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Leaving heads buzzing – a reflection on the Geocortex User Day

On Wednesday 16th October, 1Spatial held a Geocortex User Day. The day is open to anyone who has an interest in the Geocortex suite of products.  For me it was a little different this year as I am taking over the role of leading the Geocortex Team within 1Spatial. With a mixture of interested parties and customers from several different verticals, it was shaping up to be a great day.

The day opened with John Hartshorn, Business Manager, from 1Spatial welcoming everybody and setting out the agenda for the day.

John handed over to Ryan Cooney, Product Owner, from VertiGIS (formally Latitude) to give a ‘Road Ahead’ presentation. This was interlaced with demonstrations around the emerging Geocortex Web applications coupled with demonstrations of the existing Workflow5, Printing5 and Reporting5 products. Ryan showed how easily Web App Builder can be extended and enhanced with the 5 Series of products. Web App Builder from ESRI can quickly get a map uploaded to the web with a set of tools such as measuring and editing to get users up and running quickly.  However, when you wish to extend the limit of the tools you need to be able to write code to build your own widgets.

Extending Web App Builder using the 5 series of products is easy to do and there is no programming involved.  Workflow5 allows you to build widgets without coding - turning sophisticated business process into easy-to-use end user processes.  Printing5 and Reporting5 further helps improve the user experience. Ryan’s presentation was both useful and informative.

Matt White, Senior Business Development Manager, from 1Spatial then talked about how Geocortex was being used in the Government sector and spoke about our links with the Environment Agency, Natural England, Natural Resources Wales and The National Trust explaining how each group has implemented the various parts of the Geocortex family including Geocortex Workflow.

Up next was Tom McKenna, Technical Business Development Head, from 1Spatial with an equally entertaining talk on our Utility Customers, including Severn Trent Water and Northern Gas Networks. He described how adaptable the Geocortex platform was explaining how initially a core application was built, then as new applications were required, they were created with minimal effort.

Ryan then reappeared with more details on how to extend Web App Builder, further cementing his message in his opening presentation.

After a well-deserved lunch we sat down to Harry Sturley, a GIS Consultant in the Geocortex Team, from 1Spatial.  Harry gave a presentation and live demonstration of the Geocortex Analytics product.  Geocortex Analytics lets you understand what’s happening now in your GIS infrastructure.  It helps quickly identify problems and where to look to trouble shoot them.  The latest version (1.5) allows you to monitor right down to the ArcSOC level, so understanding your application load has never been easier.

Following Harry, it was my turn as Managing Consultant Geocortex to take to the stand. I presented Geocortex Inline. Inline is designed to allow users to view spatial assets that have linear referenced assets associated to them using interactive alignment sheets.  You can quickly view information at a particular point along a spatial asset such as pipe material, pipe diameter, road speed, rail signal and much, much more. A live demonstration was used to give contact to what was being said.

John Hartshorn returned next with a presentation around our prototype development for NGN. What was previously a long and very manual process involving lots of drawing before a road sign can even be placed can now be automated using 1Spatial’s business rules. These rules sit in the background and have a Geocortex viewer initiating where the road will be excavated, the signage plan, inventory and a list of affected properties can be produced in under a minute, reducing the time to deploy dramatically. The process also rules out any human interpretation that might happen.

Philip Ridley, Senior Business Development Consultant, from 1Spatial, then gave a very thought provoking presentation all around how everybody is looking for Economic Growth, Improved Environmental and Social outcomes. All of which is very good, but looking back up the trail do we have the Geospatial Infrastructure and Geospatial Readiness in place to fulfil the outcomes, very interesting as I suspect the answer is ‘I don’t know’.

The day finished with a presentation from Duncan Hill, viaEuropa whose presentation entitled ‘Bridging the gap: Using geospatial web services in Geocortex’ explained how viaEuropa’s solutions help manage and present, amongst others, Ordnance Survey feature rich data. Duncan explained how viaEuropa manage the Ordnance Survey data, updating it, re-purposing it and making it available in a web-based environment using WMS, WFS and WMTS. 1Spatial’s Harry Sturley then showed a live demo on how easy it is to incorporate the data into the Geocortex environment.

It was a brilliant day and fantastic to welcome so many of our customers to the 1Spatial office to join us for a great day of presentations and interesting discussion.

If you missed this event or want to find out more about Geocortex, register now for our Smarter Data, Smarter World Conference on 19th November:

Written by Chris Wright, Managing Consultant Geocortex, 1Spatial