Recently, I gave a lecture about “What is new in GIS Technology” during the latest GIS Day in Egypt. In this article, I am giving a brief about the main points presented to the audience. I am also adding some videos that were not displayed during the lecture duo to the limited time.
But first, I would like to give a hint about what GIS Day is. So, If you are familiar with GIS and GIS days, you may skip the following section and just scroll to “What is new in GIS technology”.
What is GIS ?
GIS (geographic information system) is a technology that enables us to visualize, analyze, interpret, and understand data on maps. Accordingly, GIS is an essential technology for decision making in many sectors. It is used in Governments, banking, real estate, telecommunication, transportation and other sectors.
Esri and Esri NeA
Esri is a famous company in the field of GIS technology (Geographic Information Systems). It was established in 1969. Headquarter is in USA but the company has offices and distributors around the world.
Esri Northeast Africa (Esri NeA) is the distributor of Esri in the region of Northeast Africa including Egypt, Libya, Chad, Sudan, and South Sudan.
GIS day is an Event for celebrating the GIS technology. It was initiated by Esri in USA. Then it is becoming an event that is organized in many countries worldwide.
Wednesday, 21st of November 2018, was the GIS day in Egypt. Library of Alexandria hosted the event in cooperation with Esri-NeA.
What is new in GIS technology
These were the main points of the lecture:
Simply, Integration …
Nowadays, no technology can work in isolation from other technologies. A clear example is our smartphones. If you look at your phone, you can find many technologies that are integrated together in one small device. Same concept applies to other technologies, including GIS.
GIS now is working as centralized platform what integrates with multiple systems of multiple technologies, and multiple data sources. Then, GIS takes the responsibility of applying spatial analysis on the inputs, and communicate the results to stakeholders in a friendly & visualized way.
To give examples: Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning, Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality, and others. These are examples of the technologies that GIS can integrate with.
It is now applicable to combine GIS data with real scenes. That is based on integrating GIS with Augmented Reality.
One of the most useful applications for this integration is visualizing under-ground utilities in field. The following video presents the idea.
Esri & Autodesk
Esri is cooperating with Autodesk. Accordingly, we now can integrate engineering products and BIM (Building Information Model) workflows and GIS. Autodesk users will be able to access ArcGIS services directly inside AutoCAD. On the other hand, GIS users will be able to read Revit data files directly inside ArcGIS.
Simply, 3D is becoming much better in visuzlization and editing as well … Have a look.
In a world where IoT and Big Data are major trends, We are able to receive real-time data from sensors and other sources directly into ArcGIS. Moreover, Esri has enhanced the performance so that we can deal with thousands of events per second and visualize them on dashboards for a better awareness of what’s happening. The main application for this is Smart Cities, which is another main trend worldwide.
ArcGIS Enterprise Sites
Just few months ago, Esri has released ArcGIS Enterprise Sites. It is a new product that allows you to create a tailored web pages using simple drag and drop technique. Created web pages are easily navigated by non-GIS users.
This video provides a demo about this product.
ArcGIS Hub is a new product that represents a bridge between governments and communities. It is a platform that offers premium capabilities, Initiatives and Community, for designing and adopting a growing network of Initiatives as well as public participant management tools such as engagement tracking, event planning and communications.
The following video is an introduction for this product
Esri announced a new product named ArcGIS Indoors. It provides interactive indoor mapping for corporate facilities, retail and commercial locations, airports, hospitals, event venues, universities, and more. The product is useful for both employees during their daily operation, and the visitors for these places who seek information and way finding.
A quick introduction is in the following video.
ArcGIS Urban is a solution for helping urban planners and designers engaged in government and real estate projects. It helps them reach the optimum city planning in much less time and cost.
The following video is demo for the product.
It is known that GIS now reads data of different formats such as vector map, raster and satellite images.
What is new is GIS can now handle unstructured data. Recently, Esri added the ability to easily discover and extract geographic coordinates from unstructured textual data like emails, briefings, and reports, instantly generating intelligent map-based information.
This capability will make mapping this elusive information easier across many industries. Defense, intelligence, public safety, and other organizations tend to have massive volumes of unstructured data.
Field Operations & Dashboard
Esri provides a collection of mobile applications for supporting different needs on field teams.
They are used in data collection, making surveys and questionnaires, and for workforce management in field. These applications are all connected to the ArcGIS system so that we can see in real time where everybody is and help them coordinate their work.
Additionally, Operations Dashboard has been re-engineered to be fully web based and easily configurable. A good practice for dashboard it to use it for receiving real-time data from field in order to achieve better monitoring for field operations and performance.
You may check my previous articles about GIS technology:
A writer & GIS consultant … Studied the Management of Technology … dreaming of a better world.