, he's not just giving dealers maps and reports, he's opening up the system for direct access.

Finally, Chris Dermody, the CIO for Denver Water, a public agency, described what it takes to put GIS at the center of the enterprise paradigm. His "secret sauce" is not just technology based on a service oriented-architecture but the application of Lean process management and organizational transformation. Lean has driven improvements for Denver Water some of which did not require new technology investments. However, as a result of Lean, application development time has dramatically quickened with nearly continuous stakeholder input. Dermody described how the organization has moved to an Agile software development process using Scrums (short duration software build cycles). The process is changing the dynamics of the way teams work thus driving better business governance.

Each of these organizations has now embedded geospatial information at a different level of their IT infrastructure than what has been done historically . The GIS department doesn't exist; GIS is operationalized as an enterprise function relevant to many if not all facets of the organization. 

by Joe Francica on 07/13 at 10:00 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

In opening remarks to the Senior Executive Seminar at the Esri User Conference, Jack Dangermond said that GIS is going through a continuous evolution whereby the community is living in a situation with faster computers, cloud computing, web services, device computing, and pervasive content. In recognizing that more businesses and government are using location technology and acquiring the means to visualize location-based information he said, "It's not the GIS geeks anymore."

He then went on to position GIS and Esri technology as a platform. This too is taking Esri on an evolutionary path from its roots in desktop and server computing toward web services and facilitating application development. "The world is becoming wired up; apps evolution is giving people access to all sorts of information leveraging the investments we've already made," said Dangermond.

Dangermond described a vision where GIS sits as an operational component of an organization's IT infrastructure and not simply as an isolated business application. "Web GIS and web services become a platform that are serving information across the organization," he said.

This is a vision that will take some time to develop as many IT organizations grapple with the move toward servicing business applications and not just the hardware that connects desktops with servers. Many questions will have to be answered with respect to how IT departments support investments in location data. Dangermond wants organizations to connect to location-based information throughout the organization and not have it be the domain of the "GIS department." "There is a need to set up the right kind of governance systems so that these GIS systems do not become fiefdoms ," said Dangermond.

Governance. This is another recurring theme among other speakers at the Seminar as well. It's a recognition of just how well GIS has infiltrated business systems such that it is indeed becoming so pervasive that managers have to take a step back and ask: who's responsible; which organization is the authoritative source; what data can be shared to which department. It's these kinds of policy questions that are now surfacing when geospatial information becomes vital to an organization's effectiveness.

by Joe Francica on 07/13 at 10:00 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

My hands-on session at Esri Education Users Conference, July 13, 2014 involved re-writing some existing news stories and press release titles to better attract a target audience. My four groups did a great job; here are their suggested "enhanced" headlines:

Two-year Agricultural Degree Incorporates Dynamic Computer Technologies at Clark State

ASU Offers Innovative Program Guaranteeing High Paying Jobs

Innovative TSU Program: GIS as Your Gateway for Career Advancement

High School STEM Students in VA Collaborate with Federal Scientists on Oil Spill Study

group work in Show Don't Tell session

Attendees work in teams to enhance existing geospatial headlines

Bonus one for you to try:

To keep up with GIS education news, visit our Education Channel.

Image by Rosenfeld Media under CC-BY.

by Adena Schutzberg on 07/13 at 03:00 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

At dinner on Friday night I did a quick poll of my companions working in GIS asking what they knew about ArcGIS Pro. They knew it was “like” ArcMap and supported 2D and 3D but that was about it. The Esri Q&A noted “It is for anyone who works with geospatial information.” I attended a hands on workshop to try to make sense of this new product. 




Beta: We talked about and worked with beta 4 released just before the conference. There will be two more betas before the code if frozen for release.


Timing: First release coming with ArcGIS 10.3 in Q4 of this year.


Home address: ArcGIS can sit next to and run alongside ArcMap, but it only runs on a 64-bit platform.


Data support: Accesses data in ArcGIS Online, data published from ArcGIS server, shape files, and geodatabases except personal geodatabases, which are 32-bit.


Why?: It’s time for a new type of software. ArcMap is 15 years old and limited by its 32-bit history. ArcGIS Pro, developed for 64 bit platforms can take advantage of up (perhaps more than) 8 GB of RAM and is thus faster than ArcMap. And, it’s time for a modern ribbon interface (right).


3D: ArcGIS Pro can view and edit 3D without the 3D Analyst Extension. However, there are no 3D analysis capabilities without the extension.


ArcView Revisited: ArcGIS Pro supports multiple view and multiple layouts and uses the concept of a project folder.

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 07/13 at 11:32 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Last night Directions Magazine challenged visitors to our booth at the Esri Education GIS Conference Solutions Expo to explain some GIS acronyms. And, to make it fun, we video taped their answers! Below are the acronyms they skillfully and amusingly tackled. Thanks to our brave contestants (expecially the 4-Hers) for being so entertaining! Here's the video. 

GNSS - Global Satellite Navigation System

The generic term for a constellation of satellites that send signals for use in terrestrial navigation worldwide. The U.S. Global Positioning System, GPS, is an example of one.

NSGIC - National States Geographic Information Council

A professional body for U.S. state geographic information leaders that promotes statewide geospatial coordination.

UCGIS - University Consortium on Geographic Information Science

A membership organization for institutions that focuses on teaching, learning and research on GI Science.

SDTS - Spatial Data Transfer Standard

A standard from FGDC for sharing spatial data. Its future as an endorsed standard is unclear.

WMS - Web Map Service

An OGC standard for sharing mapping data. Sometimes used as a generic term for an Internet-based service that serves maps.

UAS - Unmanned Aerial System

The hardware and software that enable what are commonly called drones.

FOSS4G - Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial

An adjective describing geospatial software that's free (as in beer and free to use) and under an open license. It's also the name of a number of conferences on the topic.

ESRI - Environmental Systems Research Institute

The original name of Esri; also the Economic and Social Research Institute of Ireland.

GTCM - Geospatial Technology Competency Model

A model sanctioned by the U.S. Department of Labor that outlines the skills of those who work in the geospatial field.

GISCI - GIS Certification Institute

A body that confers a certification called GISP, geographic information systems professional.

INSPIRE - Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community

European Commission initiative to build an European spatial data infrastructure.

EROGI - European Umbrella Organization for Geographic Information

An organization aiming to maximize the availability, effective use and exploitation of geographic information throughout Europe.

GGIM - United Nations initiative on Global Geospatial Information Management 

A United Nations organization that aims to set the agenda for the development of global geospatial information and to promote its use to address key global challenges.

GIS & T BOK - Geographic Information Science and Technology Body of Knowledge

A document detailing the knowledge of our field. An updated version is under development by UCGIS. 

KML - Keyhole Markup Language.

XML notation for expressing geographic annotation and visualization within Internet-based, two-dimensional maps and three-dimensional Earth browsers. It's now an Open Geospatial Consoritum standard.

NGA - National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

The U.S. agency provides imagery, map-based intelligence and geospatial information in support of the nation's military forces, national policy makers and civil users.

GIS - Geographic Information System

A computer system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage, and present all types of geographical data

Image by tuchodi under CC-BY-SA.

by Adena Schutzberg on 07/13 at 03:30 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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