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Satnews Daily
June 9th, 2019

Esri Software Powers Location Intelligence in Microsoft's Defense System Demonstration

Esri has announced that Microsoft’s Tactical Edge Platform will use Esri’s ArcGIS Enterprise to give its Microsoft Azure and Azure Cognitive Services a geographic context through Esri’s advanced mapping and spatial analytics technology.

The platform is intended to demonstrate to defense and intelligence professionals how they can use connecting field sensor data and cloud services for domestic emergency response, or for tactical field operations support in theater. This demonstration is displayed by deploying the platform in a fully operational car called the Tactical Edge Vehicle.

Soldiers or disaster response field personnel, coupled with mobile phones turned autonomous ground sensors, can capture the seen and unseen world around them with elements ranging from wireless infrastructure to photos of the population. That data is transmitted to ArcGIS, residing in Azure and using Azure Cognitive Services to apply artificial intelligence to the collected data.

The AI-processed results are fused with ArcGIS’s spatial analytics, and become actionable across the ArcGIS platform, including pushing results forward into the tactical vehicle’s displayed ArcGIS Operations Dashboards. Operations Dashboards can be quickly created by anyone and custom built for all roles in a mission.

Cloud computing has opened up more versatile and efficient ways of deploying technology to different types of work environments and infrastructures by setting organizations free from the reliance on a central server. Market research firm Forrester recognized Esri in The Forrester Wave™: Location Intelligence Platforms, Q4 2018 Evaluation, which acknowledges Esri’s leadership in location intelligence technology and highlights the company’s long-term commitment to innovation in its market-leading geospatial cloud.

Using the open-standards of these Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) products immediately connects ArcGIS compatible partners through ArcGIS to Azure and can be used by the tactical vehicle. In this demonstration, it includes Knowledge Bridge International (KBI) for the sensor network, and Meemim’s vGIS using Microsoft Hololens. Both KBI and Meemim are among the hundreds of Esri partners.

Lily Kim, GM, Azure Global at Microsoft, said Esri’s cloud-based platform enables networks of sensors to be analyzed geospatially and, coupled with Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services, allows for that sensor information to be analyzed around the clock supporting various roles from the edge to the intelligence centers. This delivers the type of data insights to customers in the field that they require to respond effectively in today’s fast paced world.

Tim Murphy, Director of Contextual Intelligence at Esri, added that Microsoft has provided a great opportunity for the firm to demonstrate the rapid deployment of the company's geospatial capabilities, providing online and offline capabilities to customers in disaster management and those forward supporting humanitarian and national defense missions alike. Microsoft’s collaboration with Esri has provided unparalleled value to our customers for more than 15 years. This new demonstration in the Microsoft Tactical Vehicle brings together how Esri’s technology can fully geo-enable tactical operations for real-time spatial awareness.