July 14--SAN DIEGO -- Jack Dangermond has a challenge for the more than 15,000 government and business leaders gathered at ESRI's 35th annual user conference: to be the architects of the future.
Geographic Information Systems, commonly referred to as GIS, is more important than ever because it provides the context and framework for understanding the serious challenges the world is facing, said Dangermond, president and founder of Redlands-based tech company ESRI.
"GIS is integrating geography in everything we do. GIS is changing the way we see things and the way we act," Dangermond told the attendees who descended on the San Diego Convention Center for the week-long conference.
Whether it's social controversies or conflicts, "the GIS world is starting to reach a critical mass," said Dangermond during his opening remarks to the attendees from more than 130 countries. "What that means is that we're about to see GIS reach its full potential."
During his opening remarks, Dangermond shared his vision on the future of GIS and the direction of ESRI technology, quoting Peter Drucker saying, "The best way to predict the future is to create the future."
At the opening session, Rancho Cucamonga was recognized with the President's Award.
Rancho Cucamonga City Manager John Gillison shared several GIS-based applications the city uses. Among them is the executive dashboard, an internal application which allows Gillison to monitor in real-time, police and fire activity. It was developed by the city's GIS team.
"GIS touches literally every aspect of what we do in Rancho Cucamonga," he said. "It is really the tip of the iceberg of what we do, these apps are great but I think what we are most proud of, is every day we find a new way to use GIS to make Rancho Cucamonga a better place."
Attendees also heard from a wide host of ESRI users, such as coffee giant
There was also a guest appearance, via Skype, by musician turned entrepreneur Will I. Am, who showed off a watch he developed that has several functions, such as a phone, host apps such as twitter but has also ESRI maps built in.
"I'm wearing not only my conversation but I'm wearing my maps, looking at maps totally different," he said.
Back at ESRI's headquarters in Redlands, Dangermond said staff is constantly working on new applications and improvements to existing software including the launch of ArcGIS Pro.
The new software provides spatial analysis, and now allows users to use 2D and 3D when making maps.
Just last week, the company launched GeoNet, a social network for GIS users, moving all its forums to the new site. In the next two months there will be a self-service mapping system "which allows beautiful maps to be made by novices," Dangermond said.