Directions 2013 wrapped up this month with our highest attendance to date. While attending the Melbourne leg of Esri Australia’s nine stop tour, I found myself curious about what brings people back to Directions every year. To my surprise, the attendees I spoke to came from a diverse range of industries, yet their responses were similar: “an opportunity to connect…to connect with GIS professionals from other industries…and…connect with the latest technology at Esri Australia”.
During Melbourne Directions, we heard about how a little bit of python can go a long way to improving your cartographic performance, according to Nathaniel at Urbis. Georgina shared how Water Technology were employing GIS to improve the real time modelling of urban and rural flood management. Esri Australia consultant Simon Jackson discussed the history of Dekho, and what’s in store for the applications future, and we learnt about the seamless integration of ArcGIS with ENVI to improve the performance of imagery based analysis. Beyond the plenary and Geobyte sessions, I found time to connect with Directions attendees who use Esri software on a daily basis. Here are some of the unique and innovative ways our clients are using GIS in their respective fields:
Early in the day I met Peter who now works as a private consultant near Albury. After attending Ozri 2012 in Sydney last year, Peter was inspired to attend Directions in Melbourne – seeing it as an opportunity to connect with the latest innovations with the Esri software. Richmond shared some of his 20 years of experience using Esri software when he was working at the Department of Agriculture in the Philippines. He now works as a Senior GIS Analyst at advertising network Sensis, processing more than 9 million Australian address locations using the powerful Esri software.
At lunch I met Iain, the GIS Lead at Acciona Energy, who shares a passion for wind turbines and shed light on how GIS is integral to the scoping, siting and community engagement of wind farm projects using the ArcGIS platform. With natural disasters occurring throughout Australia recently it was fitting to be introduced to Bikram, a GIS Data Specialist at the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA) here in Victoria. I learnt about how Esri Australia supports ESTA to improve the efficiency of emergency services response and update responders with location based intelligence in real time to save lives.
After Directions 2013, attendees were invited to attend a cocktail function where I was introduced to Jon, a Park Ranger with the Phillip Island Nature Park. Jon spoke of the importance of GIS in managing the Little Penguins on Phillip Island, in light of their tourism and conservation value to Victoria, and how this understanding was now being applied to other species such as the Hooded plover, an internationally recognized threatened species.
Directions 2013 was a great opportunity to connect and share the achievements of GIS professionals and industries across many organizations. The success of these industries and organizations will continue to depend on GIS professionals sharing and connecting our ideas to develop innovative long-term solutions. I look forward to hearing your success stories at Ozri 2013.