Esri FedGIS conference 2017 – an OSi delegate’s experience

Jack Dangermond, President of Esri

I recently had the opportunity to attend the Esri FedGIS conference in Washington, an event that invites government delegates from around the world to come together and share their geospatial knowledge, challenges and solutions. The CEO of Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi), Colin Bray, and I were invited to speak about some of OSi’s most recent projects and initiatives.

Who are Esri?

Esri, who are a geographic information systems (GIS) provider for mapping and spatial analytics software empower their users with location intelligence, which enables them to visualise, interpret and analyse all kinds of data.

What’s the FedGIS conference?

Every year, Esri invite thousands of government professionals to attend a conference called FedGIS to explore and share the ways that governments around the world are using geospatial technology.

This year’s event, which was attended by over 4000 delegates, had a running theme – ‘The Science of Where’. This short video explains more about The Science of Where – I recommend that you take a quick look:

Colin Bray, OSi CEO’s participation at FedGIS

This year Esri’s President, Jack Dangermond, invited OSi’s CEO to speak about the industry-leading projects that we have been working on recently.

Colin was invited to join Susan Gordon, Deputy Director of the USA’s National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), in leading a discussion on how the US and Ireland are using GIS to innovate and modernise across government. Their panel session, titled ‘Modernising and Innovating Government with Location-Based Intelligence’, was delivered at the conference’s Senior Executive Seminar, where 250 leaders from organisations all over the world were in attendance.

I found it really interesting to learn how two mapping agencies, one with a global remit and one with a national remit, have rebuilt themselves with web GIS to better serve both their traditional, and increasingly non-traditional user base.

Jack Dangermond (President of Esri), Susan Gordon (Deputy Director of NGA) & Colin Bray (CEO of OSi)

My presentation at FedGIS

My presentation, which I gave as a 1-hour expo workshop, was titled ‘National Mapping: Modernising to Meet Demands’. I covered the challenges that come with resource constraints and trying to meet rapidly changing customer requirements. I also covered how evolving technologies can modernise your organisation’s processes.

I spoke about OSi’s more recent initiatives, including the launch of OSi’s collaborative data platform, GeoHive, which is a web-based platform that provides free access to authoritative Irish spatial data. I also covered OSi’s automated multi-resolution data store (MRDS), which allows OSi to automate product and service generation. This project has made OSi the first national mapping agency in the world with the capability to automate the creation of products and services across map scale ranges (from 1,000 to 1:1,000,000) from a single resolution topographic database.

FedGIS was thought-provoking

The FedGIS conference provided myself and the other delegates with a forum to give and receive guidance about spatial technologies. We were able to attend workshops, troubleshoot challenges, learn about advanced tools from GIS tech experts, and learn how to leverage GIS for our own organisations’ needs. And of course, it was a tremendous opportunity to share OSi’s successes with other leaders in the geospatial industry.

About the author: Lorraine McNerney is General Manager for Geospatial Systems at OSi.

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