Esri’s Federal 2020 conference in DC ended just two weeks ago, and our PA delegation was well represented there. Organizations keen on the latest advancements in Geographic Intelligence (GEOINT) software, on the Esri platform gathered to show off their work using it, and to learn from others.
The week was packed with demos for how the federal government, NGO’s, military, and the private sector has been, and could use new Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to their advantage. Here are some of the highlights from Esri Federal DC 2020:
As part of the EPA’s plan to tackle climate crisis related effects, such as poor air quality consumption by 2050, EPA analysts demonstrated their new AirData Air Quality Monitors map using the ArcGIS platform. The demo showed differentiations by state, county, and even town levels for air quality, and where these deviations stem from. Beyond more obvious culprits such as polluting industrial complexes, geography was a major factor. For example, in the San Joaquin Valley, home to Fresno, California, surrounding mountain ranges almost form a moat, which traps standing pollutants in the air for longer periods of time. With GEOINT analysis through the ArcGIS platform, the EPA team was able to visualize air quality data overlaid onto a readable format (a map). EPA communicated to a crowd of mixed backgrounds why towns like Fresno are more at risk to pollution, narrowing a focus area where government intervention may be necessary.
Using the ArcGIS platform with socioeconomic layers based on national and local data, YMCA analysts were able to determine counties or other named areas of interest (NAI) that could benefit from a local community center. This process was demonstrated live, where The Y’s personalized ArcGIS Maps, which included tabs for, among others, “youth development” “social responsibility” and “Bringing Hope to All” were put on full display to demonstrate how Esri’s GIS technology keeps YMCA operations running on a national scale. In one instance, the analysts found an area underserved to general social services, and a community center backed by The Y could benefit over 10,000 people, mostly children.
Of the daily practical use, Esri introduced an expansion of their ArcGIS infrastructure to include a tactical mission manager application geared to private, public, and military security use. The interactive demo showed a rep using the mission manager function to communicate with security officers stationed throughout the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Using the extension, the leader could make directional orders for the security teams to concentrate on an area of interest on a map – and track officer movements in real time through the officers’ handheld devices. By the end of the demonstration, the security team was able to track people of interest incorporating multiple forms of intelligence collection: human intelligence (HUMINT) from onsite observation, image intelligence (IMINT) through connected security cameras, and geographic intel through ArcGIS mapping. This software will prove itself to be useful in situations of high security uncertainty – from a patrol in urban Afghanistan, to the SuperBowl.
For more video demos from Esri Federal 2020, click here.
For more information on Esri’s emerging technologies, click here.