Esri UC 2011 Plenary & Keynotes
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Esri UC 2011 Plenary & Keynotes

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Industry News
Esri UC 2011 Plenary & Keynotes
By Susan Smith


Esri President Jack Dangermond


Over 15,000 people were in attendance at the Esri User Conference 2011 held in San Diego last week. Attendees arrived from 126 countries, representing almost every discipline, with one-third of them coming from outside the U.S.

President and CEO Jack Dangermond presented awards in the beginning of the plenary session. You can look at the award winners on the Esri website.

The vision of this year’s conference: “GIS-understanding our world” suggests the need for a different approach, as the world meets various challenges such as climate change, urbanization and land use, loss of biodiversity and many other issues.

Dangermond talked about bringing GIS information together with other types of information such as measurement information, facilitating collaborations and breaking down barriers. Data is growing in volume, and new sources provided like crowdsourcing create new issues like privacy and access that present challenges to organizations.

New technologies include virtualize computing environments, the cloud and SaaS, social networks, more quantitative science and more integrative, analytic, predictive real time efforts. As GIS becomes more able to manage larger datasets, it also is becoming easier to use so that the new challenge is to make it easy for anyone to engage in.

Dangermond said this new pattern of GIS – making it available to everyone – can mean bringing authoritative source information in and blending it with web with social network information, then making it available through lightweight mobile devices.

GIS professionals will be able to provide information to knowledge workers, citizens and policymakers and empower them to participate in the same shared infrastructure, with common services creating shared understanding, globally but also within an organizational context.

ArcGIS 10.1

ArcGIS 10.1 is expected to launch in Q1 of 2012. The beta release should be available in two to three weeks. Dangermond says that some features of this release are “game-changing” and include ArcGIS Online, as well as supports multiple patterns for implementation. The server pattern is coming along rapidly, with 100,000 of these implemented, with thin client access to shared infrastructure. With the web cloud pattern beginning to emerge, these patterns can be deployed independently or as an integrated system.

The amount of basemap and content information has increased dramatically, and includes new Landsat services for the last 40 years, 50 million sq km of GeoEye imagery, a new basemap for oceans, 1,000 partners building a topographic map of the world, a kind of authoritative source of building crowdsourcing maps, National Geographic and geocoding service for world and crowdsourcing.

The core ArcGIS 10.1 products that will be native 64-bit are:

-ArcGIS Server for Windows and ArcGIS Server for Linux (only available as native 64-bit). This includes the SDE application server technology component.
-ArcGIS Runtime (both native 64-bit and 32-bit)

ArcGIS Desktop can run in a 64-bit environment but is not native 64-bit.

10.1 will introduce geographic science tools, like space time clustering, multiscale autocorrelation, exploratory regression (not visual) (which takes one variable and allows us to explore other variables in relationship to it) crime, soil erosion, sophisticated contouring, very fast time analysis, aerial interpolation that allows us to take one aerial unit and allocate them into another aerial unit like zip codes, and geodetic buffering.

Mapping and editing workflows include
-dynamic legends so as you scale map legends change,
- feature edit tracking –a kind of feature level metadata,
-a new suite of generalization tools that is rule based, so you can generalize lines and thematic area,
- better labeling,
- better template editing,
- temporal support,
-improving database management which includes having direct SQL access to all popular databases, spatial and tabular data,
- adding support for IBMs Netenza database management system,
- administration tools for database,
- dynamic schema updates,
- database opened at the file level with open APIs.

Dangermond’s favorite is a desktop application for sharing maps, data, tools and models. A user can right click and the map will automatically turn into a map package. In ArcMap a user with analytics or tradecraft in a model can turn it into a model package, can send over to the server, others can find it, download and use themselves. They can right click and can send it over to a server and it will turn it over to a service, a map service, model service, tool service, and can also send it to the cloud and turn it into service there if the user doesn’t have a server, and it will be administered there.

“We announced ArcGIS for home use, you can get full desktop and extensions and personal use and also your own volunteerism,” said Dangermond. “It’s going to be a way to spread what we do. Another way that we will spread what we do is with ArcGIS Online, a cloud system. Now we’re shifting this into a full GIS in the cloud environment – an open platform for different formats for mapping and geospatial information in the cloud. You’ll be able to deploy it in our clouds, or on your cloud environments.”

This view of being able to share assets with others so that they can use it more effectively – and connect back to full enterprise systems, intelligence web maps – presents a picture of great possibility.

It can be a mechanism for connecting integrated multiple services together and sharing it so others can put it in a blog, with new web maps that support visualization, popups, and intelligence that hook back to analytic services including temporal. These are addressable through REST, and can be used everywhere on any device, integrated into social media. It can be used in the ArcMap environment and can unlock not only one organization’s data but share with geodatabases and services through servers.

3D 10.1

Esri has been working on 3D GIS and imagery for awhile. The increased demand for 3D GIS in organizations that use GIS and planning tools, 3D city planning, emergency services, defense and Homeland Security drive the development of powerful tools for 3D GIS and imagery.  10.1 improves image integration and employs image exploitation tools by including dynamic mosaicking. Users can view 100 to 1 million images and pan and zoom with dynamic visualization. They can also employ automatic enhancement, 3D measurement, integrating for persistent surveillance video and can associate it with other parts of the GIS.

In addition, 10.1 offers great lidar support, being able to read dynamically LAS files. It takes the same technology for dynamic imagery and integrates it so users can do dynamic on the fly LAS files. Lidar data will open it up for useful information products.

ArcGIS is expanded as a 3D platform, with performance for 3D, 3D for geometric buffering, shade analysis, shadow analysis, 3D viewsheds, 3D editing, and is very powerful for urban planning, landscape planning and design, among other uses.

Dangermond noted that Esri has acquired the Swiss company Procedural for content creation. Procedural does beautiful visualization simulation environments for CityScapes such as those seen in the feature film Cars II.  This is important for GIS, design and visualization environments. Currently this technology is being incorporated into Esri through development relationships, but will eventually be sold independently. Content creation using rules tools can be achieved and then that content can be integrated back into the geodatabase. Users want content creation as part of GIS, and it will take a year or so to accomplish this.


The trend toward mobile devices benefits GIS users who take their tablets to the field to access data directly. These applications and devices are supported by ArcGIS.

A new software is ArcGIS Runtime, lightweight software that is easy to deploy for developers. It can be deployed on USB for Windows and Linux and supports 64 bit. With this software, GIS can be embedded in both connected and non-connected environments into all kinds of applications. ArcGIS Server has been rearchitected with fast performance, and is said to be easy to install and to create services in it. It resides in a full 64 bit environment – cloud ready, highly scalable, and for the first time supports the Linux environment.

On the users’ side, 10.1 will support web printing directly on demand, on the fly symbology, improve standards support for OGC standards and REST, the new tile standard and processing standard from OGC, and continue the trend toward keeping the platform open and interoperable with others. Improved APIs and web applications for Flex, Silverlight, Java and Explorer environments are available, as well as enhanced support for SharePoint, in which you will be able to make a map.

ArcGIS Online

Bernie Szukalski talked about ArcGIS Online and the web gateway to that system,, which enables everyone to make and share an intelligent map easily.

Szukalski said that users can bring shapefiles into ArcGIS Explorer Online and MapViewer, by importing them into a map, and make them come alive by using popups to add meaning to polygons. Intelligent maps also support analysis.

ArcGIS Online also include catalog and group sharing in map packages. This summer they also made a free app mapping tool where anyone can make their own map.

This fall Esri will add the ability to do online hosting, and also the ability to take the entire ArcGIS Online environment and turn it into an on premise environment running on the cloud with an organization’s front end, hosted in the cloud. Next spring, with release 10.1 these environments will be integrated into 10.1 so every server is connected.

“This new cloud web environment can be configured to bring your own geographic assets together,” said Szukalski. “ArcGIS Online allows these distributed resources to be grouped and catalogued and from time to time hosted and made available, bringing portal technology online inside user organizations.”

Community Analyst

Community Analyst, an easy application that was announced last year, allows “anyone” to create maps. Now it contains 6,000 variables, 2010 information, demographic information until 2015 so you can map data coming from various sources. You can filter and query the map. It is also hosted in the cloud and offers focused solution providing, 2200 behaviors or lifestyles, allows you to drill down into data, all the way down to the block level. A policymaker can use it to understand the impact of policy they’re trying to make, or to allocate resources after a disaster.


Although in the Plenary, Dangermond suggests that we need a different approach, the approach of Esri could mirror others in the GIS industry, working toward making GIS technology easier to use, so that more people can benefit from its vast information stores. The cloud, mobile, 3D GIS, integration, collaboration, greater computing power, new sources of data, new ways of distributing data – are all converging into a picture of ease of use and accessibility that is strange and somehow titillating to the traditional GIS industry. Is it a “different” approach, or is it simply attempting to meet the needs of those tasked with solving huge problems?

With all this great human capability, there is also the sense of urgency coming from the world with its incredible challenges of climate change, natural disasters, famine, wars, global warming and more.

To address environmental concerns, keynote speakers Jacqueline McGlade of the European Environment Agency speaking on the effects of global warming and Timothy and Michele Schilling, whose work brought Rwandan farmers into the competitive global coffee market, talked about re-engagement with landscape and monitoring the environment, and how to create a sustainable future.


Esri’s Jack Dangermond & Jacqueline McGlade of the European Environment Agency


UC Plenary Videos

The Vast Reach of the European Environment Agency, GISWeekly, June 20, 2011

Top of the News

The latest release of ArcGIS Online supports the addition of data from a .csv or .txt file directly to the map viewer. Users can also add GPS Exchange Form (.gpx) files; Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC), Web Map Service (WMS) layers; and KML layers.

Location information, such as business or customer locations, can now be quickly visualized on a web map. ArcGIS Online also gives users control over how features from .csv, .txt, or .gpx files are displayed. Users can configure pop-up windows and customize the appearance of features drawn on the web map by changing symbols and colors. Once information is added to the web map, it can easily be shared with others.

Esri has released an updated version of ArcGIS for iOS that includes several enhancements, as well as support for pop-up windows, access to ArcGIS Online basemaps, and new collaboration features.

The new update lets users view pop-up windows in their maps, giving them the ability to see additional information by simply tapping on the map. This intuitive feature makes accessing text, photos, pie charts, and website links even easier.


Esri has acquired Procedural, one of the world's leading software companies for creating stunning 3D urban environments from typical 2D data. Urban planners, architects, video game developers, and movie studios around the world use Procedural's CityEngine product to create 3D cities at any resolution. 

Esri will integrate CityEngine into ArcGIS, allowing ArcGIS users to create and design 3D urban environments leveraging their existing GIS data, such as parcels and street centerlines. CityEngine's rule-driven approach will allow users to undertake large-scale civic planning efforts and will provide immediate visual feedback on the impact of planning decisions, such as setbacks and floor-specific zoning changes. Users will also be able to interactively design and analyze urban growth with intuitive sketching tools.

Trimble Navigation Limited announced  that it has completed the tender offer for all of the issued and outstanding shares in Tekla Corporation through its subsidiary Trimble Finland Oy. The aggregate equity consideration paid was approximately EUR 319 million, equivalent to $454 million at the current exchange rate of EUR 1=$1.4214, based on EUR 14.20 per share consideration (net of the additional dividend distribution by Tekla of EUR 18m or EUR 0.80 per share, which was paid on July 8, 2011) and an enterprise value of EUR 311 million, or approximately $442 million.

The tender offer, which commenced on May 19, 2011, was finalized after Trimble completed the settlement of approximately 99.46 percent of all the shares and votes in Tekla on July 8, 2011.

The Board of Directors of Pitney Bowes Inc. declared a quarterly cash dividend on the company’s common stock of 37 cents per share, payable September 12, 2011, to stockholders of record on August 12, 2011; a quarterly cash dividend of 53 cents per share on the company’s $2.12 convertible preference stock, payable October 1, 2011, to stockholders of record September 15, 2011, and a quarterly cash dividend of 50 cents per share on the company’s 4 percent convertible cumulative preferred stock, payable November 1, 2011, to stockholders of record October 14, 2011.

GeoEye, Inc. is launching GeoEye Image Pack for Esri ELA Customers on July 11, 2011, with its partner, Esri. Small governments, public safety organizations and utilities rely on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and imagery to effectively perform regular activities within tight budgets, such as urban planning, economic development and public works. The GeoEye Image Pack provides an easy way for Esri customers with a programmatic Enterprise License Agreement (ELA) to procure high-resolution data from GeoEye's extensive imagery archive. The GeoEye Image Pack is expected to be available for purchase on August 1, 2011.


Intermap announces that Esri has selected the Company’s NEXTMap database to serve as a core component of its soon to be released World Elevation Service (WES). The new integration will make Intermap’s leading-edge geographic information system (GIS) data the first commercial content available to subscribers of Esri’s Premium WES.

Snowflake Software, a participating organisation in the Annex II & III data specification testing, announced its support for testing at the INSPIRE Conference in Edinburgh.

Taking a multifaceted approach, Snowflake aims to support participants in Annex II & III testing with their ‘You do it; we do it; we do it together’ philosophy, with an emphasis on supporting organisations through the testing process in a way that best suits their needs. Testing runs for four months from 20 June to 21 October 2011.

ITT Corporation announced a new initiative to support the integration of its software technology with the ArcGIS platform from Esri.  ITT’s new Industry Solutions initiative will take advantage of ENVI tools in ArcGIS to build models and workflows that add image analysis functionality to industry specific applications for GIS users.  The models and workflows will deliver image analysis solutions for natural resources, government, and defense and intelligence applications, allowing GIS users to easily extract meaningful information from imagery for more accurate and timely decision making.


GeoDecisions is pleased to announce that Kevin J. Switala, GISP, has been named a vice president. Based in the firm’s Philadelphia, Pa., office, Switala previously served as the director of homeland security and public safety, responsible for coordinating marketing, business development, project management, and support of geospatial technology projects for domestic and foreign government agencies. He has been instrumental in capturing and effectively managing multiple projects throughout the Middle East, facilitating GeoDecisions’ presence overseas.

New Products

Zebra Imaging announced  that the company is launching a software add- in that will allow Esri users to print their 3D data in a holographic display for true 3D presentations and analysis. Zebra Imaging has created over 10,000 3D maps of areas of interest for the U.S. Department of Defense and is now bringing this unique 3D capability to Esri ArcGIS® Desktop 10 users. 

PenBay Solutions LLC (PenBay) announced that it will begin the rollout of its InVision Solution Suite for Facilities GIS solutions at Esri’s annual International User Conference in San Diego on July 11.

The InVision Solution Suite was developed to provide facility executives with packaged GIS solutions for maximizing cost savings, performance and safety of their facilities over the entire facility life cycle. 

Melissa Data Corp, a developer of high performance data quality and address management solutions,  announced the release of its new Contact Verification plug-in designed for Pentaho Data Integration (formerly Kettle). Using a visually-driven user interface, and powered by Melissa Data's Contact Verification engine, the integrated component will parse, validate, correct and standardize U.S. and Canadian addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and full names. The powerful new tool will also geocode addresses to provide latitude/longitude coordinates in addition to other geographic information.

LizardTech, a division of Celartem Inc. and a provider of software solutions for managing and distributing geospatial content, announced the release of a plug-in for ArcGIS Desktop 10, adding support for MrSID Generation 4 (MG4) files within Esri desktop products.

Cutting Edge Networked Storage, the manufacturing partner for Esri’s Windows and Linux based turnkey servers to the geospatial information systems (GIS) community, will debut their new green storage technology for the cloud in Booth 1216 at the Esri International User Conference, July 11 – 15, 2011 in San Diego, CA.

The new Power Saving Cloud Archive (PSCA) is a highly cost-effective, flexible high-density multi-tiered storage solution that boasts extremely high performance and scalability, low acquisition cost, up to 90% power savings and a new low in total-cost-of-ownership (TCO) for organizations that are struggling to address the relentless flood of unstructured data, and longer retention times all the while trying to keep capital and operating expenses low.  Moreover, PSCA is the ideal solution for today’s power hungry storage environments where the cost to provide power and cooling for storage systems now actually exceeds the cost to acquire the equipment being powered and cooled.

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is partnering with the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation and ParksByNature Network to offer a state parks and forests mobile app for smart phones.

The software has both free and paid versions that are available through the Apple App Store and Android market. The paid version, which includes additional GPS features, costs $3.99. 

iWay GPS Navigation is a complete and versatile navigation system for iPhone which guides end users throughout their journey with clear and precise vocal instructions, using Acapela voices. Polyglot, iWay speaks 20 languages and it leads the way through 193 countries. By foot, bike or car, you will take your eyes off the screen and simply be guided by one of the 45 voices selected by Soleasoft, the developer of iWay, from Acapela's extensive voice-portfolio.

ComponentOne has formed a partnership with Esri, the market leader in geographic information system (GIS) technology.

ComponentOne's Director of Business Development Todd Schick announced that ComponentOne's user-interface controls will be powered by Esri's mapping software in the third quarter of 2011.

Hexagon Geosystems’ Geospatial Solutions Division and Z/I Imaging are pleased to announce the release of the Z/I DMC II 250 camera, the newest member of the Z/I DMC II camera family. With the Z/I DMC II 140, 230 and 250,  Z/I Imaging is now offering three different camera configurations for a large variety of different airborne mapping applications.

Brand New Lens Design for Unmatched Image Quality -- the DMC II 250 offers an extremely large footprint and wide swath width that reduces the number of images and stereo models required for a specific area and thus increases productivity. The unique 250 Megapixel PAN camera head includes the largest single frame CCD available in the industry, resulting in the highest geometric accuracy and radiometric quality of any large format frame airborne camera today.

CoreLogic announced  the introduction of a new offering that will help emergency responders and local governments improve their emergency planning, preparedness and response efforts in the event of a natural hazard. The new offering from CoreLogic bundles the company's detailed natural hazard geospatial data, risk models and comprehensive parcel database to provide city and county officials a more accurate picture of potential hazard exposure in their region.

Laser Technology, Inc. (LTI), a Colorado laser-based designer and manufacturer, announces another breakthrough product by releasing the TruPulse 360 R, a rugged and waterproof version of the most popular professional measurement and mapping laser in the world.

TomTom launches Custom Area Analysis, an important historical traffic product which gives customers access to highly granular speed and bottleneck information for road networks around the world. The product supports traffic modeling and analysis of road conditions and traffic performance. By providing a complete view of what is happening across the global road network, Custom Area Analysis enables enterprises and governments to better understand and more efficiently manage their local areas.

TomTom announces the beta release of the 2010 U.S. Census block boundary product. By being the first to market with this critical information, TomTom enables its partners to begin analyzing the impact of the Census 2010 integration on their processes and products months in advance. The full release of Census data is scheduled to be completely integrated and available in the December release of the TomTom MultiNet digital map product suite.

DigitalGlobe debuted its Global Basemap subscription service at the Esri International User Conference in San Diego. Based on the company's comprehensive and constantly refreshed ImageLibrary, and powered by its Cloud Services platform, Global Basemap gives customers fast and easy online access to existing and newly collected imagery so that they have the visual information needed to make critical decisions.

Following a successful launch BlomDESKTOP Viewer version 2.0 has been released, with enhanced features and a collection of new functionalities, tools and datasets. BlomDESKTOP Viewer now offers advanced visualisation, navigation, measurement, interrogation and exportation capabilities while having the ability to connect to online hosted data via either external WMS or Blom’s online BlomURBEX and BlomURBEX3D platforms.

Lockheed Martin and Esri will collaborate on technologies to put online geospatial apps and services in the hands of more military, intelligence, homeland security and emergency response users worldwide. Lockheed Martin recently joined the Esri Partner Network as a Gold Tier partner to offer powerful geographic information systems (GIS) tools and apps to a wide range of U.S. and international customers.

Around the Web

GISCafe Today Blog


14th Annual Conference Society for Conservation GIS (SCGIS)
Date: July 16 - 19, 2011
Place: Northwoods Resort and Conference Center
Big Bear Lake,, CA USA

The theme for the 2011 Society for Conservation GIS Conference is "Building Strength." We will focus on the strength and capacity of individuals, communities, and organizations to achieve conservation by

  • Creating partnerships and support networks
  • Developing innovative applications and training
  • Improving access to resources in conservation science and planning
  • Building decision support systems
AGI North (Manchester) - GIS in Housing Associations
Date: July 21, 2011
Place: Manchester University
University Place, Oxford Road, Manchester, United Kingdom

The strategic and tactical use of GI in Housing Associations - How Plus Dane Housing uses  GI to benefit the organisation and its tenants, respond to legislative imperatives and meet service levels
Presenter:   Alex Hill, GIS Manager, Plus Dane Housing

Introduction to Esri Business Analyst Desktop (Canadian Edition)
Date: July 21, 2011
Place: USA

Esri Business Analyst Desktop (Canadian Edition) is a very powerful product that combines GIS analysis and visualization with an extensive data package from several data vendors. This combination of analysis tools and data makes Business Analyst an essential tool to help you understand your target market, consumers and competitors. We will begin this seminar by exploring the fundamental components and workflow necessary to use Business Analyst. Attendees will then learn how to use the tools available to conduct a quick analysis. This will include a demonstration of how to setup a Business Analyst project and share your analysis results with others. The seminar will conclude by presenting an analysis without the need to acquire or collect any external data.

2011 Land Development Seminar - NSW
Date: July 22, 2011
Place: Liverpool Catholic Club
Cnr Joadja , Hoxton Park Rds Liverpool West, USA

• Update on the Growth Centres and land releases,
• Delivery of infrastructure
• Changes to the State Plan
• Changes to DA process and Exempt & Complying Development
• Utility Surveying
• Subsurface Utilities Engineering Australian Standard
• Impact of NBN on new development & the effect on surveying infrastructure
• Spatial Information in Disaster Management
• Bio-banking & sustainable planning
• New Surveying Regulation

4th International Conference on healthGIS 2011
Date: July 29 - 30, 2011
Place: New Delhi

The world is facing the serious challenge from  new emerging diseases such as Chicken  Guinea, Bird Flu, Dengue and also the old ones such as AIDS, Malaria and many others. A  strategy to prevent their emergence is the key to ensure safety from these deadly disease.  Can we use modern technologies to ensure health for all?

Open Source URISA Workshop
Date: August 4, 2011
Place: Denver Federal Ctr. W 6th Ave & Kipling Bldg #20
Foord Conference Room, Denver, CO USA

Free and open source software (FOSS) has been offering choices to computer users for a number of years. Over the past few years the open source choices in GIS have been broader and more capable than ever before. This workshop will focus on GIS open source software. It will give an overview of current developments from technical and management perspectives. Selected packages and their applications in various projects will be demonstrated and discussed.

URISA Cartography Workshop
Date: August 4, 2011
Place: URISA Headquarters Office
Des Plaines, IL USA

An effective map portrays a place, delivers a message, or reveals a pattern with representational accuracy and visual clarity.  How to make that happen is the subject of this workshop, which gives GIS practitioners the practical information and techniques needed to create effective, successful maps in any display medium.

Spatial Information Day
Date: August 5, 2011
Place: Adelaide Convention Centre

Spatial Information Day (SID 2011) and the South Australian Spatial Excellence Awards (SASEA 2011) will be held on Friday 5 August 2011 at the Adelaide Convention Centre.. The full day SID 2011 program will be followed by the SASEA 2011 dinner.

Data Quality Control and ArcGIS Server Cache Creation
Date: August 11, 2011
Place: USA

In many organizations the quality control process is a long procedure requiring many hours of dedication. In addition, the quality control process is often not centrally managed, resulting in repetition and inefficient practices. The ArcGIS Data Reviewer is an extension to ArcGIS Desktop that provides a complete system to help simplify the quality control processes. Using the Community Maps Template, we will explore how the ArcGIS Data Reviewer creates a more efficient quality control cycle by managing the quality control process. The seminar will conclude with an introduction to ArcGIS Server and map caching. Caching enables GIS users to deploy maps to their audience without having to worry about performance since cached services return a collection of images rather than a series of individual layers.

Applied Geoinformatics for Society and Environment 2011
Date: August 15 - 19, 2011
Place: Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology
Nairobi, Kenya

The overall scope of this conference is to offer an interdisciplinary, international forum for sharing knowledge about the application of Geoinformatics with focus on developing countries.

The content is twofold and participative. There will be professional training and workshops about current topics in the fields of Photogrammetry and Geoinformatics as well as reports (presentations) from the participants about applications and developments in their countries. Accepted papers will be published in the conference proceedings.