Friday, July 31, 2009

Return to Singapore

After 16 years and 11 months, I am returning to Singapore. In September 1992 I traveled to Singapore with Karen Willoughby, Bruce Rado and Jack Dangermond; followed up by Adelaide, Australia. The trip was to attend the 1992 South Asia and OZRI User Group Meetings (UGM). In those days, ERDAS and ESRI held joint international UGMs as most of our distributors sold both companies products and the companies were considered business partners.

At the UGMs I presented a pre–release version of ERDAS IMAGINE 8.0.2. The products I presented were the recently released IMAGINE Digital Ortho and the soon to be released WYSIWYG Map Composer, IMAGINE Vector Module, and the graphic flow chart model builder enhancement to Spatial Modeler script language, Model Maker.

During the same meetings, Jack presented ESRI’s soon to be released product, ArcView. This was ESRI’s move to a graphical user interface. While ERDAS IMAGINE had already made the jump in 1991, ESRI was making the jump in 1992.

When we had some quiet time, Jack demoed ArcView to me and answered my questions. I was impressed at the simplicity of the product. I recognized it a difficult task to take niche technology and create a product to reach out to a wider, non-geospatial trained community. As I discussed ArcView with him, I saw that the product could make that transition.

After we finished looking and discussing ArcView, Jack said he wanted to see IMAGINE Model Maker. Of course, I ran the models that I had planned to run and knew the models would run. Then, as I did to Jack, he asked me to do things that were not planned. He wanted a specific model built from the beginning. I cannot remember the models, but I built and ran them… no problems (ArcView had crashed all over the place on Jack when I asked for specific things).

Almost 17 years later, ArcView has grown up to ArcGIS. For the release of ArcGIS 9.0 in 2004, ESRI copied the Model Maker idea to create Model Builder. ArcView targeted a horizontal expansion of the market and Model Maker targeted a deeper penetration in the existing market. Both product ideas are powerful and have succeeded.

Where will geo-processing be in another 16 years and 11 months? As for ERDAS IMAGINE, imagine that ERDAS IMAGINE 2010 is just the beginning.


Akavudth said...

Hi Paul,

Just visit you in SMU.
RU Okay?

Vdude (Thailand)

Paul said...

Sorry fo the late reply Akavudth. The the trip to Singapore was great. We had wonderful visits to SMU and a few more sites. I was impressed at the work being done in Singapore. I also had the opportunity to meet with our Asian Distributors. We have a great group of Distributors in Asia.

I am in Beijing this week, so Asia continues to be on my mind.

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