OZRI Sydney is the ESRI Australian User Conference held at the Sofitel Hotel in Sydney on 25 August 2017.
The theme this year is summarised as "The Science Of Where". The User Conference began in the morning with a number of guest speakers outlining the changes to the spatial industry, technological advances to the ESRI platform, and various methods to ascertain customer or business insights as the speakers believe that data insight is crucial to the future of GIS.
The best thing about attending a user conference is discovering just how diverse the industry is from local and state government agencies to the private sector in a host of different sectors. You get to network or meet other users of the ESRI platform as they explain some of the challenges they face in meeting day to day operations and framework.
It's also a good way to determine potential employers as you are essentially meeting other people or businesses using some sort of GIS technology to support their decision making or captial works asset management.
I really enjoyed listening to the speakers from Queensland's Energex. They provided power and electrical tranmission lines throughout Northern Queensland. They explained clearly how their system is setup to utilise both ESRI platform products and legacy platforms. Surprisngly they don't have an online Portal due to security concerns but they do have a suite of mobile apps for their crews to use in the field.
On this occasion the speakers expressed their challenge when it came to Hurricane Debby. The hurricane smashed into the Queensland coast, and the GIS team at Energex was using a range of systems to plan their response to the hurricane, determine the performance of their crews in restoring power and downed transmission lines, and roll out further assets into the field to maintain the integrity of the transmission grid.
They also explained that they accessed open sourced data (like tidal information) to support their decision making processes (in regards to potential flood modelling). They also had an operational dashboard to allow managers to monitor the situation in the office, assess conditions on the ground and communicate with their crews in their respective areas, whom then inspect, assess and restore the assets.
This was enlightening as we would never do something like this in a local government environment.