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Attendees at Balboa Park

A week of geospatial inspiration and networking with a global community had to be celebrated and the Thursday Night Party in Balboa Park was just the place to do it. The UC 2019 Thursday Night Party had an added celebratory factor of recognizing Esri’s 50th Anniversary with special swag while attendees danced, dined, and discovered Balboa Park’s many attractions including natural history and art museums. 







Special Anniversary Swag

I beelined through the crowd for the back of Balboa Park to find the pop-up Esri store before it was too late to get some special swag for the anniversary. The pop-up store had anniversary t-shirts, hats, flashlights, and coasters for sale.


And of course, there were free buttons. 


T-Shirts at the Esri Pop-Up StoreAttendee reaches for an anniversary button

Not only were buttons part of the free swag, attendees received blue bandanas with a “Celebrate Esri’s 50th Anniversary” message on them. 


Stack of Anniversary BandanasBandana Close Up

Best fashion use of the bandana goes to this fellow from Texas:


Man Wearing Anniversary Bandana



Sights & Entertainment

For the most part, dinosaurs, sharks, and people like Rosie the Riveter were just hanging out…


Natural History Museum DinosaurNatural History Museum SharkRosie The Riveter Hanging from Anchor



Some people danced.


Sailor and Woman Dancing


This attendee was inspired to draw.


User Inspired to Draw at Thursday Night Party


Some people played drums.


Woman drums with Thursday Night Party performers.


Others played games...


Group Plays on Foosball Game Table


Lots of games.


Young children playing Jenga

Man and Woman Play Up 4 It Game

There was plenty of entertainment. At any corner of the park, you could find your rhythm.


Mariachi Band Performing

Mexican Folk Dancers


Mexican Folk Dancers Performing


Mariachi bands and Mexican folk dance performances were at one end of the park...


Band Performing on Stage

Women Singing in Military Costume

...with bands of various music styles on stages in other areas of the park.


Men Walking through PartyMan Gives Woman High Five While Riding A Bike

Performers paraded through the crowd and DJs kept the energy alive. 


Drummer Smiling in Camera

DJs at Thursday Night Party



Good times were had by all, including GeoNet MVP Andres Castillo and family!


Family enjoying Thursday Night PartyFamily enjoying Thursday Night Party


Moments & Milestones Timeline


Back at the San Diego Convention Center, Esri installed a timeline wall and asked attendees to share their moments along with Esri's key moments over the past 50 years.


Timeline Panel at Esri UCTimeline Panel at Esri UC


If you were there, did you spot which year GeoNet formed?



Some memories on the wall from the past five years….


“Philly Women in GIS Branch Started!” -Anonymous

“Started as GIS intern at Environmental Field Services” – Tatiana H.



 “First Time I tried to use a geoinquiry lesson in my middle school (LAUSD) classroom. I wish I had done maps more over the last 10 years but I lacked ability. My students displayed maps at L.A. GIS Day 2017” -Anonymous

“Livingston County, Michigan – First Public Parcel Viewer. Folks Love It!” - Anonymous



“I was introduced to GIS and my life changed forever!” – Sarah Grimsley



“Saw Dawn Wright at CVCSB and declared a geography major after“ - Anonymous



“Federally recognized native entities of Alaska most conclusive map released” - Anonymous

“First conference attended in 2015 – came back every year since…” - Anonymous



“First map-a-thon at The George Washington University” - Anonymous

 “Thanya takes Do Kim’s infamous Advanced GIS Studio and passes with an A! Love of GIS is born.” -Anonymous


Here's a personal favorite moment from the wall in 2014:


“GeoNet community forms.” – Esri

 2014 GeoNet Community Forms on the Timeline


Do you have any fond GIS moments from the past? Share yours in the comments. Check out GeoNet member Adrian Welsh's blog on the UC experience and see more highlights in the User Conference Space.

Unfortunately, UC 2019 had to come to an end. Good thing we have next year’s dates already set for July 13-17, 2020. Let the countdown begin!  


New and returning UC attendees certainly made their mark this year in San Diego. Here are a few UC 2019 stats from the Closing Session: 



If you watched the Plenary Livestream, you were one of 26,652 total unique viewers who joined us around the world to watch 43 speakers inspire us with how they are applying The Science of Where.  


Jack highlighted a tweet from a dedicated livestream watcher: “What happens when you can’t make the #EsriUC because you just had a baby? You stream the plenary session from the hospital room!”   


Check out our review of the Plenary with links to the YouTube playlist.  



  • 17,086 Attendees
  • 133 Countries Represented
  • 115 Interest Groups
  • 2,300+ Esri Staff
  • 59 Student Assistants


Learning & Resources 

  • 220 Paper Sessions
  • 342 Technical Workshops
  • 223 Demo Theaters
  • 137 EXPO Spotlight Talks
  • 226 Exhibitors


Logistics & Fun Stuff

  • 3,367 Airport Check-ins
  • 2,500 Gallons of Coffee
  • 44,000+ Plastic Bottles Saved
  • 1,180 Maps
  • 498 Runners in the 5K Fun Run/Walk
  • 109,500 Buttons


Dave displays his bundles of buttons and badges.





Speaking of buttons, GeoNet Member Dave Watson had attendees in awe of his collection of buttons and badges.  











GeoNet button



How many of you were lucky enough to get your hands on a GeoNet button? We’ve given away about 500 of these at Esri events this year.  Be sure to look out for our button at the next event!  






Map Gallery Awards  


Out of the 1,180 maps submitted to the Map Gallery, award winners were announced during the Closing Session for the following 16 categories: 


  • ArcGIS Analytics and Results 
  • Reference Maps 
  • Thematic Maps 
  • Map Series or Atlas 
  • Educational Map 
  • Student Map up to age 12 
  • Student Map Ages 13-18 
  • Student Map - Post Secondary 
  • Communicating Science Spatially 
  • Spatial Analysis Story Map 
  • 3D Map 
  • Most Innovative 
  • People’s Choice 
  • Best Cartography  
  • ICA and IMIA Recognition of Excellence in Cartography 
  • Cartography Special Interest Group Excellence 

See the 2019 Map Gallery Award winners. Congratulations to the winners!   

GeoNet 2019 Contest Winners 



GeoNet members Robert Scheitlin, GISP (1st Place), Dan Patterson (2nd Place), and Joshua Bixby (3rd Place) were recognized for their outstanding participation and winning the GeoNet Contest as part of Esri’s Award announcements.


Congratulations and thank you for your incredible contributions!  


Start your journey to becoming a most valuable participant in GeoNet:  Help out a fellow Esri user and learn how to find and reply to unanswered questions or share your Esri platform knowledge and experience.   


For more tips on how to get started, visit the GeoNet Resource Hub.   


See our other UC 2019 highlights: 

Highlight #1: The Expo Experience at Esri UC 2019 

Highlight #2: Maps and Their Makers at UC 2019 

Highlight #3: Plenary Focuses on Our Community, Our World 

Highlight #4: GeoNet Community Unites, Shares Stories 

Highlight #5: Stats from UC 2019, Map Gallery and GeoNet Award Winners

Being a part of an online community allows you to reach out to people when you need them the most.  When you run into a problem right in the middle of a project, someone in the community knows how to help.  If you need to think out loud and share your thoughts for feedback, someone in the community responds and creates an enriching conversation. People share ideas. People share solutions. People in the GeoNet Community make connections. 


We had the pleasure of meeting GeoNet members in person at UC 2019 and hearing some of the great stories and experiences they've had in the community. One of these stories, I featured in an earlier UC 2019 Highlight with GeoNet member Kevin Chrichlow. Chrichlow started using GeoNet as a college student while working with ArcGIS extensions. Now, as a college professor, he's looking to encourage his students to use GeoNet for proactive problem-solving and skill development. See his story in Highlight #1: The Expo Experience of Esri UC 2019 


Also, check out additional Highlights from UC 2019: Maps and Their Makers and Plenary Focuses on Our Community, Our World 


The GeoNet team hosted a few sessions for current and new community members at UC 2019 and talked with attendees to introduce them to GeoNet. Here's where we went, who we met, and the stories we heard: 


Building Community GeoNet banner at YPN Fireside ChatGeoNet team talks with YPN Social attendees


GeoNet at YPN Fireside Chat 


Our UC week started at the Esri Young Professionals Network Welcome Social and Fireside Chat on Sunday, July 10th.  YPN's Fireside Chat places hosts with expertise in an array of GIS intersections at different roundtables to have a conversation about their featured topic. GeoNet hosted a table along with Education, Esri Startup Program, Sustainable Development Goals, Equity & Social Justice, Women in GIS, Women in Tech, and a featured speaker for a discussion on Instagram. We met with Esri users and student assistants about joining the online community and shared how GeoNet can be a resource for career development.  


Chris Catania shares a member story at a GeoNet 101 Session


Welcoming New Members


Users at the conference came to GeoNet 101 sessions to learn more about the Esri Community and to get started with creating their profile.  It was exciting to connect with new GeoNet members and help them navigate through the platform by way of the GeoNet New Member Scavenger Hunt.   


New member Michelle Derry successfully logged in and celebrated by sharing joyful high-fives with the GeoNet team. Michelle is looking forward to being an active GeoNet member to connect and learn from other users who are transitioning from ArcMap to ArcGIS Pro. If you're looking for the same place, see Implementing ArcGIS. 


Michael Thibodaux was urged to attend the session from a colleague at his company. He saw GeoNet come up several times while seeking answers to questions but never elected to join the community. After learning more about the GeoNet’s capabilities and broad range content, he left with pride and satisfaction that he became a member of a thriving community of more than 15,000 monthly active users. 


A popular topic we discussed with users centered on creating spaces and groups in the community. If you're interested as well, visit New Place Request Hub to learn how to place your request.  


GeoNet MVPs, GeoNet Team, and Esri Staff at the MVP Community Meet-Up


MVPs Share Memorable Moments 


This community has a long history of being a resource for developers and users of all types. Our Most Valuable Participants (MVPs) have been a significant reason why most members turn to GeoNet for guidance.  You might be familiar with names like Robert Scheitlin, GISP, Dan Patterson and Joshua Bixby. They have won the GeoNet Contest multiple years and their engagement in the community represents a core value of what GeoNet is all about: Being Helpful, Being Human and Being Smart.”  


Ken Buja, Andres Castillo, William Craft, Adrian Welsh, Chelsea Rozek, Ted Cronin, and Curtis Price along with Esri staff Amy Niessen, Kirsten Pinkston and John Foster attended our invitation-only GeoNet MVP Meet-Up on Wednesday. After hearing from the GeoNet team and our plans for the future of GeoNet, we talked with the MVPs and asked them to tell us about their most memorable moment in the GeoNet Community. 


"When the e-mail invitation to become an MVP arrived, I realized I had bragging rights," said Andres Castillo. A close runner-up to the most memorable moment for Castillo was getting @ mentioned from a member, affirming him as a knowledgeable and trusted resource in the community. 


Ted Cronin's memorable moment was being asked to do early testing for the user experience on GeoNet back in 2014. He appreciated the special invitation and interest in his feedback to improve how users connect, communicate, and find the information they need. 


Ken Buja's memorable moments in GeoNet is reading anything from fellow MVP contributor Robert Scheitlin, GISP. As a result of how generous and knowledgeable he is, Robert’s name comes up a lot in GeoNet success stories. And it was surprising that it took more than 25 minutes into the meeting before his name was mentioned.  

What's your memorable moment on GeoNet? How have the GeoNet MVPs helped you? Share it with us in the comments below.  


GeoNet Community Meet-Up at UC 2019


GeoNet Community Meet-up 


Our last meet-up at the UC was open to all GeoNet Community members. Users met each other and shared more stories about their experiences on GeoNet. A memorable moment for the GeoNet team was hearing about how the community has supported members through critical challenges at work. It truly captured the impact of a user community with a wide range of accessible knowledge and helpful active members. It also reinforced the fact that GeoNet is a safe and trusted place, and a valuable tool to advance and navigate your career as a GIS and geospatial professional. 


Chelsea Rozek and Andres Castillo talk to GeoNet Community members. 
Above: MVPs Chelsea Rozek and Andres Castillo introduced themselves and told their stories about using GeoNet. 


Peggy Deaton of Bureau of Land Management shared how having a private group on the GeoNet platform helps her large organization communicate with employees around the country. Having ArcGIS Enterprise and GeoNet connected simplified adoption of the platform as a solution for their employees to post questions and receive announcements.  


Jeff Davis uses GeoNet frequently and has relied on contributions to help him get through problems. As the only GIS professional in his organization, GeoNet is the authoritative place he trusts for problem-solving with fellow ArcGIS users. "I don't know how many times it has saved me from problems down the road and problems that I'm going through. It has been awesome. It really has," said Davis.  


MVPs Chelsea Rozek and Andres Castillo added that the exchange between Esri staff and users in the GeoNet platform helps members communicate with their broader organization and clients about current limitations in the products and future updates in the software. "It's nice that Esri staff comment a lot and chime in about functionalities they're considering," said Rozek 


See our ArcGIS Ideas page to see ideas that GeoNet members are submitting for future product development.  


GeoNet will continue to host in-person opportunities at Esri events for members to meet each other in person and to meet the GeoNet team. Be sure to add it to your plans if you're attending an event in the future! We're always happy to hear about your stories and experiences in the community. Thank you to all the GeoNet members that spent some time with us at UC 2019!


More highlights:

Highlight #1: The Expo Experience at Esri UC 2019 

Highlight #2: Maps and Their Makers at UC 2019 

Highlight #3: Plenary Focuses on Our Community, Our World 

Highlight #4: GeoNet Community Unites, Shares Stories 

Highlight #5: Stats from UC 2019, Map Gallery and GeoNet Award Winners

The Plenary opened with a moving collection of storytelling about the important work Esri users are doing and concluded with Jack Dangermond, Jane Goodall, and E.O. Wilson dialoguing about the future of our world. If you missed the livestream with more than 20,000 viewers worldwide (wow!), you’re in luck: Videos from the plenary are now available on Esri’s YouTube channel. 


In this post, we’ll describe the in-person experience and link to the videos so you can see all of the action for yourself. 


The opening video makes a compelling statement about how attendees are making a difference using GIS to See What Others Can’t. On Twitter, we shared a video of Jack talking about his “aha” moment with GIS while working as a landscape architect in Boston. We encourage you to watch the video and document your own “aha!”  moment with us here in GeoNet. Join the discussion.


Also: Hear from Esri staff and users from the conference about their moments on Twitter.  


The Plenary Meet and Greet 


Before diving into the world of GIS, Jack pauses to encourage everyone to turn and meet someone new.  


Thousands of Plenary attendees from all over the world introduce themselves to each other.

Thousands of plenary attendees from all over the world introduce themselves to each other.


Your Work 


Jack moves on to highlight a few maps from users all over the worldHe shows a map from the Bay Area of California that demonstrates how engineering and public works staff are using artificial intelligence to predict water main breaks and highlights how public safety professionals in Sri Lanka use spatiotemporal maps to visualize and analyze crime data. 


The domestic, international, and Young Scholar Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) awardees were displayed on the screen, followed by Jack presenting the Enterprise GIS Award to the District of Columbia (DC GIS) and his President’s Award to The City of San Diego. The City of San Diego is celebrating their 250th anniversary this year. 


Curious about how it feels to be an Esri Award winner? I talked to two winners from the SAG awards in this post.


GIS: The Intelligent Nervous System 


Jack shares his vision of GIS: The Intelligent Nervous System


This year's theme, GIS: The Intelligent Nervous System, is a way of understanding how all of our separate efforts to capture, visualize, and analyze data are creating a global nervous system. As users, we form an intelligent network that’s addressing worldwide challenges. GIS helps us see the complexity, relationship, and patterns of those challenges.  


How do we continue to build this global nervous system with GIS? Jack shares his vision: 

 How your work as a GIS professional is essential


Your Work Is Essential


It Will Take Leadership: 

  • Envisioning What’s Possible 
  • Learning, Sharing & Collaborating 
  • Strategic Thinking 
  • Engaging Communities 
  • A Passion to Create Understanding and a Better World 
  • Leveraging The Science of Where to See What Others Can’t 


ArcGIS: Creating a Common Language 


The Esri geospatial cloud is one of the ways that our global nervous system communicates. Jack reviewed updates to ArcGIS products and solutions, including ArcGIS Notebook Server and introduced Mission, a product planned to release this winter, that supports real-time peer-to-peer communication and situational awareness in the fieldTake a look at this clip and see the product roadmap for ArcGIS.  


Here are a few notes that stood out about some of the products: 


Following the ArcGIS product review, Jack explained why serving our users is so important and how we’re focused on advancing The Science of Where. 


Featured Stories & Guests 


Jennifer Bell demonstrated the new experience of ArcGIS StoryMaps using the expedition story of Alex Tait, a digital explorer from National Geographic Society. Tait went to Mount Everest to take high-resolution photogrammetry of the Khumbu glacier and documented his story with a series of images and maps. StoryMaps is available in 37 languages and is also mobile-friendly. See Alex Tait's StoryMap to experience the new modern, professional, and streamlined way to tell your story 


NatureServe took the stage to share how they used biodiversity data and ArcGIS Pro to map the location of 2,000 endangered species in the United States. Their map is accessible to engineers and planners so that they can be mindful of endangered species in their plans for construction, development, and land management 


In the second session, City of Pasadena firefighter Oscar A. Sepulveda III introduces himself to an audience of GIS professionals by saying, “I’m a firefighter. I’m not a GIS analyst. I can’t write code.” He jokingly underscores his non-technical service to the public by saying, “I put the wet stuff on the red stuff.” Sepulveda demonstrated how the City of Pasadena uses ArcGIS to monitor response locations and times as well as see a history of incident reports as a part of being an intelligent city. 


More amazing stories and product demonstrations from United Services Automobile Association (USAA), New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (NY MTA), ExxonMobil, U.S. Census Bureau, Ambassador Stefano Toscano of Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), students from Lurgan Schools in Northern Ireland, African Parks, and National Geographic concluded Act II of the Plenary. View now on Esri's YouTube channel.


2019 Esri UC’s Big Ideas 


Get a visual recap of the Plenary’s big ideas, Jack's vision for the GIS community, and all of the incredible presentations that inspired hope and collaboration. Download the poster. 


Related from Esri Blog: See How Maps Help the Media See What Others Can’t  


If you’re curious, this is what it looks like when UC attendees take on Downtown San Diego for lunch: 


UC attendees take a lunch break in Downtown San Diego


Kevin Eubanks Shares “The Gift” 


Kevin Eubanks talks with Jack Dangermond on the Plenary stage


We had a special guest at the Plenary. Kevin Eubanks, musician and former bandleader for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, performed an inspired song for attendees. Eubanks is a seasoned UC attendee who finds himself inspired by the work of GIS professionals and the natural geography of our world. See the performance. 


Eubanks’s performance was a touching reminder of our natural world's beauty. It created a mindset for the conversation and call to action that came from Jane Goodall and E.O. Wilson, two impactful leaders in conservation and environmental advocacy. Goodall and Wilson received what sounded like a waterfall of applause in the convention center when they came to the stage.  


Jack Dangermond, Jane Goodall, and E.O. Wilson have a conversation on the Plenary stage


The Future of Our World 


E.O. Wilson stated there are three crises we are currently charged to manage: climate change, shortage of freshwater, and a collapse of our ecosystems with a particular concern for species. In response to Jack’s question about the roadmap to address these issues, Wilson responded that more research is needed to understand biodiversity. It’s estimated that 10 million species exist in the world, and we only have identities and characteristics of 20% of those species. Wilson encourages young professionals to close the gap by choosing careers to increase knowledge in biodiversity. 


Jane Goodall echoes the call for youth to take action and encourages us to face up to the challenges of our planet. She frames an approach for creating global change by saying the phrase think globally, act locally” is the worded in the wrong order. By making thoughtful decisions about our actions locally first, we will collectively make an impact on the world every day. As the 39th Plenary came to a close, she led the audience in a chant recited by the youth at the end of their Roots & Toot's meetings in Tanzania: “Together we can! Together we will!”  Watch the full conversation.


More highlights:

Highlight #1: The Expo Experience at Esri UC 2019 

Highlight #2: Maps and Their Makers at UC 2019 

Highlight #3: Plenary Focuses on Our Community, Our World 

Highlight #4: GeoNet Community Unites, Shares Stories 

Highlight #5: Stats from UC 2019, Map Gallery and GeoNet Award Winners

Before you start here, check out our first highlight from the UC 2019 Expo


The UC is known for gathering thousands of geographers, cartographers, students, IT professionals, and other non-technical professionals together for inspiration and innovation. What do these professionals all have in common, especially during this conference?


The love of maps.


Maps are at the center of all the action at the UC. In the Reception Gallery on Monday, mapmakers and map-admirers made their way under the greenhouse-styled area of the San Diego Convention Center.


A view of the Map Gallery Reception at UC 2019.


The opening reception hosted special guests that signed books and posters and took photos with attendees:


Tracy R. Wolstencraft of the National Geographic Society was at the National Geographic booth signing posters. By the way, have you used their latest basemap in your in any of your projects?


Tracy R. Wolstencraft of the National Geographic Society was at the National Geographic booth signing posters.


Jack Dangermond stopped and took selfies with UC attendees.

Jack Dangermond takes selfie


A few of the featured storytellers of the Women In GIS book were signing copies and meeting readers. 



A Few Maps from the Gallery


Among the maps that uncover some of the world's hidden challenges in print, 3D, and digital interactive media, there were a few maps that I thought were interesting:


Europa Tech encouraged overwhelmed UC attendees to take a mindful minute and color their stress away on this Ordnance Survey MasterMap Topography Layer of central London, UK.


A UC attendee takes on the mindful mapping challenge.

Learn more about this map.


Houseal Lavigne Associates brought their collection of game maps to the gallery. This submission is based on The Settlers of Catan, a German board game that originally came out in 1995. They used hexagonal tiles to reimagine the gameboard with the United States as the playing field.


The Settlers of Catan board game re-imagined for the United States.

Learn more about this map.


This map brings historic transportation data from Japan to life with modern technology. Tokyo Metropolitan University used ArcGIS Desktop 10.5.1 to create this spatial-temporal map of daily streetcar passengers in the 1930s that were counted by observation.


Tokyo Metropolitan University's Streetcar Map with data from the 1930s.


Learn more about this map.


Walk through the gallery like a UC attendee by visiting the online map gallery.


Recognition for A Map Well Done


One thing I always wondered about going to the UC is: How does it feel to attend the conference as a nominee and leave as an Esri award winner?  I asked some winners from the Special Achievement in GIS Award ceremony on Wednesday about their experience and their work. Here's what they shared:


I talked with David Sutton, Director of GIS for Savills in New York. Savills won an award for the Knowledge Cubed platform, that hosts one single point of entry to interactive maps and data sources for real estate. He describes one of the feature maps in the platform is a 3D interactive map that allows you to set your search criteria to reveal only a selection of a 3D environment based on your inquiry. From there, you can explore the real estate's analytics that incorporates Esri's Business Analyst data and collection of other sources created with the Viewshed feature in ArcGIS Pro.


You can learn how to Perform Viewshed Analysis in ArcGIS Pro in this Esri Academy Web Course.


The industry of real estate is a competitive market, and Sutton was proud to be recognized and "crush the competition" when it comes to creating dynamic experiences for their clients that can stand out from the rest.


"It feels good to get recognition. We worked hard on something and people noticed," said Sutton.


A similar concept of an immersive 3D experience got Young Scholar winners Daniel Laumer and Hasret Gümgümcü of ETH Zurich, Switzerland recognized for their project Urban X. Urban X used Esri's City Engine to create an urban planning app for Microsoft HoloLens, a mixed reality headset that displays interactive virtual holograms. With their application, you can interact with 3D rendered real estate to get data on the buildings and color code units based on their attributes.

Daniel Laumer and Hasret Gümgümcü pose with their Young Scholar Award

Esri's Research & Development worked with ETH Zurich's lab to provide the opportunity for Daniel and Hasret to push the boundaries of augmented reality.


I asked Daniel about what they learned so far at the UC. Daniel said, "We learned a lot more about ArcGIS Pro, and we thought we knew a lot about ESRI, but there's so much more than we already knew." He describes being there for the first time has been an amazing experience.


When I asked about how it feels to be a winner, all while taking in his first time at the UC, Hasret said with a smile, "It feels pretty nice."


Daniel describes his interest in GIS started with the love of maps. "I've always loved maps, which is what got me interested in the field, but I'm also interested in technology and coding. GIS is the perfect combination." Hasret feels the same. He always loved maps as a child and combining the ability of software engineering with something he already has an interest in makes GIS such an inspiring industry with great opportunity for innovation.


If you would like to know who else went home feeling like a winner, see the Special Achievement in GIS Award webpage.


Being recognized for hard work and dedication doing something you love is always a great feeling. The walls of the User Conference capture this inner passion and drive the best. I bet they've all felt this at some point…


I'd rather be mapping


More highlights:

Highlight #1: The Expo Experience at Esri UC 2019 
Highlight #2: Maps and Their Makers at UC 2019

Highlight #3: Plenary Focuses on Our Community, Our World 

Highlight #4: GeoNet Community Unites, Shares Stories 

Highlight #5: Stats from UC 2019, Map Gallery and GeoNet Award Winners

Happy UC 2019 GeoNet!

Before I hop into our highlights of the Esri UC, I’d like to introduce myself to you:

I’m Leslie Fountain, a new member of Esri's GeoNet team. I’ll be serving as the Community Content Manager for GeoNet, capturing and sharing the stories and information that this community is generating every day.  Nice to e-meet you! (Or should I say Geo-meet you?)

If you’re at the UC come by our booth in the Lifelong Learning Expo or at our Community Meet-up. I’d love to say hello in person.

Now that we’ve got introductions out of the way, let’s get to the good stuff:

2019 Esri UC's Big Ideas 

The User Conference Plenary on Day 1 was full of moving stories and big ideas. Take a glance at what was captured from the plenary in the 2019 Esri UC's Big Ideas Infographic. Esri captured the topics and products used in the featured stories from the plenary presentations. Nothing like having digital swag for our digital audience! Download the poster.

See What Others Can't

You can join the conversation going on at the UC by sharing your "aha!" moment with GIS. Post your moment when you realized you could #SeeWhatOthersCant in our GeoNet discussion


Clips from the plenary are now available on Esri's YouTube channel. We'll have an overview of the experience as a part of our highlights posted soon. 


UC 2019 Expo


The GeoNet team was present in the Expo answering questions and meeting users from all over the world in the Lifelong Learning area. 


At the booth, we walked a few new and current users through some ways to use GeoNet and listened to feedback about their experience in the community.


We walked GeoNet Member "Skip" through finding the GeoNet Place for ArcGIS API for JavaScript.

 Skip talks with the GeoNet team about finding places of interest in the community.


Around the expo, we caught a few cool experiences and attractions:


Have you ever had a dream you were flying? If you want to relive your dreams, check out this booth from PLW Modelworks that’s using an immersive VR experience. Brave VR fans can simulate flying over the New York City skyline and are encouraged to crash into a few buildings for surprise virtual worlds.


A UC attendee immerses himself in a VR experience above New York City's skyline.


If you’re not willing to fly, you can head over to the sustainable world area to check out Home After War, an award-winning virtual reality experience where you can see the perspective of an Iraqi father returning to Fallujah, Iraq to his home that’s facing the imminent threat of war.


UC Attendee experiences a virtual reality story of a father in Fallujah, Iraq


Port of Rotterdam brought a 42' shipping container to the Expo floor. This smart shipping container has been traveling the world, equipped with sensors that monitor temperature and other metrics of its environment as it moves from location to location. 



Port of Rotterdam showcases a smart shipping container, equipped with solar panels, sensors, and more.UC attendees meet and walk through the shipping container.
Port of Rotterdam showcases a smart shipping container, equipped with solar panels, sensors, and more.UC attendees meet and walk through the shipping container.



GeoNet Member Highlight

Kevin sees the possibilities of the GeoNet platform.


Back at the GeoNet booth, we had the pleasure of meeting long-time GeoNet member Kevin Chrichlow of Algonquin College in Ontario, Canada. He asked some great questions about how to leverage the GeoNet Community with his students, and we asked him a few questions about his experience with GeoNet. Here’s what he shared:


Kevin poses with the GeoNet logo.Early in Kevin's GIS career, he started using GeoNet as a college student seeking answers to questions about ArcGIS extensions.  Once he dove into the community where dialogue and conversations were happening around products and their new releases, he found GeoNet as a valuable resource for getting answers to common questions when using ArcGIS products.  The impression of the community as a key resource for problem-solving stayed with him as he progressed in his career. Now, as a Professor, he's looking for ways to give that same discovery and access to his college students as a part of his educational curriculum.  We shared with him about the capabilities of the GeoNet's groups and places to meet his needs.


As a first time UC attendee, Kevin described his experience at the conference as "mind-blowing." He mentioned this idea about bridging the experience of GeoNet with his students had been on his mind for at least the past two years. The potential for students to use the database of problem-solving built within the community over time not only can increase his students capacity for using the products but can increase their self-sufficiency for independent learning.


Kevin, we appreciate you taking the time to talk with us and sharing your story!


Summits, Sessions, & Symposiums


Mark Davis presents to the GIS Managers Summit at Esri UC 2019

At the GIS Managers Summit, we learned how GeoNet member Tyler Bragg, a GIS team of one in the City of Oak Hill, West Virginia used ArcGIS Pro to propose a new walking trail at Needleseye Park. It's one of the many features coming to the park, that will serve as an attraction for hiking and rock climbing enthusiasts in his region.


  • A 3D Master Plan of the park built with ArcGIS Pro and City Engine can be viewed here.




Kory Kramer, Susan Tran and Jill Scholz guide users through ArcGIS Pro

CX team member Kory Kramer gave us a Pirates of the Caribbean experience in his UC session with Jill Scholz and Susan Tran to show an audience how to use new features in the latest release with a few tips and tricks to get things done effectively and efficiently.


Dawn Wright opens the Science Symposium at Esri UC.NCAR presents their ArcGIS Pro map to the Science Symposium


Dawn Wright opened the Science Symposium to a large group of scientists at the UC. For one of the presentations, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) focused on the prevalence of heatwaves in the United States and its potential impact on vulnerable populations. In ArcGIS Pro, they created a map showing areas with high temperatures that raise concerns for public health.


We wrapped up the evening at the Developer Social, where we chatted with developers of the ArcGIS StoryMaps and caught some special guests walking through the event. GeoNet MVP member Andres Castillo and the GeoNet team got a chance to meet in person for the first time and have a great conversation.

A view of the Developer Social at Esri UC 2019A family of ducks walk through the Developer Social


For Day 3, we're looking forward to hosting our first GeoNet 101 Session at User Conference 2019 to help attendees join the community.  Stay tuned! I'll be back to share more of the 39th Esri User Conference Here's a little something from the walls of the UC to remember...


 Work Hard. Stay Humble. Make Maps!


More highlights:

Highlight #1: The Expo Experience at Esri UC 2019 

Highlight #2: Maps and Their Makers at UC 2019 

Highlight #3: Plenary Focuses on Our Community, Our World 

Highlight #4: GeoNet Community Unites, Shares Stories 

Highlight #5: Stats from UC 2019, Map Gallery and GeoNet Award Winners