Jack Dangermond: Welcome and Introduction

Jack Dangermond gives his welcome remarks and recognizes the work of the user community, including Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) award winners.

Jul 12th, 2010

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00:01Well, welcome everybody! Well it's cool in Santa Barbara, isn't it?

00:05I mean, no, it's not Santa Barbara, it's San Francisco. No, it's San Diego! Isn't it beautiful? This weather is fantastic.

00:13Welcome you to the 30th annual users conference.

00:18It gives me great pleasure on behalf of all of my staff and colleagues to thank you for being here and say, this is a great moment.

00:28This is the largest gathering that we've ever had of our users.

00:32It's actually, from my information, the largest gathering of GIS people ever to occur.

00:38People here are from all planets...no, we'll talk about that later...

00:46...but 134 countries, 6,000 organizations, many different interests, many different disciplines.

00:59And the purpose of this meeting is basically to get to know each other, to share our information...

01:05...to share our experiences, to learn from each other, to develop relationships.

01:11And that's a very powerful thing if you think about it. How we learn is basically through friendship.

01:18You know, you learn from your friends. They tell you the inside story. And this is definitely a time for that.

01:26As we get going this morning...well, let me just back up.

01:29Thirty years ago when we had our first user meeting...

01:33...we spent a couple hours having everybody stand up and introduce themselves and tell a little bit about themselves.

01:40We couldn’t do that anymore.

01:42But instead, I want you to tell a little bit about yourself and then I'd like you to meet one new person next to you.

01:50Introduce yourself to them, and do that all week.

01:54Well you can see you are a kind of network of GIS professionals all around the world. And that's all by itself very exciting.

02:03Okay, so now meet somebody new and tell them who you are.

02:07Just turn around and get to know them. Let them do it to you, too.

03:01Okay. Good. Thank you.

03:14Wonderful! Perfect! Excellent! Good work! Beautiful! Thank you. Good.

03:39That's the way I want it all week. New meetings.

03:43Well, last night I met a couple who, in 1993 met each other just like that. Now they showed me their little kids.

03:52I don't want any of that, but you know what I mean. Become friends. It's very valuable.

04:01Your work, I would assert, is changing the world.

04:06You're working on virtually all the challenges that today's society is facing...

04:11...from education to natural resources, to conservation, to science, to all of these things.

04:19And each year I ask that you send me a map so that I can look at it and share it. This year I had thousands of maps that came in.

04:27I can't show them all, but I want to show you a few of them. These maps show some sense of environmental change.

04:36Some of you are looking at monitoring change. Sea surface temperature, for example, or the changes in the polar ice caps.

04:44Or, change in vegetation, changes in water quality and setting up performance measurements so we can begin to manage it.

04:53Others of you are making attempts to manage different facets of natural resources...

05:00...exploring it, like this beautiful map on the left showing...

05:06...exploring geography/geology to understand where there might be minerals...

05:11...and exploring geochemical under-the-ground visualization.

05:16And agriculture and forestry, and kids getting engaged [unintelligible].

05:21Some of you are exploring for renewable energy sources in cities with solar and wind and geothermal and hydro.

05:31And others are managing land information, the cadastre, the parcels...

05:38...building a kind of foundation for the civil society for taxation and registration.

05:44And these maps show looking to the future, urban planning, urban design.

05:50Looking at these beautiful maps of wind modeling, for example, from Japan.

05:55And the map in the lower right is a project I actually worked on 30 years ago, the general plan in Los Angeles County.

06:03But now it's all being done on the Web with citizen engagement. Wow. Very exciting to me.

06:10And then, there's maps on public safety and health and social issues.

06:15Childhood obesity, food deserts, race and health care, public housing and social risk...

06:24...and the spread of diseases like H1N1 across the planet.

06:28Some of you are managing utilities and public infrastructure, wires, pipes, looking at their aging...

06:37...analyzing where they should go, using geography as a critical element.

06:42And transportation, railroads, roads, airports, traffic, planning, and accident analysis...

06:49...and designing, like this beautiful map from South Korea. Freeways.

06:56Some of you are working on making the world a safer place, defense and national security.

07:02Linking intelligence information to the people in the field so that they understand where there's trouble.

07:10Some of you are planning for and responding to natural disasters, fires, forest fires, hurricanes, flooding.

07:19The volcanic eruption in this, I won't try to pronounce the name, that Icelandic place...

07:28...and also modeling tsunamis across the Pacific.

07:34The earthquake, responding to these disasters with people being in the field.

07:42Today, we're challenged by one of the greatest of all disasters in the Gulf...

07:47...and there are actually thousands of GIS people right now as we speak, not here, there...

07:52...collecting information with little handheld devices, providing situation awareness...

07:57...using GIS to plan where to put booms and where to put skimmers to respond to this disaster.

08:03People from national government agencies, people from state agencies, local agencies...

08:08...from the oil companies themselves, collaborating, using GIS as a way to make a difference here.

08:18Some of you are using GIS in business, finding the right sites. And like with planning, this is increasingly going online.

08:25These two beautiful, colorful maps on the left show the ability to put in criteria and see the best location for sites...

08:34...picking a site by the private sector with government information.

08:39And mapping is our language. Visualization is our language.

08:44And this ranges from nautical charts to aeronautical charts to topo maps to road atlases...

08:50...and reaching back in time to early civilizations...

08:53...and reconstructing the physiography of geography like these maps on the west coast of Canada.

09:01Maps are becoming a language. They're being used in government transparency and accountability and citizen engagement.

09:10What started with our U.S. government in the recovery stimulus funds has become a pattern.

09:16And it's being used in Ireland, it's being in used in states, it's being used all over the world to connect with people.

09:23And, many of you are opening your data up through government portals in Europe, in the U.S., and Latin America, and Asia.

09:32And, getting feedback back through 311 systems and engagement by citizens giving information back into the GIS.

09:41And we'll hear a lot about that this morning.

09:45GIS is also becoming thought of, people are laying plans for building GIS as infrastructure. This excites me a lot.

09:55It's raising itself to a level where whole countries and regions of the world are beginning to work together...

10:02...in Europe in the INSPIRE work.

10:05Here in the United States in the geospatial program, or platform initiative...

10:10...and in places like Abu Dhabi it's actually been implemented, and we'll see some more of that later today.

10:17And in China, it's actually been implemented with many ministries collaborating...

10:23...providing geospatial platform for not just doing the work, but managing the enterprise.

10:32A very, very, very, very, big dream actually being realized there.

10:38Each year I like to acknowledge a small group of our users with something called Special Achievement in GIS Awards, our SAG Awards.

10:47This years these users, about 140 organizations, out of the roughly quarter million organizations...

10:55...using our tools around the world, have been given this award.

10:58On Wednesday afternoon we're having a formal reception.

11:01But could you take a minute and please stand up...

11:04...all of those who won this SAG award, if you can find your name there? Let's acknowledge them.

11:23I like to acknowledge people when they do good work.

11:27Of course, it makes us feel good, it's nice, but also it serves the purpose of referencing good practices.

11:35Showing to the rest of us what's good, and that's very valuable.

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