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Esri looks to expand ocean industry use of GIS

Written by Nick Blenkey

Esri StephensFEBRUARY 15, 2013 — Redlands, CA, based geographic information system (GIS) specialist Esri has hired Drew Stephens to expand the market for GIS within the ocean industry.

A geographic information system (GIS) integrates hardware, software, and data for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information.

“Stephens has worked with Esri for many years promoting the use of GIS to design sustainable practices for land and sea,” Esri chief scientist Dr. Dawn Wright said. “By stepping into the industry manager role, he is helping us place geospatial technologies into the hands of many more ocean scientists, fleet managers, and government analysts for decision making, planning, and policy implementation.”

Experienced in database design, training, and consulting, Mr. Stephens has more than 20 years of GIS experience and knowledge. Esri says he will open opportunities for applications of Esri technologies in research and exploration, marine ecosystems, aquaculture and fisheries, coastal protection, and ocean-use planning.

“Esri’s contribution to geospatial science has changed the way people view the land and relate to it,” Mr. Stephens said. “Our technologies, methods, and applications, which have advanced land-use management, are readily adaptable to ocean-use management. I am looking forward to helping ocean organizations put their GIS implementations on the fast track.”

In 2012, Esri intensified its commitment to ocean technology by launching its Ocean GIS Initiative. Mr. Stephens joins the initiative’s support team, composed of Esri executives, professional services staff, GIS software engineers, project managers, and instructors, as well as partners. The team is developing mapping and spatial analysis tools, geospatial data, and associated resources specifically for the ocean industry.

Since 1969, says Esri, it “has been giving customers around the world the power to think and plan geographically.” Esri software is used in more than 300,000 organizations worldwide including, it says, each of the 200 largest cities in the United States, most national governments, more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 7,000 colleges and universities.

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