Geo Week News

July 9, 2013

Esri User Conference shows how GIS is 'transforming our world'


Nokia’s HERE biz brings real-time traffic info to Esri’s ArcGIS platform

The 2013 Esri International User Conference formally kicked off Monday morning at the San Diego Convention Center with over 12,000 geospatial professionals from over 130 countries in attendance.

Jack Dangermond, Esri president and founder, gave the opening keynote during the Plenary, addressing issues surrounding the event’s theme, “GIS – Transforming our World,” and how WebGIS is fast becoming an essential component of society’s infrastructure. “GIS leverages the best science and technology,” Dangermond said. “Building on your existing work, you will transform our world.”

Top 3 Takeaways – Esri 3D Mapping and Lidar Forum 2013

On Sunday, Esri held its second annual Esri 3D Mapping and Lidar Forum. For that coverage, SPAR 3D’s Linda McLaughlin, who is attending the event, offered these highlights from Sunday’s forum.

  • 1. Gert Van Marten of Esri’s 3D GIS team started his presentation with an opening question: Why 3D and not 2D? (and looking around the conference, 2D is still the norm for many). His simple explanation is that we need information that is better and easier to understand, so stakeholders can make better decisions more quickly. He showed Esri’s CityEngine software, with its compelling before-and-after sliding windows. Version 10.2 will incorporate procedural modeling which has huge advantages over manual modeling, for instance showing how a floor can be added to a building and how that impacts, not only the building, but the entire city model. As for setting user standards, V10.2 will have a “rules gallery” for the procedural modeling in CityEngine that users can play with. One especially interesting observation: In Switzerland, they are incorporating solar exposure and heat analysis for city models.
  • 2. Augmented Reality (AR) was presented by Ann Lilje, engineer in Esri’s 3D Group. She said their AR was started by a request from the National Capital Planning Commission, which determines the historic needs of buildings in Washington, D.C., and a few in Maryland. They asked for an AR solution to reduce costs, which can run up to $20,000 per day, to put stakes in the ground at sites to determine elevations and other needs. The application is fantastic: an iPad was shown moving across a construction site, and you can see the building as it will look, right in front of you.
  • 3. The latest version of ArcGIS, Esri’s mapping and spatial analysis software, will be released in a couple of weeks and there were hints about the upgrades included. ArcGIS V10.2 is said to include integration with Portal for ArcGIS and the new ArcGIS GeoEvent Processor for Server extension, which helps users include real-time data processing into applications and enhancements to other feature services. Other 10.2 features include premium imagery services, with real-time services from several commercial partners such as Digitfrom DigitalGlobe, AccuWeather and RapidEye. Esri also said ArcGIS for Desktop licenses will now include subscriptions to ArcGIS Online – wow!

Other topics covered throughout the daylong mapping and lidar forum included UAVs, mobile mapping, military installation 3D management and “smart” 3D cities.

News roundup from Esri UC 2013

The conference runs through Friday, July 12. Here are some geospatial product developments and industry news collected from Esri UC:

  • Nokia’s HERE business said it is bringing its real-time traffic information to Esri’s ArcGIS platform. 
  • Esri Press and Esri’s Education Solutions team announced, the popular computer-based lab activities, are now available free of charge to customers with an Esri Educational Site License. SpatiaLABS complements and enhances an instructor’s course with self-directed investigations that help students increase their spatial reasoning and analytical skills. “One of the most tedious aspects of a GIS educator’s job is updating lab exercises to keep up with software product updates,” said David DiBiase, Esri director of education. “With SpatiaLABS, educators can leave that chore to Esri.” Delivered on DVD, the lessons are installed onto the school’s server to allow access by all campus faculty.
  • Avenza Systems Inc., producers of MAPublisher cartographic software for Adobe Illustrator and the popular PDF Maps mobile app, released Geographic Imager 4.3 for Adobe Photoshop. The update includes new features and is fully compatible with the recently released Adobe Photoshop Creative Cloud. New to Geographic Imager is the ability to save and quick save to the USGS DEM format. In addition, this ability extends to the Tile feature to allow creation of USGS DEM image tiles.
  • LizardTech, a provider of software solutions for managing and distributing geospatial content, announced the launch of its latest version of its flagship product, GeoExpress 9, at Esri UC. The software allows geospatial professionals to compress and manipulate satellite and aerial imagery with the latest version being four times faster than the previous version with support for spanning multiple jobs across multiple cores. The release also introduces Intelligent Encoding, which means GeoExpress 9 automatically chooses to Encode, Optimize or Update based on the encoding operations that the user chooses. Jon Skiffington, LizardTech’s director of product management, will introduce GeoExpress 9 to the Esri attendees July 10, from 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m., at the Imagery Island Exhibit in Exhibit Hall C.
  • The Location Media Alliance, a media and advertising platform for the geospatial and remote sensing industries, announced a strategic partnership with storyshop to develop video content tailored to the geospatial industry. The LMA and storyshop said they have combined their expertise in the geospatial industry and creative video storytelling to bring value-added content to commercial and academic markets. LMA said it is focused on bringing more awareness to the business, technology, applications, and policy aspects of location technologies. “Video is the best visually engaging storytelling vehicle to broadcast the location story to millions of people who do not yet appreciate the role of geospatial or location technologies at work or in their daily lives,” said Myrna James Yoo, LMA member and publisher of Apogeo Spatial (formerly Imaging Notes). 
  • CLIMsystems Ltd. is launching the new SimCLIM for ArcGIS/Marine to accompany the SimCLIM for ArcGIS/Climate software at Esri UC on Tuesday. Climate adaptation is increasingly recognized as a factor to be considered across sectors such as infrastructure, agriculture, water resources, marine, conservation, biodiversity and disaster risk management. SimCLIM for ArcGIS/Marine is used to explore the impacts of climate change on marine biogeochemical cycles. It incorporates CMIP5 GCM data into a simple tool allowing users to select any year from 1995 up to 2100 to investigate the projections and changes in nine biogeochemical related variables for the oceans. The add-in provides marine ecosystem researchers, marine resource managers, nature conservationists, managers, planners, policy makers, and general public with high-resolution maps and state of the art scientific information.

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