To recap, a couple of weeks ago we attended the Central Florida GIS Workshop in Orlando, a regional event bringing together GIS staff from many Florida city and county agencies, as well as those from consultancies and mapping companies. There was a great lineup of talks and presentations highlighting many local Florida projects.
The event kicked off with a presentation from Keith Masback, CEO of the US Geospatial Intelligence Foundation. Engaging as always, Keith talked about the history of geospatial techniques and science as it applies to military, political, and intelligence applications. There exists something of a divide between GIS for national security, and GIS for domestic or municipal applications. Keith explained that this barrier between industries is counter-productive, and that there should be more collaboration between the classical “GEOINT” space and the common domestic GIS markets.
Our own Coleman McCormick served as a keynote speaker, focusing on the future of GIS, and some new and interesting directions in the future of geographic technologies. The talk centered on three points: new, powerful tools for collaboration and sharing, the growth of the geo community, and the importance of teaching geography to our youth. He showcased some new tools that have made it a lot easier to collaborate and share data, including GitHub’s foray into collaboration on spatial data, and highlighting tools like GeoGit. The growth of the geography community means an ever-growing spread of people from all disciplines are using GIS. Communities like that of OpenStreetMap have made it easy for people interested in mapping to contribute to making the maps of the data they want to use.
Zac McCormick, another member of the Fulcrum team, presented about field data collection and the new approaches to field GIS; using offline-capable, consumer smart devices, and how to get your information from the field and into your GIS systems for near real-time analysis and decision making. The consumer hardware available today is incredibly powerful, yet woefully underused in commercial and government mapping projects. What’s possible with Fulcrum, in conjunction with other modern desktop tools, can save organizations incredible amounts of money on capital expenses (like hardware and software) and time, improve data quality, and enable organizations to use resources more effectively.
Presenting to our local Florida community was a blast, and it was fun to meet and hear about so many close-to-home projects going on in the GIS community. We met tons of great people, and found some new local partners for collaboration. We hope that the attendees enjoyed these presentations, and believe that Fulcrum made a great impression at the event.
We look forward to attending the CFGIS Workshop again next year!