ESRI Boasts Top GIS Technology

ESRI Boasts Top GIS Technology

If you plan to pursue an online GIS degree, at some point, you’ll become familiar with the GIS technology firm ESRI.

Based in Redlands, Calif., ESRI creates geographic technology that connects cultures and societies. The firm leverages geographic capabilities to alleviate social, economic, business and environmental issues.

American Sentinel University professor Gabriel Schmidbauer says ESRI is the Microsoft of the GIS industry and that American Sentinel University strongly focuses on teaching ESRI software.


ESRI, the groundwork

In 1969, Jack Dangermond founded Environmental Systems Research Institute (now simply called ESRI) to organize and analyze geographic information to support land planners and resource managers. Dangermond’s company first topographic maps were manually overlaid with Mylar sheets.

Today, ESRI’s ArcGIS system allows users to easily create data, maps, globes or models on a desktop computer and field them via mobile devices.

This system helped build ESRIinto a $794-million company with 2,800 employees and 10 U.S. offices.

According to the company, ESRI software is used by more than 350,000 organizations worldwide including most U.S. federal agencies and national mapping agencies, 45 of the top 50 petroleum companies, all 50 U.S. state health departments, most forestry companies, and more than 24,000 state and local governments including Paris; Los Angeles; Beijing and Kuwait City. It works closely with major technology leaders such as AT&T, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP and many others.

In addition, ESRIhosts the largest GIS industry event in the world, publishes two of the most widely circulated periodicals in the industry and operates the leading GIS book publisher, the company says.

ESRI, company of the future

The real tribute to ESRI is found in the many glowing reviews of its customers. After the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport (BTR) underwent a three-year project to integrate ESRI’s GIS systems into its digital airport management system, the airport’s assistant director of aviation Ralph Hennessy said: “{We} chose ArcGIS because of its current features and long history of being at the forefront of GIS development worldwide. It is the perfect system to effectively support our priority business activities with high-quality data, tools, and support. It also provides data sharing throughout our organization and easily integrates with other systems.”

ESRI also has specialized applications that allow users to create fleet routing for logistics, scheduling, market analysis, community analysis and data sharing.

“ESRI provides very powerful geodatabase solutions along with GIS tools,” Dangermond says.

According to ESRI’s website, the geodatabase combines spatial data with data repository to create a central data repository for spatial data storage and management. This can be used in desktop, server or mobile environments and allows users to store GIS data in central locations for easy access.

“ESRI is and has been the main software player within the GIS industry in the U.S. and much of the world,” Schmidbauer says. “ESRI has by far been the most popular professional GIS software package in the U.S.”

In other words, if you plan to earn an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree in GIS technology, ESRI is a good company to know.