Have you ever come across something so different to anything you’ve ever seen before? Something so clever, yet so simple you’re left asking yourself ‘What will they think of next?’ For me – today was one of those days.
Attendees at today’s MapData Services presentation were treated to an insight into how technological advances over the years have opened up new and exciting opportunities in the spatial industry.
Cassandra Barker, General Manager of MapData Services took a retrospective look at how GIS technology has evolved from a flat 2D environment to immersive, powerful GIS solutions.
The presentation, aptly named ‘Your GIS dreams are now a reality’, introduced two new technologies to recently hit Australian shores; CitySourced and earthmine. These products are bringing mapping applications to a broader audience and are challenging the traditional boundaries of GIS.
First up was a live demonstration of CitySourced, a real-time incident reporting and management solution. We have long used our mobile phones for social media, surfing the web and navigation but CitySourced is taking it one step further. To show us how easy it is to use, Cassandra opened up the app on her iPhone, took a picture of an ‘incident’, confirmed the location and included a short description. Once she pressed submit, the report showed up in the CitySourced console, ready for the appropriate authorities to action.
Users can report on anything from noise disturbances, potholes, fallen trees and lost shopping trolleys. Drawing on crowdsourcing principles, the app can be used by anybody with a smartphone, effectively deputising the entire community in working together towards a common goal.
Knowing Australia is among the leading nations in the use of smartphones, it’s easy to see how useful this technology will be to government departments and local industries.
Cassandra then invited earthmine Australia CEO, Peter Markham to the stage to talk about their 3D street-level imagery solution. earthmine can rapidly capture and deliver three-dimensional panoramic images of entire cities and metropolitan areas, all while integrating seamlessly with ArcGIS.
The technology transforms static data to immersive 3D imagery – it really feels like you’re “in the map”. This gives you a great advantage in having a realistic viewpoint from which to take accurate point to point measurements of objects and distances and rapidly populate a geodatabase without the need to go out in to the field.
Really exciting stuff – and I can’t wait to see the technologies put into action across Australia.
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