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‘Citizens can become sensors’

New Delhi, India: “Citizens can become sensors. This is revolutionary. This is the power of GIS,” said Dr Jack Dangermond, Founder & President, Esri Inc. Not many would disagree with him. After all, when he founded ESRI in 1969, hardly anyone had visualised the power of digital mapping. But he dared to dream beyond the obvious. And today, his small research group is a leading player in GIS software development. Little wonder then that when he arrived at FICCI premises to talk about ‘GIS: Opening the World to Everyone’, the hall was jam-packed. People from all walks of life – GIS professionals, students, teachers, defence and media had assembled to listen to the visionary.

He began his talk by stressing on the importance of integration and collaboration in today’s world. He then explained how the two are an integral part of GIS industry. Describing how companies are benefiting from GIS technology, Dr Dangermond said, “It is helping companies get the geographic advantage and save millions of dollars,” adding, “There are many advantages of using this technology. For example, it helps us understand demographics of a region, respond to natural disasters and supports the whole idea of citizen participation.” He then explained how social networking is changing the way decision makers take decisions.

Talking about the global challenges facing the world like climate change, he said, “Most of the changes that the world is facing can be seen through geography. GIS is a practical system for problem solving.”

Describing India as a huge market, he said, “There is a huge market potential for application software developers in India, not only to serve Indian market but also to export it.”

He also spoke about various ESRI’s products like ArcGIS for Home Use and its interactive website, ChangeMatters.

Talking about the future of this technology, Dr Dangermond said, “The future belongs to intelligent web maps. 3D GIS will be advancing dramatically,” adding, “Cloud is going to change our world considerably.” He then explained the advantages of the cloud and how it is reshaping the way the world functions. “GIS is about to change very rapidly,” he concluded.

Source: Our Correspondent