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The Esri UC According to #GeoCanucks - Rebooted

Couldn’t make it down to the 2015 Esri User Conference in San Diego? Discover what made a splash at this year’s UC from the perspective of four Esri Canada GeoCanucks who made the journey. You’ll learn about a new drone app, a story map rap and how to build apps in a snap.

Last year, I asked four of my Esri Canada colleagues to share what wowed, inspired and left them hankering for more at the annual Esri UC in San Diego and published it in this post. This year, I reached out to a new foursome, Janice Demont, Mark Ho, David McChesney and Karen Stewart—GeoCanucks from across the country with different roles and backgrounds—for their impressions on the annual pilgrimage of ArcGIS users to southern California. Here’s what they had to say.

Janice DeMont Inside Sales Representative Home Office: Halifax, NS

My Esri UC experience in 10 words or less: Inspiring, educational, busy and whole lot of fun!

I came, I saw, I geeked out over… The ArcGIS App for Drones, the future is exciting!

I’ll never forget… The story map rap during App Speed Dating session at the plenary.

Esri employees performing onstage at the Plenary during the App Speed Dating session.

I’ll always regret… That I wasn’t with my colleague Julie Montgomery from the National Capital Region when she ran into Jack Dangermond on the street and got to chat with him.

Mark Ho Technical Solutions Specialist Home Office: Toronto, ON

My Esri UC experience in 10 words or less: Epic. Stimulating. Reinvigorating. Illuminating. Uplifting. Collapsed at the end.

I came, I saw, I geeked out over… Drones! The capability introduced during the plenary for unmanned aerial vehicles to fly around and capture imagery and 3D features is a game changer. This will revolutionize how any organization can collect accurate data quickly and cost effectively. Mind blown.

A new ArcGIS mapping app for drones was introduced during the plenary session. Above, a mosaic created by the app in less than 90 minutes used still imagery captured by a drone at one-inch resolution.

I’ll never forget… The Map Gallery. Nothing gets me more pumped than seeing hundreds of engaging paper maps pinned to walls. Browsing through the gallery always reminds me of why I love GIS. Beautiful cartography telling compelling stories. Maps rule!

I’ll always regret… Not voting for my favourite Speed Dating App in time. Shout out to “Story Maps” - you dropped some sick rhymes!

David McChesney District Sales Manager, Prairies Region Home Office: Calgary, AB

My Esri UC experience in 10 words or less: I kept calm and mapped on!

I came, I saw, I geeked out over… The sheer number of mapping solutions from our customers, partners and our One Esri Family.

I’ll never forget… The Water, Air, Earth and Fire customer presentations at the plenary, around what we truly focus on in this industry, where environmental is the key to sustaining this planet.

Anthony Burgon (left) and Anthony Griffiths (right) demonstrate how ArcGIS successfully improved the way the State of Victoria, Australia, manages bush fire events.

I’ll always regret… Not getting an Etch A Sketch at the Thursday night Party by the Bay; and missing the 2015 Tribal GIS sessions. There was just too much to see this year!

Karen Stewart Industry Manager, Municipal Solutions Home Office: Vancouver, BC

My Esri UC experience in 10 words or less: Educational Spectacular Revolutionary Innovative... and Unequivocally Comprehensive

I came, I saw, I geeked out over…

ArcGIS Online for Local Government and the model implementation templates for your entire local government organization. Did you know that there are over 100 local government solution templates plus 100 more for utilities? The cool thing about these templates is that Esri has worked with communities for about 5-6 years to develop them.

There is something amazing about all of these solution templates for local government. Once you open your data to ArcGIS Online you will have access to it within these solution Apps that solve specific business needs (e.g., Public Parking Web App). I think the new Crowdsourcing Reporter will take off and fly very quickly.

You have access to all of these apps with an ArcGIS Online Organizational account; however, if you don’t find what you are looking for you can always use the new AppStudio for ArcGIS to build your own native Apps in a snap! This is a revolutionary tool that converts your maps into beautiful mobile apps for Mac, iOS, Android, Windows, and Linux.

I’ll never forget… The UC opening video at the plenary: Applying Geography. This video started the conference off with a powerful message: “our significant earth, our home – It’s all we have. Our entire human history happened here on earth – our home”. I found it to be incredibly moving and inspirational. We are stewards of the earth with a unique ability to shape the world around us by applying our GIS knowledge to bring hope and revolutionize the way people understand our world. We can do it. We can be the change.

I’ll always regret… Not being able to spend more time in the exhibit hall. Although the entire conference is action packed and energized by the buzz brought on by learning, collaborating building relationships and enjoying fellow GIS professionals the exhibit hall truly brings forth valuable face-time. The exhibit hall is such an important and valuable part of the UC. This is where industry meets users, partners meet partners, users meet users and where I can learn about new and innovative initiatives, trends and technology. This is what helps me shape the road ahead for local government in my role as an as an industry manager.

Karen touring the Esri UC exhibit hall pictures with the Cityworks mascot, Sam.

The exhibit hall is a place to set up meetings and demos ‘on the fly’ or ‘near real time’. These meetings are generally one of the most valuable aspects of the conference. For example, I had a great meeting in the Local Government solutions area with Esri and Esri Netherlands about the new Smart Communities initiative. This was extremely valuable to me as I am working on utilizing Esri’s Smart Communities strategy in Canada. To sum up, the Esri UC was so comprehensive I didn’t have enough time each day to accomplish everything I wanted to – even with only four hours sleep each night.