Rhiza’s CEO to Deliver Keynote at GIS Conference

Josh Knauer will be delivering the keynote address to the NW Pennsylvania GIS Conference at Clarion University on October 15, 2009.

About the talk:

nwpagisCollaboration, Participation and Innovation: The Future of GIS

Geospatial technology is changing the world. Yet the general public does not understand the impact of GIS on their lives, their governments, and their communities. The days of this paradigm are numbered, though, since new technology is putting people at the center of GIS. Powerful geospatial analysis tools are now accessible to anyone regardless of training, and data collection has become decentralized and participatory, drawing upon the wisdom of crowds. Join Josh Knauer, CEO of Rhiza Labs, for a discussion of communicating the impact of GIS to decision makers, funders and the public through human-centered design.

Rhiza Labs was spun off from visionary technology consultancy MAYA Design in 2008. Since its inception, Rhiza has pioneered the design and deployment of people-centered data management and visualization tools. Earlier this year, Rhiza won acclaim for its use of controlled crowdsourcing to create FluTracker, the world’s most comprehensive, timely and accurate portal for tracking the spread of swine flu. Prior to that, InformationWorld, the Brookings Institution, and ZDNet noted Rhiza for its distributed database technology. Using this new architecture for information, Rhiza helps governments, nonprofits and corporations around the world to collaborate more effectively in making data-driven decisions.

Drawing upon Rhiza’s experience bridging the public, private, and social sectors, Knauer will illustrate how innovation has simplified complex technical processes and made GIS accessible to everyone. With little training, professionals from many fields can collect high-quality structured data, fuse data from multiple sources, visualize it for rapid analysis, and broadcast their results. Focusing on the design techniques that have made these tasks accessible, Knauer will illustrate how GIS professionals can demystify what they do, making the case for investments in geospatial technology and engaging the public in their work.