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 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 member Kevin . 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.
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:
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 users and student assistants about joining the online community and shared how can be a resource for career development.
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 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 team. Michelle is looking forward to being an active 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 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.
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 for guidance. You might be familiar with names like Robert Scheitlin, GISP, Dan Patterson and Joshua Bixby. They have won the Contest multiple years and their engagement in the community represents a core value of what 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 staff Amy Niessen, Kirsten Pinkston and John Foster attended our invitation-only MVP Meet-Up on Wednesday. After hearing from the team and our plans for the future of , we talked with the MVPs and asked them to tell us about their most memorable moment in the 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.
memorable moment was being asked to do early testing for the user experience on 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.
memorable moments in 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 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 ? How have the MVPs helped you? Share it with us in the comments below.
Our last meet-up at the UC was open to all Community members. Users met each other and shared more stories about their experiences on . A memorable moment for the 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.
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 staff and users in the 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 staff comment a lot and chime in about functionalities they're considering," said Rozek.
See our ArcGIS Ideas page to see ideas that 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!