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

I took the stage next to describe the evolving role of a data manager toa curator of information. There is a greater need for accurate and current information, and the increasing transparency of available datasets is now becoming the norm. I quickly demonstrated how having a single point of truth can transform the editing workflow across an organisation. The plenary session ended with John Hasthorpe and Simon Jackson showing various examples of real-time and 3D data being used, including the new functionality of offline data capture. I felt the morning gave a good overview of the topics that were to be covered in more detail for the rest of the day. Kellie Persson did an amazing job providing a narrative flow between each of the presentations and emphasizing the important aspects of our talks.

Throughout the rest of the day we dove into more practical demonstrations of the technology.

The aim was to sharpen your skills, and I’m hoping everyone left with at least one new tip that could improve their work.

Christopher Brown from the Perth office showed how to create compelling story maps using different types of media like photos, videos and even Powerpoint presentations. He also enlightened us on how to use configurable apps and templates, which are ready-made by Esri, to share information in interactive ways with minimal development. For all the non-programmers out there, these resources are life-savers!

Josh also came back on stage to showcase how business data in SAP, Sharepoint, Excel and other business systems can benefit from directly integrating Esri maps into the native interfaces to visualise the spatial information.

perth directions 2014_02Willy Lynch, our resources expert from Esri, concurrently chaired a user group session in the next room. Along with client presentations, he was able to discuss how GIS is really evolving in the resources sector. Real-time information is fast becoming the hot topic in the industry as it can help improve safety by tracking staff and assets, especially in those hard to reach areas of Australia.

After lunch, I held the audience captive for an hour and worked through four scenarios with different types of analytical techniques. Spatial analysis is the core of GIS –  we had a look at automating our desktop workflows with modelbuilder; finding those ideal locations with Network Analyst; using the new tools for image analysis and LiDAR to quantify change detection; and working with Esri’s ready-to-use templates to give us tools to assist with asset management.

The client presentations really solidified the ongoing message about the benefits of using an enterprise GIS. Marty Stamatis from Landgate spoke about situational awareness and the importance of that single source of truth with data when working with huge amounts of state-wide data. Mark Taylor, from the Department of Fire and Emergency Services talked about real-time data feeds and mobile data collection of hazards. These real-world applications of the technology were inspiring.

Josh and Kellie ended the day with an exciting look at the road ahead for Esri technology. It looks like the new applications, such as ArcGIS Pro and 3D viewers are going to be game changers for the industry. I can’t wait to see them in action!

I hope to see you all again next year.

Ebony W.

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