GIS trends and insights in 2015 according to #GeoCanucks: part 1

January 12, 2015 Adam Buchholz

2014 saw many changes sweeping through the world of GIS and all indications point towards even more in 2015. What trends should you keep an eye on this year? Several geocanucks at Esri Canada will help point you in the right direction with their thoughts and opinions on the year ahead in part one of this two part blog series.

Once you got over the fact that, yes, it’s actually 2015 and the expiry date of your 2014 New Year’s resolutions has officially passed, maybe you asked yourself “what’s in store for GIS in 2015?” To help answer this question, I approached a handful of geocanucks working alongside me at Esri Canada to find out which trends and innovations in GIS we should all be looking out for this year. I tried my best to pick people with different responsibilities and backgrounds to give you a broader range of perspectives. Here are thoughts from three geocanucks to get us started. Stay tuned for part two of this series later this week.

GeoCanuck: Mark Ho
Role: Technical Solutions Specialist
Office: Toronto

Why should users be excited about the release of ArcGIS 10.3?

Wow, where to begin. If I had to pick only one thing, I would point to all the new enhancements in 3D GIS. I love how easy it is to take standard datasets and bring them to life in three dimensions. With ArcGIS Pro, you can make your buildings and scenery look amazingly realistic in just a few mouse clicks. The performance is outstanding—navigating around your scene is seamless and lightning fast, even if you are displaying huge datasets. And the new 3D Web scenes for browsers are a huge leap forward in speed and usability. It makes all the difference to visualize your work in the same way you view the real world. So for all users, 3D and ArcGIS 10.3 will be a game changer.

What trends in GIS technology will you be following in 2015?

I am not ashamed to admit this, but I find myself using ArcGIS Online for most of my day-to-day GIS tasks. Whether it’s viewing my data, making edits or performing analysis, working in is so simple. And it’s all Web-based, so I can access my maps anywhere with an Internet connection. So, I always have one eye open on what’s coming next in the Web GIS world. I can’t wait to explore the new functionalities and innovations that will be added with each release. I especially look forward to seeing further advancements in analytical tools and new templates to build Web applications. ArcGIS Online is amazing technology that is continually evolving and I want to keep up with it in the year ahead.

What’s your “GIS” New Year’s resolution?

I have two. First, I want to publish more story maps in 2015. I have been fortunate to travel around North America and abroad over the last few years, and I want to share my adventures with everyone. ArcGIS makes it effortless to build these interactive apps, so there is really no excuse to not post my photos and videos alongside of an online map. Stay tuned if you want to see a countdown of my favourite BBQ joints, or follow a journal of my user conference road trips. As for my second resolution, I need to buy a GPS-enabled activity tracker to monitor moving off the couch more often.

GeoCanuck: Heather Noakes
Role: Developer Desktop/Web
Office: Halifax

Why should users be excited about the release of ArcGIS 10.3?

In my opinion, users should be excited about two key features now released at 10.3. The first is ArcGIS Pro, the brand new 64-bit desktop application that is faster and will conquer intensive processing with ease. The second is the expanded capabilities of ArcGIS for Server . These capabilities truly make a Web GIS in your own infrastructure through Portal for ArcGIS. Building Web applications and providing solutions for your organization will be easier than ever.

What trends in GIS technology will you be following in 2015?

I will be watching ArcGIS Open Data closely. I think 2015 will be a big year for the ArcGIS Open Data product. This is an area of personal interest that has so much potential. It is easily deployed and changing constantly. I will also be following Web AppBuilder closely to see what the development community is creating to expand on the initial widgets currently available.

What’s your “GIS” New Year’s resolution?

This one is tough, but I have never been good at explaining my job. So for 2015 my “GIS” New Year’s resolution is to get better at explaining what I do for a living and exposing more non-GISers to the world of GIS.

GeoCanuck: Steven Beothy
Role: Senior Certified ArcGIS Instructor, National Training
Office: Calgary, AB

Why should users be excited about the release of ArcGIS 10.3?

With the release of ArcGIS 10.3 we will see the official release of the new ArcGIS Pro and WebApp Builder applications. With ArcGIS for Server I’m excited for the new and easy way to view statics of my services. It will also be interesting to monitor who adopts Portal for ArcGIS, now that it is included with their server license.

What trends in GIS technology will you be following in 2015?

I will keep an eye on all the latest developments and releases with ArcGIS Pro and the Web App Builder for Developers. ArcGIS Online is always on my radar these days with its frequent updates and improvements.

What’s your “GIS” New Year’s resolution?

I would like to continue to expand my knowledge and understanding of the software tracks I’m already familiar with, such as Desktop and Server.

I will also strive to learn more about an Esri software tract I may not be so familiar with, for instance GeoEvent Processor and mobile development with the Android SDK.

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GIS trends and insights in 2015 according to #GeoCanucks: part 2
GIS trends and insights in 2015 according to #GeoCanucks: part 2

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