Directions 2014 – Highlights and insights from Melbourne

Directions 2014 stopped in Melbourne last week at the Langham. More than 200 users attended the event to network, learn and sharpen their GIS skills – as well as hear about what is in store for the future of the ArcGIS Platform.

Attendees were welcomed by Lisa Dykes, Photo 10-04-2014 9 06 29 amEsri Australia’s new Business Development Manager for Victoria and Tasmania. It was great to see so many new people with a show of hands revealing more than half of the users in the crowd were attending Directions for the first time. Lisa discussed the importance of the ArcGIS Platform for Victorian users and I was surprised to learn that only 20 percent of organisations have activated their free ArcGIS Online Subscription Accounts offered as part of ArcGIS Desktop entitlements at 10.2. If you believe your organisation may be entitled to a free ArcGIS Online Subscription Account make sure you check out our recent blog post that outlines how to request your free user credentials here.

I spent the rest of the day as a roving reporter and the remainder of this post is dedicated to highlights from the Melbourne stop on Esri Australia’s Tour de Force, Directions 2014.

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Recap of Sydney Directions 2014: real-time, 3D, mobile, spatial analysis and more!

With the last of our clients heading home after Sydney Directions, I thought it would be a great time to reflect on Directions 2014.

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The morning started with how ArcGIS is a platform for your organisation. I know this is something that you have been hearing from us for a while now, but with the addition of new data formats, such as real-time, and the coming addition of 3D being available to us anywhere, anytime and on any device, and an ability to be offline – this statement is more true than ever before.

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Recap of Brisbane Directions 2014

Six weeks ago, I took up the PR & Communications Coordinator role with Esri Australia.

When it comes to working in the GIS industry, you don’t get much greener than me – well, maybe apart from the guy who started on Monday!

The learning curve has been huge, but it’s a challenge I’m relishing.

The Esri Australia Directions 2014 roadshow has been touring the country over the past week and on Monday it stopped in Brisbane – the home of EA’s head office – giving me a fantastic opportunity to immerse myself in the world of GIS.

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Why is it so difficult to find MH370 debris using satellite imagery?

Since the moment Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 was determined by authorities to have crashed into the Southern Ocean some 2000km south west of Perth, I’ve been asked the same question repeatedly: How can satellites help find the crash site?

The purpose of this blog is to acquaint the readers with some facts about the strengths and limitations of satellite imagery.

Several governments have come together to form a massive search operation using satellite imagery, search aircraft and naval vessels.

Satellites have a large footprint and they can cover large amounts of area in short amounts of time. If they do find some interesting objects in this imagery, the next task will be to deploy air and sea resources to confirm the sightings.

Satellite imagery provides the starting point – a useful place to gather compelling evidence.

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Recap of Canberra Directions 2014

Thanks to all who braved the rain on Friday to attend Directions 2014 in Canberra. It was great to see such a good crowd. A show of hands during Gary Farmer’s welcome suggested that a significant number were at their first Directions event. That was really good to see and we hope it’ll be the first of many.

The theme of this year’s Directions tour is “sharpening your skills” and the sessions during the day are designed to stimulate thinking around how users can get more from their ArcGIS with a mix of new tools, smart ways to use existing tools, and general tips and techniques to be more productive when using the software.

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Recap of Adelaide Directions 2014

Directions 2014 landed at the Adelaide Hilton last Thursday. Roughly 150 users attended the event, making for a fantastic day of networking and understanding of Esri’s future directions.

The day started out with David Trengove, sporting a brand new set of reading glasses, introducing the event. He asked all first-timers at Directions to put up their hand and 20 per cent of the audience responded. It is always good to see new people attending these events. Dave then followed by introducing the Esri Australia staff, highlighting the new Adelaide staff and a special mention to Brett Bundock, Esri Australia’s Managing Director, who was attending Directions. He rounded out by highlighting some key projects that have been completed by the Adelaide office in the past year and his top 3 take aways from the event, before handing the stage over to Josh Venman who was to be MC for the day.

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Recap of Perth Directions 2014

The Directions 2014 roadshow made its third stop at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Perth. With close to 200 attendees, it was a great turnout and made for a fantastic day of networking and sharing new ideas.

Josh Venman started off the morning session by setting the scene with his ArcGIS Platform story. I’ve heard his presentation a few times on the tour now, and every time I hear it, I realise just how powerful the story is. There are several paths to using an enterprise GIS and, as an organisation, you have the flexibility to implement a setup for your requirements.perth directions 2014_01

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Recap of Townsville Directions 2014

Last Thursday was my first Directions as a member of the Esri Australia team, and I am pleased to say it was a highlight! It was really satisfying to share the day with the Townsville GIS community. We kicked off with a welcome from Doug Van Gelder, and then straight into a series of presentations from the rest of the Esri Australia team.

directionsJosh set the scene for the technical presentations with an overarching discussion of how ArcGIS is the key location platform to support your entire organisation. The way we all work is fundamentally changing. People want to be able to access spatial content on multiple devices and locations – the ArcGIS platform enables us to leverage “location” as a core part of business.

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Recap of Darwin Directions 2014

As the Esri Australia team prepared for the day, there was an “air of anticipation” in the Top End. The feeling was a little bit like the feeling you get when the results of months of hard work are about to be revealed.

johnThe Plenary
Northern Territory Manager, Jeremy Conversi, opened the day with a warm welcome and an overview of the day’s events.

Josh Venman, Ebony Wickramanayake and John Hasthorpe then took us away with their demonstrations of the many facets of the ArcGIS Platform. I particularly enjoyed John’s demo of how mobile phone data (such as: location, acceleration and tilt) streamed in real-time into ArcGIS Online – allowing for instantaneous display on a range of apps.

Another topic which certainly sparked some conversations was the effective curation of spatial data online – a concept illustriously demonstrated by Ebony. Overall, the plenary certainly got us thinking about future of GIS.

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Extend your training dollar this new financial year

To help you plan your training requirements for the coming financial year, I thought I’d share a tip on how you can get the most value from the budget you’ve been assigned.

A common problem we hear from users is difficulty breaking through the administrative and budgetary red tape when it comes to getting training courses approved.

To address this issue, we introduced the Learning and Services Credit program, which gives you a flexible means to budget for training and Professional Services throughout the year.

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