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ENVI EASAt the ENVI Analytics Symposium in Boulder this morning, Stuart Blundell spoke to the great opportunity that the remote sensing community has with the advent of Big Data Analytics. Making sense of this information is the daily mission of the attendees at the event and the growing number of inputs are being wrestled with to offer clearer guidance in a more timely manner.

The morning keynote was delivered by Lawrie Jordan, director of imagery at Esri. He spoke about GIS going from a system of record to a system of update — a means to communicate and share information. The new app mentality provides an easily accessible map interface that is accessible by anyone.

The explosion of imagery sources from UAV, to drones, to smallsats, etc. is transforming our ability to inform via maps. These data sources, with the ability to automate processing of oblique imagery, is leading to all new sources of 3D and immersive imagery. 

These new 3D maps of the future have many levels of detail (LOD) from building extrusions (LOD 1) to more detailed models as from lidar capture (LOD 2) to detailed photorealistic models (LOD 3) and on toward very detailed models with interior details (LOD 4). The value comes from providing information, with rich 3D analytics against any of these levels of detail to answer questions and provide guidance.

Getting quickly to an answer with geoanalytics and visualization of massive data in near real time is the goal that Esri is pursuing. The ability to analyze spatially as well as temporally (time) to detect change is an area of ongoing innovation.

Bringing the processing of data onto the sensor (UAS and other platforms) is one means to achieve a rapid response, taking the data processing onto the sensor. Esri is working with RIEGL on developing this technology for RIEGL’s RiCOPTER lidar drone, and the theme of smart sensors is a growing trend.

GIS is reinventing itself to bring geography to everyone, and the remote sensing community is a key input and enabler of this explosion.

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