Posted by: oheb | July 5, 2007

Future of Government Online

Tues: 8.30am
Christopher Thomas
ESRI – Government Technology

So this guy is in charge of ESRI grants. Every year ESRI gives $100K’s worth of hardware and software to organizations that apply for them. Something to keep in mind for next year.

This session was all about trends in GIS, geared mostly towards government, but the information would apply to any organization. The speaker identified three main points that had an impact on how GIS services are transforming:

  • Standards: Web and Interoperability Standards are becoming more formalized, stronger, and easier for organizations to implement
  • Data Repositories: Organizations are increasingly storing their data in large RDBMS systems (Data Fusion Centers, Data Portals) that can serve out data quickly and efficiently
  • Web Services: These services are now becoming more robust, better designed, and better understood by the GIS community. They provide an easy way to pull data out of and push data in to RDBMS systems

With these changes has come a shift in how MOU’s are handled, and they have proliferated through the States as it has become easier for organizations to keep ownership of their data and serve it out as a service to those who want it.

ESRI is following all three of these points with an emerging focus on Web Services. He noted that the technology was way ahead of the GIS community and he had yet to see a truly innovative and sophisticated example to showcase the possibilities. This was reinforced with my experience in User presented “Paper Sessions”.

He also noted that in the past it was the resource industry and government that lead the way in GIS technology, but it has now become clear that they are falling behind; the new leaders in GIS innovation are from the logistics, business analytics, and real estate sectors.


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