On Tuesday 21st May Encompass Graphics attended the ESRI UK Annual User Conference in London.
Over 1000 delegates filled the NovoWest Hotel in Hammersmith keen to hear about the latest ArcGIS developments and attend numerous mapping case studies from public and private sector businesses that have adopted GIS as part of their working practices.
The first big plug from ESRI this year is ArcGIS Online. http://www.esri.com/software/arcgis/arcgisonline The new online service delivers GIS to all via the web. With ready-to-use base map content, the user can upload their own or shared data (zip, csv etc.) to create unique maps and mash-ups. Images, web sites and infographics can be added as pop-ups to make the maps interactive, and of course ultimately these maps can then be shared through Facebook, Twitter etc. to get your mapping out to the masses.
Security isn’t an issue, so sensitive projects can be produced and shared internally with no fear of unauthorised access. Once created and distributed these maps can used on tablets and smartphones out in the field. One example of mobile working was through Colas, who maintain road rail networks throughout the UK. Only in past two years has GIS really been adopted by Colas but already their engineers use mobile devices when carrying out works in the field with up-to-date maps downloadable on request,
Also with ArcGIS Online, data comparisons can be shown on screen with a slider bar using the comparison template. There are dozens of examples out there on ESRI storymaps, one of which compares cases of diabetes with obesity from county to county across the USA http://storymaps.esri.com/stories/diabetes/
Despite the rise of ArcGIS online, desktop ArcGIS is still the tool for the majority of businesses in attendance this year. Arc GIS 10.2 is due for release the summer with new data editing features a highlight.
The huge amount of data readily available to map is now staggering. Transport for London requires real time data to predict traffic flows through the capital. Using the 5 data servers including sat-nav, mobile, cctv cameras etc., over 16 million journeys can be mapped and analysed to show how the road network is performing and provide in-depth journey analysis of peoples movements. This equates to 30GB of data per day and 20,000 updates/second.
The role of the cartographer is often overlooked during GIS seminars, but many people I spoke to this year understand the need for companies like Encompass Graphics to spend as much time on the design as we would do on say data capture, analysis and output. If the base map, colour spec or typesetting is poor the map fails to deliver on its basic remit and the map will be overlooked. Good map design is still integral to GIS and that’s where Encompass Graphics come in.
Check out some of the map examples from this years ESRI Map Book