A short history of Kingston GIS

Kenneth Field the departing Course Director for the Kingston GIS degree progammes has written a nice short history of the important role played by Kingston University in the development of the GIS industry in the UK.

It’s published as part of esri’s best practice in GIS series and is available to download for free as a pdf here.

Ah Happy Memories..

Written and submitted from the Google Offices, London (51.495N, 0.146W)

Where 2.0 from a distance

Just watched the John Hanke, Jack Dangermond session from Where 2.0 using Seero, think Qik with maps. Actually worked really well, along with the IRC channel you get a good idea of what is happening.


As to the presentation, there is great benefit clearly from combining the strengths of ESRI tools is terms of geospatial data creation, management and analysis with Google expertise in organising and publishing information. From the “fat end” of the long tail, the ability to expose “professional” GIS data is vital for the ongoing development of the Geoweb.

Some good comments from Jack at the end in answer to a question from the floor, making this possible technically does not mean that it will be any easier from an operational perspective for some organisations to publish their data.

There is still much work to be done to solve that issue, especially here in Europe.

UPDATE : You can also follow Where 2.0 from a distance via Mulitmaps’ John McKerrell, who his doing an excellent job live-blogging at http://blog.johnmckerrell.com/.

Written and submitted from home, using my home 802.11 network.

Time comes to Google Earth

Just finished the plenary presentations at this years AGI conference, which actually nicely coincided with the latest revision of both Virtual Earth, Google Earth and the imminent release of ArcGIS explorer. For me the most interesting demo was the new Google Earth to be released tonight which brings a basic temporal capability, Michael Jones demonstrated animation of a GPS track over a period of time – a whole new way to use KML data !!

For me it also interesting to see the beginnings of the convergence between the GYM approach to Geographic Information and the “Established” GIS community – there is still some way to go, but ArcGIS Explorer is a great start.

I’ll upload my presentation later in the week if you are interested…

Written and submitted from the AGI Conference , London, using my Vodafone 3G network card.

ArcGIS Explorer – the iceberg of GIS

James notes in his Blog the continued interest in the soon to be released ArcGIS explorer… seldom in the GIS world has a software package generated this much interest before launch. Part of this interest is no doubt fuelled by the relatively private beta program until now.. I guess in contrast to the initially similar Google Earth.

ArcGIS Explorer

For ESRI this is a different type of software product, Google have always been a “server” company, with massive amounts of server and bandwidth at their disposal and an operation well used to developing server based applications.

Although ArcGIS explorer looks and installs like a conventional desktop application, it is really a client for the large ArcGIS 9.2 server farm than ESRI have been building, and it is the development of this that controls the release cycle for the client.

Like an Iceberg, ArcGIS Explorer is the visible 5% of an application stack that remains below the surface, in the new Geography 2.0 world of GIS applications your GIS is only as good at the server which hosts it and the data which drives it.

ESRI UC Day 1 – My Thoughts

Jack Dangermond on Mainstage

I thought it was best to sleep on my thoughts for day 1 of the conference to contemplate what I have heard… I’m still trying to get over seeing AutoCAD and Intergraph GeoMedia demonstrated on Mainstage at a ESRI UC – that’s real interoperability for you.

Many people I have spoken to were a little disappointed by the lack of “new” stuff, as many people were already aware of the functionality in ArcGIS 9.2 at least from a desktop point of view. The Big story here however is one of consolidation around desktop, but the new stuff is all around the Server products and the wider GeoWeb vision.

I not sure everybody really “gets” what this means or the real impact of this.. In many ways the focus on servers is a more fundamental shift in thinking than the move to ArcGIS from Arc/Info, but initially for the vast majority of users at the UC whose only experience is off the desktop products this may all seem a little remote.

As I noted on Sunday, the GeoWeb vision will not be a easy ride, there are many issues to resolve not only the technology, but there is no doubt about Jack and ESRI’s commitment to it.

Written and submitted from the Wyndham San Diego Hotel, using a local open wifi network.