26 Jul

Esri Is Laying the Groundwork for Enhanced Map Making in the Cloud

Geographic information system (GIS) provider Esri has become an industry leader because of its data-rich maps that visualize compelling narratives, such as the spread of Zika virus or the highlights of Muhammad Ali’s career. With more than 350,000 clients worldwide, Esri recognizes the need to deliver cutting-edge, adaptable map technology. As a result, the company is partnering with Microsoft and the Azure cloud to enhance clients’ ability to create and analyze mapping data and better manage the staggering influx of new geographic information. Here’s a look at how Esri is laying the groundwork for enhanced map making in the cloud.


Scalable Self-Service

The first step in building a better map is giving clients the ability to design what they want, when they want it. For Esri this means deploying self-service ArcGIS virtual servers on the Azure cloud. It all starts with the ArcGIS Server Cloud Builder, a desktop app that lets users deploy and configure ArcGIS server sites. Using a full Web GIS deployment option lets clients run ArcGIS entirely on Azure infrastructure, meaning Microsoft and Esri do all the heavy lifting and users simply need to supply the right data pipeline. The result is a scalable self-service that provides both federated access and limits the chance of map data loss in the event of server failure.


Critical Combination

Esri is taking its map technology a step further by combining the power of Microsoft’s Azure cloud, Internet of Things suite and Azure containers. Fortune explains that the company is rolling out a new managed service that lets clients easily import and parse data to create custom maps.

By leveraging Microsoft’s trio of cloud offerings and public data from the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, Esri was able to aggregate 7.1 GPS positions across more than 10,000 taxi trips, creating a finished product that merged both historical and real-time data.

The benefit? According to Esri’s lead on this project Adam Mollenkopf, Esri’s cloud-powered solution not only provides immediate data but also the ability to predict future needs. For New York’s taxi service, this could help map out the most efficient route to destinations or suggest where cabs will be needed most based on current conditions and historical trends.


Real-Time Results

Esri also is embracing the challenge of mapping data in real-time during high-stakes events, such as the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. The company has been tapped to monitor crowd movements in real time during both conventions to help limit the chance of an “incident” that could have significant repercussions. Chris McIntosh, Esri’s public safety industry division director, states: “Political conventions, like the RNC and DNC are unique in that they also draw demonstrations from all around the country.” This introduces an element of uncertainty into these events — uncertainty that can be mitigated by the use of Azure and Esri resources to collect, process and map millions of events per second.

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