OGC Meet – Dublin 2016

2016-06-22 09.29.53I was invited to present by Ordnance Survey International at the OGC Meet in Dublin last month.  Not having been to an OGC meeting before (or to be honest really knowing much about this influential group) I jumped at the chance.  Now, for a body called the Open Geospatial Consortium their meetings have a lot of closed doors and ‘members only’ provisions, which I find a little odd. However having said that these are commercial companies who wanting to collaborate with also means showing a little (or lot) of what they are doing.  So I understand the need for some protection here (being in private business myself)!

The day was interesting with lots of technical discussions, which I can’t tell you about, but even if I could I probably wouldn’t have been able to relay my understanding! My presentation was a little (ahem) less technical than others but it really boiled down to Garsdale Design’s experiences in 3D and with things like CityGML.  Which to be perfectly honest is not very much when it comes to CityGML!  Which is a pity because there clearly is a need for proper City 3D modelling standards in our industry and CityGMl goes a long way to filling that gap.2016-06-22 12.02.12
 

GUEST POST : BRINGING SPATIAL DECISION MAKING TO THE MASSES (EsriUC 2015)

Quick note from GeoPlanIT’s Elliot Hartley: Ruskin Hartley (yes my brother) attended this years Esri User Conference in San Diego on behalf of Garsdale Design Limited, I asked if he could write a couple of guest blog posts for us, this is his first.

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Geography is everywhere.  Of course, being a geographer I would say that. But for many people geography means a list of state capitals and perhaps the atlas published by the National Geographic.  I’ve just come back from the 2015 Esri user conference in San Diego and saw first hand that this is changing quickly. While much of the discussion was about new software and tools, the most exciting change is the way these tools are deployed.

Just as Google maps has transformed the way we navigate our world (when was the last time you used a paper map?!), spatial decision support tools are transforming the way we understand the world around us and how we make collective decisions. GIS – geographic information systems – is the tool enabling this transformation.

GIS is not a new technology. It’s at least 40 years old in its modern incarnation and I’ve been using it for about half this time. Having just spent a few days at the Esri user conference, it is clear that the power of GIS as a decision support tool is on the verge of being brought into the heart of the public domain. It’s exciting and has the potential to transform the way we live, work, and govern.

A number of trends are converging to make this possible.

  • Data is being collected in real time and near real-time. Our GPS enabled smart phones are at the front line of this data collection revolution. They are being rapidly joined by an army of drones, and matched up with unprecedented satellite images being updated on a daily basis.
  • Data is shared and available 24/7 on the cloud rather than being hoarded on hard drivesFrom the latest Landsat image, to a live twitter feed, to projections of sea-level rise, we all have access to curated and constantly updated datasets.  Served up through a geoportal, you can quickly find what you’re looking for and know that you’re accessing current data.
  • Powerful GIS analysis and publishing tools are available online. I no longer need a UNIX workstation,  thousands of dollars of software, and an expensive plotter to conduct and share an analysis.  Using ArcGIS online, or one of the other freely available online tools, I can quickly publish and share work.

Bring these three threads together and real-time analysis is available to anyone. In the classic production cycle, experts would take weeks to conduct a static analysis that was shared with the decision makers as a printed map. There was no way quick or easy way to interact with the results. Most of your time was spent preparing the data, rather than conducing the analysis. In the end, the decision maker had to accept what the map said – or risk another lengthy cycle to change things up. It was the classic top-down approach.

Now, I can throw the data up a on a web-site — pulling data feeds from many different places — and give the users simple ways to explore and visualize the data. They can dig in and draw their own conclusions. Or I can walk them through a story map to help them understand what is going on.

This will fundamentally remake the way decisions are made. The environmental review process for development and land use projects can become interactive. Companies can understand spatial trends in real time. In essence, decision making will become democratized as everyone has access to relevant data and analysis.

Does this mean GIS professionals will whither away? Far from it! Rather than just being the folks you go to to make a map, they’ll be at the core of how we collaborate and make shared decisions. Sounds like fun to me!

GISWORX2015 Conference, Dubai

 

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Nicely produced conference material

Last week Garsdale Design (that is myself and Matthias) attended, exhibited as well as conducted a workshop at the Middle East’s premier annual Esri GIS conference called GISWORX held in Dubai.   This is hosted and run by GISTEC an Esri Distributor. Those who follow me know I’ve been before, in fact I was the guest speaker the first time around (The Power of Play).

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GISWORX2013 Guest Speaker…. Elliot

If you want to see Matthias in a suit click on to read more… 🙂

Esri UC Q&A – 3D

As I’m only interested in the 3D part of Esri’s Q&A for the User Conference I thought I’d paste it here (I’ll probably have some commentary coming as well in a later post) :

More can be read on the official site here.

Esri has written questions and answers to keep our customers informed on our efforts in software development, products, education, and support; future plans in these areas; and our thoughts on GIS and the industry as a whole. Our purpose for sharing this information is to help our users be successful in their use of GIS. Please feel free to share with your colleagues.

Read more

Esri UC 2014 San Diego : My presentations

Esri UC 2014 San Diego : My presentations

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Procedural Sheep? Ewe better believe it!

“Another conference?!” I hear you all say, well to be fair this one is a lot of fun, especially if you’re in the Esri world.  Although there is a lot here for you opensource types too (okay not about the software but the use of GIS at least).   Last year I did one presentation at the 3D Mapping forum before the main conference.  This year I’m doing two presentations one at the 3D & Lidar Mapping forum (with it’s own venue this year!) and one at the main UC.  Oh and I am meeting my business friends such as CyberCity3D

Working with CityEngine (and how to enjoy it)

So what will I talk about?  Well my presentation for the 3D Mapping forum is provisionally entitled “Working with CityEngine (and how to enjoy it)”.   This looks like a cop-out presentation title doesn’t it?  Well it’s not.

You see the people I talk to who have started to use CityEngine are often stuck in a GIS world or a 3D world or a planning world or an architecture world… you get the picture they’re in their own little professional bubble.   The idea of this presentation is to show how truly versatile CityEngine is and that thinking outside the box can help.   Come along and see if you don’t believe me!

Oh and the procedural sheep make a triumphant return!

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This won’t get too surreal…

Modelling Arabic Urban Cores using CityEngine

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My main UC presentation is really more technical for those interested in getting some ideas and help in how to model real world areas in CityEngine.    I’ll explore workflows and strategies which hopefully won’t give all my secrets away!

I’ll look at how I choose what’s an important in a scene and how to think about the limitations of 3D.

Days and times for my presentations:

3D Mapping Forum

  • Smart 3D Cities Track
  • Sunday, 13 Jul 2014, 1:45pm – 3:45pm
  • Location: Omni Ballroom A/B

2:30-3:00pm Working with CityEngine (and how to enjoy it) 

EsriUC 2014

  • 3D GIS Workflows and Design for Mass 3D Modeling
  • Wednesday, 16 Jul 2014, 1:30-2:45pm
  • Location: Room 23C

 1:30-2:45pm (not sure on exact time I’m only one listed) Modelling Arabic Urban Cores using CityEngine

If you’re attending the EsriUC this year get in contact with me to chat about CityEngine and my company’s (Garsdale Design) services!

 

Esri UK Annual Conference : the quick write up

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About 1400 people attended the event… and here they all are…

On the June the 11th 2014 Garsdale Design had it’s first UK conference booth, this was at the Esri UK Annual User Conference.  I’ve been sceptical of the value of this type of thing. I can go to the conference for free and meet people why do I need a booth?   Well I thought we should give it a go anyway.

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I may have done a little bit of showing off…. London by CyberCity3D

Thankfully I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the outcome of the event.   Don’t get me wrong, no solid earth shattering revelations here and no paid jobs (yet) have come of it, but I have been able to meet and show fellow professionals what we can do for them.Main Page

The nature of what I’m offering does feel like I’m a big walking advert for CityEngine.   But that’s okay the more people who have CityEngine naturally means more people will be aware of it’s capabilities and just how much work is required to truly take advantage of this tricky piece of software.

The magic all happened here
The magic all happened here

If I had one criticism, it’s that the booths/kiosks were oddly arranged.   The monitor I had should probably have been on the other side.  In a hall this size no one should really have been behind a column either.. ah well.

As usual the Esri UK staff were great and it felt like a sizeable percentage came up to me to check I was happy!   All sorts of people were interested in my 3D CityEngine demo from planners, to airport employees, mobile communication companies and renewable types.  CityEngine and 3D products can be used in so many areas I sometimes wonder who won’t be interested in seeing what it can do with them.

What I’m discovering is that GIS data in 3D can be a truly compelling medium for many industries.   

Thank you to all those who dropped by and said ‘hello’, if you need more information or a demo just drop me a line….

Esri UK Conference 2014

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It’s no secret my work for CyberCity3D here in the UK, not only do they have Sedbergh and Gloucester covered they also have London too… I’ve been producing promotional imagery from webscenes like this and thought you might like it.

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If you’re at the Esri UK 2014 Conference this next week come talk to me at the Garsdale Design Limited booth…  I’m give you a little demo too!

 

3D Building Data from CyberCity3D

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