Welcome to Day Two at the GeoConX conference, we are here in the beautiful historic Hilton Chicago Hotel. It is a crisp and sunny day in downtown Chicago.
We will be at the GeoNet expo booth again today from 9:30 am - 4:00 pm, stop by, talk to Chris to join and learn more about the GeoNet community.
YPN (Young Professional Network) - Empower Your Voice
Keynote Speaker Keith Searles - CEO/Owner of Urban GIS
Moderator - Renee Bernstein - solution engineer, Esri YPN (The specified item was not found.)
Additional speakers- Joy Roberts, Samantha Konsoer - Urban GIS
Renee kicked off the session with an introduction of the topic, "We are here to talk about communication, not only with your peers but also with your management and everyone around you".
Keith shared with us his background, how he got into GIS and his evolution as a public speaker and communicator.
The main theme was what does communication mean, and how can you empower your voice using good communication. Communication is a means to get things done and make good decisions. To get started with good communication you need to think about your short term, near and long term goals, and think outside the box.
To drive this point, I will share Keith's favorite saying "Never let them put you in a box, until they put you in The Box".
Especially as technical professional in the GIS field, communication is key to getting things done, but as a soft skill it doesn't always get prioritized or thought of as important. In the GIS field we all know the Where matters, but we need to recognize that the We matters as well, because as GIS professionals the work really matters and should be a large part of the decision making process in an organization. Also the Here matters, instead of getting caught up in the day to day, be more intentional about things you do now.
Keith shared his key communication tips:
- The best voice starts with a vision that empowers man. Start with a vision and make sure it is collaborative, don’t do it in a vacuum.
- The best utility models are effectively networked. Networks matter, extend your network.
- Transmit and distribute your stored potential. Build relationships, ask to be mentored. Multiple mentors are good, keep the communication channels open.
- Stay powered up by the right voices. Joy and Samantha shared with us their tips for using the right voices.
- Samantha's shared a story of how she actually went out into the field and did ride-alongs and really embedded herself into the work so she could better understand what they were doing, what their needs were and built relationships. So when she solution the mobile GIS solution it was accepted and adopted in an otherwise reluctant audience.
- Joy shared tips on how to ask the questions to get to the root of what the true need is. Also be aware of different communication types, not everyone communicates the same way. Lastly pay attention to the nonverbal communication, how you present yourself in appearance and body language matters.
- Define success on your own terms.
Keith's closing remarks: "What is the biggest reason why we don’t communicate more- Fear! Everything that keeps you from doing what you should do is fear, mostly fear of failure." Know your fears and work to overcome them.
The session ended with a great Q&A follow-up with Keith and his team. To learn more about the YPN (The specified item was not found.) or Urban GIS check out these resources.
Truckee Donner Shares their Network Management Transformation story
Truckee Donner Public Utility District, a water and electric utility serving 45 square miles in the North Lake Tahoe area, has been working with the new Network Management platform to enhance their capability to represent conditions on the ground, and to manage and analyze the network regardless of the user’s location or weather conditions.
Thursday morning Meghan Campe, GIS coordinator for Truckee Donner shared their story during the First Look at Implementing the Utility Network session. “We use GIS every day as part of our operational decision making, putting the latest GIS data in the hands of our field crews. As we move forward in the new Utility Network, we look forward to learning from other utilities."
Truckee Donner faces some unique challenges as a resort destination that needs to accommodate a fluctuating vacation population alongside severe weather conditions brought by winter storms.
Meghan demonstrated how they use ArcFM to create and analyze new network data. They can highlight the circuit they want to work with, use a template to add a new three-phase transformer, and trace connectivity back to the source. They can run an update using the subnetwork tool to update the circuit information. They use the Find Feeder tool to summarize the load per phase. The diagram of the circuit is then updated, and they can select the features to push to the network diagram.
Truckee now has a more realistic representation of their network that allows field technicians to better understand, analyze and update their network during both optimal and sub-optimal conditions. The improved understanding of their network makes it easier for them to maintain it for a more stable network that keeps the lights on for all their customers.
Thursday's a Hit! GeoGeeks Catch a Homer
Thursday was a hit on many levels and it was great to talk with so many new and current members of the GeoNet Community at the Expo booth. Thanks to everyone who stopped by and be sure to follow the The specified item was not found. group where you can ask questions and share your experiences from this week.
Speaking of big hits, Thursday wrapped up with the evening event as we headed to the the ballpark to watch the Chicago White Sox take on the Cleveland Indians. Like the day's events, the night ended with a smash as a home run landed in the right field seats and an excited group of attendees reached up for the ball. It was a perfect end to a day full of inspiring conversations and collaboration, and it was a blast watching a group of geogeeks work together to catch a homer. (Thanks to Datacapable for the sharing the moment with us on Twitter.)
Stay tuned for the final day tomorrow as we wrap up the week with the closing session.