- Author: Sean Hogan
It was a great pleasure to attend the first in-person event held by ESRI since the start of COVID-19 in 2020, the ESRI Imagery Summit. This event largely focused on ESRI's steady progress towards incorporating more tools for collection, analysis and visualization of remotely sensed data/imagery into both ESRI's online and offline applications.
Among the many topics presented at the summit, there were two topics that excited me the most. The first was “ESRI Image for ArcGIS Online”. This brand new add-on for ArcGIS Online promises to be an increadibly valuable resource for efficiently uploading, analyzing and visualizing your own imagery to ArcGIS Online. Currently, ArcGIS Online requires users to host their own imagery on either a server or in the cloud, which can be prohibitively difficult for some users, and then call this imagery into your ArcGIS Online maps. However, this add-on will allow you to directly upload your data to ArcGIS Online, where it will be hosted in ESRI's Amazon cloud (at a yet to be determined credit fee structure), where it can then very be efficiently analyzed and displayed in ArcGIS Online.
The second topic that excited me was ESRI's Site Scan applications. I say “applications” (plural) because there are two parts to Site Scan, which can be used independently, but can also be used together. One part is a drone flight app (referred to as Site Scan Flight Limited Addition), and one part a cloud processing app. The flight app might be the best drone flight planning app that I have ever seen for quadcopters (almost like Sensefly's e-Motion, my favorite flight planning app, but for quadcopters). The only down side that I can see for the Site Scan flight app is that it is only compatible with a limited number of drones. As for the cloud processing app, it is a little early to tell, but for GIS users I think that it might be the future of drone data stitching apps. In particular, I am excited about how nicely it integrates with ArcGIS Online, via ESRI's cloud storage, which could be incredibly efficient for the data management of ongoing drone projects; being one of the most challenging aspects of regular drone operations.
IGIS will continue to explore/follow these developments as they are forthcoming, and will update the IGIS Blog accordingly.