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4 things that make Esri Canada UCs essential for #GeoCanucks

Our fall line-up of Esri Canada User Conferences is fast approaching. We’ll be visiting seven cities in a two-month span, highlighting your stories, connecting people in the GIS industry and sharing the future direction of GIS. Read why you don’t want to miss attending a UC near you.

Each year, we pack up our annual Esri Canada User Conference (UC) road show to visit cities across Canada to showcase your work, unveil the latest GIS innovations and learn more about you—the ever-expanding community of GIS professionals. This fall’s UC season kicks off in Edmonton on Sept. 29, followed by Ottawa (Oct. 6), Toronto (Oct. 14), Halifax (Oct. 27 – 28), Regina (Nov. 3), Vancouver (Nov. 17) and St. John’s (Nov. 25). Check out the 2015 Esri Canada User Conference story map for a complete overview of our 2015 locations.

Perhaps you’re considering attending a UC for the first time, but you’re not sure what to expect. Or, maybe you attended a UC years ago and you haven’t decided whether to go this year. Or, it might be you’re looking for a few compelling reasons to strengthen your case to attend. To help you out, we’ve compiled four key things that make our UCs worth attending.

1. Hearing User Stories First-Hand At each UC, we invite a selection of our customers to get up on the big stage or lead a break-out session to share their story on how they’ve applied Esri solutions to address a need or challenge. Quite simply, the stories our customers tell are one of the big reasons many people keeping coming back to our UCs each year. Here are three examples of presentation that were given last year.

Presentation: GEOweb Property Viewer – Designing for Simplicity in Web Applications Presenter: Andrew Durnin, GIS Coordinator, District of North Vancouver

Presentation: Mapping the Games – A Story Presenters: Taylor Blake & Zara Matheson, Mapping Coordinators - The Organizing Committee for the TORONTO 2015 Pan American/Parapan American

Games (TO2015)

Presentation: Mapping the population dynamics in New Brunswick through Twitter activity Presenter: Lola Arteaga, University of New Brunswick

2. Learning About Esri’s Cool, New Stuff If there’s one thing we’ve learned after organizing UCs for over 30 years, it’s that you don’t want to just hear about new solutions—you want to see them in action, live! At each UC, you can expect to view demonstrations of the latest innovations related to the ArcGIS platform during the plenary, break-out sessions and on the showroom floor. Here’s an example of a demo presented by our technical team from last year.

Demonstration: Building Web Apps with Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS Presenter: Maura Daffern, Lead Developer – Esri Canada

3. Meeting Others Like You There are still many people who don’t know what GIS is—we get that. We know how awkward you can feel standing there at a party, trying to politely explain to someone with a confused look on their face what it is you do for a living. Know that there are many others who routinely deal with the same thing. Esri Canada UCs unite you with other GIS professionals that are happy to talk about their favourite map projection and share their tips and tricks for configuring a multiuser geodatabase. They might in fact get really excited about things like this. At its core, Esri Canada UCs are an opportunity where you and your industry peers can geo-geek out together. We’ve also designed our UCs to connect you with Esri Canada partners and developers for the chance to meet people and organizations that offer GIS-related hardware, software or services.

Attendees at the 2014 Esri Canada UC in Toronto socialize during the reception.

4. Keeping Tabs On Where GIS Is Headed Down in Redlands, CA and Washington, DC, Esri remains committed to continuously innovating and improving the ArcGIS platform. North of the border, my colleagues on the technical side are constantly upgrading and updating to ensure these advancements meet the needs of the Canadian GIS community. How does one keep up-to-date on all of these new developments? There’s certainly an abundance of information online, but finding time to search around and knowing what to focus on can be a challenge.

At each UC, thought leaders such as our President, Alex Miller, and our Director of Technology Adoption, Chris North, provide a high-level outlook on industry trends and their vision on the future direction of GIS. Plus, Esri Canada technical marketing specialists, developers and industry managers from across the country provide a steady stream of insights and demonstrations on new releases and how they can benefit you.

Alex Miller (left podium) & Mike Gregotski (right podium) onstage during the plenary at the 2015 Calgary UC.

To learn more or register, visit us online at Esri Canada User Conferences.