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Live Blogging from FedUC, Day 1 (er... not really)

Posted by Dave Smith On 2/17/2010 06:51:00 PM 2 comments

This will be as close as I get to live blogging from the ESRI Federal User Conference, Day 1.

Problem is, I missed it.

Unfortunately, as my day went, I was tied up in a meeting in Baltimore and didn't get back to DC until the tail end of the reception.

So that should make this the shortest wrapup of FedUC Day 1.

I heard there was some tasty sushi at the reception, but by the time I arrived, it was already gone... However, having not had anything to eat since morning, I did inhale a handful of various hors d'ouvres and a Heineken...

To catch up, I did monitor a few assorted tidbits via Twitter throughout the day- some of these struck me:
  • Buzzword: VGI. Volunteered Geographic Information. a/k/a crowdsourcing. All pointing to the OpenStreetMap paradigm- Given the phenomenal success of OpenStreetMap in supporting base mapping for humanitarian efforts in Haiti, along with the fluid and adaptable nature of its key/value pair model, which was utilized for tagging crisis-related features, such as landslides, collapsed buildings, road obstacles, refugee camps and so on - how can one NOT talk about OpenStreetMap? Great to hear about OpenStreetMap being used in ArcGIS. But... the pundit in me asks, how transparent is this? Is it "importing OSM data"? That's great for many applications. But what of emergency response applications? Given the dynamic nature of OpenStreetMap, "import" might not cut it. How about direct, native OSM support? That I need to investigate further. But then, comes the other, far more important piece of VGI - the participatory piece? Can/will ArcGIS 10 support direct editing of OSM? And outside of OSM, how much robust ArcGIS 10 capability for participatory GIS exists right out of the box?

  • Offshoot: Citizen-centric science. I understand Audubon demonstrated eBird - interesting - a year ago, I contributed a proof-of-concept to the eBio conference in London, demonstrating harnessing social media such as Twitter to allow citizen science participation to allow folks to record observations of various species in the wild, toward such ends as assessing biodiversity, invasive species, and so on. I tied this in with web services such as GBIF's lookup services to, for example, translate between common names and scientific name, and so on. This, in turn, tied in to other sources such as Flickr, and combined, wherever possible, with available geographic information, for providing feeds and display in, for example Bing Maps or other platforms. Great to see this coming along... I'd be interested in looking at the Audubon effort more closely, along with further exploring the model for vetting and validating inputs.

  • The Cloud... Evidently a big focus on cloud hosting, the new partnership between ESRI and Amazon, and "rent ArcGIS Server by the hour". I think this is an interesting model and have been harping on this for years. Geodata services hosting at this point is nothing esoteric, and could/should essentially be commoditized *cough* GeoServer *cough*. But... where the less-well-charted and more-interesting territory still lies is not in just serving up data. ArcGIS Server is frankly often too much tool to waste on just serving up map layers and tiles. Where I see the opportunity for ArcGIS server is in true ANALYSIS, MODELING and so on. Web-based geoanalytical services and geoprocessing services. We need a good model, and some good strategic thinking in the community of how the long-range picture of all of that will look.

  • ArcGIS for iPhone... That was another feature of ArcGIS 10 noted by some who attended the Plenary... Sounds great, but... I want to know more about how it operates, and more importantly, how customizable, configurable, how many features and functionalities it supports. Hopefully someone can shed some light there...
Even for showing up at the last minute, I briefly ran into @jfrancica, @donatsafe, @MikeHardy and @sturich from Pen Bay Media and got to say hi to them, as well as various other friends - I know there are plenty more friends, tweeple and geobloggers in town this week - I also did see @pbissett and @cageyjames from afar - on locating the @weogeo booth, it still had a few people milling about, so I unfortunately didn't get to chat...

More to follow... Tomorrow, my luck should be better, and I plan to be able to stay for the whole day - and for #geoglobaldomination afterward. Hopefully others will be posting their recaps, observations and scuttlebutt as well... At this point, the handful of hors d'oevres and beer in my otherwise empty tummy are looking for company.

2 Response for the " Live Blogging from FedUC, Day 1 (er... not really) "

  1. Everyone loves the idea of the "VGI" and all the available data, but I agree with you the flow needs to go both ways. Not just consuming OSM data but also contributing to it.

    Though if I contributed to a crowd-sourced project and got my data back as a geodatabase, I'd be a bit ticked.

  2. Anonymous says:

    yeah, locking VGI data up in an esri geodata-trap would not a good thing, at all