The Esri UC According to #GeoCanucks

July 22, 2014 Adam Buchholz

The whirlwind in San Diego is over and the begging water cooler question many of us have for the lucky folks who attended the Esri UC is, "Sooo, what was it like?" To get a few different perspectives on the answer, I caught up with a cross-section of colleagues and asked them the same four questions. See what they had to say.

If you’re like me, you followed last week’s whirlwind in San Diego with great interest through social media, the plenary videos or scraps of scuttlebutt through the industry grapevine. And while the wonders of modern technology and word-of-mouth storytelling can certainly give you a good sense of what’s going on during the world’s largest GIS conference, there is of course nothing quite like actually being there.

With this in mind, I tracked down some Esri Canada colleagues for their impressions of this year’s Esri’s UC, which was attended by more than 15,000 people and featured over 1,200 sessions. To get a balance of perspectives, I reached out to attendees with varying degrees of experience attending the big UC—from Mike Gregotski, the grey-beard of the foursome with 11 notches in his UC belt—to Jennifer McCall, who attended her first Esri UC this year.

So without further ado, here’s what this foursome of #GeoCanucks had to say:

Adam Fox, Director, Ontario Region

  1. My Esri UC experience in 10 words or less.
    Fantastic learning and networking experience – nothing compares.
  2. I came, I saw, I geeked out over… 
    The City of Minneapolis presentation on stage during the plenary. Showing what they can do with just a few GIS resources and the applications that they were able to put together was amazing. I absolutely loved this presentation.
  3. I’ll never forget…
    As always… Canada Customer Appreciation Night—the social event of the entire UC. It was expanded this year and our colleagues, clients and friends all loved the event. Another highlight is the annual Esri Canada / Esri UC hockey game – always a blast.
  4. I’ll always regret…
    Not getting to all the presentations and sessions I wanted to. With over 1,300 concurrent sessions – there are always sessions you just can’t cram into each day. But that’s the UC…

Mike Gregotski, Technical Marketing Lead, Technology Strategy

  1. My Esri UC experience in 10 words or less.
    An enthralling week of all Esri, all the time.
  2. I came, I saw, I geeked out over…
    The Story Map Journal App. I was so impressed I couldn't wait to sink my teeth into it, so I created my own journal app.
  3. I’ll never forget…
    Chit-chatting poolside with Esri-lebrity and plenary presenter Bern Szukalski after a long day.
  4. I’ll always regret…
    Not stretching after the 5K Run. Those muscles got really tight sitting in sessions all day. 

Randi Lees, Senior Project Manager, Prairies Region

  1. My Esri UC experience in 10 words or less.
    Valuable insight; inspiring presentations; fantastic Canada Night; motivating; clear direction.
  2. I came, I saw, I  geeked out over…
    The new Map Journal and the Briefing Book templates – so slick!  The maturity of the ArcGIS Online product and how our customers around the world are embracing and using the tools that have been enabled through this platform.
  3. I’ll never forget…
    The presentation by Allen Carroll, ArcGIS Online Content Program Manager at Esri (formerly the Chief Cartographer at National Geographic), called “The Weather: What has Changed and Where are we Headed?” He demonstrated the use of Esri Story Maps and emphasized their importance in our customers’ communication tool kits. He also discussed how the future belongs to those with the ability to quickly and simply share information. Perhaps the thing that resonated most with me was when he said working to help our customers tell their stories through maps has been more rewarding that his entire experience with National Geographic.
  4. I’ll always regret…
     The shoes I chose to wear to Canada Customer Appreciation Night!

Jennifer McCall, GIS Analyst - Community Maps, Technology Strategy

  1. My Esri UC experience in 10 words or less.
    Amazing, overwhelming, informative and I was surrounded by other “GeoGeeks”!
  2. I came, I saw, I geeked out over…
    The new space-time tools coming in ArcGIS 10.3. There’s a neat Hotspot Analysis tool that aggregates data into space-time cubes, allowing you to see significant clustering of hotspots. It’s definitely a feature I look forward to playing around with.
  3. I’ll never forget…
    The final plenary presentation on the use of GIS to globally eradicate Polio (they’re almost there) – it was fantastic to see the challenges they faced and how they overcame them using GIS!
  4. I’ll always regret…
    Not getting to the Metalachi (metal-mariachi) band earlier at the Thursday night party. I only caught the last few songs and they were amazing!

If you’re still hankering for more  on the Esri UC, check out our Facebook album or read 14 Moments from the Esri UC Plenary You Shouldn’t Forget.

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