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Damian Spangrud, Esri’s Director of Solutions, talks about a few of his favorite things at and about Esri UC. Spoiler alert: He’s gonna tell you about the next ArcGIS release.
Q: What’s your favorite part of Esri UC?
A: I like interacting with our users on the Showcase floor. There is this energy as people are digging into technology. They come with their lists—sometimes collecting questions from their whole team—and are driven to find answers and make new discoveries in the process. The flow of information and ideas is tangible and exciting, albeit a bit exhausting at times. It’s that expression of everyone helping, jumping in and having real frank conversations. That’s where you get the most value and engagement.
Q: Ok, how about your second favorite?
A: I can usually be found wandering around the map gallery. It is enlightening. You see the tremendous creativity in how people approach topics. The mix of art and science you can see is astounding. You see new ideas and approaches in use, and you see cartography that pushes the definition and expectations forward.
Q: How many times have you attended Esri UC? What fond memories can you share?
A: I think this year it will be 20. That’s 19 as an Esri staff member and one prior to joining Esri. I have lots of fond memories. The innovation and uses of GIS I see each year amaze me—saving lives, making million-dollar decisions, mapping insects on high-dollar plants in greenhouses, discovering ancient cities. Even though the number of attendees has grown, there’s still a feeling of togetherness where people are working to help each other understand GIS, tackle a difficult geographic problem, or just help find a session.
Q: What can you tell us about the next release of ArcGIS for Desktop?
A: The next release of ArcGIS for Desktop will include ArcGIS Pro, a new Desktop application included as part of ArcGIS Desktop. ArcGIS Pro provides 2D/3D mapping, editing and spatial analysis. At Esri UC you can find out what’s new in mapping and visualization, and get hands-on training with ArcGIS Pro.
Q: The agenda this year is action-packed. What do you think will be some of the hot technical workshops?
A: It’s hard to narrow it down. The Road Ahead sessions are always a big draw and for good reason—this is where you can hear the very latest and get ahead of the curve, so to speak. In addition to Road Ahead, I would say the Vision for the ArcGIS Platform will give a lot of insight as well. Esri is definitely treating ArcGIS as a platform now and we really encourage our users to explore what that means. A lot of people have been asking about ArcGIS Pro so the introduction sessions will be big. Additionally the ArcGIS Solution Template sessions are key as they provide users free tools to make more out of what they have.
Tim Rankin, Esri’s Technical Marketing Manager, puts together the Esri UC Showcase every year. Here, he gives some insight on what to expect. And, he talks about that one time he hung out with Sparky the Fire Dog.
Q: What’s different with the Showcase this year?
A: This year we will have a new area dedicated to all things 3D GIS, including Esri’s 3D development projects and solutions. We’ve also improved the layout to make it easier for our users to find what they are looking for and better understand what we mean when we talk about the ArcGIS platform. We will have seven areas—ArcGIS for Desktop, ArcGIS for Server, ArcGIS for developers, Apps, ArcGIS Online, Imagery, 3D, and Location Analytics. There are also some cool upgrades in store for the industry team areas.
Q: What are the crowd pleasers of the Showcase?
A: The product areas are probably the most popular. Esri is unique in that we design our product areas so our users can sit down and talk to our engineers, build relationships with them and have a two-way conversation about our products and their needs. It’s amazing how much of our development projects come from these meetings with our users. Also our technical support team is on the show floor to help users.
Q: How many times have you attended Esri UC and what advice can you give?
A: I have been to 20 Esri UCs. I always tell people to spend time figuring out five things you want to accomplish there because it can be overwhelming. Schedule your tech workshops, demos, and sessions ahead of time. Spend time in the Showcase consulting with Esri experts and also visiting our partner booths. If you need help finding something, go to the information booth. Also, wear comfortable walking shoes, and bring a sweater and a water bottle.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about Esri UC?
A: I always look forward to learning what our users have done with Esri technology. It’s fascinating what new and creative solutions our users have created.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to do in San Diego, after hours?
A: I love to go to Dublin Square Irish Pub. They have live music and great boxtys—like a potato pancake.
Q: Speaking of things Irish, there was a rumor going around about you at last year’s Esri UC…
A: Yes, it’s true. Last year I brought my bagpipes to play at Showcase, in honor of the firefighters. I ended up playing bagpipes all evening with Sparky the Fire Dog. It was a lot of fun, and definitely a unique experience.
For your chance to see the Showcase (and eat boxty), register for Esri UC today!
Wow! We received more than 147,000 votes for the Esri UC look. (In case you missed it, Esri designers created four unique Esri UC looks and we collected your votes on the Esri UC website for one month.) It was literally “neck and neck” until the final hours of voting.
So, who won the Esri UC look contest?
While you’re there, explore the new Esri UC website. If you haven’t already registered, now is a good time to do it.
United We Map!
Esri UC has always been about YOU—the users of Esri technology. Now the conference designed to help you connect, learn, and solve problems, will get a look chosen by you. Esri’s topnotch team of graphic designers has created four amazing … Continue reading
Check out this 2014 Esri UC video. Feel the excitement! In 60 seconds you will understand why Esri UC is the biggest GIS event of the year. United we learn, connect, and solve problems. United We Map!
Every year there can be only one. This year, the one—the first person to register for Esri UC—is Chris Mack of Marana, Arizona. He was ready for opening day. He locked in his low hotel rates and secured his attendance. Why was registering early so important to Chris? And, what can he teach us about Esri UC? Here’s his story:
Will this be your first time attending Esri UC?
As a 26-year user of Esri I have had the pleasure of attending numerous user conferences including six in Palm Springs and eight in San Diego. In the 1990s, when I was employed internationally, I was fortunate to be able to attend the Esri European UC in Athens, Greece and the Esri Asia Pacific UC in Penang, Malaysia.
What do you look forward to at Esri UC?
Coming from Arizona, I like the July San Diego weather! On Monday I like the Plenary, Map Gallery and Lightning Talks. Then, Technical Workshops are where I spend most of my time to keep up with changes in the technology. At the GIS Solutions EXPO I meet hardware and software vendors and learn about the latest products. I also like the Developers Meet-Up and the Thursday Night Party in Balboa Park.
What would you tell someone who has never attended?
If you use Esri software and have never been to Esri UC, I would say you are missing out on the premier GIS event of the year. If you are going for the first time, I would advise you bring more than one pair of comfortable footwear as the San Diego Convention Center is huge and you will do a lot of walking.
What work do you do with Esri technology?
I am involved in the practical application of geospatial technologies in local government. I have been doing this for 14 years and my roles have evolved with the technology. Initially, I was involved in managing data, performing data analysis, and making maps. Lately, the focus of my work has shifted to web development and data management. I also create and manage map applications with ArcGIS Online and the API for Silverlight.
With tight budgets, how did you explain to your manager the importance of attending?
The Esri UC is the most important professional development event of the year for me. This is what I convey to my manager. I always come away from the conference having learned skills that make me more productive, and I gain a better understanding of the Esri technology direction. Most importantly, I come out the Esri UC reinvigorated, with a list of new techniques and ideas that I want to try out when I get back to the office.
What convinced you to register early?
For me it’s all about getting the government rate at the hotel of my choice. I love a bargain. Esri does a great job with hotels for Esri UC. Getting a reduced room rate makes the approval process of my travel authorization much easier.
You can register today at esri.com/uc
Today is your first chance to take advantage of discounted registration for Esri UC. By registering before January 17, you can save up to $400 and secure your top choice of available hotels. If you register before the end of the year, you may be able to invest your organization’s remaining 2013 training/education budget on your 2014 Esri UC experience.
The wait is (almost) over. We’re happy to announce that registration for 2014 Esri UC will officially open December 10.
What can you look forward to in 2014? We can’t reveal all the exciting news just yet, but suffice to say you won’t want to miss it. Esri UC is designed to inspire, teach, and delight you. Esri UC is where you celebrate with the greatest minds in GIS. Esri UC is where we all come together to seek solutions to local, global, and industry problems. Simply put, Esri UC is where we unite. And when we unite, amazing things happen.
United we trade ideas.
Each year, we’re amazed at the stunning number of users that want to tell their stories at UC. Last year’s conference featured more than 900 presentations and we expect to see just as many this year. One of those 900 will likely be Steve Palmer, who was the first person to submit an abstract for a presentation. We recently spoke with Steve to learn more about his project and why he was so motivated to tell his story at UC.
The use of GIS for campus operations and facilities management is growing. This is clear as its presence at 2013 Esri User Conference spanned more than two days of user presentations, special interest meetings and technical workshops, as well as a solid exhibit hall presence. Another manifestation of the growth of facilities GIS is that the number of conference attendees who listed “facilities” as their area of interest was up by 25% over last year!