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3 key questions for enterprise app development: Esri user conference

Sharon Machlis | July 10, 2013
Users offer real-world experience in deploying data mapping apps.

The more robust data format means surveyors need to enter more information into the system, so some of them are still complaining, Siu Wai-ching said. Overall, though, the new system allows the department to do double the number of plans per day that it used to as well as answer economically critical questions such as finding developable government-owned land in Hong Kong, where available property is an expensive commodity. Overall, said Leung Kin-way, "most of our staff our happy with the new system."

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ArcGIS Desktop 10.2 users will receive a subscription to ArcGIS Online as part of their annual maintenance plans, Esri President Jack Dangermond announced. Desktop 10.2 also features more than a dozen new analytics tools, including high-end hot-spot analysis, better integration with enterprise security and easier-to-use big data, he said. There are also new premium data services available, including weather and storm-prediction data from AccuWeather. Version 10.2 is expected to be released in a few weeks.

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Powerful and pricey, ArcGIS is available for non-commercial use, such as learning GIS or doing volunteer work, for $100 a year under the ArcGIS for Home Use program. Dangermond said at the conference that home users should get access to ArcGIS Online as well, although there has not yet been an official announcement on that.

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Esri Maps for Office, allowing ArcGIS capabilities within Excel, will now allow access to demographic data formerly only available within ArcGIS.

In a few months, Esri will be supporting a marketplace for ArcGIS-based apps.

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The year-old National Information Sharing Consortium is holding its first summit during the Esri conference. The NISC was launched a year ago by several state and local government officials seeking to better share code, tools and data for emergency preparedness and response. Sessions include ideas on building a public safety cloud environment.

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This year's conference features a continuously updating Urban Observatory exhibit featuring data mapping for several dozen criteria — and then comparing that data for different cities. It was created by Richard Saul Wurman (also founder of the popular TED talks), Radical Media and Esri. You can see a Web-based version of the exhibit at


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