Geography in Action

Sep 2008 | Comments Off on Geography in Action

ESRI’s International User Conference draws more than 14,500 attendees
ESRI President Jack Dangermond

In his opening remarks at ESRI’s 28th annual international user conference, company president Jack Dangermond presented his views on the impact of GIS in promoting a sustainable future.

“While we face many problems today, GIS is a proven technology that allows us to better analyze and understand the underlying conditions that have lead to many of these problems and apply methods that can mitigate them. Geography in Action isn’t simply a

phrase; it is a methodology for creating a sustainable future. GIS technology is beginning to make a difference, changing the way we see and do things. But more than technology is required. It will take

vision, dedication, and hard work. GIS professionals working together can implement this new approach and create a sustainable future for everyone.”

Peter Raven, noted botanist, environmentalist, and president of the Missouri Botanical Gardens, gave the keynote speech at the conference. Raven’s talk focused on the need for biodiversity and species preservation and he praised the use of GIS in contributing to the efforts of those involved in these conservation activities.

The capabilities of ESRI’s ArcGIS Server 9.3 provided the thousands of attendees with a look at a powerful platform to meet

the increasing need for enterprisewide GIS solutions. Demonstrations included the provision of a common operational

picture for multiple agencies involved in an emergency situation and the integrationof different basemaps and operational data for the construction of a mashup for Web 2.0 distribution. By using the new

ArcGIS API for JavaScript extension, Web developers can integrate ArcGIS Server map, image, data, and geoprocessing

services with Google Maps and Microsoft Virtual Earth applications. ArcGIS Image Server was used to demonstrate dynamic

image processing for GIS analysis and display. Looking ahead, ArcGIS Server 9.4 will continue to extend the platform’s scalability and security by expanding UNIX/Linux and Java support,

dynamic map performance, and rich Internet application support (Flex).
Peter Raven, president of the Missouri Botanical Gardens, presents the keynote speech at the conference

Acknowledging excellence in GIS applications and implementations from the user community is a time honored tradition at the ESRI user conference. This year, the President’s award went to the City of Philadelphia. Making a Difference awards were presented to U.S.

Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne and Rosario Giusti de Pérez and Ramón A. Pérez, architects/urban designers from

Venezuela. The Centre for GIS in Qatar won the Enterprise Application Award.

Once again, the Map Gallery proved to be a major attraction at the conference. With more than 900 maps and nearly 20 special displays in this year’s exhibition, gallery traffic was predictably high. Included in the special displays this year was NASA/ JPL—This World and Others: GIS at NASA, National Geographic Maps, and

The United Nations Showcase: One UN.

Several seminars and preconference events were held during the weekend prior to the conference. The 2008 ESRI Survey & Engineering GIS Summit offered presentations given by celebrated

keynote speakers. Colonel David Madden, commander of the Global Positioning Systems (GPS) Wing at the Space Missile Systems Center, discussed the large avionics integration and installation program at the U.S. Department of Defense, and Timothy McCormick, senior vice president for Dewberry’s

Hazard Engineering and Geospatial Services Group, spoke about GeoFIRM, the company’s flood mapping solution.

At the Census Summit, Keynote Speaker Dr. Paul Cheung, Director of the United Nations Statistics Division, discussed the 2010 World Population and Housing Census Programme. “GIS is getting so

important, the statistical community must wholeheartedly and aggressively embrace this technology,” he said.

–Jim Baumann ( Jim writes about international

GIS-related topics for ESRI. ESRI President Jack Dangermond

Peter Raven, president of the Missouri Botanical Gardens, presents the keynote speech at the confe

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