2007 June 7

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Professional Surveyor Magazine

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Editor's Introduction

This week, I preview three sessions that will take place at the ESRI International User Conference, June 18-22, in San Diego. Plus, a letter to the editor and a dozen press releases.

Matteo Luccio

ESRI International User Conference

About 15,000 people are expected to attend the Twenty-Seventh Annual ESRI International User Conference, June 18-22, in San Diego, California. This week, I asked several of the people who will give talks at the conference to give me a preview of their presentations. I publish three of these conversations this week and will feature a few more next week.

A New Way to Estimate Return on Investment (ROI)

Bruce Joffe, GIS Consultants, "Estimating GIS Return on Investment: The Empirical Way" — Wednesday, June 20, 10:15 AM to 11:30 AM, room 29D

Joffe has been doing ROI calculations "for decades," he says, helping his clients prepare GIS projects. He compiled many of his findings in a paper he published a couple of years ago, titled "Ten Ways to Support GIS Without Selling Data". It recounted the experiences of GIS managers at city, county, and state government agencies who told him that they were supporting their GISs with the money they saved by using GIS or the revenue they generated by using GIS in ways other than selling data—such as finding under-taxed parcels and adjusting the taxes on them.

Joffe then extrapolated those experiences into, he says, "a very systematic method for calculating the ROI," based on "the kinds of data that a project is collecting and the kinds of applications that they are developing for that and the various types of benefits—cost savings, new revenues, faster processing times, or better decisions—that come from those applications." He explicitly presents the assumptions and the evidence based on each of those applications, "so that, if there are questions about it or challenges to it, it is all transparent." This method, he explains, "provides a much more experience- and fact-based way of estimating what the future ROI will be from the kinds of methodologies that I've seen used up until now."

Read more…

History of GIS and ESRI

Erik Hoel, Matt McGrath, and Craig Gillgrass, "The History of GIS" — Thursday, June 21, noon to 1:15 PM, Room 6A

Teresa Dolan, "Roots—The History and Culture of ESRI and its Users" — Thursday, June 21, 1:30 PM to 2:45 PM, Room 6A

GIS has now been around a long enough time to have a distinct history — but a short enough time that most of the key people in its development are still around. ESRI itself is just two years shy of its 40th birthday.

This year's ESRI User Conference for the first time will feature two sessions dedicated specifically to this history. The first one will focus on the general domain of GIS, while the second one is very ESRI-centric. Both are rather informal, though they may evolve into something more formal at future conferences, depending on how they are attended and received by conference participants this year.

The 1985 ESRI User Conference — back when all attendees sat in one room and heard from Jack and Scott and other developers about plans for the future. Notice the informal Map Gallery on the walls and Scott Morehouse hanging out in the back. This was held on the ESRI campus in Redlands. Many of the folks in this picture still attend ESRI's annual conference (Earl Nordstrand, in checkered suit with his back to us, Clem Henriksen, Jan Van Roessel, Mike Miller, Logan Hardison, Glenn Huibregste, Gary Kabot). Photo courtesy of ESRI. Caption courtesy of Teresa Dolan.

Read more…

Letter to the Editor

Maria Brovelli, a professor of GIS at the Milan Polytechnic University (Politecnico di Milano) and the Federal Polytechnic University of Zurich (Politecnico Federale di Zurigo), wrote to me to point out some errors and omissions in my May 17 article "GIS in Italy.".

Here, in my translation from her original in Italian, are two excerpts from Brovelli's letter:

Read more…

News Briefs

Please note: I have neither edited nor verified the content of these press releases.


    1. Infotech's First Quarter Includes Five Major Awards

    2. Merrick & Company Wins Multiagency Digital Orthophotography and Topographic Mapping Contract Administered by St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, Minnesota

    3. EOTec is Latest Addition to USDA FAS/IPAB Prime Vendor Contract

    4. East View Cartographic Reaches Oil and Gas Market Using MetaCarta's Geographic Search

    5. Varion Systems To Implement Cityworks Software For Cape Girardeau, Missouri


    1. Explore the World with ESRI ArcGIS Explorer

    2. Hemisphere GPS Announces New Features for Outback S2 and eDriveTC


    1. 'Mapping Florida Communities' Workshop Provides Introduction to GIS and Community Analysis

    2. Trimble Sets Date for International User Conference in Las Vegas

    3. Applications of Earth Observation and GIS in Integrated Water Resources Management

    4. Internet Pioneer to Speak at GeoWeb 2007


    1. DigitalGlobe Promotes Three Vice Presidents to Key Leadership Posts

  5. OTHER

    1. New ScanEx "Gallery" Project

    2. The Northern Information Technology and Geomatics Cooperative and the Township of Michipicoten recognized for their Multi-Community GIS solution

    3. MAPPS Announces Judges for Geospatial Products and Services Excellence Awards

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Matteo Luccio, Editor
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