GIS – Transforming Our World with Jack Dangermond

Jack Dangermond speaks about the theme of the 2013 Esri International User Conference: GIS – Transforming Our World.

Jun 28th, 2014

Start From:
Player Color:

Right-click on these links to download and save this video.


00:01I want to now move on to the theme of this year's user conference - GIS Transforming Our World.

00:11When I first started looking into this magical word transformation, I found something really profound.

00:19It basically means change.

00:22Changing in two ways, however, changing both the physical but also the perception of what we see.

00:30And it seems to me GIS has a lot of relevance to both of those.

00:34Your work as we've seen just a couple of minutes ago is physically changing the world through all kinds of activities.

00:42But it's also changing how we see things.

00:45You know what I'm saying?

00:47It's a communication language, a kind of medium.

00:52Today our world is facing serious challenges.

00:56We get this kind of information from lots of sources - little scary.

01:02And it's clear to me that we need to fundamentally, collectively create a better future.

01:10Because if we let this continue, it ain't going to work out - simple as that.

01:16We need to leverage our very best brains, our best creative talent, our design talent, our technology...

01:26...our science, and create a more sustainable future.

01:30That's going to require some GIS talent, by the way, big talent.

01:37GIS is already helping us understand things.

01:40It's also providing a framework, a kind of practical means for transforming...

01:48...the world with all kinds of activities.

01:52Let's look at its characteristics.

01:54It's integrative, right?

01:57It's visual.

01:58It's quantitative and analytic.

02:00It has the magical properties of organizing things systematically.

02:05And also it's built on our little science of geography, which is comprehensive.

02:12In this respect, it qualifies to really scale up.

02:16GIS changes, obviously, how we think and how we act.

02:22In that sense, it's transformational.

02:26It also integrates geographic science into everything we do - what we measure, how we analyze things...

02:34...what predictions we make, how we plan, how we design, how we evaluate, and ultimately how we manage it...

02:41...a whole workflow of activities.

02:45This technology, your work, well, we need to scale it up.

02:52We need to take it beyond projects or single systems.

02:58We need to embrace it inside of organizations and make it pervasive.

03:04So you might be wondering, well, yeah, that's a nice vision.

03:08Is this really possible?

03:10And I'll simply offer to you that, what GPS did as a technology is it totally transformed us... human beings so that we're never lost.

03:23You know, this little device, we're never lost.

03:26Nobody's lost anymore.

03:28I mean I remember when I was lost, now I'm not.

03:34My wife might argue with that but I try not to be lost.

03:41Think for a moment if we could make GIS exactly that pervasive - that our organizations would not be lost...

03:49...that our communities would not be lost, that our society would not be lost, that those trends would be reversed...

03:56..that we could actually dream of and create a more sustainable future.

04:01This is a powerful notion.

04:03And one that I think GIS professionals are up to the challenge - you, basically.

04:13It's true.

04:17At the same time, GIS is transforming, and this is very exciting to us.

04:22It's totally transforming into a web GIS, and its leveraging all this stuff.

04:30It's leveraging faster machines.

04:32It's leveraging the web and the cloud, and big data, and all those big trends.

04:38We're taking advantage of that.

04:40And it's also integrating all of the new measurement stuff - advancing GIS with remote sensing, GPS, and 3D...

04:52...and all those things that we are evolving along.

04:55Also integration with pervasive information, all that's on the web.

05:02And what's emerging is a new little pattern.

05:05It's a pattern of apps that make cool maps, that do analytics, that provide pervasive access to your work...

05:13...that support content management better and go online with content, and more collaboration, and why?

05:23Well, what does this mean?

05:25GIS is getting easier, it's getting more accessible, dramatically, and it's becoming social.

05:34Now let's start with this.

05:36GIS in a web environment, or what I like to call web GIS, can represent all the data types.

05:43It can represent certainly maps, designed to do that, and imagery, and different kinds of services.

05:49But it's increasingly able to bring in all kinds of tabular data, enterprise data, spreadsheet data, big old SAP databases.

05:59It can also integrate social media and sensor networks, real-time information, and especially more recently...

06:07...the whole world of big data, providing a new sort of medium for us to work with.

06:15This web GIS pattern also provides a new pattern for integration.

06:20And I want you to notice carefully about this.

06:24Traditionally and historically, it was the big database can - the geodatabase.

06:28We had to very carefully integrate our data with data models and work that out.

06:34And that's really good work, and most of you have done that kind of work.

06:37But the web GIS represents a fundamentally different pattern.

06:41It means that we can integrate things dynamically from distributed services, using web services and web maps.

06:51And this enables a more flexible and more agile approach.

06:57This web GIS actually can integrate anything through dynamic linking, everything on the web...

07:05...through visual overlays, like mashups, through, and you'll see a lot of this this morning...

07:12...distributed spatial analysis, bringing content in from multiple places and doing modeling from this...

07:19...distributed dataset to help do exactly what you do all the time, which is the core science agenda of...

07:26...developing relationships and patterns, and understanding processes more effectively.

07:30...the barriers between organizations that separate them.

07:32This web GIS also has another magical ingredient, which means it breaks down, it is about breaking down...

07:42Well, I'm in this department, and I'm in that department.

07:45I'm in this agency, I'm in that organization.

07:48With this environment, we can fluidly integrate our different disciplines and our different activities without...

07:56...the humanness of having to all agree on one thing, which we have a real problem doing.

08:05There's a really great organization that was just, is just now emerging called NISC.

08:10And they're what I would call a poster child for this in emergency management.

08:14Many of you remember Katrina and the kind of hurricane disaster that occurred there.

08:18There was also a disaster in terms of our response at different levels of government.

08:22It didn’t quite work out.

08:24People didn't share information.

08:26NISC actually is a multigovernment and private-sector organization that allows dynamic integration...

08:34...and sharing of information.

08:36And they're here today.

08:38But they're just a pattern - or and they are just a pattern.

08:42This kind of pattern of using the web GIS is showing up in Central and South America.

08:48It's showing up in federal agencies.

08:49It's showing up actually in hundreds of your cities around the world.

08:57Web GIS has one other interesting ingredient, which is, it can help us organize our work...

09:03...providing content management for all the maps, and apps, and models, and also it simplifies...

09:09...the ability for sharing these within, not just for myself, but within my group, or within my organization.

09:16It’s very magical in that sense.

09:19So I'm attracted to this pattern, as you can tell.

09:23I'm very attracted to it as a framework for us to be able to scale up.

09:30I think web GIS is actually starting to transform everything we do.

09:36And who's leading it?

09:38You are.

09:39You're understanding the technology.

09:41You're embracing these patterns.

09:43You're sharing these and that's in part what this meeting will be about is I'm doing this, here's that.

09:49We've got to learn this very quickly, and this week is the time to do it.

09:55GIS professionals will be essential to be able to make this.

09:59It isn't going to happen from some outside influence.

10:01It isn't just a simple kind of approach for mapping.

10:05It's systemic in organizations, that's where we have to build it and that's where it comes.

10:10So I simply want to start off this meeting by saying, wow, we suddenly have a different kind of GIS, and a very exciting one.

Copyright 2016 Esri
Auto Scroll (on)Enable or disable the automatic scrolling of the transcript text when the video is playing. You can save this option if you login


No comments. Be the first to write one below.

Comment on this Video