Emergence of Geospatial Cloud

29 May 2019 08:38 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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In Sri Lanka, the public sector continues to be the largest user of GIS both as a mapping tool. To draw maps and make decisions. GIS is a wonderful multi-faceted technology to help visualize current information and data meaningfully on a map to make better sense. 
The combined forces of the Internet and cloud computing are dramatically changing how software companies deliver their functionality.
Geospatial capabilities on the web: Esri’s Strategy

Over the past decade, Esri has transformed the fundamental architecture of ArcGIS to be entirely web services based. We refer to this architecture as a Web GIS platform.
This architecture has been engineered to work well in cloud environments, in on-premises infrastructure, and in hybrid networks. Web GIS manages all aspects of geospatial information—such as maps and data—but also analytical models, applications, workflows, and even data security and access.
This pattern was deployed at scale with the creation of a massive geospatial cloud platform known as ArcGIS Online. The software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based platform provides hundreds of analytic and visualization capabilities delivered in easy-to-use apps. There are also tens of thousands of ready-to-use datasets and maps that users can immediately employ in their applications.


Apps make it easy and fun
Using this web pattern is easy, productive, and fun thanks to a whole suite of out-of-the-box apps that run anywhere. These apps just work, supporting things like smart mapping, field data collection, location tracking and routing, spatial analytics, situational awareness, and map-based storytelling.


Introducing Esri’s Geospatial Cloud
In 2019, we are introducing the term Esri Geospatial Cloud to describe the larger set of technology and products offered by Esri. This encompasses all our software and SaaS offerings, including the following:
ArcGIS software (ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Enterprise, apps, and extensions)
ArcGIS Online (mapping and location SaaS)
ArcGIS for Developers (APIs and SDKs)
Geo-enabled products (such as ArcGIS Indoors, ArcGIS Urban, ArcGIS Hub, and ArcGIS Business Analyst)
Esri will continue to create both software and SaaS products to help users do their work. Our offerings are also designed to operate in hybrid environments (software and services).
The advantages of cloud-based offerings include scalable computing, storage of large datasets, big data computation, and the ability to surge resources during critical events such as disaster response. 
Our geospatial cloud strategy allows for the quick integration and analysis of large datasets and imagery, often at the scale of cities, regions, and even the world. Here, the combination of advanced spatial analytics and new AI tools can help model and visualize complex patterns, relationships, and situations.
Most of today’s real-time and big data problems are inherently geospatial. Examples include Internet of Things (IoT) sensors; devices such as smartphones; social media; vehicle sensors; cameras; and imaging sensors on drones, airplanes, and satellites.
Real-time IoT streams are particularly interesting when presented as maps. They can provide instant context and understanding of the data when displayed dynamically as spatial dashboards. 
Spatial triggers can also be useful for real-time responses. While the computing requirements for this real-time situational awareness can be demanding, the Esri Geospatial Cloud has been engineered to easily scale so it stores billions of records that users can query to ask complex questions and perform location analytics.
The geospatial cloud can also be a framework for powering AI algorithms running against data stores to automate processing and reveal insights. 

An evolving architecture
Esri’s ArcGIS architecture continues to evolve, providing new and flexible patterns for delivering geospatial capabilities. We are seeing our users deploy more lightweight applications that combine a variety of analytical functions and data services to tailor specific user-centric solutions.
Through the geospatial cloud, access to services and the underlying data can be managed, secured, and maintained at a granular level. Identity allows administrators to preserve role-based permissions in their organizations. And organizations can set defined roles in configured apps to bring together people and processes in a holistic way and address cross cutting issues.


Geospatial Cloud deployment
Millions of people around the world are already using ArcGIS Online and making billions of maps every week. Intuitive workflows guide users through mapmaking and give them access to the world’s largest collection of digital geographic information. 
Esri’s Geospatial Cloud includes wide ranging capabilities, empowering almost any organization with increased spatial understanding. These include business components that turn spreadsheets of addresses into maps that can be used to route users to various locations. Developers can use APIs to build their own apps or embed geospatial capabilities into their existing apps or web pages. New image processing workflows and machine learning algorithms can expedite going from raw pixels to image exploitation and insights. 


The next step
Looking forward, we at Esri will continue to focus on building capabilities that help users be more effective by applying mapping, real-time IoT, imagery, big data, and spatial analytics to their work. This technology will seamlessly integrate our traditional on-premises systems with SaaS and hybrid environments.
We see the paradigm of the geospatial cloud as the next big step to empower our users with more options and fewer limitations.
Esri’s GIS mapping software is the most powerful mapping & spatial data analytics technology available. 
JIT commenced operations in 1996 as a single entity in a 100sq ft. basement office - a journey which started over 22 years ago, has been one of success and learning. Since its humble beginnings, JIT has grown from a team of 4 members to a group of 290 employees with varied Information and Communications Technology (ICT) offerings ranging from systems integration to Geographical Information Systems (GIS).  Furthermore, JIT was the only local company recognized in the APAC CIO Outlook magazine’s Annual Top 25 Government and Public Sector Technology Providers for 2017. With over two decades of excellence, JIT provides cutting-edge integrated solutions to telecommunications, government, health, defence and financial sectors.

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