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A better world through a systems approach

Geographic Information System (GIS) - Mapping the Way to a Sustainable World - A Digital Transformation

Presenter: Bill Meehan, PE, Director, Electric Utility Solutions, Esri


Bill Meehan is the author of four books: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for Enhanced Electric Utility Performance, Modeling Electric Distribution with GIS, Empowering Electric and Gas Utilities with GIS and Power System Analysis by Digital Computer. His blogs have been widely read. He has lectured extensively and taught courses at Northeastern University and the University of Massachusetts. Bill holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University and an M.S. in Electric Power Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Prior to joining Esri, Bill was the vice president of electric operations for a major electric and gas utility. Bill is a registered engineer in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He currently co-leads the global electric utility solutions marketing practice at Esri, the world’s largest GIS Company.

When we first hear the term GIS, we often think of maps. Certainly, maps are the foundation of GIS. However, it is far more. Rather the first word that comes to mind might well be discovery - discover what we have done (for good or bad). It reveals the patterns of our actions. Most importantly it provides a roadmap to a better world. This presentation examines digital transformation and the role of GIS. As we attempt to attack the serious problems of our times – aging infrastructure, climate change, poverty, pollution, inequity, we need to think differently. We must move from an incremental approach to one of innovation. GIS or location technology provides a common framework for looking at every aspect of our world – since nearly everything exists somewhere. GIS is about capturing information, understanding it then sharing it broadly. Thinking differently about GIS will help us map the way to a more sustainable world.