Exelis and Esri teamed for their annual press breakfast to highlight their “Imagery Everywhere” initiative this morning at the Esri International User Conference.
Jaye Lampe, president of Exelis VIS kicked off the morning, discussing her 25-year career of working with imagery to help solve problems. The partnership, with the integration of Exelis analytical capabilities, with a seamless integration with ArcGIS has progressed to the point where the user often doesn’t realize they are using two pieces of software. The move to solve problems faster than ever before is accelerated with ArcGIS Online.
Lawrie Jordan, director of imagery for Esri, spoke to the plethora of imagery shown at the plenary day of the conference. According to Jordan, Esri has 2,800 business partners and Exelis is the most positive, successful and integrated partnership that Esri has. The close partnership to co-develop a platform has really taken off with the move to the cloud. Esri is bringing together content and services, with imagery analytics as a service that will soon be launched as part of their new marketplace.
Imagery and GIS were separate for so long, and now imagery is foundational to the insight derived from GIS, with so much of the vector layers derived from imagery. The Esri International User Conference is the world’s largest imagery conference, according to Jordan. The move is going beyond pixels to useful information, making imagery more accessible, easier to manipulate and faster to analyze.
Beau Legeer, VP of Product Marketing at Exelis VIS provided a product demo to show the power of the integrated tools, accessing a cloud-based imagery service and running a change detection to compare and clean up two images of Dubai from 2000 to 2010. The results can be vectorized to update a GIS layer to create a map showing the dramatic change around The Palm in that city. The mobility of the solutions on the desktop, cloud or mobile devices were displayed with a totally cloud-based workflow of the same exact scenario run entirely through a web browser. The imagery analyst doesn’t need to know the complex process of imagery comparison, they just select the area and the dates to compare.
The next phase of integration with Esri is this cloud enablement, running from desktop to web and even mobile. The use of Landsat imagery services is the start of this process, but they are looking forward to getting down to the street level with the premium services that becoming part of ArcGIS Online, with DigitalGlobe and RapidEye imagery available as a paid service.
The power of this technology integration resides mainly in the flexibility of the toolset to power custom workflows, where one scientist or analyst can be serving many users with tools that are tuned to the information that users want to glean from the imagery.