US: Around 15,000 people attended the Esri User Conference in California, US. Experts from private and government agencies discussed various trends emerging in geospatial sector. Apart from announcing several mergers and alliances at the event, Esri also awarded people and organisations for their innovative use of GIS technologies.
Esri, Microsoft team up for disaster management
Esri announced a strategic alliance with Microsoft to assist public and private agencies and communities around the world during disasters. Microsoft will display Esri public information maps on its cloud-based Disaster Response Incident Portal, as well as point citizens to the maps via its online outlets, such as MSN and Bing. Esri’s ArcGIS integration within a number of Microsoft’s disaster response management solutions will provide governments and leading aid organisations with a more comprehensive set of tools to address key challenges.
“Esri is excited to work with Microsoft because of its world-leading software and services,” said Russ Johnson, global director of disaster response for Esri. “This alliance leverages the strengths of both companies. The first phase involves using our technologies to support affected organisations and provide public information faster and in a more intuitive web map format during crises.”
Esri, DigitalGlobe sign multi-year agreement
DigitalGlobe announced that Esri has licensed the rights for DigitalGlobe’s Global Basemap imagery layer. The imagery layer will be integrated into Esri’s existing imagery basemap in ArcGIS Online, Esri’s cloud-based mapping and collaborative content management system. Later this year, ArcGIS users will be able to use the imagery in their web maps and easily share the results with other users online. In addition, ArcGIS for desktop users can leverage the same ArcGIS Online service to use the high quality data in their desktop applications.
“This agreement with DigitalGlobe will help us provide our users with significantly better imagery coverage globally,” said Jack Dangermond, Esri president. “We are excited because DigitalGlobe will provide every user with access to an additional 100 million square kilometers (km2) of very high quality imagery, spanning multiple resolutions.”
VicRoads bags SAG award for intelligent map
VicRoads received a Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) award at the conference. VicRoads received the award for its pioneering use of GIS technology in the development of the road closures and traffic alerts website, which provides Victorians with real-time updates on roads affected by damage, major crashes and extreme weather events.
The award recognised VicRoads’ success in developing a website stable enough to withstand the barrage of web traffic typically experienced during significant crises.
Esri Australia Business Manager Jeremie Comarmond commended VicRoads for innovatively using GIS technology to deliver potentially life-saving information to the community. “GIS technology translates data into the meaningful, user-friendly format of a digital map – and VicRoads has set a new benchmark by using it to provide near real-time traffic information to millions,” Comarmond said.
“The interactive map provides quick access to information that benefits road users across Victoria – enabling motorists to plan their trips based on current conditions and ensuring the road network can operate more safely and efficiently. VicRoads’ previous website featured lists of road closures that sometimes totalled 40 webpages – which is not an ideal format for people who are in a time-critical, emergency situation,” he added.