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Take a peak at some creative cartography - the winners of the Map Gallery are now posted here.


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Esri ICA and IMIA Excellence in Cartography Winner: 3D Model of Kauai.

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Esri ICA and IMIA Excellence in Cartography Winner:Grand Canyon National Park.


And check back - Esri's Mark Harrower will be sharing insights from the judges in the next couple of weeks.

Water, air, earth, and fire—the four elements that constitute the Earth and the four focal points of user presentations at the 2015 Esri User Conference.


Esri’s Lauren Bennett and John Calkins led roughly 15,000 attendees on a journey from the cornfields of Midwestern America all the way to the Australian wilderness during the plenary session July 20. The purpose was to show how comprehensive and innovative GIS solutions can foster better understanding and bring about more informed decisions and actions.

More than 15,000 Esri users attended the EsriUC Plenary in San Diego, California, listening raptly to a day's worth of presentations from organizations around the world.

The excursion began with a team from the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) demonstrating how it revamped its GIS infrastructure to open it up to more uses and users. Although SWFWMD had been using GIS to balance agriculture, development, and the environment for 30 years, the agency saw that it needed to do more to support Florida’s water needs. So, as SWFWMD bureau chief Steve Dicks explained, the agency implemented Web GIS to streamline workflows and bring together industry, agriculture, environmental organizations, and Florida residents.

Kris A. Kaufman, Leigh Vershowske, and Steven Dicks, PhD, GISP take the main plenary stage to discuss how GIS helps to improve water quality throughout the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

Dicks demonstrated how Web GIS helps manage a range of water issues, from keeping Florida’s strawberries growing in the winter to analyzing how new housing developments need to be planned to avoid flood zones. SWFWMD GIS database and server analyst Leigh Vershowske then showed the audience the agency’s “most important map,” as he put it: an online form that makes it easy to apply for well, water use, and construction permits to plan future water development. To wrap it up, SWFWMD senior environmental scientist Kris Kaufman illustrated how the district used GIS to clean up a very polluted Tampa Bay and bring back ecologically vital seagrass in record numbers.


From Florida’s warm waters, the audience traveled northwest to Atlanta’s bustling Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, which, according to Esri founder Jack Dangermond, “is really taking geography into a different dimension.”


Managing 250,000 passengers per day, 200 aircraft gates, five runways, 115 taxiways, 16,000 slabs of concrete, and more than 18,000 airfield lights requires a robust enterprise GIS solution. GIS manager David Wright and GIS analyst Anthony Vazquez took the audience on a tour of how the airport uses ArcGIS Online and a handful of mobile ArcGIS apps to inspect and maintain runways, taxiways, green space, street lights, and much more. The duo also demonstrated how ArcGIS Pro’s 3D capabilities helped them determine which trees were growing tall enough to penetrate airspace near the runway so the airport could ensure that they stay trimmed to Federal Aviation Administration regulations.

Modeling data in 3D with ArcGIS Pro helps the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport conform to Federal Aviation Administration regulations.

Then it was off to another Atlanta—in the state of Indiana—to see how Beck’s Hybrids, a seed and technology company, uses GIS for precision agriculture and business needs.


As presenter Craig Rogers made evident, farmers do geodesign every day. Rogers demonstrated Beck’s Hybrids’ FARMserver, a map-enabled web application that helps farmers maximize their yield and keep costs low. Using maps, spatial analysis, and big data from live sensors and farm equipment, software users can monitor data such as soil composition and weather to ensure that their Beck’s Hybrids corn and soybean seeds thrive.


More recently, the company rolled GIS out to its marketing, sales, and leadership teams. Beck’s Hybrids’ GIS director Brooke Gajownik showed the audience how the company, which sells its seeds all over the Midwest, uses GIS to do detailed analyses of customer issues to cut down the time between incident and action. She also revealed how a suite of ArcGIS tools, including Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS and Explorer for ArcGIS, is helping Beck’s Hybrids identify—in very visually appealing ways—opportunities for business growth by conducting spatial and temporal analyses of sales and competition trends.

Hot spot analysis helps Becks Hybrids visualize seed sales.

From earth to fire, the audience headed down under to the state of Victoria, Australia, to learn about Black Saturday, a day in February 2009 when more than 400 wildfires raged. As Anthony Griffiths of Victoria’s Department of Environment, Land, Water, and Planning said, fire is not always destructive; it can renew and rejuvenate—which is exactly what the Black Saturday fires did for the department’s mapping and firefighting capabilities.


The State of Victoria realized that it needed to be ready for the next wildfires before they happened, so agencies across the state worked together to create eMap, a system centered around cross-departmental collaboration and awareness. Using one map, built on a common database and accessible on any device, the State of Victoria is now able to proactively respond to and manage wildfires using predictive technology.

To demonstrate how the application works, the department’s eMap architect, Anthony Burgon, showed the audience all the fires going on in the State of Victoria at that very moment, as well as where weather changes were occurring. Using near-real time imagery and a fire modeling and prediction system called Phoenix Rapid Fire, responders and incident commanders from various agencies can predict where a fire might go and forecast potential impact zones.


Getting ahead of the game like this—via a GIS-enabled system of engagement—improves safety and situational awareness all around. And, even though the fire count in the State of Victoria is up this year, there hasn’t been nearly as much devastation. “More fire, less impact,” said Griffiths, driving home the point.

The Black Saturday bush fires that burned across Victoria, Australia on February 7, 2009 are thought to be Australia's worst bush fire catastrophe. Up to 400 singular fires were recorded and 173 people lost their lives.

Openness, continuity, collaboration, and engagement: Those four themes unified the stories told during the plenary session user presentations—in much the same way that the four elements of the Earth coalesce. And, no doubt, they will unify the stories we hear from users throughout the week at the 2015 Esri User Conference.

The videos from the Plenary Session on Monday, July 20, 2015, are ready for viewing and sharing!

Relive the Plenary and share the experience with others.


  • Keynote from Jack Dangermond
  • R&D at Esri
  • Southwest Florida Water Management District - A Mission-Critical Approach to Water
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport - Web GIS Delivers Safety and Efficiency
  • Beck's Hybrids - Feeding the World: Precision Agriculture Simplified
  • State of Victoria, Australia, Government - Proactive Rejuvenation: Ignite Your Potential
  • World Health Organization - The Battle against Ebola and Polio
  • National Geographic Society - Understanding Geography
  • Mentoring the Next Generation - Connecting GIS with Education



Watch the videos!

Love was in the air at the Esri User Conference Plenary session on Monday. Love for mapping apps, that is.

Following the technology demos and before the lunch break, the audience had a chance to flirt - from a distance - with all of Esri's ready-to-use apps during a high-energy App Speed Dating pitch on stage. Esri UC attendees are encouraged to vote for their favorite app. The winning app will be unveiled at Thursday night's Party by the Bay.

"How much do you know about ready-to-use apps in ArcGIS?" asked Ismael Chivite from Esri.  "Finding the right app can be challenging. You need to know what the app can do for you."

The apps, played by Esri staff with a flair for acting, rapping, and singing, touted  the reasons they would make a great mapping mate.

A cool and confident Operations Dashboard for ArcGIS, played by Tif Pun, said if it's real-time information for any situation that you need, "I'm the app you want! I will constantly measure, share, and alert you. With me, you'll track your goals and know where you stand. Need a widget I don't provide? That's not a problem. I have an API ready for you. So don't wait! Pick me!"

Is ArcGIS for Collector the right app for you?


Also alluring were Collector for ArcGIS, Esri Maps for Office, Explorer for ArcGIS, ArcGIS Pro, Navigator for ArcGIS, GeoPlanner for ArcGIS, Survey123, Crowdsource Reporter and Manager App, and many others.

A real sweetheart and possible heartbreaker, though, was Story Map. A natural storyteller with a dramatic streak, Story Map (played by Natalie Feurerstein) rapped about her hidden and not-so-hidden talents:

"I'm a story map, and I'm full of great stuff.

I'm the one you call to pump your map up!

Ain't nobody gonna give your data a look,

Unless you throw in some context, give it a hook.

I'm talking photos, talking video, too.

Heck write in some words, if that's how you do.

I got all kinda apps,with all kinda flow,

Like Journal and Shortlist and Map Tour,

Yo Is it hard? Naw! Ain't nuttin to it.

With my builders, even your moms could do it.

So pick me, Story Map, I'm the bomb

and I'm free.

At ArcGIS dot Kizzom.

Story Map in front of the app crowd, singing her heart out.


We heart you, Story Map. But still, make

Don't forget to vote for your favorite app!

Book Signing at EsriUC

There will be a book signing by Gary Knell, president and CEO of the National Geographic Society at the Map Gallery Reception. The signing will take place from 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. in the National Geographic Society’s special display area, where they are celebrating 100 Years of National Geographic Maps: The Art and Science of Place.

More about Gary E. Knell

First, don’t miss Gary E.  Knell in the Esri UC plenary after lunch. He will be talking more about understanding geography, and joins Dr. Bruce Aylward, World Health Organization, and the Molokai High School STEMWorks staff and students.

Gary E. Knell


Gary E. Knell joined the National Geographic Society as president and CEO in January 2014. He has been a member of the Society’s board of trustees since April 2013 and has served on the board of governors of the National Geographic Education Foundation since November 2003.

The 127-year-old National Geographic Society, one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations, believes in the power of science, exploration and storytelling to change the world. Working to inspire, illuminate and teach, the member-supported Society reaches more than 700 million people worldwide each month through its media platforms, products and events. National Geographic has funded more than 11,000 research, conservation and exploration projects, and its education programs promote geographic literacy.

From 2011 to 2013 Knell was president and CEO of National Public Radio. Under his leadership, the organization solidified its position in a rapidly changing media environment due to Knell’s ability to leverage NPR’s network of member stations, drive cross-platform journalism and cultural programming, and grow philanthropic and corporate underwriting support. He was also a strong advocate of innovation and technologies to draw new audiences to public media.

Knell’s media career spans nearly three decades, including 22 years at Sesame Workshop, where he was COO for two years before assuming the role of CEO in 2000. During his 12-year tenure as CEO, Sesame expanded its revenue base, worldwide audience and global recognition. Knell was instrumental in focusing the organization on Sesame Street’s worldwide mission, including the creation of groundbreaking co-productions in South Africa, India, Northern Ireland and Egypt. He also oversaw the creation and launch of two cable networks, Noggin and Sprout.

Prior to joining Sesame Workshop, Knell was managing director of Manager Media International, a multimedia publishing company based in Bangkok, Hong Kong and Singapore. He also served as senior vice president and general counsel at WNET/Channel 13 in New York, was counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary and Governmental Affairs Committees in Washington, D.C., and worked in the California State Legislature and Governor’s Office.

Knell is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He serves on the boards of Heidrick & Struggles and Common Sense Media as well as the advisory boards of the Military Child Education Coalition and the Pentagon Memorial Fund. He is an adviser to the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California.

A Gordon Grand Fellow at Yale University, Knell was a guest lecturer at Harvard University, Duke University, Southern Methodist University, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Puerto Rico. He has received honorary doctorates from Mercy College in New York and Kenyon College in Ohio and has served as the commencement speaker at Johns Hopkins University, UCLA and the University of Texas at Austin.

Knell has a J.D. from Loyola University School of Law in Los Angeles and a B.A. in political science from UCLA, where he also served as editorial director of the UCLA Daily Bruin and was a stringer for the Associated Press.

Books offered for signing

National Geographic Concise Atlas of the World, Third Edition

The complex political, cultural, and environmental issues that we face daily, make it increasingly important for us to have a clear vision of the world in which we live. With more than 300 updated, authoritative maps, charts, graphs, tables, and country flags, the Concise Atlas of the World, Third Edition offers a succinct, easy-to-use, and yet comprehensive view of our world, today.

The atlas opens with beautifully rendered political and physical maps of the world. Satellite mosaic imagery shows the world from hundreds of miles above. Core world geographic themes such as climate, population, religion, economy, and the structure of the Earth follow. New world thematic topics include landforms, climate and weather, natural disasters, energy, health and education, and conflict and terror.

"Geographic Comparisons" covers the Earth and its extremes, including humankinds' engineering wonders. Content includes such phenomena as the hottest and the coldest places, the highest point on each continent, the largest islands, the largest drainage basins, the longest rivers, the deepest point in each ocean, the largest and smallest countries, the tallest human made structures, the longest road, the longest railroad, etc.

Following the thematic coverage, the atlas focuses on each of the seven continents. All of the world's lands and seas and countries with their major cities and towns are accurately compiled and plotted and delineated by various typographical sizes that correlate to population data.

Each continental map is accompanied by textual fact tables that speak to the highest and lowest elevation points, recorded temperatures, the largest and least populated countries, and countries with the highest and lowest GDP. Each of the 195 independent countries in the world is represented and described with its national flag and fact box.

Whether it's Bahrain in the Middle East or P'yonyang in North Korea, a convenient, intuitive place-name index provides an easy-to-use, access guide to finding locations around the globe.

The variety and expression of traditional and new, expanded content, the invaluable reference, the captivating layouts, the visually engaging, world-renown cartography, the logical, user-friendly design and its very competitive price all make this publication stand out as a great value.

National Geographic Kids Beginner’s World Atlas

Jam packed with the latest data, bright, bold images, large maps, a brand-new design, and lively information about the world’s land, people, and animals, the third edition Beginner’s World Atlas will be the most up-to-date world reference for kids ages 5–8. True to National Geographic’s reputation and legacy, we’ve created this atlas with the same care and attention to detail as our renowned adult atlases. “No one does maps or atlases with as much panache and knowledge as National Geographic,” said the Washington Post.

With completely up-to-date facts-at-a-glance, a glossary, pronunciation guide, and comprehensive index, this completely revised atlas takes young readers on a high-energy tour of the world and will be a must-have in every home and school. Vibrant color, fresh design, amazing photography, and new icons will help kids quickly identify information related to land, plants, animals, languages and culture, and all aspects of the physical and political world. Parents and teachers will appreciate the front matter with information for children about maps and how to use the atlas.

Snapchat users at Esri UC can add a little extra geogeek “flair” to their photos around San Diego. Ted Burns, the moderator of Esrichat and Esrigram, thought it would be nice for attendees to have their very own geofilter for the Esri UC.

Tell us your story and follow EsriChat on SnapChat while you are at EsriUC.

Geofilters are a special feature in Snapchat allowing users to add location-specific stamps to their photos. The Esri UC geofilter will be active around the San Diego Convention Center, and along the harbor from the Hilton San Diego Bayfront to the Waterfront Park where this year’s Thursday Night Party will be hosted.

The Esri UC geofilter was designed by Esri graphic design intern, Alexander Ponce using key art developed by Esri graphic designer Candice Lawson.

Snapchat users can add Esrichat by username, or take a photo of the ghost icon below with the Snapchat app.

Follow Esrichat to view daily stories, exclusive content, and behind-the-scenes tours of Esri Headquarters.

If you don’t have Snapchat, you can download from the App Store or Google Play. Note: location services need to be turned on in order to access geofilters.




Are you attending the User Conference for the First Time?

If so, then we have a 1-hour session on Sunday that will be perfect for you.

First time at EsriUC? Join us for a special session on Sunday that will get you prepped for an awesome week!


Heading into San Diego you are probably wondering what to do throughout the entire week.  If have you taken a look at the User Conference Website you will notice that it is full of great information and activities taking place through the week.  In fact, you may even be thinking to yourself, there are over 5 days and many different types of activities … where should I even begin?  If any of these thoughts are coming to mind, come join Monte and Patty on Sunday from 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm in Ballroom 20 B/C in the Convention Center.

We will cover the most important facets of the User Conference including:

  • Conference highlights and not to miss activities
  • Key elements of the User Conference
  • How to make the most of your time
  • Fun activities throughout the week

If this sounds interesting to you, please come join us. Your questions are welcome and encouraged!

You know the drill - you  pack your most broken-in shoes from your closet, band-aids are stuffed into your pocket, and you hit the Esri UC with confidence. This is the week that your mind and your hamstrings are stretched to their limits. What is the one most important tip people offer to new attendees coming to the conference? "Wear comfortable shoes!"

Are you wearing your comfy shoes? Then you are ready for the Esri StepUP Challenge!


Take advantage of all the walking you will be doing between sessions, to booths in the GIS Expo, and out to activities by joining the Esri StepUP Challenge!

Esri® StepUP is an app to promote an active lifestyle while enjoying the UC in beautiful San Diego. Use the StepUP app to track your steps throughout the UC and follow your competition on the leaderboard.  Step counts will be tracked during the hours of the UC (8 AM – 6 PM PST). One prize will be given to each daily Step Leader, and one prize will be given for the overall UC Step Leader. Use the StepUP app often to get exciting badges and try to beat the competition.


This Challenge is a trade promotion and open to Esri's user community. This Challenge is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by, or associated with Apple, Inc. or Google Inc. Neither company  is a sponsor or involved in this activity in any manner.


Participants must be a registered attendee for Esri 2015 User Conference San Diego to be eligible to participate in the Challenge and win prizes. Esri employees are encouraged to participate in the Challenge, but will not be eligible for prizes.


•Use the StepUP app on any supported device with step counter to track Your step counts at the UC.

•Walk around the UC and be active during your break times.

•Open the StepUP app often to update Your step counts and check the leaderboard.

•You must register with valid email address and verify the link to be part of leaderboard.

•The StepUP app will monitor your step counts in the background.

•You and others will be able to see the step counts and standings on leaderboard.

•No personal information will be shared with others. Learn more about our Privacy Policy.

•You can opt-in to provide location data which will help us aggregate the foot traffic and visualize trends.


  • There will be a Challenge winner for most step counts tracked on a daily basis and announced at the end of each day (Monday through Thursday) will receive an Esri T-shirt. An overall Challenge winner for the most cumulative step counts tracked over the UC week (Monday through Thursday) will be announced on Thursday and will receive an Esri Sweatshirt.
  • Challenge winners will be contacted via the email address you register with. We will use this information to send the Challenge winners a note with instructions on how to claim their prize.Supported Devices•iOS - iPhone5s, iPhone6, iPhone6 Plus•Android - Kitkat (4.4) and above with Step counter sensorChallenge Period
  • The Challenge will run during the Main Conference Hours Monday through Thursday. Monday through Wednesday 8 AM – 6 PM PST and Thursday 8 AM to 1 PM PST, respectively.


Disclaimers, Release and Waiver

You shall assume all responsibility for Your participation in this Challenge. No liability or responsibility is assumed by Esri resulting from Your participation in or attempt to participate in this Challenge. This app is not intended to replace your existing fitness application nor be used for health advice.

To the maximum extent permitted by applicable California law, You hereby release and waive all claims against Esri, and its subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, agents, licensors, co-branders or other partners, and employees from any and all liability for claims, damages (actual and/or consequential), costs and expenses (including litigation costs and attorneys' fees) of every kind and nature, arising from or in any way related to Your use of the StepUP app and this Challenge. In addition, You expressly waive and relinquish any and all rights and benefits which You may have under any other state or federal statute or common law principle of similar effect, to the fullest extent permitted by law.


Except where prohibited, participation in this Challenge constitutes consent for Esri to use the name, likeness, voice, opinions, and country of residence of participant for promotional purposes in any media without payment or consideration. As a condition of prize acceptance, Challenge winners agree to allow Esri to publish their name and their organization's name in all media of communication now known or later developed. Challenge winners agree to execute an Affidavit of Eligibility and Waiver/Taxes/Release of Liability and Publicity.

Governing Law

This Challenge is governed by the laws of the state of California, United States, with venue in San Bernardino County, California, United States, and all claims must be resolved in the federal or state courts of San Bernardino County, California, United States.

About the App

This StepUP app was built by Esri Labs. Esri Labs apps are developed by Esri employees and are inspired by our direct interactions with you - our customers. Esri Labs apps are free to use, but are not official Esri products, so they are not holistically tested, documented or supported by Esri technical support.

Learn more, sign up and watch the leaderboard to see where you rank!

True Understanding Requires Breaking Complex Problems into Simple Solutions

By Bill Meehan, Esri Utilities Solution Director


Years ago, I taught a graduate night course in electric power engineering. Most of the students had good working knowledge of linear circuit theory (simplified direct current circuits). This was easy to learn, simple “battery connects to light bulb” stuff. To solve the light bulb circuit, the most math you need was ninth grade algebra.

But electric power circuits were harder. They weren’t linear, and they were extensive. To figure out heavily loaded power lines, you had to do math problems more complex than those Will Hunting faced on Robin Williams’ chalkboard.

How do you do it? You solve thousands, perhaps millions of simultaneous, non-linear, differential equations. Hardly ninth grade algebra.

"Simple Scales, Complex Fails" - find out how simplicity and scalability can help you overcome utility issues at the Electric and Gas Kickoff Session on Tuesday morning.


When you’re a weary, sleepy, night school student who just spent all day working your day job, how do you calculate the power flow of an electrical grid? You don’t.

So rather than slog through differential equation theory, I opted to have the students relate their understanding of how the grid actually works. I chose to simplify the conversation to match their understanding. Then once they got that, the math would follow.

I choose simplicity over complexity. Because complexity masks our ability to understand.


Simple Scales

The former director of software development and now chief architect at Esri, Scott Morehouse’s favorite expression is “Simple Scales, Complex Fails.” He used this statement as his mantra for the development of software. Clearly, software development is complicated. In addition, many aspects of GIS are complicated. But Morehouse always drove his team to explain and build things as simply as possible. Then, once you get to your simple reference of understanding, you build it.

Morehouse also knew software that works in the lab tends to become bogged down with the large data sets demanded in the real world. The ArcGIS platform demonstrates Morehouse’s solution to this. ArcGIS is a great example of simplicity and scalability. As more people outside the GIS department use GIS in their everyday work life, scalability becomes just as important as – if not more so than –functionality.


Complex Fails

In 2009, Esri asked utility GIS users, “After the completion of construction or maintenance, how long does it usually take before your GIS data reflects the new project information?” The majority of users said 30 to 90 days. The authoritative data takes too long to get to the right people! The GIS takes too long to reflect reality. It’s a complex problem. What would the simplest solution be?

Well, what if authoritative information existed instantly on every employee’s device? As simple as that. That’s what the ArcGIS platform does. In fact, ArcGIS for Electric Utilities and ArcGIS for Gas Utilities are designed to help organizations share, communicate, and collaborate with the most recent information. Not 90 days from now. Just now.

So the next time you have a complex problem, find out what the simplest solution would be. Then see if your ArcGIS platform can offer it. More often than not, there’s a simple solution to do just that.

See all the great technology deployed in simple and impactful ways at Esri’s International User Conference. Be sure to attend the electric and gas kickoff session on Tuesday morning July 21st at 8:30AM in the San Diego Conversion Center.

Next week, Esri is unveiling The ArcGIS Book—Ten Big Ideas about Applying Geography to Your World. It’s a hands-on website and a print
book for seasoned GIS practitioners and newcomers to GIS.


arcgis book.png


Consumer mapping has opened the eyes of the world, and especially decision makers, to the value of maps and geography and consequently
increased the demand for the critical information and insights generated by GIS. This phenomenon is also transforming the role of GIS practitioners. Today, they need to better understand their organization’s business objectives so they can contribute in an even more meaningful way to its success.


ArcGIS is now a complete system for discovering, creating, consuming, and sharing geographic data, maps, and apps. It is a true Web GIS. Web
GIS is fundamentally changing how information about the world around us is applied and shared to enable all of us to make the best decisions possible.

The ArcGIS Book explores Web GIS in ten chapters, each focused on one big idea. You will learn how to do new things with GIS and accomplish familiar tasks more quickly and easily. For inspiration on what you can do with Web GIS, the book includes links to hundreds of live examples of
web maps and apps as well as videos of thought leaders sharing their vision for what you can accomplish by adopting the Web GIS concepts. In addition to inspiring you, The ArcGIS Book will give you hands-on practice with making a story map, conducting spatial analysis, editing geographic data, building a 3D model, and much more.


Here are the ten big ideas explored in the book:

  1. Maps, the Web, and
    You: Power and possibility with Web GIS
  2. Cartography is for
    Everyone: New ways to make, see, and use maps
  3. Tell Your Story
    Using a Map: Inform, engage, and inspire people with story maps
  4. Great Maps Need
    Great Data: Creating and using authoritative geographic data
  5. The Importance of
    Where: How spatial analysis leads to insight
  6. Mapping the Third
    Dimension: A change in perspective
  7. The Power of Apps:
    Focused tools that get work done
  8. Your Mobile GIS: The
    GIS of the whole world plus a live data sensor in your pocket
  9. Real-Time
    Dashboards: Integrating live data feeds for managing operations
  10. GIS is Social: Web
    GIS is the GIS of the world


In each chapter, Quickstarts tell you what you need to know about the software, data, and web resources that pertain to that aspect of the
ArcGIS system. The Learn ArcGIS Lessons pages are your gateways to online, hands-on tutorials from the Learn ArcGIS website.


The intended audience for The ArcGIS Book is diverse: from GIS professionals expanding into online mapping to information workers in every
field who recognize the power of maps to communicate information clearly. No matter which group you identify with, we encourage you to share this book with your colleagues, decision makers in your organization and your community, and young people in your line of work and in your family. Introduce them to and help them explore the power of Web GIS for sound decision making.


The ArcGIS Book is available in print, as a downloadable pdf, and as an interactive website. See it come alive at


You will receive your free copy of The ArcGIS Book when you pick up your registration packet. If you would like to purchase extra copies to
take back to colleagues, friends, or family, the book is available at the Esri Store for a special UC price of $8 (a $20 value).

Transformational and inspirational – that’s you with GIS reimagined. Esri is offering two technology keynote presentations you don’t want to miss on this topic.

There is a whole wide world out there waiting for you and your GIS-based solutions. Be transformative in your communities. Learn how at the Technology Keynotes.

Ignite Your Revolution: Implementing the Platform 8:30 a.m. to 9: 45 a.m. on Wednesday, July 22, Ballroom 06 A

Learn how different organizations, large and small, sparked a transformation in the way they do business. Esri experts will share insights into the business drivers, implementation approaches, and technical capabilities behind these accomplishments.  Examples will include a behind-the-scenes look into stories from the plenary. Whether you are just getting started or extending your existing capabilities, get inspired to ignite your own revolution.

Presented by Brian Cross, Director of Professional Services, and Team and Mansour Raad, Senior Software Architect

Reimagining GIS: Geographic Information Society at 8:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. on Thursday, July 23, Room 10

GIS is social. Web GIS is the GIS of the world. And it’s happening thanks to Cloud computing.  You can become a part of this comprehensive GIS of the world. Your work can be shared with anyone, anywhere through devices and apps. Learn how, including understanding special implementation challenges, implications, and opportunities, so you too can apply your GIS virtually everywhere.

Presented by Clint Brown, Director, Product Engineering, Linda Beale, Product Engineer Geoprocessing and  Mark Harrower, Product Engineer and Designer

We delved a little bit closer into the technical keynotes with Brian Cross, to get you some inside information on the topics being covered.

Brian Cross, the director of professional services at Esri will join other Esri senior level staff to give users a look at the future of GIS on Wednesday and Thursday mornings during EsriUC


The title of your team’s Technology Keynote talks about igniting a revolution with the platform. What does that mean?

Sometimes, when GIS users get together, conversations tend to drift toward technology and technique. That’s great, but it’s important to keep the larger goals in mind as well. This session is intended to do that.

We’ve seen users accomplish pretty amazing things in their organizations through the ArcGIS platform, things that made transformational differences in their business. A variety of Professional Services leaders and consultants will give examples of users from different markets, of different sizes, with different missions, from all over the world. We hope seeing examples of how these users leverage the platform will inspire others to recognize an opportunity to ignite a revolution in their business.

Is it realistic to think that “transformational” change is possible for the majority of GIS users?

It is definitely real. Any business can run faster, better, smarter. Any government can be more effective and deliver its mission better.

The cases we’ll discuss come from large organizations and single-person shops with diverse levels of experience. We want to share both the technology approach as well as the human approach to delivering transformation. It can be pretty amazing to see the impact one or two foundational apps can have on an organization.

Is there any common quality that these users share, something others can copy?

They all use the ArcGIS platform with the same essential elements, but each one has its own flavor and approach.

The Web GIS pattern is also one of the fundamental elements, although different users emphasize different parts. That’s one of the points we want to highlight in the keynote.

Even though they each use some of the latest Esri technology, they didn’t merely pursue the new technology for its own sake. These users each based their approach on the key business drivers for their organizations and achieved something that was transformational.

You have had a lot of questions about the Esri Events Mobile and Web Apps, so we put together this FAQ for you. You can find a pdf of this FAQ here. For more information on the agenda, and where to download the app, go here


Do you have a question that we haven't answered? Please let us know by commenting. We will be answering questions before and during the conference.


1. How do I log in?


Please make sure that you have the latest version of the iOS and Android apps.

The login credentials are the same as your Esri Account.

app log in.jpg

2. There are a lot of sessions; how do I find the ones that interest me?


Once you select the "User Conference" from the list of events, use the search within the Agenda section of the app to look up sessions by keyword or title.


3. How do I use My Schedule/My Planner?


Log in to the app with your Esri Account to save sessions to your planner.

Once logged in, your personalized schedule will be available across devices. In order to syncing to work, please ensure that you are logged in on all your devices (web and native apps). The time to sync ranges from instantaneous to a couple of minutes.


4. How do I download a paper version?


A downloadable version can be found here*:


*Please note that the agenda is subject to change.

Don’t miss the Esri Startup Zone (SUZ) in Hall D on the expo floor. This is a unique area hosted by the Esri Startup Program,, featuring the work of 35 up-and-coming businesses who have integrated spatial functionality within their products as well as for their own organizational understanding and optimization.

The startup zone at EsriUC 2014. This year, visit the zone and take part in the same great energy, see innovative ideas and connect your company with some out-of-the-box solutions. (Can you find Jack in this photo?)


You can benefit from their knowledge and experience as you interact with CEO’s, Technical Leads, Developers, and a wide range of specialists who will present their innovative solutions and showcase their many projects. Join this passionate community and learn how they are leveraging GIS for their business and how it can benefit you. Some examples include:


Don’t miss the startup zone featuring 35 up-and-coming businesses in the GIS Expo.How long has the startup area been going on at the UC?2012 was the first year of the Startup Zone with 10 startups exhibiting. In 2013 we grew it to 18. In 2014 it grew to 28 and moved to Hall D (near registration area), where we’ll be located again this year. This year 40 startups will be exhibiting throughout the expo. The look and feel of the Startup Zone continues to evolve and this year will be the best yet.  The array of product categories that the startups cover keeps growing too. This year we have startups doing drones, 3D mapping, social media mapping, smart glasses, and more! How long has Esri had a Startup Program? The program was founded in 2012 by SJ Camarata, Esri Director and Myles Sutherland, Previous Program Manager. Now, Kurt Daradics, Program Manager and Katie Decker, Community Manager oversee the Esri Startup Program for emerging businesses.What constitutes a startup?The program is in its current state is focused on startups building products (e.g hosted web and mobile apps vs. consulting service businesses). Qualifications include:

  • Building software products (not consulting services).
  • Founded no more than three years ago.
  • Generating less than $1M dollars in annual revenue at the time of program entry.


What is the program offering? The Esri Startup Program is a global program that helps software startups succeed by giving them three years of free access to ArcGIS online services, software development tools, ready-to-use content, training, technical support, global partnership opportunities, and co-marketing to help entrepreneurs build location and mapping into their product and business.


What are the qualifications to join?

  • Building software products (not consulting services).
  • Founded no more than three years ago.
  • Generating less than $1M dollars in annual revenue at the time of program entry.


Why does Esri think this is an important program?Esri is committed to the startup community. As a company that was once a startup, Esri understands the challenges emerging businesses face to quickly bring products to market and developing customers. Esri invests heavily in R&D to support developers and startups. We offer, where developers and startups can go to quickly create an account and begin using ArcGIS tools. With dedicated product documentation and code samples on we have set the stage for a highly scalable developer program. And now that we have launched to empower entrepreneurs and developers that are building commercial apps to get to market much quicker, and ultimately bring extended innovation into areas.


Why should attendees engage with startups?Today, startups do more than influence mainstream culture. They fundamentally change the way we operate our organizations. With intense pressure on organizations to innovate and do more with less, Esri startups are delivering powerful solutions with intuitive interfaces that extend the ArcGIS platform.


How can people follow Esri Startup Program?

The Esri UC is happening soon! There are plenty of sessions to attend (over 1000), lots of maps to view (more than 700), tons of training (hundreds of hours), an amazing amount of demos and presentations (we can’t even count that high anymore) and opportunities for experts to help you check your data health, give you tips on your cartographic prowess, provide you with technical assistance and more.

Want some advice? Take a break. We know. You feel like there is so much to do and no time to do it. We get it. But you need some downtime to process all that information. Here are some great activities you can enjoy around the conference events – and even bring your family so they can enjoy the UC with you and catch some of that crazy geolove!



Join your fellow attendees on the lawn for some stretches before the UC.

Start your UC days with a sense of inner calm. Join your fellow geo geeks for morning yoga! Get loose and relaxed with downward dog on the grass just outside the Hilton Bayfront near the Embarcadero. Yoga will be in session from 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. You can attend all three sessions or purchase a single class pass. Classes are $20 each and include a yoga mat.

Learn more and sign up now!

5K Fun Run


Lace up your shoes and join the 5K Run/Walk.

All work and no play, … well that can be boring. Life is all about balance, including at the UC. Take a break from conference activities and join the 5K Fun Run/Walk right on the waterfront path. This year, the 5K Fun Run/Walk is scheduled for Wednesday, July 22. The stating gun goes off promptly at 6:30 a.m. for this chip-timed event. Don’t delay in signing up – this event always sells out fast.

Learn more and sign up now!

[Course map]

Kids Fair

Open up the world of GIS to your kids and spark a love of all things geo!

The GIS Kids Fair provides an opportunity for parents and their kids to explore the world using maps and GIS at the Esri UC.  There will be interactive booths, a hands-on computer lab, and a fun movie to help our next generation understand the cool technology that you work with every day. GIS Kids Fair provides a hands-on learning experience for children of all ages along with their parents.

There will be activities for children ages 5 – 14. They will learn about the Earth’s continents through interactive projects designed for their age groups. Staff will be on hand to assist, but parents or guardians are required to accompany their children.

The Kids Fair is in session at the Marriott Marquis Hotel – Marina Ballroom Salon D on these days:

  • Tuesday, July 21 – 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • Wednesday, July 22 – 9:00am – 4:00pm
  • Thursday, July 23 – 9:00am – 2:00pm

Come and check out the cool activities and learn more about the Americas, Africa, Australia, Europe, Asia and Antarctica!

Family Night

Family night always gets rave reviews and a thumbs up. Join Tim Rankin, lead of Esri’s practices and patterns division as he opens up Family Night with his bagpipes and some special guests again this year.

Show your family and friends what GIS is all about when the Exhibit Pavilion in the GIS Solutions EXPO is open to anyone accompanied by a registered attendee. The EXPO hosts more than 300 exhibitors representing companies and organizations at the forefront of geospatial technology. This is the place to find products and services and take your GIS work to the next level. Check out the amazing technology, talk to some friendly people, play some fun games and treat your kids to fun take-aways. There is no need to sign up for this event, but someone in your party must have a UC badge to be shown for admittance.

Wednesday, July 22, 4:00pm – 6:00pm – Exhibit Pavilion, San Diego Convention Center.

Padres Tickets

Catch some of America’s favorite past-time for a discounted rate – all because you are you – an awesome Esri UC attendee!

Break out the crackerjacks! It’s time for America’s favorite past-time! Root for the San Diego Padres at Petco Park as they face the Colorado Rockies, San Francisco Giants, and the Miami Marlins while you are at the Esri UC. It’s such a short walk from the SDCC, you just can’t miss this great opportunity! And there are plenty of games, so you can be sure to catch at least one before your week is up-

Saturday, July 18 – Padres v. Rockies 5:40 p.m.

Sunday, July 19 – Padres v. Rockies 7:10 p.m.

Monday, July 20 – Padres v. Giants 7:10 p.m.

Tuesday, July 21 – Padres v. Giants 7:10 p.m.

Wednesday, July 22 – Padres v. Giants 12:40 p.m.

Thursday, July 23 – Padres v. Marlins 7:10 p.m.

Friday, July 24 – Padres v. Marlins 7:10 p.m.

Conference attendees can receive up to 50% off single game prices. Get your tickets now!

Party by the Bay

This year the Esri UC party will be held at the beautiful San Diego Waterfront Park and Maritime Museum. You won’t want to miss this – get your wrist bands now!

The Esri UC party will be held Thursday night, July 23 from 5:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. at San Diego’s Waterfront Park! Enjoy great food, awesome entertainment, interactive games and activities for the whole family. End your Esri UC with a bang – hang around until the end for a fireworks display!

The newly constructed Waterfront Park is the most significant waterfront open space in downtown San Diego and fulfills a vision decades in the making slating it as a quintessential destination for residents and visitors. Take in some live entertainment from bands including The Red Hot Band, Ryan Hiller, Millionaire Beach Bums and more. Have some fun in all four of the interactive zones – the Game Zone, the Sports Zone, the Art Zone and Kids Zone.

The Maritime Museum of San Diego is also located here and enjoys a worldwide reputation for excellence in restoring, maintaining and operating historic vessels. The museum has one of the world’s finest collections of historic ships, including the world’s oldest active ship Star of India. Our collection of ships and exhibits are available for daily public tours.

Stroll through the exhibit FRAGILE WATERS.  a powerful artistic and ecological statement through the inspiring black and white images of three renowned photographers and environmentalists – Ansel Adams, Ernest H. Brooks II, and Dorothy Kerper Monnelly. The traveling exhibition of 119 photographs, many not previously exhibited, takes viewers from the snow-melt of the High Sierras at 12,000 feet elevation to far below the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean.

You can only get in to the party with a wristband. Getting your wristband is simple – scan your badge on Wednesday or Thursday at the Activities Desk, Information Desk or the Main entrance to the party. You can bring as many guests as you’d like and children under the age of 12 receive complimentary admission when accompanied by a registered attendee.  Guest tickets can be purchased for $50 each through the UC Activities Registration system.

Transportation to the party is easy. There are continuous round-trip shuttles from the front entrance of the San Diego Convention Center to the San Diego Waterfront park. (please note that you need your wristband to be able to board the shuttle). You can also take the Green Line trolley from the Gaslamp district. The fee is $2.50. And for those Fitbit lovers out there, you can easily walk the 1.5 miles from the convention center to kill that step challenge.


Thanks to everyone for all your posts. The Agenda Web App will sync to your native mobile app.The time to sync ranges from instantaneous to a couple minutes. Please ensure that you are logged in on both the Web app and the Native app to successfully sync. Please let us know if you have any other questions.  We really appreciate your patience and your assistance to others.

Business Analyst products, an important part of the ArcGIS platform, have been at the forefront of helping many commercial GIS users improve their business processes for years. Understanding the local characteristics of a marketplace is key to making decisions on where to invest in a business. Esri Business Analyst is the go-to software for evaluating sites, creating trade areas, and performing market analysis quickly and accurately.

With Esri Business Analyst, you can get insights about businesses and people and their lifestyles for locations that matter most to you.  You can tap into a large collection of datasets including population, income, housing, and consumer behavior for 135+ countries, run site selection analysis, and create beautiful site maps and professional reports in minutes, no matter where you are. The Esri UC is your exclusive opportunity to meet the developers, engineers, and product team behind Esri Business Analyst.


Esri has been working hard to continually improve the product so it meets users evolving needs, by adding updated data and improving workflows. We want to continue to do that and would love to meet you at Esri UC. We encourage you to attend product sessions to learn more about what’s happening in Esri Business Analyst and get up to speed so you can use your new found knowledge to your advantage after Esri UC.

Here’s what’s new that you don’t want to miss:

  • Updated data – Access 2015/2020 US Demographics data and reports for the US population, Tapestry Segmentation, Retail MarketPlace, Consumer Spending, and Market Potential. Esri’s 2015/2020 US Updated Demographics captures the industry’s most accurate current-year estimates and five-year projections for the US population such as growth and decline, increased diversity, and aging.
  • Device savvy – Run Business Analyst Online on your favorite tablet device’s web browser.

  • Your data at your fingertips – Quickly access your latest created sites, reports, and searches from BAO’s new home page

  • Easy access for the whole organization - Enable users across your organization to access BAO using enterprise logins.
  • Use your own basemaps – Leverage the newly add dark gray canvas basemap in BAO. Also, easily switch to custom basemaps set up by your GIS team.

  • Health data now available – Use the new Health data category that provides counts of employees working in the health industry, average amount spent on various medical categories, health insurance coverage by age, and more.

  • Go global – Better Understand local markets around the world with access to demographic data for 135+ countries in BAO. We recently updated the data on income, age, spending, and more, for 45 countries including Germany, Spain, Denmark, France, Russia, Brazil, India, and China. See the full list of updates here.
  • Profitable GIS in your pocket – Leverage the native Esri BAO Mobile app on your iOS and Android smartphones for quick and easy access to key market insights, site selection analyses, and demographic reports on the go.

  • Updated demographics for in the office – Use the Esri US 2015 Updated Demographics, Tapestry, Retail MarketPlace, Consumer Spending, and Market Potential data and reports in Business Analyst for Desktop and Server.

Learn more in these product-focused sessions at the Esri UC:

  1. 1.      Esri Business Analyst Suite: An Overview

Tuesday, 21 Jul 2015, 8:30am – 9:45amLocation: Room 05 B

  1. 2.      Demographic Trends and Predictions

Tuesday, 21 Jul 2015, 5:00pm – 5:30pmLocation: Tech Theater 15 Exhibit Hall A

  1. 3.      Esri Global Demographic and Lifestyle Data

Thursday, 23 Jul 2015, 8:30am – 9:45am

Location: Ballroom 06 C

And don’t forget you can meet us anytime during the GIS Expo hours and talk to the Esri Business Analyst product team at the commercial island. See how Business Analyst works with the ArcGIS platform and find out how it can be applied to your industry.

As if viewing more than 900 online and paper maps in the Esri UC Map Gallery from attendees just like yourself isn’t enough, there are several special displays available for you to explore. These displays provide in-depth information on how GIS is used within these organizations. Don’t miss your opportunity to stroll through the displays, meet representatives and learn more about the amazing things GIS can do for the world. The Map Gallery is located in the Sail Area on the second floor of the San Diego Convention Center and is open Monday 3:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Thursday 8:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

The EsriUC Map Gallery is a feast for your eyes! Don't miss the special displays in the Gallery this year.


Here’s the quick low-down on the special displays:

Abu Dhabi SDI

The AD-SDI was activated in 2007 in recognition that more accurate and up to date information is needed to keep up with the rapid pace of development in Abu Dhabi Emirate. Originally involving 8 government organizations, the AD-SDI now comprises over 60 members involving nearly every sector of Abu Dhabi society. Over the past few years the AD-SDI focused on the development of a solid technical, legal and institutional foundation for the coordination and sharing of geospatial information, technology and services across the stakeholder community. This foundation has provided an environment that has allowed many organizations that were previously constrained by the lack of data and other infrastructure to now implement GIS to meet their own special needs. The leadership of Abu Dhabi has recognized the fundamental significance of GIS and SDI and the “Human Geo-intelligence” required to effectively respond to today’s modern challenges, and is now supporting the development of a comprehensive GeoMaturity program that will ensure that every government organization has the direction and resources needed to optimize the use of GIS and the SDI to improve their own operations.

Alliance for Public Gardens GIS

The Alliance for Public Gardens GIS is a consortium of biological collection managers and GIS professionals who are dedicated to making geographic information systems more accessible to arboreta, botanical gardens, zoos, and other managed landscapes for use in asset management, biodiversity conservation, education, and scientific research.. This year’s display will educate attendees about the important conservation and education activities that public gardens participate in, and showcases the innovative geospatial work of Alliance partners at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, Atlanta Botanical Garden, Chicago Botanical Garden, Desert Botanical Garden, Huntington Botanical Garden, Missouri Botanical Garden, Montgomery Botanical Center, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden and the UC Davis Arboretum. The display will also provide tables and seating for collaborating with colleagues or just taking a break.  Please stop by during the Monday night Map Gallery Opening and Evening Reception to speak with members of the Alliance for Public Gardens GIS team about their new GIS Training for Museum Professionals program and Esri’s exciting new solutions for public gardens.

Ebola Response and Recovery

International Medical Corps Ebola Response and GIS Activities

International Medical Corps was one of the first international NGOs treating Ebola patients in West Africa, the source of the largest-ever outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). Today, it remains one of only a handful of international NGOs in the world with the capacity to treat Ebola patients. The organization’s staff of more than 1,400 (roughly 90% of them African nationals) operates in all three nations with high infection rates—Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone—plus Mali, and Guinea-Bissau, a nation that has reported no Ebola cases, but is considered vulnerable to the recent outbreaks. International Medical Corps administers a training cooperative that draws on its expertise and experience as well as that of the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) to provide both national and expatriate health care workers from all organizations involved in the fight to contain Ebola with the essential skills and tools to fight the virus. GIS is used to bring information to decisions makers using Esri’s Operations Dashboard and ArcGIS Online for Organizations (AGOL) in the areas of epidemiology, logistics, human resources, finance, and grants & proposals. The GIS is integrated with third-party tools for the use of Business Intelligence visualization, for query and display of patient in-line information. During the early onset of the epidemic GIS maps were used to track the spread of the disease with data from various agencies to help decision makers determine where to operate ETUs.  During the less-acute months of the crisis, we operated a helicopter to carry Ebola-related materials and patients, in order to consolidate resources and modify or scale down ETUs. We were able to track the flight of the helicopter using GPS devices, whose information was brought to the GIS for analysis. International Medical Corps is an Esri NGO grant recipient and uses ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS for Server and SDE, as well as connections to our own SQL server database.

Field Notes – Earth

All of us understand something about the people, land or the oceans of the Earth. After all, it is where we live.  Many of us study something about the earth in the course of our professions. Until recently, only a few semantically consistent datasets existed that describe information about the entire Earth. Land cover is what we in the GIS community know best: an informed interpretation that moves beyond raw data like imagery or elevation. For other global topics, the state of information and knowledge is evolving. The Field Notes – Earth display shares three new maps about our world: eco-physiographic definitions of the land, geomorphology categories of the seafloor, and detailed global counts of human population. These maps represent groundbreaking efforts to make objective, comparable sense of the complexity of humanity’s relationships and interactions with the natural systems of the Earth

National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society will be on hand to continue celebrating the organization’s 100 year anniversary of making maps. A display chronicling the history of maps and the presidency, from President Eisenhower carrying maps into battle during World War II to President Obama receiving official presidential maps in the White House, will present the art and science of where. Gary Knell, president and CEO of the National Geographic Society will also speak at the Plenary Session about the importance of geography in STEM education. Don’t miss Knell’s book signing from in 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Books available include National Geographic Concise Atlas of the World, Third Edition, and National Geographic Kids Beginner’s World Atlas.

San Diego Regional Showcase

The San Diego Regional showcase is a joint effort of the San Diego Regional GIS Council and the Southern California Chapter of URISA. The showcase is a GIS poster competition open to the region's public and private agencies and educational institutions. The area of interest for the competition covers the San Diego and Imperial counties and northern Baja California region. The competition is open to our regional GIS user community. During the Map Gallery opening reception, local GIS professionals will be available to provide GIS-related information as well as insider tips on what to do and see in San Diego.

The Trust for Public Land – Climate

The Conservation Vision and GIS program at the Trust for Public Land (TPL) uses Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to help partners and communities develop plans that meet multiple conservation goals such as creating parks, protecting water quality and helping cities become "climate-smart". TPL uses Esri's state-of-the-art GIS software to integrate natural resource interests and human values such as health, equity and access for children. TPL's GIS team provides many services, among the notable are:  The ParkScore®  index -  a ranking of the country's largest city park systems based on access, acreage and service and investment metrics. Climate-Smart Cities program -  This program is helping America's cities meet the challenge to create more livable communities with a carbon-efficient lifestyle. Greenprinting - TPL provides a framework for communities to make informed decisions and create park plans with broad public support. In addition to these services, The Trust for Public Land's GIS program supports may functions across the organization spanning daily mapping requests to supporting LandVote, NCED and the Conservation Almanac. Come visit our special display to learn more!

Where in the World

Come take a look at the DigitalGlobe satellite scenes located in the Ballroom Foyer. Guess the location of these satellite scenes and prove your geographic knowledge. Complete the entry form with the location (city or place) of each of the 12 scenes displayed. The winner will be the person with the most correct answers. In the event of a tie, one winner will be randomly selected from the pool of those with the most correct answers.

Young Scholar Awards

The Annual Young Scholar Award recognizes the exemplary GIS work of current undergraduate and graduate students internationally. These Young Scholars GIS projects have been selected above their peers by a university panel formed by Esri's distributor in the recipient's respective country.

Youth Community GIS

Youth and students engaged in citizen science and service-learning projects that integrate Esri's ArcGIS technology are making a positive difference in their communities. Young people become participating citizens as they identify and evaluate community needs while working side by side with community professionals to plan, develop, and implement community projects. They in turn are empowered to be involved in community change as they engage GIS technology in their learning; develop leadership skills; and take their places as valuable, decision-making members of their communities. Youth in school and after-school programs are learning to do more than become technology consumers; they are learning to be robust technology creators and developers for contributing to the sustainability and continued growth of technology in the world. Visit the Youth Community GIS display to meet with tomorrow's leaders, learn how they are using Esri's technology in their community today, and see how youth in your community can get started.

Passionate about GIS in education?  It’s not too late to make plans to attend the 2015 Esri Education GIS Conference, 18-21 July, in San Diego, California.  Whether you are an educator, administrator, researcher, whether you are experienced with GIS or are just beginning to discover all it has to offer, there is something at this event for you.  This year, the theme is “learning and leading through service”–featuring efforts to design and produce meaningful place-based projects that benefits communities while developing 21st Century skills.

Learning and having fun at the Esri GIS Education Conference!

Learning and having fun at the Esri GIS Education Conference!

At this event you can exchange experiences, ideas, and tips that worked for you and your colleagues.  You can get some face to face time with GIS education experts from around the world.  You can take training to hone your skills.  You can update your curriculum, teaching materials, and resources.  You can better understand how to spread GIS across your campus, across your school district, and across your region or country.

The event features plenary sessions, lightning talks, an exhibit hall, and, unique to this conference, a series of hands-on workshops on a variety of topics, including spatial analysis techniques, collecting and mapping field data, and creating story maps. This video, the agenda, and the agenda at a glance provide more detail.  We look forward to seeing you at this premier thought-leadership event for those involved in GIS education!


Casual format drives Showcase talks


Open-air, lightning-talk style presentations have become a popular fixture at the Implementation Center, one of the Esri islands on the UC Showcase floor. This year promises to be no exception as some of the standing-room-only talks are being re-offered along with brand new topics.


The Implementation Center is staffed throughout the Showcase with Esri consultants and technical experts. Users stop by to talk shop and seek advice, no appointments necessary.


Esri proposals coordinator sara fletcher.jpg

Esri Proposals Coordinator Sara Fletcher delivers “Tips for Writing a Successful GIS RFP” during the 2014 Esri Users Conference.

The big draw, however, are the presentations. Focused and quick, 18 different expert talks are delivered at the Center during the showcase. Several of the most popular are presented twice, making 22 sessions in all.


The casual style facilitates discussion and questions and also allows users to easily drop in to see if a topic catches their interest. Presenters also appreciate the relaxed setting and often find themselves in deep conversations with users long after their talk has ended.


“The chance to engage with users this way is invigorating,” said Steve Temmermand, a presenter at the 2014 Users Conference, who will speak again this year. His talks are Launching Your Location Platform and Discovering the Location Dimension of Your Business.


“Users will have questions and ideas I hadn’t considered. The format encourages folks to get engaged,” Temmermand said.

The Implementation Center talks are included in the UC agenda, and a complete list is available at the island.


Among the new talks this year are Building Security into Your System by Bill Major and Gregory Ponto at 4:30 p.m. July 21 and Drive Order Management with GIS by Dave Lewis and Rodney Conger at 3:30 p.m. July 22.


Some of the popular returning talks include Tips for Writing a Successful GIS RFP by Sarah Fletcher and When is Agile the Best Project Management Method by Lana Tylka, offered at multiple times.

Guest post by Bill Meehan, Esri


An electric manhole is a little room buried in the street or sidewalk, where utility workers access electric cables, switches and other dangerous stuff. (In the old days, the majority of utilities workers were men, so the term manhole stuck.) When a cable fails, workers splice together new and old sections – inside these manholes. You enter the manhole through a round hole, which is usually covered with, you guessed It, those heavy manhole covers.


Smart Inspection at Esri.png

The ArcGIS Platform can help utilities better manage data and workflows ensuring inspections make sense and go off without a hitch.


Inside, manholes are hot, dangerous and creepy. If a cable fails, it generates a lot of heat, too, and sometimes fire. Any debris caught in the manhole will worsen the fire. And if things explode, those heavy manhole covers go flying.


To keep things operating well, manholes should be inspected and cleaned of all debris.  But since there are so many things to do – and frankly, no
one likes to inspect and clean manholes – this workflow often takes a back seat.


Not Exactly Smart Inspection


A power company I used to work for had 16,157 manholes. Each one was numbered from #1 to #16,157.  At one point after a number of manhole incidents, we decided to go gangbusters and get aggressive in inspecting and cleaning the manholes. Where to begin? The logical choice was of course to inspect the manholes in numerical order, starting with manhole #1. After a year of this process, we hadn’t gotten beyond around manhole #200. We decided to abandon the aggressive project and move to as-needed inspections and cleaning. It was clear we were never going to
inspect all 16,157 manholes, given our limited resources. Plus, most of those manholes were just fine. The problem was how to prioritize the targeted manhole inspection.


GIS: Getting Inspections Smarter


The trick is to avoid inspecting all manholes (and other assets that need inspections). You have to figure out which assets are most vulnerable
to having something go wrong. Which manholes are near debris sources? Which manholes are most likely to be flooded? Which manholes carry very critical cables? Which manholes have not been entered for years? Which manholes higher incidents of fires? What smart utilities are doing is looking to ArcGIS technology to analyze data and build smart inspection strategies. Technology can help figure out which of the 16,157 manholes need the most inspections and cleanings.

Staff can cluster these manholes spatially – on a map in the GIS. As a result, they can schedule inspections for minimum crew travel time, or they can combine inspections with other field work they know is going on in proximity. They can bring in all kinds of content, like weather, crime, graffiti incidents, abandon building, high insurance risk data and any other spatial data sources easily with the ArcGIS platform.  Then then can
a spatial analysis on the data and focus on those manholes that are most likely to create a problem.


That’s what smart inspection is all about – creating the ability to take a huge number of assets to inspect and figure out the best place
to deploy your very valuable resources.


A UC Preview


Come to the Esri User Conference to see how our customers have put smart inspection into practice to save money, improve performance and
keep things running smoothly for customers. Here are some highlights:  Hear Spoon River Electric Cooperative use smart inspection
of Vegetation Management, PG&E automate their regulatory inspections with GIS.


The City of Riverside believes that street lighting is critical for its customers. Learn about their GIS street lighting app.


Fairmont Municipal Corporation figured out which cables to reinforce with silicon injection using GIS.


Marathon Oil used aerial surveillance integrated into their GIS for real smart inspection of their pipelines.


Vilnious energia used thermal photo maps on their district heating system.


All great stories.


So if back in the old days, when I was worried about manhole inspections, we could inspected the right manholes at the right time using the right device with ArcGIS.


To learn more about the Esri International user Conference visit\UC

Come Curious, Leave Inspired

Visit the Esri UC Nonprofit Showcase Tuesday, July 21 through Thursday, July 23 in Exhibit Hall A, Area 10, Ground Level.


Among the hundreds of workshops, exhibits, and demonstrations at the 2015 Esri UC, there’s one place where you’re guaranteed to witness the incredible impacts of GIS. The Nonprofit Showcase located in Area 10 will offer you a window into the lifework of 44 organizations from throughout the globe that are applying geography to make the world a better place.

You’ll see how non-governmental organizations, nonprofits, research institutions, and other groups use GIS to protect wildlife habitats, conserve our oceans and waterways, combat climate change, and much more. Many of the participating organizations will provide technical demonstrations of their work in humanitarian, conservation, historic preservation, and sustainable development.

Come, explore, and interact with scientists, researchers, resource management professionals, and a wide range of specialists who will present their innovative geospatial solutions. Learn how these organizations and others are turning their ideas into action and making a real difference:

  • Discover how the Marine Conservation Institute applies geography to track global marine protection for the ocean’s most important places.
  • Get an inside look into how the World Health Organization, NetHope, and GISCorps utilized the ArcGIS platform to streamline relief communications and efforts during the Ebola crisis.
  • Hear how Direct Relief integrates the latest GIS technology to help thousands of people in need of immediate medical aid.
  • Learn how applied geography aids The Nature Conservancy in preserving our most precious resource – drinking water.
  • Delve into NatureServe’s massive GIS project in which the network of scientists and conservation activists mapped more than 1,600 ecosystems and analyzed 70,000 species.
  • And much more from international organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Catholic Relief Services, World Vision, and The Jane Goodall Institute.

For more information about these and related activities at the Esri UC, check out the nonprofit and global organizations agenda.

guest post by Matt Artz, Esri

Four Maps from the 2015 Esri User Conference Map Gallery with Transportation Themes

Each year at the annual Esri User Conference, people who use Esri’s GIS software share their best map creations at the Map Gallery. Hundreds of maps are on display at this exciting and vibrant showcase of the very best in current cartography, and awards are given for the best maps in a number of different categories. Selected maps are also considered for publication in the next edition of the Esri Map Book.

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Check out the Map Gallery starting 3:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. on Monday, July 21 in the Sail Pavilion on the Upper Level of the San Diego Convention Center.



To give you a sneak preview of some of the maps you can see at the Map Gallery this year, we’re sharing four maps today with transportation themes.

Fatality Hot Spots

For their map titled “Incapacitating Injury and Fatality Accident Hot Spots,” Tarrant County Transportation Services ran analysis on accident fatalities and incapacitation accidents to identify if there were any problems with the road infrastructure.


Traffic Flow in Atlanta

This map created by Citilabs shows car traffic flow in an area of Atlanta. The map was designed in ArcGIS Desktop and then published with ArcGIS Server. According to Citilabs, their challenges in creating this map included:

“1. We needed to convey that some roads carry more cars than others. We do that by varying the width of the road.

“2. We need to show that the number of cars is different by direction on the road. We do that by drawing width from the centerline of the road either to the left or right based on the volume by direction.


“3. We had a tough challenge when handling road traffic on all roads. Freeways may carry over 100,000 cars a day while local streets only 300. If we used opaque coloring on all roads, then the freeways would effectively hide the local streets located nearby. We used transparency on the freeways — enabling us to convey a consistent width scale including freeways, while allowing the lower volume roads still to be seen underneath the transparency of the freeways.

“4. The user may vary the background map, but the dark grey map from Esri provides an excellent background for gaining a clear understanding of the level of traffic on all roadways.”

Transit Connectivity to Jobs Analysis

This project focuses on providing a repeatable methodology to analyze transit connectivity opportunities to jobs across various counties/cities in Georgia with public transit systems or planning to build transit system,” said Binyu Wang, who created this map. “Transit accessibility increases jobs approachable area for employees who cannot afford a car and decreases air pollution by encouraging the utilization of public transportation. During the past few decades, accelerating urban expansion has imposed detrimental impacts on low-income families because less transportation methods limit their activity area. Moreover, urbanization has potentially created a discriminatory labor market with most jobs located in suburban areas. To eliminate the unbalance between where people live and where people work, a well-planned and fully-served transit system need to be offered to the public.”


“This study thus formulates a GIS model to portray demographic and employment characteristics within transit service areas, and with the availability of Origin-Destination Employment Statistics provided by US Census Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) to analyze current public transit system in study area,” Wang added. “Job opportunities are located by LEHD, and reachable job opportunities that can be accessed through public transit in study areas will be located by using General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) and local transit GIS data. The two location results will be aggregated into one map to present how well the transit system is. Finally, the implication of research result for future transit expansion development in Georgia will be discussed, deliverable maps for transit job connectivity will also available to present.”

Measuring Bus Stops Toward a Sustainable Urban Environment

This map, created by Wenbin Ma, Shirley Hsiao, and Christopher MacKechnie from Long Beach Transit, “describes how a bus stop measuring system is developed, not only to improve internal operation efficiency, but also to proactively collaborate with planners and traffic engineers on various transit/land use interface projects. This system-wide strategic planning methodology intends to strengthen the transit element in the overall urban development process.


“This measuring system is developed by assessing several transit performance-related variants at the bus stop level with a dynamic composite weighting factor approach on a GIS platform. A tier structure framework is used to categorize the composite scores of bus stops into groups. Different transit improvement strategies are applied based on the individual grouping characteristics. Two project examples are presented. One is a bus stop thinning project enacted to improve operation efficiency, and the other is for prioritizing capital project improvements.”

There’s So Much More to See

To see these and over 900 additional maps, don’t miss the Map Gallery at the 2015 Esri User Conference. And if you can’t make it to the User Conference this year, look look for the ma

Guest Post by Raquel Perez

Are you new to the world of GIS? Do you have a handle on the tech, but are still trying to figure out your path forward in your career? Well then, we’ve
got some good news.


We created Esri’s Young Professionals Network to help people just like you. The YPN brings together people across every industry who are just getting started with GIS. We’ll help you navigate the technology, develop your career, and become the next great mapping leader.


YPN imag.png


Still on the fence? Here are five ways the YPN transforms GIS careers:

  1. Find your home on the cutting-edge of technology, with insider info and special opportunities to grow
    your skills.
  2. Learn from the best in the business, including GIS legends like Jack Dangermond
  3. Participate in exclusive YPN events that focus on career and leadership development.
  4. Develop a contact network so big that you can tackle any problem.
  5. Get exposure as a true GIS hero that’s taking mapping technology to new heights.


Don’t get lost in the crowd. Lead it.

Join the Esri Young Professionals Network today at

YPN members get special pricing and access to exclusive events.


Please join Esri’s Water Practice in San Diego the weekend before the User Conference. We are hosting two water focused meetings. Pick one or both. See you in San Diego!

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Photo credit: The Drought map is data pulled from week of 5/26/2015 from the U.S. Drought Monitor website.

Learn about how other water agencies are addressing water conservation.


The Water/Wastewater Meeting will include presentations by

  • White House Utility District
  • East Valley Water District
  • Many more!

The Water Resources Meeting attendees will hear from

  • National Park Service
  • River Management Society
  • Esri Staff
  • Several More!

Meetings are FREE but high value. They’re your opportunity to connect with Esri staff and find out how similar organizations are using GIS to meet modern challenges with technology strategy.Water/Wastewater Meeting - Register

  • Saturday, July 18, 2015
  • San Diego Convention Center, Rm 29 A/B
  • 8:00am – 9:00am Registration/Sign In
  • 9:00am – 5:00pm Presentations

Water Resources (ArcHydro) Meeting - Register

  • Sunday, July 19, 2015
  • San Diego Convention Center, Rm 29 A/B
  • 8:00am – 9:00am Registration/Sign In
  • 9:00am – 5:00pm Presentations

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Christa Campbell: