Author Archives: Jack Dangermond

Jack Dangermond
Jack Dangermond founded Esri with a vision that computer-based mapping and analysis could make significant contributions in the areas of geographic planning and environmental science. The recipient of 10 honorary doctorate degrees, he has served on advisory committees for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Science Foundation.

Recent Posts

Our Answers to Your Questions

The Esri User Conference is almost here, and we can’t wait to see you in San Diego. One of the ways we prepare for the conference each year is through the Esri UC Q&A. You may have recently received a survey asking for your comments and questions about GIS and Esri. We’ve spent several weeks addressing your questions and we’re eager to share this information with you.

I invite you to spend some time reading through the Q&A. Whether you’re coming to the Esri User Conference or not, the Q&A is a terrific way to learn more about the latest enhancements to Esri technology, emerging trends for GIS in your industry, and the road ahead.

It’s my hope that this information will help you solve your challenges and become even more successful with GIS.

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Returning to America’s Green Planning Roots

Esri Green Infrastructure Tools Will Help People, Government, and Planners Design a Better Future

More than a century ago, landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted looked out over Yosemite Valley in California and saw a place worth saving. From that point on, he advocated a revolutionary concept that would benefit generations to come.

Olmsted, who codesigned New York City’s Central Park in 1858, proposed the idea of creating a system of parks and greenways that protect and integrate the most valuable landscapes in the country. He envisioned communities working together to identify, preserve, and connect open spaces before planning development. His idea caught the attention of the California state legislature, which led to US president Abraham Lincoln signing an unprecedented law in 1864 that set aside land for public use. Fifty-two years later, congress established the National Park Service, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.

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Share Your Work—Be Part of this Year’s Plenary

The Esri User Conference is coming soon and I need your help to put the finishing touches on my plenary session slides.

Each year, the plenary session provides an inspiring overview of the state of geospatial technology today. One of the best ways to illustrate that is by sharing examples of your work.

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Esri’s Commitment to Open

In the spirit of openness, I want to share with you today what it means to us, at Esri, to make ArcGIS an open platform.

We are committed to ensuring that your data and systems are interoperable with other technologies. This is a challenge because our user organizations have different or unique approaches, philosophies, and preferences for implementing interoperability. In response, we take multiple pathways to interoperability—a tactic that has, so far, been successful for thousands of users working with complex systems.

Please take a few moments to review the following information about the work we are doing to build ArcGIS as an open platform. Continue reading

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Esri: Serving Our Users, Advancing GIS and Spatial Literacy

If you could not attend the 2015 User Conference and hear my opening remarks last Monday, I’d like to share a few thoughts about Esri’s role in serving our users as well as advancing GIS and spatial literacy. 

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 Our organization is about serving you, our users, with what you need and want. It’s also about advancing GIS and a geographic initiative, promoting, and supporting the notion of “geoenlightenment.”

As an organization, Esri is strong and we’re continuing to grow. We’re dedicated to this. And we’re excited to see what you can accomplish and to watch your work evolve.


Professional Development

We’ve been investing heavily in opportunities for your continued professional development with a number of lifelong learning initiatives. This includes meetings like User Conferences where you can get together with your peers and learn from them as well as share your own best practices. We’ve been investing in more virtual classes and a number of other initiatives such as MOOCs—these massive online learning efforts; Esri Press, now with several hundred books published; technical certifications; and GeoNet, an online community to try to keep the kind of learning and sharing that happens at our User Conferences going all year long, all around the world, for all of our users.

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The ArcGIS Product: An Integrated System

If you were unable to attend the 2015 User Conference last week in San Diego, here is a summary of my plenary remarks about recent and coming improvements to the ArcGIS product. 

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ArcGIS is made up of a number of components: a server component, a desktop component, an apps component, and now a content component, an online component, and a portal component. That’s a lot of components, but in fact it’s all one integrated system.

Desktop

Desktop is the component of this integrated system that most of you work with and are familiar with. It supports mapping, visualization, and analytics, and it now embodies two main applications: ArcMap and ArcGIS Pro. These two applications run side by side.

We’ve been putting a lot of resources into ArcGIS Pro, the new 64-bit environment for visualization, over the last several years. We continue to improve and support ArcMap, and will continue to do so for long into the future. And over time, the power of ArcGIS Pro will become more attractive.

The desktop component of the ArcGIS product provides tools for mapping, visualization, editing, and analysis, and we are continually working to simplify and improve this environment.

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Creating Useful Technology and Supporting Our Users

During the plenary session of the 2015 User Conference last week in San Diego, I shared some of the big themes we are pursuing as we innovate the ArcGIS platform. For those of you who were unable to see the plenary, I’ll share some highlights of our work here. 

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ArcGIS is an integrated Web GIS that is supported by services. These are abstracted in a geoinformation model that’s managed by the portal, and then accessible by a number of apps, which are the growing part of this system.

ArcGIS is an integrated Web GIS platform providing mapping, analysis, data management, and collaboration capabilities both on the open Web and on-premises.

As we continue to grow and expand the ArcGIS platform, our focus is on creating useful technology and supporting our users. In our work pursuing this goal, a number of themes have emerged. Continue reading

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Empowering GIS Professionals and Transforming Organizations

GIS is evolving, and a whole new pattern is emerging. Web GIS integrates many innovations and provides everyone with the geographic advantage.

If you were not able to attend the 2015 User Conference last week in San Diego and hear my opening remarks on Monday morning, I’d like to share my thoughts about how GIS is evolving. 

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GIS is being influenced by and integrating with all kinds of new innovations such as faster computing, big data, the cloud, smart devices, and distributed processing.

At the same time, we are measuring everything that moves and changes on the planet with drones, Lidar, sensors, and other new tools.

These two forces are coming together to provide a platform for a whole new generation of apps. This new pattern is called Web GIS.

Web GIS provides us with a whole new window into our information through applications that are easy, 3D, and analytic. These applications are not just casual things, but reach deep into geographic knowledge and apply it. Continue reading

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Applying Geography Everywhere

The purpose of the Esri User Conference is to get people together and build a network, teach each other, and create understanding.  For those who attended the 2015 User Conference this week in San Diego, I want to thank you for everything you did to help make this year’s conference such a tremendous success.  For those who could not attend, I’d like to take a few minutes to give you an overview of my opening remarks on Monday morning.

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This year’s conference theme is “Applying Geography Everywhere.”  And I’d like you to really think about these three words.

The world that you and I live in is increasingly challenged. Population growth, pollution, over-consumption, unsustainable patterns, social conflict, climate change, loss of nature…these are not good stories.

One asks the question of themselves from time to time: “Where’s this going to go? Is this really sustainable?” And clearly it’s not if we continue the patterns that we’re on. Continue reading

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Carl Steinitz Honored for Excellence in Landscape Architecture Education

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) recently announced its 2015 honors recipients. The honors will be presented at the president’s dinner on November 9, held during the 2015 ASLA Annual Meeting & EXPO in Chicago. Among the honorees is Prof. Carl Steinitz, who will receive the Jot D. Carpenter Teaching Medal for significant and sustained excellence in landscape architecture education. I wanted to share some personal experiences and thoughts on Carl as an educator who had a profound impact on the direction of my life.

Prof. Carl Steinitz at the 2014 Geodesign Summit in Redlands, California.

I was a student of Carl Steinitz’s in 1968‐1969 at the Lab (later called the Laboratory for Computer Graphics and Spatial Analysis) in the Graduate School of Design (GSD) at Harvard. Continue reading

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