From earthquake recovery in Christchurch to a 30-year plan for Auckland city, geographic information system (GIS) technology is becoming a more integral part of technology solutions.
In fact, according to Eagle Technology CEO Gary Langford, about 80 percent of all information has a geographic context and, he says, “people are waking up to location analytics”.
Eagle Technologies has been the sole distributor of Esri GIS products in New Zealand for 25 years and has this month held the vendor's APAC user conference in Auckland.
“It was a fantastic event, very successful,” says Langford, adding that the city welcomed 530 people from the 20 countries with 30 industry sectors represented.
“GIS is a busy area but it has not been a mainstream technology for very long,” says Langford. “It is now ubiquitous, it is an enterprise IT system and it is much more pervasive.”
Esri now has extensions for IBM Cognos and Microsoft Office and, according to Langford, the technology is being recognised at the C-level of every organisation for its potential business use.
“Just about every industry sector is a user of GIS,” Langford adds.
The conference featured Jack Dangermond, Esri’s founder, as one of its keynote speakers. Dangermond shared with the attendees his passion for conservation and GIS. IBM, a platinum sponsor of the event, and Transpower were two of the partners also presented at the conference.
Langford says there are numerous opportunities for Eagle partners interested in investing in GIS as the technology will “continue to grow and move into new fields”.
“We have taken on more business partners and more professional staff. The goal is to grow the GIS business in New Zealand with Esri.”
The “where” part of information is a growth market, according to IDC. The research company predicts a spike in the spatial information market, from $3.1 billion in 2011 to a projected $4.1 billion worldwide in 2015.
In New Zealand, Esri’s ArcGIS is used by the government, energy sector, forestry, transport and commerce, among other sectors. The company released version 10.1 this month, incorporating ArcGIS Online and cloud services. Eagle Technology has already moved to provide cloud services in New Zealand, in partnership with IBM New Zealand.