How NVIDIA GRID Makes Geographic Info Systems Available in Any Geography

by Chip Carr

From real estate site selection to fleet management to natural resource conservation, geographic information systems help people visually understand the world all around us.

But until recently, GIS users needed a powerful workstation firmly planted in one spot to access the software’s full analytic capability. That’s changing.

When coupled with our cloud-based NVIDIA GRID graphics acceleration technology, virtualization can deliver GIS tools from anywhere.

That’s why we’ll be joining more than 15,000 GIS professionals from around the globe at this week’s annual Esri User Conference, in San Diego. It’s the largest meet-up of its kind. And as this software becomes more common, users are finding ways to make it more portable.

NVIDIA GRID is a core component of all four talks on the virtualization of ArcGIS Pro, Esri’s flagship GIS for combined 2D and 3D analysis. (To view session details, search the Esri agenda using the keyword “virtualization”.)

3D scene of San Francisco generated by ArcGIS Pro on VMware.

You can hear about Esri’s own migration to virtual desktop infrastructure, which has improved user productivity, mobility and flexibility. It’s a move they’re making with Cisco, VMware and NVIDIA.

Esri is also using virtualization to transform the ways in which analysts access ArcGIS software. Stop by the ArcGIS Desktop Island on the exhibit floor to see first-hand how GPUs deliver an excellent GIS user experience.

If you currently virtualize Esri software, or are considering it, don’t miss the NVIDIA GRID vGPU tech demo. With NVIDIA GRID, you can access your GIS software from anywhere. Any network-connected device, including a Chromebook or tablet, can now be a GIS workstation.

Not only does NVIDIA GRID improve user mobility, it delivers a performance boost to users accessing server resources with GPUs. There’s no need to wait 40-plus minutes while your network chokes on 30GB GIS project datasets.

Plus, IT administrators can centrally manage all desktop and application resources — and keep the data secure, since it doesn’t leave the data center.

At Tuesday’s virtualization special interest group meeting, we’ll join representatives from Esri, and VMware to answer your questions. You’ll also have a chance to share your successes and challenges.

To check out a ready-made deployment option, head to the Dell Precision Rack 7910 Workstation in the Desktop Island. It’s a high-performance virtualization appliance that includes all the hardware and software you need from Esri, Dell, VMware and NVIDIA to deploy Windows desktops with ArcGIS.

If you like what you’re seeing at the Esri User Conference, and want to try ArcGIS Pro in a virtual environment yourself, take the VMware and NVIDIA GRID Test Drive — and start working.