Tag Archives: Esri User Conference

UC Reflections from a Veteran Geogeek

See You in San Diego, Esri Users!

Every so often, you can get lonely at the Esri User Conference (UC).

Now in my 27th year of attending UC (my 17th as an Esri employee), it’s sometimes difficult to remember what it’s like to be a user at the conference. As I sit at my desk today preparing my slides and reviewing the agenda for all the interesting sessions (that I probably won’t make it to) while trying to confirm last minute meetings, I had a memory of my first UC.

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What Makes an Enterprise GIS Successful?

As the 2016 Esri User Conference approaches, I have been thinking about the essence of what makes an enterprise GIS successful and offer these thoughts…

A successful GIS implementation requires more than just technology. Whether or not a GIS is successful, largely depends upon motivated people that are committed to managing change, and effectively applying the technology in a sustainable manner, while following best practices. An assistant City Manager once told me, “…whether or not our GIS implementation is successful is not a technology problem, it’s a people problem…”

Two of the key elements of a successful GIS are vision and leadership – if you are a GIS Manager, you need to be more than just a manager, you need to be a leader in your organization. You need to awaken your organization, and the public, to the capabilities and benefits of the use of GIS. This means you need to market the benefits of GIS to colleagues and the public. Let them know that GIS can do more than make maps, that it can be used easily by anyone, and that spatial analysis can provide insight that is not accessible with any other technology. This critical insight can help anyone make better decisions, be more efficient, and therefore, save money and time.

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A Lesson from Social Networks

Why Real-Time Collaboration Matters for Electric Utilities

Tony Zingale, the executive chair of Jive Software, once quipped, “We know more about what our high school girlfriends had for dinner than what’s going on within our organization.” Why is that?

For one thing, our consumer apps and social media platforms are built around the notion of collaboration, not workflow. But doesn’t workflow require collaboration? Exactly.

The general lack of internal awareness within organizations is tied to the business IT world’s lagging behind consumer applications. Many of today’s enterprise IT systems model specific workflows. In the electric utility business, IT systems are organized along departmental lines. Integration among electric utility systems has been tough, expensive, and clunky.

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Don’t Miss the GIS Managers’ Open Summit on Tuesday

Engage with your peers to learn how they are improving business efficiency and managing technology change with GIS. The Summit will feature two successful customers and focus on participation, networking, and attendee collaboration.

Don’t miss the GIS Managers’ Open Summit on Tuesday, June 28!

GIS managers, business and technology strategists, and other decision makers are encouraged to attend. The Summit is free but registration is required.

The Summit runs on Tuesday from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. in Ballroom 20 A.

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Seeing the Forests for the Trees

An Expanding Collaboration Between the USDA Forest Service and Esri

By John Steffenson

You may know the USDA Forest Service as the steward of 193 million acres of national forest land, but the agency is much more than that. Its Research and Development (R&D) branch is the largest forestry research organization in the world, charged since 1928 with a congressional mandate to make “a comprehensive survey of the present and prospective requirements for timber and other forest products of the United States.” The branch’s Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program drives the survey that meets that mandate.

Surveying the nation’s forests involves maintaining 355,000 permanent sample locations on private and public lands across nine time zones from Guam to the Caribbean and monitoring a grid of approximately 6.5 million photo points. While the traditional focus has been on rural forest land, the FIA program is expanding to include urban forest resources. They also survey private land owners and wood-processing facilities across the country to understand the flow of wood products from state to state and to international customers.

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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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Esri Supports Lifelong Learners

“Change is the only constant in life.” That age-old saying is truer than ever. In today’s world, rapid technological change demands that we rethink the role of education in our lives. Rather than a prelude to adulthood and careers, learning has become a way of life. User Conference participants of all ages and all stages of professional development are actively involved in learning, teaching and mentoring. In fact, lifelong learning is one thing that the diverse community of GIS users has in common.

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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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Geodesign Pioneer Honored

Dr. Stephen Ervin is as vibrant as his day of birth—Mardi Gras. Like the celebratory day itself, Ervin is animated, larger than life, and full of contagious energy. He has spent two decades working at Harvard University teaching courses, speaking at conferences, and authoring books about his passion—the intersection of computing, design, and science. “Geodesign has taken over my life,” Ervin chuckles.

The Assistant Dean for Information Technology at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, Director of Computer Resources, and lecturer in the Department of Landscape Architecture, Ervin still somehow manages to find time to evangelize and promote the principles of geodesign in various ways around the world.

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