Well, we’re back from the GIS-Transportation Symposium (www.gis-t.org) in Charleston, West Virginia. It was an exciting four days and there was a lot of activity in our booth this year. Attendance at GIS-T was a bit down compared to previous years due to the economy and travel restrictions for many state agencies. Even so, you couldn’t tell from the noise level at the ESRI Showcase. If there were people in the Exhibit Hall, most of them were at the ESRI booth. And for good reason; we had a lot to show.
DOT Sector Team – ESRI recently created a new sector team for the transportation industry, specifically targeted at providing direct support to state and local DOT’s. This is critical because a state client can include over 200 ESRI accounts and it’s impossible for an account executive to be an expert in every type of business at a state government. Eric Floss, Gary Waters and Jeremy Smith have been visiting DOTs individually over the past several months to get an on-the-ground understanding of the major DOT workflows, pain points, and some general insight into what DOT GIS, IT, and Business professionals are faced with every day. Direct engagements with the DOT’s have given us valuable feedback and insight that will enable ESRI to better serve the DOT sector with focused solutions that are relevant to the business and act as a conduit to bring to bear resources and solutions in this sector. GIS-T gave our sales team another opportunity to connect with customers and follow up on prior discussions. It also gave us a chance to meet with business partners and communicate our plans for the year and the upcoming ESRI International User Conference.
Public Safety and Awareness – Scott Sandusky from our technical marketing group was on hand to show some public safety demos and some new stuff for the iPhone. He showed the ESRI Safety Solution, which is a set of web, mobile and desktop applications to perform rapid and accurate analysis such as Hot Spot Analysis, a process that considers traffic density and crash severity to identify areas with a higher than expected number of crashes.
A preview of the iPhone App Store application and iPhone API applications were also displayed. Users will soon be able to download a free application from the iStore and access services that are uploaded to ArcGIS.com. Developers who want to create their own applications can use the ArcGIS iPhone API, scheduled for Beta in late April.
Another hot topic was VGI, or volunteer geographic information. With VGI, citizens and the public are empowered to collect information and report it to organizations that can utilize the information for making decisions. Along with more mobile options, the new ArcGIS Server 10 feature services and editing templates make this kind of information easier for organizations to collect.
So what is this Rome thing? – Perhaps the biggest hit of the conference was our unveiling of the Rome prototype. Rome is the code name for the new software product we’re developing to support highway data management through advanced linear referencing functionality. We’re planning for an early 2011 release and, instead of locking ourselves in a room for the next 12 months, we decided to engage our customers in the development process. A key element was the creation of the Rome prototype. The prototype is essentially a web application built in Microsoft Silverlight with some desktop components. Eventually, Rome will have elements on the desktop, web and even mobile. Right now, however, we’re still in the requirements and design phase. To help us out, we unveiled the Rome prototype at GIS-T to create groundswell enthusiasm and make sure we’re on the right track. It appears we were successful on both counts.
If you are going to be attending the AASHTO GIS in Transportation Symposium (GIS-T, www.GIS-T.org) next week in Charleston, West Virginia, please come visit us at the ESRI showcase. We will be there to answer your questions, address your concerns, and show you some new stuff. There is a lot going on in the transportation industry these days and GIS-T is a great place to discover how GIS is playing a role. Here are some specific items you may not be aware of:
ESRI’s LRS Solution for Highway Data Maintenance - We will be showing a sneak peak of our new solution to improve the maintenance of asset and incident data along highways. This solution, currently in prototype form, is based on advanced linear referencing functionality such as multiple LRMs, rule-based event behavior, virtual routes, and time-aware LRS. We don’t yet have a solid release date for the product, but we are anticipating an early 2011 deployment. GIS-T will be your first opportunity to come by and see what we’re working on. You can read the full press release at http://www.esri.com/news/releases/10_2qtr/highway-maint.html.
ESRI Transportation Data Model - In case you’re not already aware, we have published the new ESRI Transportation Data Model as a logical geodatabase design. The ESRI Trans Model is based on Designing Geodatabases for Transportation by J. Alison Butler and incorporates the prinicples of Mr. Butler’s design into a comprehensive data model for highway information management. The Trans Model can be downloaded from http://resources.arcgis.com/content/transportation-data-model and then extended to meet your agency’s specific highway data modeling needs. It is available as a Visio UML diagram and as a geodatabase schema.
If you are unable to make it to GIS-T this year, and you still want to see our new technology, please contact your ESRI account representative to set up webcast. We’re proud of the work we’re doing and we’re happy to show it off.
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