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What a fun, fascinating and inspiring experience it's been at UC 2016! Whether I was getting inspired about the future of Esri during the plenary, discovering new trends in the expo or learning more about the power and possibilities of GIS in a technical session, I enjoyed my first UC and I hope you learned a lot this week too.


We wrap up our daily UC updates with this final post about the closing session which includes highlights of the overall UC awards, the GeoNet MVP awards and the open Q&A discussion. (In case you missed them, a full recap of the plenary live blogging and daily UC updates is listed below.)


The closing session started as Jack took time to introduce the team of Esri directors and thank attendees for making this year another valuable time of listening, learning and collaboration. Here's a recap of the numbers and hot topics that were highlighted.


UC by the numbers:

  • 16,000+ attendees
  • 1,950 Esri Staff
  • 556 students
  • 138 countries
  • 365 exhibitors
  • 547 Young Professionals
  • 42 Planery speakers
  • 324 technical workshops
  • 109 Special Interest Groups
  • 268 Paper Sessions
  • 354 Demo Theaters
  • 1,262 Maps (Map Gallery)
  • 568 Runners (Esri 5K)
  • 4,000 Puzzle Pieces
  • 51,600 Buttons


Hot Topics: What was the buzz about this year?

  • ArcGIS Pro
  • Web GIS
  • Apps
  • Big Data and GeoAnalytics
  • Real-time
  • Insights
  • Python API
  • Content - (DigitalGlobe, Green Infrastructure, Vector Basemaps)
  • Drone2Map
  • Community GIS


Have you read the UC Q&A?

Jack spoke about the importance of the pre-conference Q&A and how critical it is to getting feedback and customer questions answered. He then handed the floor to Mark Harrower to announce the winners of the UC and GeoNet awards.


Award winners (Maps and Application Fair)

Here are pictures of some of the UC award winners. What a superb collection of map and application work that I'm looking forward to exploring more after UC.









GeoNet Community MVP Awards



It was a pleasure to see our top contributors Robert Scheitlin, GISP, Dan Patterson and Rebecca Strauch, GISP recognized for their contributions. Thanks so much to everyone in the GeoNet Community. We appreciate your contributions and commitment to making the community a valuable place to connect and collaborate.


To see the other stories and stats from the GeoNet Community UC meet-ups this week, you can download a copy of our meet-up presentation deck here.


Open Q&A

The closing session wrapped with a lively open discussion between customer and Esri staff as Jack and the directors fielded live questions and feedback about everything from the user conference experience and newly released products to improving license agreements and enhancing marketing initiatives.


Addressing a hot topic, Jack did a live in the moment "raise your hand" vote about whether or not there should be a paper pocket agenda made available next year and not only a mobile app or online version. More people voted to keep the mobile app versus only offering paper, but Jack offered an option to print the agenda if attendees wanted to, and Jack's suggestion received a loud applause of approval. Jack highlighted that the agenda and mobile app experience will continue to be improved and he appreciated the honest feedback. (We also invite you to share your thoughts in the comments on this thread: UC 2016 Agenda -- Working Much Better (6/22/2016) In my opinion.)


It was moments like this during the closing session where you could see and feel how this final UC 2016 conversation between Esri staff and customers personified the entire spirit of user conference; which is to listen and connect with customers so we can work towards real solutions together to make the world a better place.


Growing the community strategy. Let us know what you think of our UC experiment.

It's been an amazing week and whether you were at UC or following along remotely, we hope you enjoyed the live blogging during the plenary and the daily updates here on GeoNet. As I mentioned during the meet-ups and in my welcome post, I'm focused on developing the GeoNet Community strategy with the goal of making the community more valuable and integrated into the business, so the UC live blogging and updates was something new that we wanted to experiment with this year as part of the growth of the community strategy, so let's us know what you think so we can improve it for next year.


In case you missed it, here's a collection of the live blogging and daily updates we did during the conference. Timothy Hales and I couldn't cover it all, so we invite you to continue the collaborative conversation and post your experiences in the comments on each daily update post.


Live Blog: 2016 Esri UC Plenary (Morning Session)

Live Blog: 2016 Esri UC Plenary (Afternoon Session)

UC Daily Discussion Monday 6/27: Map Gallery Highlights

UC Updates Day 2: GIS Managers' Open Summit, GeoNet Meet-up, Education Sessions, Platform Enablement

UC Updates Day 3: Esri 5K, Drones, GeoMentor, GeoNet Meet-up, Startups and more

UC Updates Day 4: GeoNet Meet-up Recap, Regression Analysis and Nicholas Cage, UC Party


Let's continue the UC 2016 conversation...

What were your favorite moments? What did you learn and discover? What questions do you have? We look forward to hearing your thoughts, ideas and UC experiences in the comments below. Thanks for sharing and we hope you had a great UC!

Grabbing some gifts at the Esri store


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I started Day 4 with a need for some UC swag and I wanted to pick up some gifts the family back home so I explored the Esri store and grabbed a few of the slick "The Amazing Map Man," and The Flash-inspired "Powered by Esri" t-shirts. It was an added bonus to meet and quickly chat with Esri UC student assistant Jessica Leonard who helped to ring up my items as she shared her love for maps and walked me through her impressive UC button collection. Big thanks to all the Esri store staff and student assistants for helping out at UC this year. We appreciate your hard work and support!


What swag, books and other UC gear did you pick up in the store? What were some of your favorite store items this year?


GeoNet Thursday Meet-up: Inspired and building towards the future


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The final day of the GeoNet UC meet-ups were all about making new relationships, storytelling and meaningful real-time collaboration. The exploratory Esri rebranding feedback sessions with Christina Sullivan were insightful as community members shared their thoughts with Christina on what they thought of the branding statements. I was excited to watch these discussions unfold because the is exactly the type of collaboration and co-creation we're aiming to have in the community in the future.


We were honored to have Joseph Kersti share his success stories from the Education team. "The GeoNet Community provides not only technical assistance, but gives them confidence in their ability to teach effectively with GIS," Joseph said. "It also gives them encouragement to go farther with GIS instruction to foster critical thinking and spatial thinking skills."


I walked away from the meet-up feeling, yet again, inspired from what I heard and excited about the opportunity we have to build on the GeoNet Community experience. Did you attend the meet-ups? What did you think? How would you like to see us evolve meet-ups in the future?


To see the other stories and stats from the meet-up, you can download a copy of our meet-up presentation deck here.


Asking important questions through Regression Analysis


I learned a lot during the latest Ten Questions for Esri video, so one of my highlights of the afternoon sessions was building on my understanding of spatial analysis and going deeper into exploring regression analysis via Lauren Bennett. She set the stage explaining what regression analysis is, it's approach and key characteristics:

  • It's a method and model to help us examine and explore spatial relationships
  • It helps us better understand factors behind observed spatial patterns
  • It helps us predict outcomes based on understanding


She further explained that, "You should use regression analysis in your work because you can explore correlations, predict unknown values and understand key factors to the data you're collecting and mapping."


To make the point of truly understanding your data and making sure that your data is meaningful, useful, accurate and actionable, Bennet used humor to prove her point and shared a couple entertaining slides highlighting data about the misdirected correlation between "Number of people who drowned by Falling into a Swimming Pool vs Number of Nicholas Cage films."




Bennet walked us through the equation and variables that support regression analysis. Deep stuff, for sure. And I didn't "get" all of it completely. But I did walk away with a deeper appreciation for the complexity that goes into creating a map that will not only lay out data but will help a customer, audience or organization make a critical decision.




Here are my big takeaways:

  • Before you sit down to gather and then map your data you should make sure to ask the right questions and have a good understanding of context.
  • Be open to exploration. What you think you are going to find out and what you discover along the way might be very different. So use analysis to check in and see if you're on track.
  • Have a solid framework or idea of the story you want to tell before you tell it.
  • Always be thinking about the context of your data and what it means in the broader story you're aiming to tell.
  • Big decisions require big thought. Critical decisions require critical thought.


Esri UC Party Time

After a busy day of drinking from the glorious and beautiful firehose of GIS and doing lots of big thinking, a big celebration sounded like a perfect end to the day.  I jumped on the bus and headed to Balboa park and embarked on my first UC Party.  It was a remarkable experience, to say the least, so I grabbed a few pics as the festivities unfolded around me. I cruised the park and museum grounds munching on tasty treats and taking in live music, opera singers, dazzling aerialists, life-sized Jenga games, art galleries, illuminate foosball matches, and munching on tasty treats.


How was your UC Party? Share your experience in the comments below.







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