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You may have seen my other blog posts where I “use” my five-year-old to help explain different things like georeferencing and first-time-guide-to the-Esri-UC. This year, Esri has asked me to write up my thoughts on the Esri User Conference and it was suggested to keep it in line with using a five-year-old to explain these things. These will be short posts illustrating each of the first four days but there is one drawback… the five-year-old had a birthday recently…

 

So, without further ado I give you:

A Six-Year-Old’s Take on the Esri UC

A short guide to the 2017 Esri User Conference

 

Quick links to jump to each day

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Balboa Park Party

 

Many times, young kids do not care to do things that you ask them to do, like help out with their parents’ work blogs. For example, how many times when you ask a kid to take their picture when they don’t want it taken, it turns out like this?

(though, this was due to tiredness and some boredom, not reluctance to take a picture)

 

However, this little six-year-old really likes asking about work!

 

The day before the conference, she knew I was going into “work” and she is on vacation playing in San Diego so she starts this conversation:

6yo: What do you do at work?

Me: I am going to go downtown and listen to people talk

6yo: That sounds boring

Me: Yeah, that can sound boring, but I can learn new cool things that help me do my job better

6yo: Oh, that sounds good!

 

When I got back from the conference, she didn’t hesitate to ask, “Daddy, what did you learn today?”

 

- I told her that Driscoll Farms uses GPS to track all of their plants and strawberry shipments. They track each aspect of the plant process to see where improvements can be made. This resulted in a small acknowledgement.

- I told her that augmented reality is used to show people where pipes are underground. Another small acknowledgment but after showing some images of what this can look like she understood a lot better and thought it was cool.  This got my inquisitive and probing eight-year-old curious and he wondered if this was like an x-ray.

I showed him how augmented reality was different from x-rays (one is “real” and the other is like virtual reality and only reflects what data is there). He then wondered what would happen if the data was wrong, wouldn’t people make big mistakes and dig up the wrong side of the road? (He’s a funny boy).

 

Eventually both kids got distracted with recently acquired Lego bricks (Legoland is nearby…).

 

The bottom line is that you can have fun with work and get your kids involved too!

 

Here are some quick highlights (and stray thoughts) of some of day 1:

Registration was a breeze. Esri has it handled so quick that we were in and out in less than 10 minutes

 

Come find Christopher Catania. He likes doing selfies, haha!

 

Want to stand in line for Starbucks coffee or “convention center” coffee?

Vs.

 

Break times are pretty crazy. Try to go outside or spread out a little more:

 

ArcGIS Pro road ahead

 

Come to room 24B for some great GeoNet talks!

 

For the best info you can get, be sure to check out Christopher Catania's blog:

https://community.esri.com/community/events/user-conference/blog/2017/07/10/live-blog-2017-esri-uc-plenary-morning-session

 

You can also read my random tweets about the conference here: https://twitter.com/adrianpwelsh

 

Quick highlights of some of day two:

I tried explaining some of the things I learned today to the six-year-old but the little girl did not have much interest. She thought the Lego map was cool, but that is about it.

 

Since I started the trend of telling my story with pictures, I will continue that trend! (I hope that is ok).

 

Amazing and Inspiring Maps was amazing and inspiring. We also heard the presenter say, “Maps can lie and they ought to.”  

Lego Brick basemap:

(see the full application here: http://downloads.esri.com/MappingCenter2007/webMaps/kf/lego/index.html)

 

Map where the streets have no name (like the U2 song):

 

Announcement of a Cartography MOOC in November (I am excited about this!):

 

Rethinking how to style your maps helped us know how to display the what, when, where, who, why, and how of maps. The presenter also said, “Everybody lies with maps.” I suppose it was the theme of the day!

From mapping the “when”, we learned that there is a really old and REALLY large pipe in Salt Lake City:

 

The GeoNet Community SIG meeting was much more attended this time than what I saw last year. It was great seeing many of the major GeoNet community members and I got to have a five minute segment to tell my story (it wasn’t as well-prepared as Kelly’s or Ismael’s!):

 

I learned where the secret taco truck is, but I am not sure if I am supposed to tell anyone about it…. Thanks Curtis Price!

 

The San Diego harbor is awesome, especially when there is a huge Navy ship cruising through it:

 

A talk on Coordinate Systems and Projections was very well attended and touched on the very basics of coordinate systems, projections, and transformations (horizontal systems, not vertical ones):

 

I don’t have any exhibit hall pictures but it was as great as ever! I suppose I should have documented it more (especially Active G, who was printing awesome t-shirts! It was a huge hit!).

 

Quick highlights of some of day three:

Wow, this gets harder and harder to keep up with when doing this everyday! I have a lot of respect for people who do this for real!

For starters, I learned to never trust Gmail when taking notes. I thought I was being sort of "smart" at the same time as being lazy by taking my conference notes in a new email message with the thought of, at the end of the day, email it to myself. Well, twice today, Gmail decided to just wipe that new message away and erased all of my notes. I am not happy with Gmail [/rant over]

 

Security does not let you in the exhibit hall before 9 AM without the proper ID! I am not sure if they would let a six-year-old in. They may be little enough to slip by...

 

Bern, Ian, and Kelly kicked off the morning with getting the most out of configurable web apps. One common theme I have been noticing across talks is that people have been utilizing the added effects of ArcGIS Online to show more symbology (like symbol size, symbol color, and symbol transparency)

 

Bernie Szukalski likes directing people to the Story Maps | Story Maps website:

 

Kelly Gerrow showed off the "Featured App of the Week" on the GeoNet website (sorry for the bad picture):

 

Exhibit hall fun!

Want to see a talk on Python tips and tricks? Get there early. Standing room only in the little theater thing:

(allegedly all these talks from Esri Services can be found here: Learn–Plan–Configure–Use: ArcGIS Platform Enablement  but I am not seeing them)

 

Planet Labs had non-stop traffic at their booth

 

PLW Model Works showed off some cool virtual reality business (and was a huge hit during the family fair):

 

Another standing room only talk for configuring story maps:

 

Owen Evans did a great job showing us where to obtain additional snippets of code to make our story maps more effective

 

I caught a sneak of Rupert Essinger talking to a group of people in the Story Maps section

 

Another huge long line at Active G for t-shirt printing!

 

A talk from Margaret Maher on lining up CAD data in GIS. Do not miss the chance to get to speak with Margaret; she knows everything!

 

SAP had a huge long line for some glass mugs and beer!

 

Family Night at the Exhibit Hall!

You can't miss Cityworks's beach balls!

 

I found a couple of kids who were happy to get some beach balls (finally, we get to the "six-year-old" part of this non-sense)

     

 

They got easily distracted with a LEGO movie on:

 

But then they had to check out the map gallery:

 

Tomorrow is the Balboa Park party. My wife saw my son looking at the Balboa Park pamphlet that I picked up at the UC and asked the eight-year-old:

wife: Do you want to go to the Balboa Park thing like we did last year? (thinking he might not find it interesting)

8yo: {looking incredulous} Why would I not want to go to that party? I love that place and the museums are fun!

 

So, I guess that means we're going for sure! See you there!

 

Quick highlights of some of day four:

So, this was extremely delayed due to being overly busy. It's hard to keep up with this for this many days in a row!  

 

My morning was off to a good start when I got to take a selfie with this guy! 

Let me tell ya, it is hard to walk, smile, stay coordinated with busy Jack, AND take a selfie all at the same time. Jack Dangermond is a busy guy but it was cool getting to chat with him for a few seconds!

 

The line for wristbands for the Balboa Park party was pretty long, but it went pretty fast (this was in the morning before the classes started. I am not sure how long they were later in the day):

 

I had to go see the talk on Coordinate Reference Systems and Datum Transformations presented by Brittney White, though mainly I wanted to get a chance to meet THE Melita Kennedy!

Thanks to Curtis Price, we were able to bombard Melita with a silly selfie!

 

I was able to experience the food trucks outside the Hilton for the first time. If you get there by around 11:15, there really isn't a long line:

But after that, it's a bit of a wait! Great food though.

 

Next up, party at Balboa:   .....Though this had to be moved to a different blog post simply because I have too many images in this one. My max is 30, unfortunately (though, it makes sense.... I wish GeoNet would tell me when I hit that max earlier on versus when it comes time to post the blog).

 

New blog post for Balboa Park:

2017 Esri User Conference Quick Thoughts - Continued (Balboa Park) 

 

That's about it for my updates. The best place for finding Friday info would be Twitter:

Esri User Conference (@EsriUC) | Twitter 

#EsriUC hashtag on Twitter 

 

You have to check out the Friday wrap up by Christopher Catania which has links to each day's blog post for the conference:

UC 2017 Daily Updates Day Five (Friday): Closing Session, Awards and Recap  

 

I hope y'all enjoyed this and thanks for reading!

This blog post is a continuation of my main Esri User Conference blog post (the other got too long):

2017 Esri User Conference Quick Thoughts 

 

(I think I fixed the links. Let me know in the comments if you cannot see pictures!)

 

Next up: Balboa Park Party!!

 

This is where the six-year-old can really have a good time!

 

Tons of people, though the lines went fast for the food:

 

Frozen chocolate bananas:

 

People on stilts:

 

Amazing Balboa scenery (with really low flying airplanes):

 

Priceless works of art (don't worry, these youngins didn't touch any of the Claude Monet paintings!):

 

Super long foosball tables:

 

Bomb pops and great music:

 

I could post about a million miniature train pictures but I'll stick to just one (this guy was cool):

 

Though, I have to post this donkey picture since everyone really seemed to like it!

 

Very lively and fun live music:

 

Of course you have to have cotton candy:

 

The Fleet Science Center is likely the kids' favorite museum:

 

It helps that the special attraction was video games. Here is a huge arcade-size version of Pong:

 

There was a milkshake station... purely awesome:

 

The Natural History Museum had great energetic music from Soulcirque:

(here is a video clip: Adrian Welsh on Twitter: "Awesome music tonight from @soulcirque! #EsriUC #EsriUCParty #SharkGIS @BalboaPark https://t.c… )

 

And, of course, #SharkGIS :

 

See twitter posts about the party here: #EsriUCParty hashtag on Twitter 

#esriucparty • Instagram photos and videos 

 

Back to the main blog post!

2017 Esri User Conference Quick Thoughts 

A Five-Year-Old Goes to the Esri User Conference - a guide for adults

 

Keeping in line with the “explain this to me as if I were a five-year-old” series (click here for the previous article), I’m going to make a compilation list of tips for first-time Esri User Conference -goers.

Reference: Philadelphia. Philadelphia, PA: Jonathan Demme, 1993. film.

 

Top Ten Things a Five-Year-Old Would Do at the Esri User Conference (this is advice for adults)

Take a look at this forum post for many other great ideas

 

  1. Plan ahead.

Esri UC is huge. There are tons of terrific talks and you will want to see all of them. See will everyone else. Five-year-olds are not the best at planning ahead of time. Luckily, Esri has made an app and an online scheduler for you to browse through the talks and make a calendar of the ones you want to get to. Have a back-up plan. Oftentimes a popular talk will have an encore session the next day. Use those second and third sessions as additional back-up plans.

 

  1. Spend some time on the exhibit floor

Adults have a fun time collecting swag (conference goodies from vendors). Five-year-olds LOVE swag. Not only can you get some cool trinkets, you can see great new products, learn new tips on the software you’re using, and pick the brains of Esri personnel in the support services area. Don’t forget that “Family Night” in the exhibit hall is Wednesday, usually 4 to 6 PM! (The best swag comes out on family night – hint hint).

 

  1. It is ok to take a power nap

Esri UC can have really long days. It you are staying at a nearby hotel, there is nothing nicer than a quick cat nap to get you refreshed for the rest of the day. If it’s tough for adults to work all day; five-year-olds have a hard time too. Don’t neglect wearing comfortable clothes and shoes.

 

  1. Bring your technical questions with you

We all work in GIS and all have come across issues that we cannot solve. Going to technical workshops and trainings help. But sometimes we need a direct answer to a direct question. Five-year-olds are great at asking questions, even the simple ones. Five-year-olds often follow up with “Why?” (about six thousand times). Adults sometimes are more hesitant at asking questions. Be sure to stop by the Esri support services island at the exhibit hall to get your direct questions directly answered.

 

  1. You have to check out Balboa Park

Each conference attendee gets one free pass to the Thursday night party at Balboa. Each additional guest (over the age of 12) has to pay $50. PAY FOR IT. IT IS COMPLETELY WORTH IT. It may sound expensive but you will not regret it. Oh, and the best thing is, this five-year-old is under 12, therefore it’s free!

 

  1. Food.

 

Five-year-olds are picky eaters. Believe it or not, some adults are too. Not to worry. San Diego has you covered. You have to try fish tacos. If that doesn’t ‘float your boat’, then you will be happily pleased with: Mexican food, sea food, Italian food, Greek food, BBQ, and of course amazing desserts (there is a great Ghirardelli shop in the Gas Lamp District). Note: so many of these places are easily walk-able from the conference center.

 

  1. Take your family with you!

Many companies allow a certain amount for a hotel accommodation. Put that towards a vacation rental place (like www.vrbo.com or www.airbnb.com) and stay somewhere fun! It may mean you have to drive into the conference center each day but it is totally worth it!

 

  1. The San Diego Zoo

Everyone has heard of the world-famous San Diego Zoo. If you have not gone, then it should be easy to check it off of your bucket list while in town. Five-year-olds love it, adults love it, it’s fun for any and all ages. Tips: Go to the Pandas first (especially if you get there in the morning). The crowds to see the pandas increase as the day goes on. Take a Gondola ride to see the zoo from above. It’s good comfortable fun and is a nice way to relax after walking long distances.

 

  1. San Diego is on water. Go get on a boat.

Many five-year-olds love boats. Some do not really care for them. Either way, there are a ton of ways to do something unique regarding boats.

  • Do you like military history? Check out the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier.
  • Do you like learning about things from over a century ago? Check out the Star of India sailing ship. She’s the world’s oldest active sailing ship.
  • Do you want to see something underwater? Check out the B-39 Submarine – an actual Soviet-Era submarine.
  • Need to go for a nice boat ride? Book a tour on the San Diego Harbor Pilot to see the harbor and travel around a bit.
  • Want to go on a boat ride but are scared of getting seasick? Take a 15-minute ferry ride to Coronado on the Coronado Ferry. It’s a real gentle and slow ride across the harbor that lands you near some great shops and restaurants.
  • Want to just see the boats and not really go on any of them? Jaunt on over the Embarcadero area where there are some great restaurants and a wonderful park/playground near the County offices.

Either way, you need to go to the boats.

 

 

  1. Have fun!

This is San Diego after all. And while the conference is “working”, typically it is something we all enjoy so have fun learning new tips and tricks! Also, go outside. Play. Enjoy the weather, etc. (wear sunscreen too).

 

 

Thanks for reading!

I really liked how Denzel Washington used the phrase “explain this to me as if I were a xxx-year-old” in the movie Philadelphia (1993).

Reference: Philadelphia. Philadelphia, PA: Jonathan Demme, 1993. film.

 

So, I will take it one step further and attempt to explain the concept of georeferencing to an actual five-year-old.

 

Five-year-old:

 

Five-year-old engineer says, “I have this PDF of a site plan. I want to put this on a map and have it line up properly.”

 

 

Here is my map.

 

 

We need to zoom in a little bit closer.

 

Open Street Map 1:100,000<-- click to make larger

 

A little bit more.

 

Open Street Map 1:5,000<-- click to make larger

 

Almost there. Zoom in some more so that our site plan will fit better.

 

Open Street Map 1:1,050<-- click to make larger

 

Much better. Now, we need to shrink the site plan to a more usable size. Currently, it’s larger than our map.

 

 

Let’s make it a little bit smaller.

 

 

Perfect. Now we need to place the site plan on our zoomed in map and adjust it to fit by rotating it and resizing it.

 

 

Great! Now, after some quality control of adjustments and transformations, we can rectify this image and call it georeferenced!

 

OSM 1:1,050 with Image<-- click to make larger

 

We can make the georeferenced image transparent to where we can see the basemap behind it.

 

OSM 1:1,050 with Image, Transparency 50%<-- click to make larger

 

Finally, we can add existing linework and other GIS files to give the image a more solid reference.

 

OSM 1:1,050 with Image, Transparency 50% and Linework<-- click to make larger

 

Voila!  

 

 

Please leave comments and let me know if this is helpful and/or what I should change with this blog post. Thanks for reading!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! (at least, it is Thanksgiving time in the US). I thought this would give me a fun chance to write a blog post on “GIS for Dummies”, but with a cooking/recipe twist, Thanksgiving style. Some folks at my office and I came up with this idea and this would be a good place to share it.

 

For starters, this is GIS:

 

GIS: A Map, But More Than a Map

  • A way to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, and present data
  • A series of layered geospatial data organized in one space
  • A way to solve problems and answer complex questions

 

However, let’s make it fun so that anyone can understand.

 

GIS for Dummies Recipe

 

Ingredients

Take:

  • 4 parts Database
  • 1 1/2 parts Geographic Data
    • Points, Lines, Polygons, Rasters, DEM, and 3D Data
  • 1 part Data from Forms / Spreadsheets (Tabular Data)
    • Address Lists, GPS Coordinates, and Files
  • 1/2 part Basemap
    • Satellite Imagery, Street Map, Topography
  • 3 parts Graphics
    • Graphical User Interface (GUI) and Mapping Tools

 

Combine

  • In a large Database: Stir Geographic Data with Tabular Information
    • Geocoding, Database Design, Make Event Layers
  • Select a non-stick User Interface and press Basemap evenly into the Corners

 

Process

  • Preheat the GIS toolbox to Automate Tasks using Models or Scripts
  • Divide Data mixture evenly into Feature Layers
  • Sift and Fold the Feature Layers into Geoprocessing and Analysis tools
    • Perform Analyses, Generate Statistics, and Analyze Networks

 

Finishing Touches

  • Glaze with Thematic and Map Elements to tell the Story
    • Symbols, Labels, Layout, Legend, North Arrow, and Scale Bar
  • Trim excess and Overlay Layers
    • Demonstrate Statistical Hotspots and Illustrate Spatial Patterns
  • Cool the map on a Web Server for Publishing
    • Interactive Maps highlight Spatially and Temporally Dynamic data
  • When baking at a high altitude, use Custom Widgets to show Data Trends
  • Decision-makers see Correlations and answer Complex Questions

 

(this image was too cool not to post! source: decoist.com)

 

I would love to hear what y’all think about this and would love to hear of anything I should add/take away from this as well. I can continue to update it.  

 

title Image source: pixabay.com

This blog post is taken from here, but I thought I'd share it on the GeoNet:

Meridian Has the AGRC Solution | Meridian Engineering, Inc. 

 

On August 31, 2016, Utah GIS users lost their connection to the State of Utah ArcGIS networks. After many long hours of making phone calls and exerting technical genius, Meridian’s GIS Project Manager Adrian Welsh has a working alternative to help Utah GIS users access this crucial data. The following are his instructions.

How to utilize parcel data from the AGRC with ArcGIS Pro

If you have used ArcGIS Desktop (ArcMap) for utilizing Parcel data from the AGRC (Automated Geographic Reference Center), then you have probably come across this article describing the deprecation of SDE server connections (here: http://gis.utah.gov/sde-application-server-connects-deprecation/). It is past August 31, and that means the server connection is gone (for GIS users outside the State of Utah networks). While the above article goes on to show how to utilize AGRC’s GIS data from ArcGIS Online into ArcMap, this blog post will show you how to utilize this online data (particularly Parcel data) in ArcGIS Pro.

Open up ArcGIS Pro and load a new map (or use an existing one). Under the Map tab at the top, click on the Add Data button:

screenshot

On the left hand side of the Add Data dialog box, look under the Portal category and choose the All Portal option:

screenshot

In the search box, type in “AGRC Parcels”

screenshot

Choose the newly created “Utah Statewide Parcels” Feature Layer and then click on Select:

gis4

Because there are hundreds of thousands of Parcels in the State of Utah and this layer contains them all, it is a good idea to zoom in to a specified location in order to minimize drawing time. While this is different than how it used to be (each county was once its own layer), you can now utilize the entire state at one time which is helpful when your data spans across counties.

After it is loaded, you can treat it like you would treat your regular data:

gis5

One additional note about adding ArcGIS Online data: Oftentimes it is unclear what kind of data is being displayed in the Add Data dialog box. Here is a tip on how to know what the data types are. Open the Add Data dialog box, click on All Portal in the left hand side, type in SGID (or whatever) into the search box, then click on the three lines icon at the top, and choose Gallery:

gis6

In the list of layers, now you can see what the data types are (examples include: layer, feature layer [hosted or otherwise], map image layer, layer package, tile layer [hosted or otherwise], imagery layer, etc.).

Special thanks to Matt Peters at the AGRC for getting this layer put together.

I love using Flickr for hosting, storing, and sharing the photos that I take of my family.  I also like how you can geotag your photos in Flickr as well.  For a while, I really wanted to do more with this ability to geotag, such as add my photos to an Esri Story Map.  However, it seemed that this ability did not exist just yet.

 

I recall reading an Esri blog post from Bern Szukalski about possibly using the features found in pipes.yahoo.com to try and link your Flickr photos to an ArcGIS Online map (link here) that really confused me.  After about a year later, a new blog post came out (that turned into an ArcWatch Article) that demonstrated how to easily use geotagged photos from Flickr and put them in a story map (link here).

 

So, without much modifications, here is my first Story Map!

Trip to San Diego - July 2014

This is my first story map, so I am still tinkering around with it some!

I am not sure if that link will work, so here is the url:

http://www.arcgis.com/apps/MapTour/index.html?appid=c9e34c9abf90460796dd0a438ca3ee3f&webmap=92649bcd58204a72bcb6a3148676…

 

Please let me know what you think! 

 

~Adrian