I stayed on the Geo-Futures track throughout, don’t get me wrong there was great choice out there. I would have been interested in seeing more, but on balance there was more of interest to me on this track. Last year I did jump around, this year I thought I’d try staying where I was, both approaches worked for me.
The following is quick run-down of what stood out for me, it’s not a review or judgement on anyone’s presentation. They were all good and very interesting.
- “The Transition to a Low Carbon economy” - Emily Martin, ESRI UK – More detail on this subject from day one. She gave me some interesting ideas that I want to explore further, I love that GIS can help us understand and assess the effectiveness of new technologies. Whilst giving us real monetary values and pay back times!
- “Games and the City” – My presentation which you can find out about here.
- “GeoDesign: Asset management in the Public Forest Estate” – Tony Farndon, Forestry Commission – I have great respect for anyone that manages forests (call it a family thing). I was interested in their use of 3D visualisation to see what future landscapes would look like with new plantings (I have some ideas about this to…).
- “Data in the Public Domain: Is Anyone Ready?” – Lisa Thomas, The Coal Authority – As a Durham Postgraduate Alumni, (Geographical Information for Development anyone?) I am aware of subsidence and old mine shafts (the library and much of Durham’s campus is on an old mine!) so I found this quite interesting. Dramatic pictures aside, there was a valuable point to be made about releasing their data to the public. As there needs to be a lot of knowledge required to understand some of the implications of the data that they hold. Personally I think that without educating people, no one is ready for this kind of data. Her points also linked quite nicely with Steven Feldman’s presentation. Also her interesting insight into the world of INSPIRE was an eye opener for me (being in the private sector) and now I understand why @alexrcoley couldn’t make it (too busy!).
- “The OS Road Map” – Dave Russell, Ordnance Survey – Good stuff from the OS (as always really), interesting to hear about where they think the money is, as well as upcoming 3D and other products.
- “Open Data – is it like giving a kid an AK47” – Steven Feldman, Knowwhere Consulting – I did attend last year’s presentation entitled “Navigating in turbulent waters”. I’ve not really spoken to him before this year but I certainly have heard of him! No bad things, of course, but he is one these presenters with a style that you remember. Personally I wouldn’t call it provocative or controversial but it comes close for some I guess. This presentation dealt with the question (in my mind at least) of whether OpenData should be open to everyone. In that, he meant that perhaps only professionals who use a rigorous and professional approach to analysing and publishing data should get to have a go. I may have paraphrased it a bit, but using the police.uk fiasco as an example of how not to do GIS was a good example. He also illustrated this with a ‘police crime map’ of where he lives showing a large number of crimes occurring right next to him.
But if you don’t understand the context of the data or how it is displayed (and it can’t just be some minor piece of text disclaiming the data) the information is useless. Other than for journalists! I would like to add, that whilst the data is made “anonymous” by a particularly stupid method, the data isn’t very anonymous in areas of smaller populations (or small streets). Anyway, it was a very good presentation, and you can tell it got my brain working a bit!
- “ESRI UK Online services “ – Dave Bayer, ESRI UK – Well I was glad our hosts had technical issues (made me feel better about some of my presentations issues), but I’m glad to see that ESRI is not standing still on the online front. It’s a shame they couldn’t access the server. But I’m looking forward to the OS opendata base maps!
- “Using new technologies to deliver savings in the Public Sector” – Duncan Hill, Europa Technologies – Interesting look at joined up approaches and integration of cloud mapping services into peoples systems. My company is not really big enough or doing the right jobs to benefit dramatically from this kind of approach (we’re on a per job basis), having said that someone else does manage our maps on a regular basis, thank you ESRI for including that in ArcGIS 10.
- “Real Time GIS” – Charles Kennelly, ESRI UK – The resident DJ (didn’t he play S-Club7 as an opener at last years conference?) also had technical issues, well if you put us far away from anyone else at the conference maybe this will happen! That didn’t faze him as he whipped out the latest cutting edge technology, pen + paper! Who knew you could do such things without a battery! I honestly found it quite refreshing to see a presentation done a flip-chart. Joking aside, he made some very interesting points about how computing power has come on so far that real-time GIS processing is a reality and that we should be thinking about it now because it is coming. He also warned against the dangers of focusing attention on the finished mapped product as being the ‘source data’. He suggested our attentions should be on the process to we used to get to those mapped products.
He’s right and I think I’d like to talk to him further about this in relation to what I do….
So, I hope that was of some interest to people, it’s one of my longest blog posts but conferences always get me fired up and thinking about new approaches. Which considering the title of this year’s conference is quite appropriate!
Let me have your feedback, if I’ve missed anyone out or have additional observations or information please leave a comment below. I will add your thoughts to the appropriate parts of the post as well.
Okay why a post about some weird acronym type company? Well in the world of GIS (Geographic Information Systems/Science), ESRI (Environmental Systems Research Institute) a software/consultancy company is a big player.
Yes they are a big corporate entity but in some ways they feel more like a movement, so when their yearly conference comes round I get excited. Not content with just advertising their products to their customers it feels as if you’re at an event for the GIS industry as a whole. Whatever issue you might have with ESRI’s software ArcGIS etc… you can’t fault the staff’s enthusiasm and professionalism (well that’s my experience anyway) especially at events like this.
Why the blog post this year? Well because I submitted a paper about using some software in our workflow called CityEngine and was asked to do a presentation on both days. You can find out more about ESRI here and ESRI UK here, I would also recommend some Wikipedia research on GIS.
You may have come to this post because I mentioned you somewhere, if you want to add something more (links, information etc…) or correct something contact me or add a comment to the relevant post.
- ESRI UK Conference – Day 1
- ESRI UK Conference - Day 2
- ESRI UK Conference - My Presentations
- ESRI UK Conference - People I met
- ESRI UK Conference - Thoughts for the Future, suggestions for ESRI UK
- Back in London – not really related to the conference more musings of visiting our nation’s capital.
|Listed Buildings Near Sedbergh|
The following datasets can be downloaded in zipped folders containing ESRI shapefile format files:
- Listed Buildings
- Scheduled Monuments
- Registered Parks and Gardens
- Registered Battlefields
- World Heritage Sites
- Protected Wreck Sites
Ignoring the ESRI centric nature of the data for the moment this is a surprising lot of data to release, being a map man though I’m very happy!
As you can see from the screen captures (above and below) I’ve managed to extract the dataset and make it into something usable in Google Earth as a KML file. Of course you can equally use ArcGIS Explorer.
I’ve used this point shapefile data, excel and my knowledge of Images of England website to create clickable points map that brings up the building listing and if available the photograph. It’s really using the Listed Buildings ID and combining it with a search term to link through to the appropriate page on Images of England.
|That’s a lot of listed buildings in Cumbria!|
Now fitting in with topical ideas of big societies and local empowerment, I can imagine some communities using these types of free tools to analyse for themselves the impact of new development.
There are more tools and add-ins being developed for ArcGIS Explorer and one wonders whether GIS professionals will be in trouble!
Update: Looks like my link was very clear so here it is again ArcGIS Visibility Analysis tool.