This morning Jack Dangermond, founder and president of Esri, addressed software users in San Diego at the Esri International User Conference. The opening touched on the broad use of GIS technology as well as the impact of the technology. Below is a summary of this opening talk that highlights the vision of what GIS is becoming.
We live on a little planet, we breathe the same air, we’re increasingly concerned about the future. Our world is changing rapidly, with challenges that are increasing. We’re also living at a time where scientific discovery and advancement are happening very rapidly. We’re creating big data, but clearly we need more integrated knowledge, and need better outcomes where we better manage our footprints.
Geography is our platform for understanding our world, and Roger Tomlinson taught me this many years ago. In fact, this is the 50th anniversary of the first GIS. Geography and maps helps us to share and apply our knowledge. We need to learn how to make maps more pervasive to make better outcomes.
GIS is advancing and leveraging many trends, becoming Cloud GIS to share deep kinds of knowledge. It is leveraging more measurement, more day and more computing, and it’s evolving with science itself. The convergence of all of this will enable us to reimagine our world. It will allow us to integrate geographic knowledge into everything we do.
Today we have pervasive access and 2.5 billion people connected. The pervasive use of aplications makes our knowledge abundant. It provides geography as a platform that integrates maps, imagery, social media, sensor networks, services. This model changes the discussion as it breaks down barriers between workflows, disciplines and cultures.
This is a new agile and flexible environment, a realization of the vision of databases that didn’t succeed. Organizations are rapidly adopting this pattern, such as the European Environmental Agency, and other agencies are doing the same thing - opening up their data such as the Eye on Earth Network. This is about creating geography as a platform to open up our world.
We’ll be speaking about the enabling technology that is here to do this, and we’ll talk about the culture of collaboration and sharing that is naturally emerging. This whole move will help us re-imagine the role of GIS in our organizations, and will help us to realize our work as we build a more open world.