Dr David J Maguire
Director of products, ESRI
- What has been the response to the Linux range of GIS Software released by ESRI?
Over the past few years, there has been a small and steady stream of requests for ESRI software on Linux. Most users are interested in Linux as a server platform operating system, but there has been a smaller number of requests from users of desktop PCs and handheld devices. User requests such as these guide ESRI’s software platform strategy which is based on a number of tenets: Windows is the dominant desktop OS; Windows, UNIX and Linux are all important and viable server OSs; there are many choices of OS for small devices; and web services based on XML/SOAP will provide the foundation to resolve many interoperability problems. Today ESRI is shipping several products that run on the Linux OS: ArcIMS (Internet GIS) and ArcSDE (database application server) run on servers; and MapObjects Java Standard Edition runs on the desktop PCs and Macs). To date we have focused our energy on Red Hat Linux.
- Just a month or so before 9/11 ESRI had released a book, “Disaster Response: GIS for Public Safety”. A year later would you like to have an updated title with disaster management?
No one could have foreseen the terrible events of September 11 in the USA, and many people throughout the world have been profoundly affected by it. ESRI Press is currently working on two projects related to GIS and Public Safety (https://gis.esri.com/esripress/display/index.cfm). First, there will be a second edition of the existing book Disaster Response: GIS for Public Safety. Secondly, a new book will be published in the next few weeks entitled Confronting Catastrophe. Both are part of ESRI Press’ case studies series and feature several detailed real world public safety examples including some related to 9/11.
- What has been the regionwise response to ESRI virtual campus?
The ESRI Virtual Campus (https://campus.esri.com) is ESRI’s on-line distance learning and training resource. Courses combine hands-on experience, interactivity, and instructional support to create a new style of learning environment. Today, the Virtual Campus features more than 50 courses (over 1000 hours) and has attracted almost 150,000 students from 180 countries. The regional breakdown is currently heavily skewed to North America (70%) with significant use also in Europe (12%) and Asia (10%), and lesser use in South America (3%), Australia (3%) and Africa (2%). This reflects a combination of the distribution of population, the adoption of GIS, the availability of robust Internet connections, and the target marketing to date.
- Could you update us on G.net program?
G.net is the name ESRI gives to the technology infrastructure can be used to build distributed GIS implementations, such as NSDI and GSDI. It is the technology that ESRI used to build the Geography Network (www.geographynetwork.com) and which has been incorporated into a number of user systems. The G.Net architecture comprises several key elements: users interested in publishing and finding/using data and processing resources; catalogs that describe and reference geographic data; and a portal that provides access to sites, as well as a central repository of information about the system. ESRI provides several client access technologies including ArcGIS (ArcReader, ArcView, ArcEditor and ArcInfo), MapObjects for Java, ArcPad and browser-based ArcIMS clients. With ArcGIS users can create and update metadata on local machines or publish it for access over the web using the ArcIMS Metadata Catalog. GIS data and processing web services can be created using ArcGIS and ArcIMS Internet GIS software. For more information see https://www.esri.com/news/arcnews/spring02articles/whatisgnet.html .
- Would you tell us about ESRI’s relationship with Bentley?
On April 26, 2002, ESRI and Bentley signed a letter outlining a strategic initiative to improve interoperability between AEC (architecture, engineering and construction) and GIS data. This will focus on two areas: server-server, and client access. Server-server will involve linkage of commercially available ESRI and Bentley servers. ESRI and Bentley will collaborate to build interface technology that makes it easier to move data between the two companies’ server technologies. In terms of client access, ESRI and Bentley desktop products will be enhanced to directly work with CAD and GIS formats.
- How do you feel that when industry is passing through a econo-mic recession and ESRI has achieved its highest ever growth?
It is true that due to the support from our users ESRI has been fortunate to be able to buck the industry trend and grow consistently and profitably for the past several years. The current phase of multiple years of +20% growth can be attributed in no small part to the release and maturity of the ArcGIS product family. Since the first release in 1999 ArcGIS has grown into a scalable family of products extending from the desktop, to the server and out onto the web. The developer tools have been well received by our users community of over 1 million and our network of over 1500 partners. The soon to be available ArcGIS 8.3 release will be a compelling platform for existing ArcInfo, ArcView, ArcSDE, ArcIMS, ArcPad users, as well as new GIS users.