Lawrie Jordan, director of imagery at Esri, gave a keynote at today’s International LiDAR Mapping Forum with a focus of going beyond the 3D imagery to the information model behind it, allowing for deep analysis to address problems. With the move toward real-time and global persistent surveillance we have a new view and a new vision for where we go with it, supporting dynamic operations.
If Old McDonald had a farm today, he could manage it from his laptop computer and map it with an application on his handheld device. When he was out in the field, his tractor’s guidance system could know its position to within less than an inch, turning his planters and sprayers on and off accordingly. A boom height control system would make sure that his sprayer did not hit the ground and a yield monitor on his combine would measure the exact volume of his harvest, in real time. Soil moisture sensors networked via cellular modems, soil density sensors on his planters, and infrared crop health sensors on his tractor would gather a wealth of data that his agronomist would use to prepare a prescription map for the next season. In a few years, that data stream would also include aerial imagery collected by his unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and his tractor would also be running unmanned as a robot in the field. If a chick, duck, turkey, pig, cow, cat, mule, dog, turtle, or farm hand got in its way, the tractor’s radar collision avoidance system would recognize it and stop.
The GeoDesign Summit took place last week in Redlands, Calif. at Esri headquarters auditorium. This fourth event continues the future-oriented conversation that relates geography to design. This is a new way of thinking as well as an emerging toolset that is focused on sustainability and making the world a better place. This intimate event that takes over the 250-person auditorium is now poised to expand with planned events in both Amsterdam and Beijing later this year.
For the past decade – especially in the wake of the devastating 9/11 attacks – the provision of real-time, actionable intelligence to the security services and to the warfighter has been a major goal for the intelligence community. The proliferation of geospatial data – whether from UAVs, LiDAR, remote sensing or commercial satellite imagery – has provided more sources of information than ever before and continues to move the community one step closer to its goal. But it is becoming increasingly more challenging to make this data truly ‘actionable.’ The reality is that the most valuable data can be overlooked or end up on the cutting room floor.