Esri president Jack Dangermond discusses a new modality for GIS, where advances in technology, measurement, software, science, and open data policies are creating a geospatial infrastructure to support better decision making, communication, and efficiency. This video was recorded for attendees at Geospatial World Forum, India.
00:01 Hi, my name is Jack Dangermond, and I'm going to talk about the dimensions and directions...
00:09 ...of what I think are happening in the geospatial field.
00:13 In science, in government, in consumer worlds, et cetera.
00:18 I think we're entering into what I would call a new modality.
00:21 And we've seen this and read about these kinds of things in other fields.
00:26 For example, when film was first invented, the way they did it was film stage plays.
00:31 And that was interesting because you could film stage play acting and put it in the can...
00:36 ...and ship it out and take it to many theaters...
00:38 ...and that acting activity was disseminated everywhere.
00:43 And then people learned that you could take the camera outside and do live performances...
00:47 ...and we entered a whole new modality of film.
00:51 When people began to play around with digital text, the first generation to some extent were still here...
00:58 ...was make electronic books and put them into these called nooks or other little devices...
01:03 ...and we can page through them and read books, and it's interesting.
01:07 But what about Wikipedia and living books and living stories?
01:11 Or, at the age of a new modality of dissemination of living text and living reading?
01:18 And we're figuring that out right now.
01:21 With maps it was the same thing.
01:22 We went from paper maps to digital maps.
01:24 And the first efforts were largely based on CAD.
01:27 We would automate the map, and then we could disseminate the map just like in theater, and stage plays.
01:34 Lots of people could see the map, but we didn't really leverage the map.
01:38 We could change the scales, of course, and so on.
01:41 And then GIS came along and we were able to build a data model of geographic stuff behind the map.
01:48 That allowed us to create many different maps from the same data and combine the data and do spatial analytics.
01:55 It became a new modality, and the world changed.
01:59 We could share this data, we could share the knowledge.
02:01 And we've really been living in that modality for some decades.
02:07 We're now entering a new modality for GIS.
02:10 One that is on the Web.
02:12 And the first generation was we put maps on the Web in the '90s...
02:16 ...and then the invention of these slippy maps and Web maps, as they're called...
02:22 ...with cached information came about and people began to interact with these maps...
02:26 ...like contribute information back.
02:28 The age of volunteered geographic information emerged.
02:31 And then distributed GISs that were served and could be mashed up and integrated.
02:37 We could do distributed GIS, and the world is changing.
02:42 And just like with film, we're right in the midst of an enormous change.
02:48 What is this change going to result in?
02:50 I think we're seeing it already.
02:52 On one hand, the development of integrated systems.
02:58 So instead of just buying a desktop or buying a server or buying a mobile device...
03:04 ...we're seeing the emergence of GIS systems where all these devices are connected on the Web...
03:10 ...with a warehouse of geographic information...data and maps and analytic models and workflows.
03:20 Data models...people are beginning to share this.
03:24 So we're creating, collectively, an ecosystem of knowledge.
03:29 So when I buy a desktop, I connect it into the Web and I can get other people's maps, I can get their data.
03:35 I can download information.
03:37 I can use their models, their services.
03:39 And the age of geoservices is emerging.
03:42 What does this mean?
03:43 It means that government agencies will continue to use GIS exactly as they have in the past.
03:49 They will buy technology, they'll automate their maps, they'll make better decisions because of that.
03:54 They'll integrate science into their work.
03:57 They'll communicate more effectively and they'll drive efficiency...
04:01 ...like FedEx does, and all of these interesting private sector companies.
04:06 But at the same time, many of them are connecting into this ecosystem.
04:11 They're drawing on cloud information resources, integrated basemaps for the planet, for example, or datasets or Landsat.
04:19 And they use them in system, in their enterprise systems or their desktop systems.
04:24 And at the same time, they're sharing much of their content into the infrastructure.
04:29 This term, the spatial information, or SDI spatial data infrastructure, is actually coming alive...
04:39 ...finally with the emergence of GIS on the Web.
04:43 I buy an iPhone, I have GIS on it, and I access this ecosystem.
04:48 Just like when I buy an iPhone and I access Apple's marvelous ecosystem...
04:54 ...of music and the Web and all of these things.
04:58 This is right in the midst of a new modality for GIS where it's multiparticipant...it's distributed.
05:05 People build on top of their existing workflows and activities...
05:10 ...geographic knowledge that is sharable and usable.
05:15 How is this coming about?
05:16 It's being driven by five main elements.
05:19 The first is the technology itself.
05:22 The hardware is getting cheaper, faster...all of the Moore's Law stuff...
05:28 ...and now being put onto mobile devices and on the Web, and connected.
05:34 That's one.
05:35 And that just continues to evolve.
05:37 A second evolution is measurement itself.
05:40 We started with digitizing maps 40 years ago, and then remote sensing and more automated techniques...
05:46 ...for capture, and then sensor networks...
05:50 ...where we could actually sense online and connect it to the networks...
05:54 ...and have real-time information coming in.
05:56 And now, crowd sourcing.
05:58 Individuals, citizens, can input measurements into GIS on the Web.
06:04 We can get volunteered geographic information into these systems.
06:08 And that's making our systems become more real-time and alive and available to everyone...
06:15 ...through mobile devices and this emergence of the Web and geo on the Web.
06:21 A third trend that's emerging is the software tools themselves.
06:24 We've moved from mainframes to minis to workstations to PC software and client/server and enterprise.
06:32 And now, putting all of these systems in the one system, connected by Web and Web services.
06:38 This is just very exciting, because it says that we can create, author, data in our desktop; share it on a server...
06:47 ...access it by anything; share it with our friends; share it with everybody...
06:52 ...or keep it in a more proprietary environment.
06:58 This is going very fast.
06:59 We're adding 3D.
07:01 Time is now an integral part to space in geography.
07:05 Being able to visualize better, more real-time kinds of activities.
07:11 This...this is a march that keeps going on, which is very exciting to me.
07:17 A fourth dimension is that this technology is affecting what we know, our science.
07:23 We're able to understand and model processes on the planet.
07:27 Everything from soil erosion to where it's best to grown particular products.
07:32 We're able to understand and interpret biology systems, health...
07:38 ...the science of geography is evolving, now moving into social networks...
07:43 ...and the integration of social networking technologies and systems with geospatial technologies...
07:50 ...is giving us new insight into how humans behave.
07:55 And finally, at the same time, as these other four things are occurring...
08:00 ...we're seeing the emergence of new, open data sharing policies.
08:05 This is driven by sometimes political initiatives.
08:09 In my country, we're seeing it actually from the top.
08:13 The president of the U.S. himself is driving it.
08:16 But also, we're seeing in state and local governments.
08:19 The willingness to share data and get citizens involved, promoting citizens engagement in government...
08:27 ...is a healthy way to have open democracy...is occurring.
08:31 It's a fifth dimension to what's occurring in the development of geospatial systems.
08:38 What does all of this mean?
08:40 I see in the future the connecting of all systems for collection.
08:47 Authoritative source datasets and the emergence of a geospatial infrastructure connected through the Web.
08:56 And open, based on standards, accessible, so that many vendors can participate...
09:03 ...and many application developers, coders can build apps on top of the infrastructure...
09:09 ...and push along better behavior in our government.
09:14 Push along better understanding so our business are more efficient.
09:18 Push along citizen understanding about the world, what's occurring here.
09:23 Our environment...push along efficiencies, push along communication...
09:28 ...because maps are logical instruments for communicating stories of what's going on.
09:34 This is...this is a big idea.
09:37 On the other hand, I'm as certain as I'm standing....I'm certain as I'm standing here that this evolution will occur.
09:45 In terms of the way it'll occur, I see it emerging in two forms.
09:50 One is a government-business-academic-dominated, distributed environment.
09:55 Many nodes feeding into one networked system, distributed much like the Web itself.
10:01 And second, into systems that are clustered around search like we see with Microsoft and Google today.
10:09 Maps that are a platform that express map services and location services.
10:15 And they'll be different kinds of information that are emerging on these multiple platforms.
10:21 In one case, authoritative source information that describes the basic civil society in our science...
10:28 ...and on the other case, new kinds of information that are collected by following traces...
10:33 ...of how cell phones move around, building applications about location and location interaction.
10:41 That'll...that will affect behavior of individuals in their daily lives...everything from search to behavior expressions.
10:50 In the case of the governments systems and the building of infrastructure, it will affect the way...
10:55 ...people at the societal level make decisions in government.
10:59 It will drive the way businesses operate, driving more efficiency and better decisions.
11:06 So these are two infrastructures, and they will mix and share information.
11:11 Interoperability standards on the Web itself mean that they can feed each other.
11:17 We can use the Web to reach consumer information with authoritative source and vice versa.
11:22 Consumer data and personal behavior data will mix into this kind of emerging infrastructure.
11:30 So you, in the geospatial field, from the executive down to the technician, are working in a field that's growing very fast.
11:40 It's emerging and will provide a new kind of knowledge for us to behave and evolve into the future.
11:49 An infrastructure which will look at all of the footprints of human beings on the planet...
11:56 ...and guide us in terms of where we put our footprints, how we build...
12:00 ...how we develop, the decisions that we make...
12:03 ...areas that we can serve, areas that we protect, areas that we develop.
12:08 All human behavior and activities will be guided with these geospatial infrastructures...
12:15 ...which are increasingly socially available to everyone.
12:19 I challenge you to play harder than this, because I think our future depends upon it.
12:26 I think it's important.
12:28 Thank you.
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