Jack Dangermond, Esri president, provides a vision for creating a GIS for the entire country.
00:01 I'd like to talk at a vision level a bit about your vision, what many of you have been developing...
00:08 ...a kind of vision for a GIS for the nation; in other words, scaling it up, moving beyond projects or a single department...
00:18 ...or a single agency, scaling it up to a GIS for the entire country.
00:28 Our nation has a lot of problems to solve, a lot of challenges from economic recovery to conservation of our environment...
00:37 ...to bettering human health.
00:40 Actually, all of those things that I just showed you examples of stuff that you're working on.
00:45 And GIS is absolutely an interesting approach for this.
00:49 It's recognized at the highest levels of this government but in governments around the world.
00:55 Driving efficiency, making better understanding, improving the way we make decisions, addressing these very challenges.
01:04 The question that I have is can we actually create a platform which extends your work, the work that you're doing now...
01:14 ...so that it supports our entire country, all of society, not just G to G, a vision which is very important...
01:22 ...one department to another, one mission to another...
01:25 ...but also opening it up so that we can leverage our collective geospatial investments...
01:31 ...what taxpayers are paying for, and make them widely available.
01:37 I mean, it's been estimated that there are hundreds of millions, perhaps a billion, dollars of infrastructure...
01:43 ...in the federal government that is largely mission focused. And that does a good job.
01:48 It saves lives, it helps us be more productive, it helps us advance our science, but it's not leveraged very much.
01:57 And the very vision of GIS is that we do integration and we make it available for lots of applications.
02:06 Can we do that at a national level? That's an interesting thing and a provocative one.
02:13 Where we not only organize our datasets but we extend it to support everybody else, integrating geography data...
02:22 ...models, services, all these things into virtually everything we do.
02:28 Building new communities, supporting access from one discipline to another, and helping us.
02:40 That's intriguing.
02:42 This notion is already emerging, actually, around the world.
02:45 Here in the U.S. with the good work of the FGDC in envisioning the geospatial platform...
02:53 ...but it's already actually been implemented in China.
02:58 The major agencies have implemented systems, federated them, made them replicated in a nationwide system.
03:08 It's being talked about and architected in Europe, but it's already been implemented in Abu Dhabi.
03:15 It's being talked about and planned for in India, in Indonesia, in Australia, in Singapore.
03:23 And the question is, Can we do this here in our country?
03:30 There's many forces that are converging that are promising.
03:34 Some of them are, for example, computing is evolving; it's getting faster, it's getting more mobile.
03:40 It's cloud...the architectures and policies promoted by this administration, for example, of let's move to the cloud...
03:49 ...are exactly in line with what will be necessary to make this occur.
03:54 We're also measuring more. We're moving to a persistent surveillance environment.
04:00 Okay. We're not there yet, but we are integrating everything that moves on the planet into a geospatial framework...
04:07 ...and putting it into these networks, the Internet, and allowing us to move to this idea of collective geographic information.
04:16 The software's also evolving. Not just your old GIS anymore; it's moved to the web, and it's more usable, more friendly.
04:27 And science is coevolving with it, building new understandings of how the world works.
04:33 Social networks, human terrain, measurements of all sorts, integrated, are allowing us to see the world in a different way.
04:44 And at the same time, we're seeing the emergence - again, thanks in part to this country's policies of open data policies...
04:52 ...not just open data but also services.
04:56 And these policies of pushing technology and making data available across different organizations, I think, is leading the way.
05:08 Also, you are building this knowledge.
05:12 You're creating it as data and you're not only sharing the data, but you're sharing services that can be easily connected.
05:21 I'll take this soil map from here and this health information from there...
05:26 ...and I'll put them together as services and see what kind of interesting conclusions that I could make.
05:34 This is leading to more collaborative approaches in problem solving.
05:40 And people talk about it often. They've been talking about it frequently for years.
05:45 "Place-based approaches are important where we bring things together."
05:50 This is now starting to be possible not only with your authoritative data sources but also crowdsourcing, data from different sources.
06:01 Citizens are getting involved, contributing information.
06:06 Professional workers are contributing VGI data on top of or into systems, and that's in turn being leveraged.
06:17 This'll be challenging for GIS professionals because it's not simply authoritative data sources that we need to manage now.
06:25 We need to be able to enrich GIS with these new forms.
06:29 It's kind of like, if we didn't have remote sensing in GIS and now we have remote sensing. It's like that.
06:37 We didn't have crowdsourced information...
06:39 ...and now we have the possibility for structuring GIS so that crowdsourced information can come in.
06:45 And that's going to create new opportunities for you in your applications.
06:49 It's going to allow you to think differently, where we're taking real observations from humans as they make them...
06:57 ...and crank it into applications that give a real-time dimension.
07:03 Our perceptions of GIS are changing as a result of this, and the web infrastructure...
07:09 ...web-based approaches, are emerging in this context.
07:14 This slide points out the notion of a distributed set of data and services linked together through the web...
07:26 ...that can be openly discovered and made available to anyone for app development on top of it.
07:35 And as a result of this infrastructure, whole new kinds of apps are emerging.
07:40 Apps where they're very easy to put together, and we'll see a lot of them today, demonstrated.
07:45 I can just mash up three things, put a dah, da-dah, da-dah, da-dah, and I've got an app.
07:51 In other words, there's a kind of infrastructure underneath it that is easy to use, that's built out of authoritative sources...
08:00 ...that I can quickly snap into position and get going.
08:04 That's going to enable a whole new thought process, and that excites me.
08:11 This process will not simply...
08:13 This platform will not only enable new ways of thinking, it's going to change actually how our country works.
08:21 There'll be more collaboration. People will collaborate across agencies, across departments, across missions.
08:29 There'll be more integration. The place-based notions that people talk about will be easy and commonplace.
08:37 It'll be more transparent. We'll link agencies with legislators with the public to see these common maps.
08:47 And we're already seeing it; not so much in the federal government but certainly in states...
08:50 ...and especially in local governments just opening up.
08:55 And for a variety of reasons, efficiency is going to be the bottom line here, forcing or evolving towards shared infrastructure.
09:08 And the bottom line of all of this, it's going to be much easier to do GIS.
09:13 It won't just be you doing it, although you'll be building the infrastructure and supporting it.
09:19 It'll be a whole new class of users that you need to support, providing the very vision that I've been talking about.
09:30 GIS for all of society.
09:33 So is a national GIS platform possible?
09:38 My feeling is strongly yes.
09:40 I would even assert that it's inevitable. It's going to hit the target.
09:47 It's going to allow us to integrate multiple organizations, the content, the services.
09:54 It'll mean that GIS professionals build lots of this authoritative source...
09:59 ...and gets shared out as services and applications to everyone else.
10:04 And it'll be based on cloud. It'll be based on the concepts of sharing. It'll be based on easy-to-use technology.
10:12 And you're going to see this again and again and again.
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