Building Mapping Applications? Then Esri DevSummit in Berlin Is for You

Since 2005, Esri Developer Summit (DevSummit) has been the globally premier conference for geospatial developers, and for the fourth year, we’re hosting it in Berlin. This event continues to grow, with more attendees, Esri staff, technical workshops, and other activities than ever.

This world-renowned annual event will be held at AXICA, 6–8 December 2016, in the heart of Berlin, near Pariser Platz and the Brandenburg Gate. Here you will find hundreds of geospatial developers coming to meet, learn from each other, and hear about the latest innovations in mapping and GIS technology.

DevSummit is more than just a summit. We have designed the technical session agenda in order to make it a productivity event. Attendees will not only see, hear about, and discuss the latest products and functionality but will also be able to put them to use right away. And in this way, DevSummit attendees will always have the competitive edge.

With over 60 technical sessions to choose from, attendees will be able to learn about new, enhanced, and expanded capabilities of the ArcGIS platform. Developers can build more robust apps and tools for web and native app deployment, practice some of the latest styling techniques with vector basemaps, try out the newest tools for working with streaming data, and do much more. For developers new to the ArcGIS platform, DevSummit offers a Getting Started track with hands-on introductory workshops, and there’ll be sessions related to licensing and deploying apps and components in a way that best fits your business case.

There will also be opportunities to contribute to open-source projects and for developers to share their own work with others who, just like them, are looking for the best methods and practices for their apps and projects.

Not only will attendees gain skills and create new, inspiring connections, they will also find open-door opportunities to advance themselves and expand their professional network. At DevSummit, we have many activities where such broadening of networking horizons can take place:

Lightning TalksPresenters will come up on the big stage and have a cool five minutes to introduce themselves, reveal the secrets to their success, and describe how they got to where they are today. Lightning Talks offer up the spotlight to those who are deserving of recognition within the developer community. Come be inspired by others’ innovative work.

User PresentationsBecome part of the DevSummit agenda! Submit an abstract for a 45-minute technical presentation, and if you are selected, your projects and lessons learned will become part of the DevSummit proceedings.

SpeedGeeking—Participants move from table to table and meet new people while learning about different technologies from Esri developers. Give us one hour and gain 10 new skills.

DevSummit Party—During the DevSummit Party, there will be plenty of time for you to meet attendees from all over the world and possibly collaborate on the next inspiring location-based app over a pint (or a Maß) and some local cuisine.

Esri Developers

DevSummit is always for developers, by developers. Come meet, discuss with, and learn directly from the Esri developers who create and build on the ArcGIS platform—folks such as these:

Euan Cameron, Esri CTO of Apps and SDKs


David Cardella, Esri Product Manager for Developer Technologies


Allan Laframboise, Esri Lead Developer Evangelist


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Google open-sourced its real-time localization and mapping library

Real-time Simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) is a critical component of all autonomous platforms, be it self-driving cars, drones or … self-parking chairs (nope, not kidding); Autonomous systems need to be able to locate their position on the map and simultaneous create a map of their environment to function.

Introducing Cartographer 

Google just open-sourced its SLAM library called “Cartographer” that they had been using internally for a while now for indoor mapping and most probably also with their Tango Smartphone and self-driving cars.

If the name Cartographer sounds familiar, it’s because Google had launched a backpack mapping platform by the same name back in 2014 (Related: Google unveils The Cartographer – its backpack for mapping indoors).

Cartographer, is a real-time SLAM library that works both in 2D and 3D environment, with the ability to combine data from different sensors (LIDAR, IMU and Camera) to simultaneously compute the position of the device and create a map of the device’s surroundings. Here’s the link to the IEEE paper (pay-walled) where a detailed description of Cartographer’s 2D algorithms are available.

Youtube video description: Demonstrates Cartographer’s real-time 3D SLAM. The blue arrow shows the position and orientation of the backpack in 6 DoF. The yellow line is the trajectory. This is an X-ray visualization that indicates vertical density of occupied space. Pixels on the map become darker and lighter as the number of occupied voxels along the z-axis increase and decrease respectively. This data was collected in the Deutsches Museum. – Cartographer, YouTube page

Why Open-Source it?

For the same reason, why TensorFlow, the AI Engine that powers many of the Google apps we use everyday (Photos, Translate and more) was open sourced – get more people involved and increase the capabilities of the library. As the mentioned in the VentureBeat article about this topic, Cartographer isn’t the only open-source SLAM library out there (e.g. hector_slam from TU Darmstadt). By open-sourcing its library, Google has the opportunity to get researchers to use its library to solve more problems than they could possibly attempt to solve if they kept it in-house.

Considering that Indoor mapping and self-driving cars are two areas where Google has invested a lot of time and energy recently, open-sourcing Cartographer could very well serve as a platform to recruit researchers and programmers who are skilled in SLAM for its projects.

But none of these reasons, diminish the collective benefit of having a powerful SLAM library like Cartographer available for use by everyone. On a related side note, it’s going to be interesting to see if anyone utilises the library for the latest Udacity self-driving car challenge on Image-Based Localization.


Open Data for SLAM 

In addition to open-sourcing its library, Google also announced that they will be releasing 3 years of LIDAR and IMU data collected using the mapping backpack platform during the  development of Cartographer in the world’s largest tech museum in the world (any guesses? here’s the answer).

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