Six weeks ago, I took up the PR & Communications Coordinator role with Esri Australia.
When it comes to working in the GIS industry, you don’t get much greener than me – well, maybe apart from the guy who started on Monday!
The learning curve has been huge, but it’s a challenge I’m relishing.
The Esri Australia Directions 2014 roadshow has been touring the country over the past week and on Monday it stopped in Brisbane – the home of EA’s head office – giving me a fantastic opportunity to immerse myself in the world of GIS.
My passion in life is sport, specifically soccer – football for those of us in the know!
I’ve played the game for more years than is probably wise, I’ve coached, I’ve written about the beautiful game and I’ve been an administrator from the very bottom to the very top of the sport in this country.
But that’s only part of my story – my public persona to hide my secret identity, if you will.
At heart, I’m a bit of a nerd – okay a lot of a nerd. I’m a gamer, I love technology and I have an extensive Blu-Ray collection of sci-fi, fantasy and comic-based films.
With that in mind, it’s probably no surprise that I’m intensely interested in the cutting-edge technology behind GIS.
Equally, it should come as no surprise when I think about GIS I think about all the cool things the technology could do for sports coverage.
Watching Josh V on stage in Brisbane during the opening plenary had my mind racing.
He was demonstrating the way a smartphone can produce some quite incredible real-time GIS results when connected to the ArcGIS GeoEvent Processor via a laptop.
Holding his phone in his right hand and madly swinging his arm around, he was generating speed and force measurements which were being displayed on the screen in real-time.
Couple that with the fact his phone’s GPS was transmitting his location, it got me thinking about some of the cool real-time statistics you could generate.
Just how quick is Cristiano Ronaldo when he’s bursting down the wing for Real Madrid?
What kind of g-force is Daniel Ricciardo having to deal with when he’s throwing his Red Bull Racing formula one car around the track?
For that matter, what kind of g-forces go through a winger’s body when he is stopped in his tracks by a huge front-rower?
Much of this data is already collected – and in the case of formula one utilised in real-time – so why wouldn’t you wrap it up in a slick package to give viewers an even more in-depth idea of the rigours of professional sport?
Of course, the technology can do so much more – as I’ve been learning over the past month-and-a-half.
Real-time GIS technology is revolutionising the way the mining industry conducts business – saving millions of dollars while making mine sites safer for employees.
In the insurance industry it’s allowing insurers to monitor disasters as they happen, giving them the ability to accurately assess their risk while speeding up the recovery process for policy holders.
Councils are even empowering rate-payers with the ability to report issues – like graffiti – direct from their mobile phones.
These are just some of the things I’ve covered so far in my short time with the company.
From what I understand, the applications are limited only by the available data and someone’s imagination.
Doesn’t that sound just a little exciting?