A little more than a month ago our team from GeoIQ joined with Esri to create the Washington DC Development Center. We’ve been busy over that month defining our strategy and plans for working together with Esri. Our core mission is extending Esri technology to make the world of geographic data and analysis accessible to everyone.
Esri is totally shifting to focus on making geography ubiquitous and geographic knowledge ubiquitous in institutions and in society in general.
- Jack Dangermond in ComputerWorld 2012
The more that we’ve met and worked with teams at Esri the more we have been impressed by their vision and commitment to the many user communities. With the myriad of initiatives underway at Esri we wanted highlight the areas the new development center will be focusing on.
Specifically, we are concentrating on four specific areas: Open Platform, Web Collaboration, Open Data, and “Big Data” (for various definitions of what this means).
Geography as an Open Platform
Geography is particularly compelling way to visualize and analyze disparate data due nearly all data having a time and location. By its very nature geography is an open platform that combines together information from disparate sources, allowing users to intuitively understand their relationship with data through relative location.
The technology of geography should similarly be open and allow easy integration of multiple datasets, capabilities and integrated broadly through many interfaces. Utilizing open data standards, open source software components and open sharing of knowledge we can improve these platforms to answer meaningful questions.
Esri is a long time supporter and user of open-source software and we will be working more closely with the open source communities to be active contributors. You can start watching this code sharing space, as existing and new projects start showing up that we think are valuable. Together we will work with the community to extend the features and make these tools more useful. We will also continue working on the evolution and development of industry and community standards that open access to the data, maps and analysis being produced through these platforms.
Collaborating through the Web
GeoCommons and ArcGIS Online are incarnations of a powerful, open platform that enables anyone to access data and maps. The capabilities of GIS are often difficult to approach for people not experienced with the technology but who still need to use geography to understand their data. We will continue developing great user experience and web-based tools. A strong focus on usability allows the technology we build to engage and collaboration across numerous industries and communities. In particular, as we are based on the east coast US in Washington, DC we sit at a nexus of government, NGO, commercial enterprise, and new media.
At Esri we are working on geo-enabling and sharing data across any organization. Increasingly these users are looking for web tools to openly and easily share their data. We plan to continue this evolution of data publishing, data curation/collaboration, and archiving to provide access through open and accessible standards.
This fall we will be at a flurry of gatherings, sharing our open data tools and how we can better enable government, businesses, and citizens to access and use open data. We’ll be at State Of The Map 2012 in Tokyo and SOTM.US in Portland. At the conference we will be sharing the contributions Esri is making to open data and OpenStreetMap. In October we are presenting a hands on workshop of making sense of open data at the Open Knowledge Festival and Open Government Data Camp in Helsinki.
Big Data and GIS
Big Data has been getting a lot of attention lately, and the dev center will be concentrating on distilling the value for geographic analysis and ESRI customers. There are already several initiatives underway at Esri investigating Big Data.
Next week we are hosting a meet up event at the DC American Institute of Architects to discuss what “big data” means in the realm of geospatial technology. Specifically we will be focusing on streaming realtime and dynamic data from high volume feeds. At GeoIQ we were developing technology to connect to social media streams such as Twitter as well as mobile device event streams that tracked user activities during large events, something we referred to as Just in Time Analytics. For a peek into the concepts we have been developing, check out a few technology demonstration videos.
These are just a few of the activities that we are already starting with our first month as a joined team. We are eager to hear your input and suggestions on how we can improve your experience with geography, web technology and open and big data. Ping us on twitter at @geoiq or in the comments.
cross posted at Esri DC Dev Center blog