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Improved GIS tool gives data a fresh look February 21, 2010

Posted by Bahadir Sahin in English, Haber (News).
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It’s impossible to make good decisions without good data, which makes the ability to visualize data crucial, said Dr. John Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Holdren spoke Feb. 17 as the first speaker in a three-day symposium on the art and technology of data visualization.

Holdren stressed the importance data plays in making sound policy decisions. “That’s why the Obama administration has placed such a priority on putting high-quality data in the center of the executive branch,” he said.

However, he added, visual data is the most meaningful to decision-makers and the public. That means converting the information into maps, charts and other graphic representations to make its significance clear.

The backdrop for Holdren’s remarks was a national gathering of federal geospatial information systems specialists in Washington, organized by geospatial software giant, ESRI. The event also marked the introduction of a new iteration of ESRI’s GIS mapping and data management tool, ArcGIS 10.

The newest release of ArcGIS, due out initially next month, is expected to offer a variety of more robust capabilities than previous systems, including the ability to provide geospatial data bases, ready-made mashup applications and other mapping tools over the Internet, and be capable of working on mobile devices as well as in remote cloud computing centers.

Introducing the new ArcGIS platform — with the choreographed staging and muted star power reminiscent of a more famous California-based technology company — was ESRI founder, patriarch and President Jack Dangermond.

“This is a very big release,” Dangermond said, speaking beneath a massive multimedia screen at the Washington Convention Center. “The vision” was to create “a simple and pervasive system for using maps and geographic information and make them accessible everywhere through Web clients, mobile clients, traditional desktop clients,” with a system that “simplifies working with GIS by putting maps up front as the user interface.”

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