- Author: Shane Feirer
For those of you who have been following ESRI and GIS software in the past few years, you know that ESRI has been developing a new desktop GIS software called ArcGIS Pro. This past week ESRI released a new version of this software version 2.5. There are many improvements, of those that excites me the most is the integration of Jupyter Notebooks into the ArcGIS Pro software. For other improvements note the included list from ESRI . If you have ArcGIS Pro installed on your computer you can update the software as of last week.
- Author: Robert Johnson
The Esri Developer Summit in Palm Springs was, as usual, a very informative look into the resources Esri provides for those who want to take their software to the next level. Although this year's conference was a bit light on major announcements (they're probably saving all the good stuff for the User Conference in July) there were still a few interesting takeaways:
- ArcGIS Notebooks are continuing the trend of tight integration of Python with the ArcGIS suite. While currently available through ArcGIS Enterprise portal, the next release of ArcGIS Pro is going to support Python Notebooks directly in the desktop environment.
- Web apps are becoming lighter, more efficient and more mobile-friendly. Progressive web app standards are making it easier to develop functional, responsive web apps rather than needing to delve into the more complicated world of native apps.
- ArcGIS Pro is finally going to support publishing to standalone servers in the next release! Esri is framing this as a tool for transitioning to Portal servers, but those of us that still use standalone servers will take it.
- ArcMap really has become obsolete. While Esri is still pledging to support it for "years to come", all new functionality will only be available in Pro.
All in all, the Dev Summit is a great resource for keeping up to date on all the cutting-edge technology that Esri has to offer. It's a great learning experience and I look forward to attending again in the future.
- Author: Shane Feirer
- Author: Sean Hogan
ESRI held its first ‘Imagery Education Summit' in Redlands California this week, and even though I came with high expectations, I was still pleasantly surprised with the caliber of the summit's presentations. It is very difficult to pick out a favorite among these talks; however, I can say that I particularly enjoyed the presentations by Jarlath O'Neil Dunn from the University of Vermont (pictured below), on ‘Success Stories and Progress' in image analysis and mapping, and by Jason Ur from Harvard University, regarding his work with ‘Drones and Archaeology Case Studies' in Iraq. The innovative approaches that they and others at the summit presented were truly inspiring!
One take-away from this event is that ESRI is making huge strides to incorporate more remote sensing processing options into ArcGIS Pro's ‘Image Analysis' toolbox. Speaking for myself, as both a remote sensing and GIS practitioner, I am excited about the prospect of being able to do more of my work within just one application environment, as opposed to doing my image stitching in Pix4D, image analysis in ENVI, and then finally my spatial analysis and mapping in ArcGIS. For the sake of efficiency, I look very forward to the day that I can do all of this in just one app.
For you drone enthusiasts out there, one neat new feature in the ArcGIS Pro Image Analysis tools is basic image stitching for producing color balanced orthomosaics and digital surface model outputs. This new function is not at the level of what Pix4D or Drone-to-Map can do yet, but for basic RGB image processing it may be good enough for many people's needs. Plus, it is a brand new tool that is bound to improve over time.
A couple more neat news items that were mentioned at the summit include:
- ESRI now offers a FREE ‘Schools Mapping Software Bundle', which includes both fully functional ArcGIS Pro and ArcGIS Online licenses for every K-12 school worldwide. http://www.esri.com/industries/education/software-bundle#.
- ESRI also now offers free ‘Massive Open Online Courses' (MOOCs), which among other things include approximately 30 courses on working with imagery alone, http://www.esri.com/mooc/imagery.
The future for spatial science has never looked brighter!
- Author: Robert Johnson
It's that time again! The worlds largest GIS User Conference has returned for its 38th year and the first two days have been jam packed with content. This is my fourth time attending, and I'm always a bit surprised by how much the conference seems to have grown every time I come down. This year's attendance is around 16,000 people and it shows! The halls of the San Diego convention center are filled with an unbelievable human tide and I've been in a couple of sessions that were standing room only.
The first day's plenary session was quite a production as usual, but was lacking in the type of big announcements of new software or major updates that have been the norm in years past. Highlights included a look at how Disney Imagineers developed the city of Zootopia using Esri's CityEngine software and a thought-provoking keynote address from Dr. Geoffrey West about the growth cycles of biological organisms and their links to the development of urban areas.
Some highlights from Day 2 included a session on the continued integration of Python and R into the ArcGIS Desktop environment, particularly ArcGIS Pro. The closest thing I've seen to a major announcement so far is that raster support is coming to the R-ArcGIS Bridge with the release of ArcGIS Pro 2.1. I also atteneded a session on Esri's Drone2Map software which looks like a simplified version of Pix4D which has been very nicely integrated with ArcGIS Pro. I think the biggest takeaway from these first days has been that I really need to start seriously working on migrating to ArcGIS Pro!
I look forward to what's in store for the rest of the week. Stay tuned for more updates!