Chris Thomas, Esri government industry manager, discusses applications that use citizen interaction to improve government.
00:01 I'm celebrating my 23rd year working in, with, and around government.
00:07 Hard to believe, I can tell.
00:10 Twenty-two of those years were implementing GIS and IT and I've had a chance to work with a lot of the innovators...
00:20 ... and the pioneers in the industry, a lot of you in this room, and a lot of users.
00:25 And as I look at government and I look at the things that I got a chance to look on, I got to see a lot of trends.
00:31 And with these trends I got to see everything from GIS on a mini-mainframe to a UNIX box and moved on into a desktop.
00:39 I got this go from begging people to use a paper copy of my map in a meeting to seeking GIS on the Internet into operations into the field.
00:51 And I kind of look at the activities that we have and where we're going and I focused on operations...
00:57 ...how to make government itself better, how to improve it.
01:01 And we have a lot of opportunities left.
01:04 There's new departments, there's new technologies to latch onto, but for me a lot of individuals come up to me and say...
01:13 ...Chris, what's the next big thing in government? And we are at point of our lives where there's an awful lot of collision of ideas.
01:26 New social ideas, new political movements, the way people want to engage with us.
01:32 And we have this opportunity to change the way in which we sell to and market to government in and of itself.
01:41 So I'll ask the question again...what's new for government?
01:45 It's citizens...citizen engagement, citizen participation, citizen as a sensor.
01:54 And this is a really easy market for you to take a look at because you represent that market.
02:00 You have an opportunity to take a look at the activities and ask a question...
02:03 ...why don't I interact with government? What irritates me about government that I would like to change?
02:11 What types of applications should there be out there? How can I make a difference?
02:16 And so we're at this point where we're starting to see these applications that are being developed...
02:20 ... and I really don't think that we've gotten there yet.
02:24 I think the future that we'll see in government interaction and citizen engagement is yet to be seen.
02:31 But let me show you a couple of early signs of the way this is happening and evolving.
02:37 We have the idea of citizen as a sensor.
02:41 The ability to take an opinion of a person and to take that and to collect as it's happening.
02:49 Not come to city hall and participate in where you think the park should be or bike route...
02:54 ...it's about collecting the information as a person experiences it and reports that...
02:59 ...and the city will be able to go back in and take that information and use it.
03:03 This is the city of Reno, Nevada.
03:07 It's the idea that I'm frustrated that I can't get a broadband signal, or my phone doesn't work...
03:13 ... and I can go to an application store, download an app that lets the government know that I can't get a broadband signal.
03:27 And that signal can be collected and then pushed back to government so that they can change things.
03:31 1.2 million people have downloaded that application.
03:36 It's the idea of volunteerism.
03:39 Not go out there and send out a message saying we're going to have a beach cleanup or a graffiti cleanup...
03:45 ...and if you're available, please come out.
03:46 It's, we are going to be doing something, if you have the skill set, the desire, and the time...
03:52 ...we are going to be here and we will notify you when this is happening.
03:56 It's the idea of setting a cell phone on a car seat, and as you hit a bump in the road, the pothole is recorded and sent back to city hall.
04:07 These are cool applications.
04:11 So the true test of time for any idea or any innovation is time itself, and GIS has met that test of time.
04:23 We've seen and experienced it.
04:25 We've experienced it in Haiti, we've experienced it in social media applications with the earthquakes and with the oil spills.
04:33 We've experienced it in the recovery.
04:36 And it's really a simple premise. Show a person an issue in relationship to where they work, live, and play, and the world makes more sense.
04:49 And you know what? We're at a time where we now understand that ArcGIS is the platform for Gov 2.0.
04:58 It's the platform for Health 2.0, it's the platform for Planning 2.0, Public Safety 2.0, and the list goes on.
05:06 So this is outside-in thinking.
05:12 This is an ability for you to take what you know.
05:13 I always use an analogy of the great guru in investing, Peter Lynch.
05:19 He always says, if you want to know what to invest in, invest in what you know.
05:23 And each and every one of you know what it would take to improve government from your perspective.
05:30 It's about looking at the community.
05:34 It takes a village. It takes a village, people, to change our world.
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