Talking about the weather used to be something we did when there was nothing else to talk about. Now, the weather IS the thing to talk about and for good reasons. Lawrie Jordan, Director of Imagery at Esri, tells us why and gives a sneak preview of weather in this year’s special “Weather in GIS 2014” Track, to be held on Tuesday, July 15, in the SDCC Ballroom 20D, from 1:30p – 5:15p.
Q: Why is there a focus on weather this year at Esri UC?
A: Weather and GIS are a natural fit. GIS users need useful, real-time information quickly in order to move beyond traditional mapping, and towards supporting dynamic operations and situation awareness. Together, weather in Esri’s maps & apps provides multiple benefits to the GIS community, driving workflows for emergency response, public safety, asset management, insurance, utilities, infrastructure repair, dispatch, storm water, and more.
Q: What will the weather track offer?
A: The agenda is very rich, with several unique real-world weather use cases, and we’re especially looking forward to the AccuWeather keynote. The format will focus on a very interesting set of lightning talks (no pun intended) plus a “Story Map for Stormy Weather” session and a compelling panel discussion.
Q: What’s the significance of weather data for Esri users?
A: Weather is one of the most dynamic and important data streams that feeds a modern GIS. It also drives the world’s largest industry: agriculture. Weather can give us early warning indications to allow us to plan for severe events, protect lives and property, and to be more resilient in adapting to potential environmental changes. We can look at droughts, storms, and floods to help predict crop yields. And, weather is used to assist insurance companies and policy holders to better manage assets and minimize risk.
Q: What’s your favorite type of weather?
A: I love the weather in Southern California. I’m from the deep South—Georgia—where there’s a lot of humidity. I really enjoy the weather here in Redlands, especially in Fall and Winter. In Summer, the evenings are always delightfully cool – my favorite time to take a spin in a classic sports car.