Ozri 2012: The inside story

Direct from this year’s Esri International User Conference in the US, Kellie Persson, the Technical Director for Ozri 2012, took some time out from her busy schedule to give us the inside story on some of the technology highlights we can expect to see at Ozri 2012.

EA: Hi Kellie, thanks for chatting with us – and dragging yourself away from all of the goings on of the User Conference! So tell us, from a technical perspective, what makes Ozri 2012 such a noteworthy event?

KP: Ozri 2012 is all about exploring and showcasing the new frontiers of GIS.  Technology-wise, while you may think that the focus will be on ArcGIS 10.1 – that is really only scratching the surface of what the conference will offer. We have two full days to dive into new applications of the technology and science across markets that you might not have thought of before. We have presentations from clients such as the Royal College of Surgeons and some of our local councils who are really starting to expand into new exciting applications of the software.

EA: What does the program offer this year?

KP: We have such a diverse program this year. Importantly the ArcGIS 10.1 sessions will provide a road map for moving forward, planning your migration and understanding how ArcGIS 10.1 can become an integral part of your organisation.

After the success of the panels last year we have three panels running this year: 4D Cities, Which SDI is right for you?, and How will the Cloud Shape the Future of IT? These are all topics that are raising a number of questions for the GIS community, and we’ve found many people coming to us asking for advice on these areas. On the panels, we have representatives from a wide range of backgrounds who you will be able to interact with, including Suzanne Campbell from AIIA, Nick Abrahams from Norton Rose and Joe Ziegler from Amazon Web Services – and that’s just the cloud panel!

And of course I have to say a huge thank you our clients who will be sharing their experiences with all of us throughout the conference. We have a wide variety of client presentations from data analysis through to rapid damage assessment – there is definitely something for everyone.

EA: What presentations are you most looking forward to?

KP: All of them! It’s always exciting to see the new ways that GIS technology is applied to help us – as GIS professionals – better answer questions that our organisations throw our way. I’m very keen to hear from Associate Professor Robyn Clark, from Queensland University of Technology, who headed up a national study into measuring accessibility of cardiovascular services throughout Australia. She will be sharing her experiences – and the results of the study – with all of us during the plenary on Thursday morning.

I’m also very excited as this is the first year that we are running a number of industry focus sessions – especially the session for resources which is happening on the Friday. This is going to be a fantastic opportunity for our resources clients to get together, hear from their colleagues and see targeted presentations for their industry.

EA: What ‘new frontiers’ will be explored at Ozri this year?

KP:  We’ll be seeing a number of user presentations at Ozri 2012 in industries that are now utilising GIS either for the first time, or in new ways. It doesn’t matter if it’s a local government who has had GIS for years; they are now finding new applications for the software and new ways to showcase it within their organisations.

Also, as I mentioned earlier, this is the first year that we are running industry focus sessions specifically in resources, law enforcement, SDI (Spatial Data Infrastructure) and financial services. These sessions are designed to showcase the hard work that our clients are currently doing, as well as helping people to start thinking outside the box and to look for new ways they could be using ArcGIS with their organisation.

EA: What makes Ozri different to other GIS events?

KP: Well obviously there is the technology – from hearing about ways you can improve your workflows with ArcGIS and talking with your peers about how they are utilising the technology.  But I think many attendees come along for the networking opportunities. Ozri is truly ‘the-place-to-be’ for GIS professionals, and many of our clients come every year just so they can catch up with others in their industry from across Australia. It provides a unique opportunity for everyone to connect, talk, and share their knowledge – an opportunity that many people wouldn’t have without Ozri.

EA: Thanks so much Kellie.  We’ll see you at Ozri!

My pleasure!  There is so much more that I could say and tell you about – but really – hop on to the Ozri website, have a look at the program and I think you’ll see why I am so excited about Ozri this year! There really is something for everyone, whether you’re just starting out in GIS, are a GIS professional who is trying to expand knowledge of GIS within your organisation, or looking to formulate a migration plan for your team – this is the event for you!

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