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.