Once again another International Esri user conference has come and gone. Myself, like about 15,000 others who made the trip to San Diego are now coming down from a big “Geo High” and are organizing our notes and contact information from all the great things we saw and fabulous people we met. The week began much like most other conference week’s did, with loads of excitement and Esri President Jack Dangermond addressing the huge crowd in attendance at the opening plenary. I felt that Dangermond really set the tone for the week with his opening remark that may have come over as rather surprising to many – he expressed how “something is changing, and we’re about to see GIS reach its full potential… there’s something afoot and I encourage you to notice it.” An exciting and bold statement I felt but after the week was done it did indeed seem rather appropriate and most of us at the conference did indeed go out there to notice it.
Esri user conference (Image credit: Esri)
I found that the morning plenary session flew by as Dangermond provided exciting examples and visualizations that showed us all just some of the amazing things that Esri users, partners, and staff are doing with the Esri (ArcGIS) platform and solutions. Dangermond shared examples of GIS applied to many fields including land use planning, forestry, transportation planning, space planning, public safety (crime patterns, facility location analysis, disaster planning and response), heck, we even got a glimpse of the first postage stamp dedicated to recognizing the GIS industry! Dangermond reminded us how we are facing tremendous challenges: population growth, the energy crisis, climate change, hunger/famine, human social and economic conflict and much more… these challenges in turn affect everything in our World (think about our social world, social conflicts, social migrations). The response to us all from Dangermond was that geography is now more important than ever, providing a framework for understanding the world.
Web GIS integrates all kinds of information which is now available any time any place on any device. We are all bringing GIS gis to life, transforming how we do our work and enriching your own personal work – Dangermond reiterated that he wants us all to become Geo Designers!
And so the tone for ESRIUC 2014 was set.