There’s one week to go before the 2016 Esri User Conference (UC) in San Diego, and Esri has released its annual UC Q&A, which sets the scene for the UC and provides answers to common questions about Esri’s products and services.
This year the PDF download numbers 199 pages (up from 169 last year); so, to save you wading through the whole thing, here are some highlights I’ve picked out that I think might be of interest for the petroleum sector.
The theme of this year’s UC is “GIS – Enabling a Smarter World” – a world where decisions and actions are “enabled with real time data, analytics, and automation applications that improve efficiency and decision making”. Esri highlights some “big ideas” as being central to this vision, including the ones below – these are likely to continue to be key planks of Esri’s strategy:
- The Web GIS “pattern” and GIS as a “pervasive platform” – ArcGIS as a platform, essentially.
- Real time data.
- New “Smart” technology, specifically GeoEvent Server, GeoAnalytics and Insights.
Esri is set to release ArcGIS 10.5 towards the end of 2016, which will include the following highlights:
- Distributed computing – New distributed computing capabilities will be made available as two server products: one for vector (GeoAnalytics Server) and one for imagery (Image Analytics Server).
- Insights – Esri have been demoing “sneak peaks” of the new Insights app at conferences all year, and this will finally be released “for use on-premise” with ArcGIS 10.5, with” future releases” due to add support for ArcGIS Online.
- Completing “3D across platform” – Building on the release of ArcGIS Earth, Esri plan to release a “new open 3D mesh data format for use in visualization across the ArcGIS platform”.
- Expanding the ArcGIS apps suite – Further expansion of the ArcGIS platform apps are planned for field workers, “office workers and communities”, including Drone2Map and Survey123.
- Platform API – Esri will release a new web Python API “for working with all aspects of the ArcGIS platform”.
- Portal federation – Essentially a way to replicate data between portals. Initially only available for on-premise implementations but “shortly after” Esri will support integration with ArcGIS Online.
Over the next year, Esri expect ArcGIS Pro to provide all of the most commonly used capabilities found in ArcMap – I assume this means @ ArcGIS Pro 1.4.
In the meantime, ArcGIS Pro 1.3 will be released this summer and include the following: New analysis and geoprocessing tools, support for KML as a native layer, support for geodatabase topology, publishing of elevation surfaces, viewing vector tiles, new advanced image classification tools, additional Tasks capabilities, “improved cartography” and the ability to create tile packages locally & upload them to ArcGIS Online.
On the training front I spotted a couple of interesting announcements.
- Firstly, Esri looks set to continue its commitment to MOOCS. Esri will be offering 8 MOOCs in 2017, and in Sep 2016 they will launch “Earth Imagery at Work”, a new MOOC that will explore “how industries like agriculture, environmental management, disaster managements, utilities, and the commercial sector use earth imagery to make better decisions”.
- Secondly, Esri are set to launch a new training website at the end of the summer. This is planned to be “the go-to place for individuals to continuously grow their geospatial skills and for organizations to build and sustain ArcGIS capabilities across their entire workforce”. All customers current with maintenance will receive unlimited access to all of Esri’s self-paced e-Learning resources on the new site.
Along with other sectors, Esri picked out some key trends currently affecting the Petroleum market.
- Oil price – Unsurprisingly the low oil price was first up, but it’s not all bad news: Esri see customers pressing ahead with ArcGIS platform deployments in order to drive operational efficiencies as they adjust to the low cost environment.
- Technology – Companies continue to look to technology to provide a competitive edge, and while active cloud, IoT and Big Data projects in the industry have been delayed, Esri anticipate a “significant increase in the use of GIS by US operators”.
- Staffing – Esri continue to support the petroleum industry by offering personal use licensing free for the first year (usually $100 annually) if you have been laid off from your employer.
While Esri’s drive to improve and add to its COTS software continue to help the industry “do more with less”, it also highlights the work of the PUG and its partner ecosystem to add value to the stack. There’s even a nice “shout out” to Exprodat for our work with ArcGIS Marketplace.
Finally a few other items that caught my eye:
- Esri provides an update on the “migration” from Google Earth Enterprise to ArcGIS, saying a number of US Agencies have chosen to adopt ArcGIS along with many international customers in Australia, Japan and Europe.
- Esri has released a new interactive Coordinate Conversion tool delivered as a widget for ArcGIS Web AppBuilder and an add-in for ArcGIS Pro.
- Esri is developing a new “ArcGIS Code Sharing” website for discovering, collaborating, and freely sharing user-generated content and Esri-developed scripts and code.
- Lastly, and by no means least, my personal favourite – Esri is changing the product names for “ArcGIS for Desktop” and “ArcGIS for Server” back to “ArcGIS Desktop” and” ArcGIS Server”. A victory for common sense!
See you there
If you’re coming to the UC, do visit Exprodat and other Esri partners at the Petroleum and Mining User Group social on Tuesday 28th June, starting at 6pm on the Coronado Terrace of the Marriott Hotel, San Diego.
Posted by Chris Jepps, Technical Director, Exprodat.