Speaking this month to students from Beijing Normal University, where 3,000 students study geography and GIS, ESRI president Jack Dangermond offered some insights into the future of geographic information systems (GIS,) ‘one of the most important technologies of our time.’
‘GIS and the internet will become inexorably entwined—GIS technology is evolving on the Web, making geographic knowledge easier to access and more available. As our planet becomes more ‘connected,’ we will see new geographic information services and communities of users who incorporate these services into their daily decision making.’
Despite the interest that GIS technology and tools evoke, Dangermond advises students, including those who aim to become GIS professionals, to pursue a ‘well-rounded’ education. GIS has geography at its core—understanding the science behind the technology is essential, for analysts, geospatial applications and GIS software development. ‘It’s the computer engineer who thinks spatially who will advance geospatial technology into the future—this field needs very creative people.’
Future releases of ESRI’s flagship ArcGIS product will target the key areas of cartography, server and mobile GIS, internet-based GIS and geodata management. A ‘robust’ server platform will deliver geographic information to heterogeneous clients including wireless technology for the mobile workforce. New tools will extend the geodatabase functionality and geospatial data management capabilities.
ESRI, founded in 1969 is now the fifth largest privately held software company in the world. The ESRI Petroleum User Group meets this month in Houston with notably a ‘GIS Leaders’ panel to be moderated by Oil IT Journal editor, Neil McNaughton. More from www.esri.com/pug.
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