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.

IMG_8629The GeoFocus Session
Following an active morning tea, I kicked off the GeoFocus Session with my presentation on Creating Compelling Story Maps. Story maps are essentially a narration within the context of a map. Just like the way book authors craft their stories; these maps can be structured in a variety of ways.

One may not think it, but story maps can play an important role for organisations that want to share a series of events with an audience. They can be completed quickly, and use a range information sources to create a media rich experience, such as: photos on Flickr and videos on YouTube.

anthony story map

Here are a few examples from my presentation:

Story maps can be made by anyone and I encouraged the audience to create their own compelling story maps right now with an ArcGIS Online Personal Account, or by leveraging the full power of the ArcGIS Platform through their organisation’s subscription account.

IMG_8632Ebony and I then explored spatial analysis within ArcGIS for Desktop, as well as the sharing and publication of analysis content to ArcGIS Online. Attendees were presented with a variety of interesting scenarios that ranged in context – from environmental analysis and management, to Local Government change detection workflows – there was certainly something for everyone.

Just prior to Josh’s wrap up for the day, I delivered a local case study on behalf of Catriona McLagan who recently implemented ArcGIS Online for the National Disability Service (NDS) for the purpose of building an understanding of service delivery in remote areas of the Northern Territory. This project continues to demonstrate how ArcGIS Online can be used to initiate conversations between those with disability and the services providers, and the sometimes complex issues that arise through the “tyranny of distance”.

Networking over lunch
Whilst enjoying a fantastic lunch, it was great to see so many people mingle and openly share their ideas and experiences. The feature rich ArcGIS Online environment was certainly a talking point throughout the day and there were many conversations around how to best leverage ArcGIS Online within organisations. There was also much discussion about the power of ArcGIS Online for community engagement, and presenting information such as reporting on activities to stakeholders.

Finally, John’s informative summation of the day’s events really provided context as well as future road-maps for development and success. We certainly are looking forward to seeing what exciting GIS projects are undertaken in the remainder of 2014!

Anthony O.

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