Recap of Adelaide Directions 2014

Directions 2014 landed at the Adelaide Hilton last Thursday. Roughly 150 users attended the event, making for a fantastic day of networking and understanding of Esri’s future directions.

The day started out with David Trengove, sporting a brand new set of reading glasses, introducing the event. He asked all first-timers at Directions to put up their hand and 20 per cent of the audience responded. It is always good to see new people attending these events. Dave then followed by introducing the Esri Australia staff, highlighting the new Adelaide staff and a special mention to Brett Bundock, Esri Australia’s Managing Director, who was attending Directions. He rounded out by highlighting some key projects that have been completed by the Adelaide office in the past year and his top 3 take aways from the event, before handing the stage over to Josh Venman who was to be MC for the day.

Josh started off the morning with a presentation about going back to basics and discussing the ArcGIS Platform story. The simple mantra of the ArcGIS platform is Discover, Use & Share. He described the four different deployment options that we see today for ArcGIS:

  • ArcGIS Without the Box, everything on ArcGIS Online
  • ArcGIS Hybrid, Maps and Apps deployed on ArcGIS Online with services and data retained onsite
  • Mostly Inside, where maps, apps and data is retained onsite and AGL base maps are used
  • ArcGIS in a Box, where everything is deployed

Josh then launched into a demonstration of a new ArcGIS Online template called the Summary Viewer Template. This is one cool new template that clusters dense data into hotspots and summarises data from attributes. It is a dynamic map that continually updates based on zoom level and area covered.

Importantly he highlighted that this is all configurable in ArcGIS Online with no coding required. Anyone with an ArcGIS Online account can do this today.

Josh then followed up with an awesome presentation of GeoEvent Processor Extension for ArcGIS Server, ArcGIS Dashboard and an iPhone. Utilising the compass and accelerometer Josh was able to show live in ArcGIS Dashboard the direction his iPhone was heading and then how much GeForce was being applied to the phone when he moved it around. This was cool because the readings were being displayed live on the screen.

The stage was then handed over to Ebony Wickramanayake who spoke about curating content. This talk described how the role of a GIS data manager is evolving to more of a data curator and publisher than purely a data manager. She showed how most GIS people see data in a geodatabase, and how this structure does not make sense to a non-GIS professional. Ebony explained that the GIS data manger’s role is to demystify this data and make it available to all.

Using Adelaide Airport data, Ebony demonstrated how data can be moved to ArcGIS Online and managed from ArcGIS Online. She showed how data can be viewed and edited in a web map through a web viewer; and how this same map can be opened in ArcGIS Desktop, updated through local caches and then finally taken out into the field on a smart device for editing in the field. The central theme being that the data across all platforms looks the same and is sourced from the same location and updated in the same location, even when the same maps are viewed in PowerPoint or Excel when using Esri Maps for Office.

The plenary session was rounded out with John Hasthorpe coming to the stage to discuss real-time GIS and field collection using ArcGIS.

John showed a simulated scenario of fishing vessels entering a fishing zone with and without permits. The fishing zone was a geo-fence and as the fishing vessels moved across the geo-fence the GeoEvent Processor checked the vessel name against permits and generated alerts if it did not have a matching permit. John then cracked open GeoEvent Processor to show us exactly the process that went on behind the scenes with the GeoEvent Processor model builder.

Geoevent Processor

He then configured ArcGIS Dashboard to show how dynamic feeds can be read and seen moving in Dashboard and alerts triggered and viewed in ArcGIS Dashboard.

The big hit of John’s presentation was the release of ArcGIS Collector 10.2.2. This supports the long awaited offline mode field collection on Smart Devices. We clearly saw how collector can work offline by caching Esri’s Basemaps (limited to 100000 tiles) and feature services on ArcGIS Online or your own on premise server at 10.2.2.

After morning tea Josh kicked off the GeoFocus session by introducing yours truly, Gordon Sumerling. For this section I went through two key topics Creating Compelling Story Maps and Esri’s Configurable Maps and Apps for local government

Story maps use geography as a means of organizing and presenting information. They tell the story of a place, event, issue, trend, or pattern in a geographic context. They combine interactive maps with other rich content such as text, photos, video, and audio within user experiences that are basic and intuitive. For the most part, story maps are designed for general, non-technical audiences. I showed some key template styles that Esri has introduced for Story Maps.

Curated List of Points of Interest

  • Map Tour
  • Shortlist
  • Countdown

Comparing Maps

  • Tabbed View
  • Swipe
  • Spyglass

And provided examples of each

I then went on to create two unique story maps. The first showed how you can use a feature service with attachments in a story map based around the Clipsal 500 V8 Supercars Race.

V8StoryMaps

The second example used a list of geocoded points and live web cams stored in a CSV file in a story map.

Subsequent to this, I presented on how Esri is extending the ArcGIS platform by making available Apps, Maps and Data models that go beyond the ArcGIS Platform. These focussed solutions are based around industry specific needs such as local government.

MapandAPPs

I presented on how you can adapt the existing Esri local government data model and supplied several examples of how Esri Apps have been deployed in South Australia.

Josh 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.

We then moved into two client presentations.

The first from Nick Hassam from Willis RE, who presented on the challenges of insurance agencies when assessing risk and the way GIS technologies are being used to aide in simplifying this risk assessment.

The second presentation was from Georgie Cassar from City of Port Adelaide Enfield, showcasing their new Historical Photo Explorer – which Stoyan Shopov from Esri Australia put together through a Professional Services engagement. Georgie also detail a number of other significant GIS ventures that her group inside the City of Port Adelaide Enfield had completed, that would be relevant to other local government clients.

After lunch Kim Jackway and Ebony came to the stage for an hour and worked through four scenarios with different types of core GIS analytical techniques.

  • Spatial analysis is the core of GIS – they 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 finally,
  • Working with Esri’s ready-to-use templates from solutions.arcgis.com to work with Geometric networks, to provide solutions for the water and utility industries.

Josh and Gordon rounded out the day detailing the new and emerging technologies coming from Esri, Esri Australia and Exelis. This included:

  • Dekho 4.1;
  • ENVI 5.1 & ENVI Services Engine;
  • ArcGIS Pro;
  • Streaming 3D Services; and,
  • Java Script Builder, which is in BETA now.

It was such a good day that was well received by all involved. Look forward to seeing you at Ozri 2014 at Adelaide Oval in October.

Gordon S.

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