…adapted from Jack Dangermond’s plenary talk at the ESRI International User Conference in San Diego,California in July of 2009…
For me, spatial analysis is the heart of GIS. ArcGIS 9.4 makes a huge step forward in the sreas of spatial analysis and geographic science. Python, the open source scripting language that is rapidly becoming the accepted standard for scientific programming, is being integrating inside of ArcGIS. This will give you a great language to support geoprocessing and spatial analysis, and I think it will bring a lot of advances in geographic science. We’re also going to integrate other software packages for statistics, math, and modeling.
At 9.4 we are adding a lot of functionality such as fuzzy overlay modeling. We’re improving the math-algebra integration. We’re radically improving raster performance for analytic operations, especially on very large data cells. We’re integrating time. And we’re introducing an ecological sampling tool, which brings a lot of geostatistics into play. All of these are examples of extending the quantitative methods that we apply.
A good friend of mine once said, “For each new advance, each new technology, it’s both a technical advance but it’s also an advance in method.” And this science theorem really rings home here as we expand the analytic language of what we can do with geography.