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13 Posts authored by: CCatania-esristaff Employee


Welcome to the fifth and final day of UC coverage on Geonet! It's been an amazing week of connecting and collaborating with you all in San Diego and in the community.  The last day wrapped with the closing session featuring the Map and GeoNet awards, Jack's closing remarks and the Open Q&A session.  Here are some of the highlights and links to all the UC GeoNet coverage. Enjoy! 


Note: If you missed any of the GeoNet coverage, check out the list below: 



Closing Session Segments (click to jump to segment)


UC 2017 Map Award Winners




The following is a list of the winners for this year's Map Awards. Congrats to the winners and thanks to all who submitted your work this year! 


  • Best of Show: The Environmental Burden Index: Estimating Environmental Quality by Peer Group
    • Jessica Kolling, Ian Dunn, Brian Lewis; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Most Unique - The Emoji Map of San Diego 
    • Warren Vick; Europa Technologies Ltd.
  • Best Map Series of Atlas - Atlas of Conversation Opportunities in the Amazon Bione Under Climate Change Considerations
    • Johanna Prassmann, Ceasar Suajrez and Maria Elfi Chaves; WWF Colombia
  • Best Use of an API in a Map - FlowsMapper Poster 
    • Prepared by the Geography Division, Population Division, and Social, Economic and Housing Statistics Divison, U.S. Census Bureau
  • Best Story Map: Remember the Alamo in 3D 
    • Michael A. Garza, GISP; Pape-Dawson Engineers
  • Best ArcGIS Pro Map: The Union Canal (Fallkirk to Edinburgh)
    • Doug Cain; City of Fort Collins
  • Best Large Format Printed Map: A Perspective View of Gallatin County, Montana
    • Frank L Dougher; Gallatin County
  • Best Analytic Map: Modeling the Prehistoric Extent of San Francisco Bay and Potential for Cultural Resources
    • Paul Brandy and Shannon DeArmond; Far Western
  • Best Cartography Special Interest Group Map:
    • Santiam Pass Winter Recreation, Willamette and Deschutes National Forest; USDA Forest Service
      • USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region Cartography Unit

    • North American Natural Gas; S&P Global Platts
      • Ginny Mason

    • Alley Pond Park; NYC Parks
      • Ben Perry Blackshear

  • Best Instructional Map: Data Driven Pages to the Rescue
    • Corey Bowens, Michael Campbell, Bob Carberry, Paul Clement; St. Johns County
  • ICA Winners:
    • Geologic Map of Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado
      • Paco VanSistine, Richard Madole, Joseph Romig; U.S. Geological Survey
    • Relationship between geographical names and landforms with names of birds in Japan

      • Masataka Satoh

  • Best of User Apps Fair: Exotic Plant Information Collector (EPIC) 
  • Best Student Map up to age 12: Colored Community Map
    • Tri-County Preschool Class; Pro-West & Associates
  • Best Student Map ages 13-18: Geospatial Analysis of the Distribution of Sea Turtles and Sharks off the Coast of Long Island, New York
    • Sohum Sheth; Stony Brook University
  • Best Student Map - post-secondary, university, and postgrad: Pinpointing Vulnerabilities - Protecting Regions of the Arctic
    • Gabriel Rousseau and Kyle Lempinen; Bureau of Land Management, Oregon State Office


GeoNet Awards: 2016 Top Contributors 

Earlier this year we recognized the top GeoNet contributors Robert Scheitlin, GISP, Dan Patterson and Rebecca Strauch, GISP and it was exciting to give them a well-earned shout out at UC too. 



UC Facts and Stats 


  • 17,980 attendees 
  • 2,000 Esri Staff
  • 136 countries 
  • 326 Exhibitors 
  • 400+ students 
    • A special shout-out to the Student Assistant program. This program plays a crucial role throughout UC and in starting and further GIS careers after the event. You can get involved and learn more about it here
  • 900+ Young Professionals
  • 37 Plenary speakers
  • 314 Technical workshops
  • 133 Special Interest Groups
  • 407 Demo Theaters
  • 290 Paper Sessions
  • 900 Maps (Map Gallery)
  • 703 runners (Esri 5K)
  • 90,950 buttons (Did you get your first-edition UC GeoNet button?)
  • Many Lifelong learners!


The Road Ahead



Jack's UC 2017 farewell, "Thank you and I love you. See you next year! 



Thanks so much for following along! And a big thanks to all the guest contributors (Rachel Weeden, Dawn Wright, Joseph Kerski, Suzanne Boden, Adrian Welsh, Amy Niessen and many others)  who shared their experiences with us throughout the week. It was great to partner with you this year and expand the coverage and perspective of UC 2017.  



We hope you enjoyed UC 2017! We look forward to hearing what you're learned and what your biggest takeaways were from this year's event. Let's continue the conversation in the User Conference group and in the comments below! 

Welcome to Day Four of our UC coverage here on GeoNet!  We hope you're having a great UC and enjoyed following along on the updates. 


Update: Check out each UC 2017 day recap: 


Day Four sections (click to jump to section)


Exploring the Kids Fair: Planting the seeds of GIS



The day started with a trip to check out one of my favorite times at UC: the Kids Fair. After hearing at the plenary how the 4H students have been using ArcGIS Pro, I was even more inspired as I walked around and saw the 6-11 year olds learning about geography from the Esri Training staff and creating maps with their parents. I'm pretty sure the next generation of geogeeks was born at the Kids Fair this week. I just wondered which one of these kids will be speaking at the plenary in 2025. 



GeoNet Meetup: Making the community better and how GIS creates new career paths


Then it was time to host the third and final GeoNet meet-up. Like we did earlier in the week, I shared success stories and updates on the GeoNet roadmap. Then we dove into the Q&A session, which was my favorite part as Daniel Inloes and Carol Kraemer shared several great ideas about how we can improve GeoNet and how to use the community for there organization. Carol asked if she could set up groups just for her team and I told her "Yes, we can!" And I explained how the GeoNet group strategy and setup process works. She also asked where new members can go to find out how to best use GeoNet. And I gladly shared how the GeoNet Resource Hub group is designed just for that!


Daniel then shared a particularly interesting idea which was to create a virtual GIS and ArcGIS dictionary that users can access on GeoNet and use to search on too.  I told him I would take that idea back to our Esri and GeoNet team and see what we could do to make this happen.  


Daniel also shared an inspiring story about how GIS had played an critical role in his life and professional career because when we graduated college in 2008 the recession made it difficult to find work so he turned to GIS which gave him the opportunity to find a job and provide for his family, and that sent him on the path to where his today. 


Catching up with Adrian 

Adrian Welsh continued to shared his adventures, insights and learnings as he made his way through the expo and other tech sessions. 


Dawn and the Day of Science

Yesterday was the world wide Day of Science and Dawn Wright participated and shared her experiences as the DOS was celebrated at UC. Check out more of Dawn's tweets as she continued to take us in and around the science side of UC. 


Geogeeking with Joseph Kerski 



UC isn't UC without spending time with Joseph Kerski.  I had the pleasure of geo-geeking out with Joseph and talking about his highlights so far this year. He was excited about what the 4H kids demonstrated during the plenary, how successful the EdUC conference was and how much progress he has seen in the GIS  education field in just a year. Each year Joseph does a UC "key themes" video wrap up so be sure to check back as we'll share the video when Joseph has it ready. Until then, check out the always helpful and informative previous blog posts from Joseph and the Eduction team. 


Update: Check out Joseph's final thoughts video below! 



Pop-up Chats: Talkin' neurogeography, emotional mapping

One of my favorite parts of UC is having the chance to talk with users about their work, what they think of the UC and what they are thinking about the future of GIS.  One of my favorite pop-up chats was with Russell Mercer. Russell gave a big "thumbs up" to the improved usability of UC mobile app and then we talked about the work he's doing with as the GIS administrator for Imperial Beach Public Works and how he was intrigued by the neurogeography topic explored in the plenary with Dawn Wright. That then lead us into a fantastic conversation about the future power of maps to enable us to map psychological and emotional experiences based on where we are located and how that would be valuable for retailers, mental health, public safety and many other industries. 


What great pop-up chats did you have this week? 


Who is moving to ArcGIS Pro?


Speaking of people, it was great to see GeoNet member contributions highlighted on the "Why people are moving to ArcGIS Pro" signs featured throughout the UC convention center.  I'm honored to say that our GeoNet community and the ArcGIS Pro group have helped answer many questions users have about moving to Pro and you can explore the group find the details mentioned on the sign. Thanks to all the users and staff who have helped out and shared tips and experiences in the group! 


Discovering Helpful Python Tips

Speaking of helpful tips, I loved coming across Marc Mendez's Top Five Python tips and tricks in the #ESRIUC twitter stream too. Great collection! What tips would you add to the list? 



It's Time To Celebrate: UC Party 

After a long and eventful week it was time to head to the Thursday night UC party. Like it always is, the party was a blast as geogeeks and their families and friends took over Balboa park in San Diego to celebrate a week-long adventure of sharing, collaborating and furthering the Science of Where. 


That's it for Day Four! Stay tuned for Day Five as we capture final thoughts and the closing session. 


What were your highlights from Thursday? What did you learn and enjoy the most? 

Welcome to Day Three of our UC coverage here on GeoNet! 


Note: If you missed any of the GeoNet coverage, check out the list below: 



Day Three sections (click to jump to section)


Esri UC 5K 

Who else still has Shakira's "Try Anything" still running through your head? I know I was humming it non-stop for sure.


Speaking of running, Wednesday began with the annual UC 5K race. Hundreds of Geogeeks raced around the marina quickly and swiftly applying the Science of Where with their feet, legs and lungs and about 130 to 165 beats per minute. Congrats to the winners and high-fives to all who ran with us! Check out a nice recap of the 5K from the Esri social media team. 






Now for the roundup of what happened on Tuesday and throughout the rest of the day on Wednesday. 



In the Expo with Esri Services, Hands-On Learning Lab, and Lifelong Learning

by Suzanne Boden from the Esri Training team. 


It seemed like it would be an impossible task to match the energy and excitement of Monday’s all-day Plenary session, but when the Expo doors opened at 9 a.m. sharp Tuesday morning, the same energy and geo-powered enthusiasm were there in abundance. Attendees came in with business on their mind—talking with experts to get questions answered, exploring the latest Esri products and partner solutions, and discovering tips and tricks to streamline their GIS workflows.


Perhaps nowhere was this on more display than at the Esri Services area, where the fairly small demo theater was packed for the first of 16 lightning talks presented throughout the day. The space was entirely full with dozens of people spilling out into the aisles on either side of the theater. The crowd grew even bigger when Esri instructor Nick Giner took the microphone at 10 a.m. for ArcGIS Pro – Top 5 Tips and Tricks. If the lightning talk crowd is a measuring stick, ArcGIS Pro is definitely one of the hottest topics at this year’s UC.



Wednesday brings 16 more lightning talks at the Esri Services area—a new one starts every half-hour. On Thursday, the Expo closes at 1:30 p.m., so there will be only seven lightning talks. See the list below—you’ll probably find at least one topic of interest.


Tip: Get to the theater early if you want a seat.



Hands-On Learning Lab

The Hands-On Learning Lab is also filling seats. It’s a popular place to sit down and focus on learning something new. With two dozen ArcGIS lessons, the Lab is a great space to build software skills while you’re at the conference. Located at the back of the Expo, just to the right of the Technical Support area, the Lab stations are consistently full.


Tip: To get a spot without waiting, the best time to visit is first thing in the morning or late afternoon.



Lifelong Learning Area

Late Tuesday morning at Lifelong Learning, we were excited to see a group of special visitors: the three 4H teenagers who impressed everybody at the afternoon Plenary session, along with their program leaders and fellow 4H members. In the photo below, that’s Austin from Tennessee on the left. He presented his GIS project on stage like a pro Monday, inspiring all the adults with his poise and excellent grasp of spatial analysis (not to mention his expert use of ArcGIS Pro). He’s holding a sign with Fran, a 4H program leader from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.





Seeing the cluster of blue 4H shirts buzzing around the Expo is one of the more fun people-watching activities for those of us working at the Expo. After the blue shirts moved on from Lifelong Learning, we enjoyed meeting with lots of other UC attendees. Questions about workforce development plans, e-Learning, ArcGIS Pro classes, and resources to prepare for an Esri technical certification exam were just some of the topics being discussed.


Tip: If you’re interested in certification, enter the July Giveaway for a chance to win a free exam voucher.


It’s hard to believe day 2 of the conference is already over. If you’re in the Expo Wednesday or Thursday, stop by the Esri Services area, Hands-On Learning Lab, or Lifelong Learning areas—we’d love to chat and answer your questions.


Hot on Developer Demos 

By Amy Niessen

If you haven't stopped by Demo Theatre 11, you may have missed out on some of the latest features in our SDKs and APIs! We have a number of demo presentations that will get you up-to-speed and in-the-know on different techniques and enhancements to guide your projects in the right direction. Read more about Hot on Developer Demos


Diving Deeper into the UC and EdUC with Dawn

Follow along with tweets and photos from Dawn Wright's experiences in the Map Gallery and at this past weekend's EdUC conference in this Storify collection: Esri UC, EdUC 2017 - Day 1 (Backstage) + Day 2 


GeoNet Meet-up (Video): The GeoNet Influence on ArcGIS Online


Want to know how the ArcGIS Online  team finds value in user feedback on GeoNet? Check out the video as Kelly Gerrow explains during the GeoNet Meet-up. 




Video: Creating broader community development

ByRachel Weeden and Keith Cooke

Today at the Local Government/Community Development area, one of the hot topics was Economic Development. In this video, Keith Cooke summarizes a common conversation, describing how communities are moving beyond site selection solutions to support broader community development activities like destination branding. To give economic developers a competitive edge, they are not just providing information about available sites, but also the context as to the characteristics of the site and what might make a community unique. Keith shares a quick overview of Esri solutions that support destination branding, including the Live, Work, Locate app and Story Maps








YPN Party and GeoDev Meetup 



Wednesday came to a close as Geogeeks gathered at the GeoDev meet-up and partied poolside at the YPN social event. Good times were had by all. 


What were your highlights on Wednesday? What are you learning this week at UC? 

Welcome to Day Two of our UC coverage here on GeoNet! Here's a roundup of what happened on Monday after the plenary and on Tuesday. It's been nothing short of amazing to see all the action unfolding this year and I've been inspired hearing all the stories of how you're all applying The Science of Where. 


This is a collection of what I experienced as well as a range of experiences, reflections and insights from our guest contributors from their posts on GeoNet and across social media. We hope you enjoy the coverage and we invite you to share your thoughts and questions in the comments below. 


Update: Check out each UC 2017 day recap: 


Day Two Sections (click to jump to section)



The Inspiring Wall of Map Dreams and Big Projects

By Christopher Catania

Every time I walked by the "What do you love to Map?" What is your next project?" Wall on Monday and throughout Tuesday it became more and more covered with beautiful collage of creative expressions of big GIS projects and heartfelt hopes of how users want, or are currently, applying the Science of Where in their daily work and personal lives. I was pointing at building the GeoNet community (of course). I highly encourage you to stop by the Wall and look closely at all the contributions and make your contribution. It'll bring a big satisfying smile to your face. I know it did for me. 


Making Our Mark on the Emoji Map

On Monday in the Map Gallery I took my initial stroll through the wonderful display of user maps and I spent time contributing to the Emoji map, by Warren Vick from Europa Technologies (Map Gallery, panel F-15-01), which was an interactive map where you could place a sticker on the world map that had a special meaning for you. I placed three stickers on the map. I placed a plane emoji in Catania, Sicily, my family's hometown where I hope to travel some day; one heart emoji in Chicago where I grew up and recently moved from when I joined Esri last year; and one Mountain emoji in Southern California where I spend time running trails in the San Gorgonio mountains.


I really enjoyed the crowdsourced emotional experience of this map. It made me reflect of the ways we could continue to use maps to share and map our emotions in relation to meaningful locations, and by doing so, we can discover how our emotional experiences are connected geographically.


Then there was a very, very detailed map made up of a mosiac of emoji (wide and close up pics below). I love the detail of the mosiac map and how it was designed to make you think of the big picture and small micro emotions of a cityscape. At least that's what it made me think about. 


Both of these maps were some of my favorite because I felt like they encouraged me to think about three important elements: 1) my emotions, 2) where and why I felt those emotions and 3) how the location and feeling of my emotions is related to the same location and experiences as other people across the world. Ah, the combined power of maps and the Science of Where! Great stuff! 


Warren was also a winner of the Map Awards on Friday. Congrats, Warren! 


Did you stop by the Map Gallery? What emoji stickers did you stick on the map and why? What were some of your favorite maps in the gallery? 








 GeoNet Member citing in the Map Gallery!

I had another fantastic GeoNet Community Member citing in the Map Gallery as Alexander Nohe stopped by to say hello and introduce me to Dave Watson who has a very impressive collection of UC button and lanyard tags. I had the chance to have great chat with Dave about the GIS work he does for the Boulder County Transportation. I also found out that Dave hadn't joined GeoNet yet, so we invite him in and to the Tuesday Meet-up and our community grew by one more on Monday! Welcome Dave!  



GeoDev Lightning Strikes!

By Amy Niessen from the Geo Developers team

At UC last night we hosted the Lightning Talks, and it was even better than ever! Even our new location didn’t thwart the interest that came into Ballroom 20A on Monday evening. With 19 presentations ranging from 3D to open data, users came from Brazil, New Zealand, Mexico, and even Africa to share some of the work they’ve been doing with Esri’s software in five minutes or less. With over 300 people in attendance, the speakers got a great sense of community and camaraderie  as they engaged and laughed along with the fun ideas and imagery that the presenters creatively played within their 300 seconds of glory. Read more from Amy's recap


GeoNet Community SIG/Meet-up



By Chris Catania

We hosted the first GeoNet Meet-up on Monday and shared the top GeoNet moments and wins since our last UC 2016  meet-up, as well as stories from Adrian Welsh and the Survey123 and ArcGIS Online teams.  


GeoNet Milestone Moments

To kickoff the SIG/Meet-up I shared a collection of highlights as we celebrated and took a look back on the big GeoNet moments and progress we've made over the last 365 days, which included. (Look for the full meet-up deck with GeoNet stats and road map later in the week.)



Adrian's story: How to use GeoNet "Like a 5-year-old"

During the meet-up GeoNet MVP Adrian Welsh shared the value he gets from the community. "I come to GeoNet to get help with my daily GIS workflow. GeoNet is especially valuable for those times in which you are doing something a little above and beyond your normal GIS duties and do not necessarily know how to do it.”


"If you come across a problem that you cannot solve using GIS, likely someone else has had the same problem and has been helped on GeoNet. This is where I find many of my answers to hard problems involving GIS."


If you haven't yet, be sure to check out Adrian's excellent series of "Explaining GIS to a 5-year-old" blog posts. He also is sharing his experiences at UC through the same  "5 year-old" point of view as he shares what he's learning about secret taco trucks and how to lie with maps and I'm looking forward to following along as the week continues. 



Reflecting on the Science Symposium

From Dawn Wright

Esri's Chief Scientist, Dawn Wright, spoke at the 2017 Esri UC Science Symposium and invited UC attendees to continue the conversation about making the world better with science communication.



Video: "Did You Know?" Business Analyst Tips for Local Government

By Rachel Weeden and Adam Carnow

At this year's UC, I'm working at the Local Government/Community Development area, where we are highlighting solutions for Urban and Regional Planning and Economic Development. One thing we are highlighting is how local governments can use the ArcGIS Business Analyst ( Business Analyst)  web app to better understand the characteristics of their communities, to support more informed decision-making.  I was excited to see Juan Carlos share some of what's new in ArcGIS Business Analyst at Monday's plenary session, because I find a lot of people aren't aware of the data and capabilities it has to offer them. But don't let the name fool you - local governments can see a lot of benefit from using ArcGIS Business Analyst, specifically in the areas of economic development, planning and policy development. Adam Carnow and I hope you can find a few minutes to spend with us to learn more!




Video: Why Does GIS Give Our Student a Brighter Future? 

By Joseph Kerski from the Education team 

Like he did last year during UC, Joseph shared his insights about the impact of GIS on education. This time he shares an excellent and inspiring short video from the UC Expo floor about the 4 reasons why GIS gives students a brighter future and why that impacts all of us in a meaningful way. Enjoy! 



That's it for now! Be sure to check back on this post and the other daily posts as we continue to add more throughout the week. What have been your highlights this UC week? Share your thoughts below! 

We hope you've enjoyed following along the Morning Plenary Session Live Blog. Now, Matt Ball and I will take you through the Afternoon Session starting at 2pm and we look forward to seeing your feedback and contributions in the comments below! 


Update: Check out each UC 2017 day recap: 


Plenary Segments (click to jump to segments)



12:40 - Check out the UC 2017 Big Ideas Poster, Plenary Music Playlist


As we get ready for the Afternoon Session, we invite you to check out these two documents for additional info on what you saw and heard during the plenary.  Enjoy! 


2:00 - UnderstandingUnderstanding 


And, we're back! We hope you enjoyed the break and are ready to dive into the afternoon session. 



Jack welcomes Richard Saul Wurman, the prolific author, TED conference creator, and a longtime collaborator with Esri, to the stage to accept the Making a Difference Award at the 2017 Esri User Conference. Wurman has a passion for making difficult information easy to understand, and he has turned to GIS to help improve understanding on multiple projects.


He engaged with GIS technology on the Urban Observatory project, an interactive exhibit to compare and contrast maps of cities around the world. The app pulls live data and allows you to compare disparate cities side by side to get a comparative understanding of the makeup of cities.


Each of his 90 books springs from Wurman’s interest in understanding. His curiosity drives his inquiries, and he seeks to make the complex clear. He’s written a number of books with understanding in the title, including Understanding USA (1999), Understanding Children (2002), and Understanding Healthcare (2004). 


His latest book, UnderstandingUnderstanding, explores design by compiling many paths of understanding that lead to creation.


2:12 - Science and 25 Years of Education Applying The Science of Where



 Dawn Wright, Esri’s chief scientist introduces the Education (Education) segment of the program by first declaring, “I think we can all agree that education is the key to a brighter future.” She relates that education provides opportunities for all ages to shine.


Personal and professional development are enhanced from thinking spatially, which is one of the most powerful ways to make sense of the world. The new science of neurogeography examines how people are able to reason spatially. It’s looking at higher-order cognitive processes to discern geographic patterns and make important decisions at geographic scale. Neurogeographers are constantly scanning brains as their research subjects look at maps. Spatial thinking is a rich area that needs further understanding to show how spatial thinking impacts other mental activities.


This “brave new Digital Earth” demands that we rethink the role of education in our lives. Learning can become an entire way of life, rather than just a prelude to adulthood.


Wright encourages us all to engage in and pursue lifelong learning



In higher education, the best approaches for STEM involve project-based learning. New digital curricula are pushing more engagement with digital textbooks students carry along on their phones. Jupyter Python notebooks, powered by the ArcGIS API for Python (ArcGIS API for Python), allow students to explore and experiment and innovate with live code and visualizations. This is expanding GIS into new fields.


Wright encourages Esri users to share data with a college or university, consider using ArcGIS Open Data and ArcGIS Hub to empower open science. Ecological Marine Units (EMU) are a 3D map data from the ocean surface down to the ocean floor that are inspiring educators. She asks users to introduce an educator to more than 100 Esri crafted GeoInquiries that provide focused activities with pre-built maps on ArcGIS Online. She also suggests that users become GeoMentors to coach others on the use of GIS.


Learning is a lifelong voyage of discovery – and you can learn by passing on your learning.


2:25 - 4H Class is in Session: Exploring Obesity and the Impact of Southern Cooking  



Dawn Wright introduces the team of 4H students. "We have three outstanding young scientists from the 4-H GIS program all the way from Tennessee: Austin Ramsey, Elizabeth Sutphin and Amanda Huggins. The students took a close look at the health in their county. They focused in on obesity, lack of exercise facilities, food security, and diabetes incidents."


They worked to map health across the United States. They did analysis on adult obesity across the country. They showed high obesity in the Southeast, and low obesity out West. They used the Optimized Hot Spot Analysis tool to see counties with low obesity that have counties with high obesity rates around them. They used the swipe tool to drag across the data to show the hot spots and dive into the data.


The charts feature was used to drill down into the data. Using the Definition Query they zoomed into Tennessee to see the obesity rates in their county.


Next, they picked child poverty, diabetes food insecurity and lack of exercise to compare to the obesity map. It returned box plots with mean lines that show the range in the dataset. There were some strong correlations between these four factors and obesity. It also raised a question about why the rates are high in some areas and low in others – something they’re still exploring.


When Jack asked why, the answer -- "It could be our Southern cooking."


Next, they created a Web App to share the information with the 4-H clubs across the US.


2:45 - Building Zootopia with a Unified Multilayer Map

Walt Disney Animation Studios has a stellar reputation for creating compelling stories, believable worlds, and appealing characters since its inception. It all started in 1937 with the first fully animated feature film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and the company has continued their masterful storytelling, beautiful artistry, and pioneering approach through the use of ground-breaking technology ever since.


Brandon Jarratt, General Technical Director at Walt Disney Animation Studios took to the stage to show how they used Esri’s CityEngine (CityEngine) procedural modeling software to create a believable world for the Academy award-winning film Zootopia, which won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature this year.


The film was directed by Byron Howard, co-directed by Rich Moore, and produced by Clark Spencer. The pitch for the move was a new take where animals act like humans in an animal world where humans haven’t existed.


“A city full of talking animals wearing clothes and using mobile phones is not exactly realistic – but ‘believable’ in that you believe the characters would actually inhabit that place,” says Jarrett.


In Zootopia, animals have evolved with predators and prey living together in harmony. This includes 70 species of animal from giraffes down to shrews. The goal was to create the geography, scale and style to complement and support the story. The effort incorporated elements of geodesign with an understanding of what the animals needed and creating a world that was livable for all.


The Walt Disney Animation Studios previously used Esri’s CityEngine during the production of Big Hero 6 to build the city of San Fransokyo. It helped achieve the scale and visual complexity based on the actual geography of San Francisco with Japanese-inspired architecture on top.


In Zootopia, the architecture was driven by the natural world with the thought that animals would prefer a more organic design. The designers started with giant rocks in China that look like skyscrapers and the organic architecture of Gaudi as examples.


The designers wanted to play with scales to have a city where a mouse and an elephant would interact in the scale appropriate to animals of all sizes, with big and tiny doors, and vehicles and streets of all sizes. The next driving thought was a city that was quartered for the different climates that animals inhabit.


The city started with an overall map and separate maps for each of the climate districts. Using procedural rules with shapes and textures unique for each district, and a library of buildings, dragging sliders achieved believable scale zoomed in and out to see the overall density and complexity.


A unified multilayer map helped drive the design thinking. In the Sahara district, they looked for a blockier honeycomb shape for the hot climate. They used carefully calibrated distribution rules to replicate the buildings across the landscape automatically. A street-level test render of Sahara Square was shown with building and color differentiation that looks believable. It’s made up of 61,000 parts.


The downtown core with buildings that grow taller as they climb the central hill, were easily rendered in CityEngine using a ramping silhouette. They first used procedural rules to generate some test plots, and iterated with feedback from art directors to reach something they were happy with.


Each district has thousands of parts, and overall there are more than 300,000 parts. The presentation ended with a video of the train ride sequence that demonstrates the results that were achieved across each district and the city as a whole.




Jack gave Brandon and his team the "Best Animated Feature Using GIS" award. Like it was Oscar night (before the "get off the stage"orchestra music started playing), Brandon quickly ran through his long list of thank you's giving a shout out to all his collaborators and, of course, his wife sitting in the front row. 


3:05 - Making a Smarter Dubai


H.E. Dr. Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director General of the Smart Dubai Office, runs the Smart Dubai program. Their goal is to make the happiest city on the Earth with technologies that help transform, including technologies that make us closer to our friends and family.


Technologies that make the city safer and more seamless also make it happier. The inspiration of the transformation started in 1999 with an ICT strategy. The Smart Dubai initiative began in 2015.


The challenge was to unify the efforts underway in the public and private sector with a smart transformation. Data is at the heart of the city transformation. As the open data and insights initiative took hold, it’s increased the impact to the economy.


Geospatial technologies for maps and wayfinding are an important factor. The city has signed a citywide agreement to create a city cloud platform not only with the government but with the private sector.


Kaveh Vessali showed the Dubai Pulse, which allows everyone to learn more about places, events and project in real time. Distributed GIS is being used to improve mobility in a city that has tripled in the last 25 years. Anyone can take the pulse of project in planning, design or recently completed. Details of the project can be seen, including feedback from social media. Feedback helps to measure happiness.


Evidence-based decision making, with anonymized mobile phone data, allows the city to see the commute patterns of citizens. The city is a linear city, and it can take more than an hour to get from one end of the city to the other. Addressing road safety is a key initiative.


Hossam Sayed shared the Shams Dubai Calculator app that calculates the energy generated from solar power, allowing citizens to decide whether solar panels are a good investment. Smart environment requires smart infrastructure.


Hanan Huwair Al Zarooni demonstrated the D3 Dashboard for the Dubai Design District. There is a strong control system and property system, drilling down to the building view to understand space allocation and to show off real estate to potential tenants. They can look at the energy usage in the buildings with a command and control center to look at the status and analyze trends.


The next fifty years will continue the transformation. The city is implementing block chain to deliver trusted services, with plans to go paperless by 2021, to add 25% autonomous vehicles by 2030, and by 2050 to export its last drop of oil.


Smart Dubai is laying the foundation, and the first goal is to make the city the happiest on the Earth.

4:00 - The Science of Where, When and How with Dr. Geoffrey West



Dr. Geoffrey B. West, distinguished professor and former president of the Santa Fe Institute is a theoretical physicist whose primary interests have been in fundamental questions in physics, especially those concerning the elementary particles, their interactions, and cosmological implications. 


His long-term fascination in general scaling phenomena evolved into a collaboration on the origin of universal scaling laws in biology from the molecular genomic scale up through mitochondria and cells to whole organisms and ecosystems. This led to the development of realistic quantitative models for the structural and functional design of organisms based on underlying universal principles. 


West has received much attention in both the scientific and popular press for the framework for quantitative understanding of problems. His current interest is the extension of these ideas to understand quantitatively the structure and dynamics of social organizations, such as cities and corporations, including the relationships between economies of scale, growth, innovation and wealth creation and their implications for long-term survivability and sustainability.


His book, “Scale –The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies,” explores these issues and forms the basis for his keynote address at the 2017 Esri International User Conference.


With growing populations, and increased urbanization, we need to add a city the size of San Diego each week. The growing urbanization, and the fate of humans on the planet, is bound up in the success of our cities.


When we think of cities, we think in terms of their physicality, the buildings and the boulevards. The most critical part of cities are the people, bringing people together, and facilitating interactions. They facilitate idea creation, wealth creation, and innovation.


The city can be thought about in terms of energy and infrastructure as well as exchange of information. Cities and urbanization are the problem in terms of pollution and environmental impact, but they are also the solution.


There’s an urgent need for an underlying science for cities. We tend to box this inquiry into health, economy, resources, energy, food, transportation, social, political, ecology, environment, and climate issues. For a deeper understanding, we need to think in integrated systems terms.


The laws of cities are not independent – they are all highly coupled, inter-related, and at multiple scales. They are complex adaptive systems that need understanding.


Metabolic rate of animals has an extraordinary systematic economy of scale. Slope exponents are typically sub-linear and simple multiples of ¼. All the animals that look so different are scaled versions of each other. It’s true of plants, birds, fish, and more. The underlying principles of networks drive this issue of scaling, and you can create mathematical formulas for all of these scales.


With cities, as you double them, you get a 15% savings on the infrastructure. Meaning that if you double their size, you just need 85% more roads, water lines, electric lines, etc. to serve the larger size. You also increase the socio-economic benefits.


These patterns happen throughout the world and without interaction. These scales are universal, and it’s just the universality of our social interaction networks, with a hierarchy of groups, that drives it all. We have a positive feedback mechanism for how we speak to each other, interact and share ideas.


The motion of everyone can also be mathematized, giving you the ability to predict movement in a city. All journeys are willful, from home to work and back, and so forth. The flux and pattern can be predicted.


Life also speeds up in a predictable linear way, such as an increase of walking speed as cities get larger. As speed and growth increase, it reaches super-exponential growth as it nears the singularity. Major innovations are the way to avoid collapse, however, we need to continue to innovate at a faster and faster pace.


What we have to do is redefine the idea of growth – not just economic, but in terms of quality of life. We also need to rethink innovation and paradigm shifts.


A revolution in social and cultural terms may get us out of this. We need to revolutionize our cultural values in order to reframe our fate. As we add more people, we cannot continue to consume the amounts of energy we are consuming.


And that's a wrap! Thanks for following along today and stay tuned for updates during the week in the User Conference group.  If you missed any of the morning plenary session check it out here. And be sure to check out these tools too:


Welcome to the 2017 Esri User Conference Plenary!  We (Christopher Catania & Matt Ball ) will be sharing the latest news and updates during the plenary.)  Thanks for following along and we look forward to seeing your feedback and contributions in the comments below! 


Update 7/17: Check out each UC 2017 day recap: 


Update 7/10: We invite you to check out these two documents for additional info on what you saw and heard during the plenary.  Enjoy! 


Plenary Segments (click to jump to segments)



Doors open and attendees are finding their way in!



8:10 - GeoNet Community member siting! 

First GeoNet Community member siting of the week! I stepped out to snap a few shots and had the pleasure of running into  GeoNet MVP Adrian Welsh. Adrian has made a lot of great contributions to the community and you can hear his story when you come to the Geonet Meetups this week.



8:32 - Welcome to UC! 

Jack welcomes attendees to the 38th User Conference.


Jack shares the focus for this year's conference

"What is the purpose? To be together, to grow together, learn from each other, share what we’re doing, to become friends. The theme, The Science of Where. Your backgrounds are rich, coming from every field of human endeavor. You hold the reigns of a better future."

Keeping with UC tradition attendees stand up and greet each other. The buzz of conversation fills the room.


8:34 - "Your Work"


Jack dives into the "Your Work" session highlighting the great work users have done this year. 



"Your work addresses the challenges we face in the world. These maps show your work in..."


Environmental Modeling and Assessment

   Oil spill simulation in Russia

Natural Resource Management

   Managing harvests and timber sales, modeling citrus disease in Florida

Managing and Analyzing Land Information

   Parcel maps and analytics to predict vacancy and assessing value

   Looking at revenue and public expenditures in Illinois

Urban Design and Planning

   Comprehensive planning in Seoul (Urban and Regional Planning)

3D Building and City modeling

   Visualizations of Sweden (3D)

   Containment structure in Chernobyl

Transportation Planning and Management (Transportation)

   Modeling flows of traffic and real-time traffic modeling

   Waze, the crowdsourced traffic information, is now being shared through partnerships

Engineering and Public Works (Public Safety)

   Facility management in water, airports, and highways

Utilities and Telecommunications (The specified item was not found.)

   Augmented reality in New Jersey to see pipes under the streets

Business Analysis and Location Intelligence (Commercial, Business Analyst)

   Gas stations in India

   Automated routing in Denmark

   Demographic analysis for Banking

   Field to store supply chain tracking of Driscoll’s berries (food security)

Public Health and Demographics

   Illuminating the opioid epidemic

   Modeling community well being in Philadelphia

Public Safety and Security (Public Safety)

   Machine learning for crime prediction in Brazil and London

Preparing for and Responding to Disasters

   Real-time situational awareness

Citizen Engagement, Open Data, and Collaboration (ArcGIS Hub)

   Maps where citizens provide feedback on 311 dashboards

   Mapping villages in the Democratic Republic of the Congo via crowdsourcing with the WHO, CDC and GISCorps


   Automating all the scales with Swisstopo

   Geologic mapping of Utah

Story Maps (Classic Esri Story Maps)

   Publishing of maps has totally changed

   Butterfly zone in California


8:36 - Esri Storytelling with Maps Contest


Now it's time for some storytelling!


Jack shares highlights from the Map Contest. "Esri Story Maps are a simple yet powerful way to inform, engage, and inspire people with any story you want to tell that involves maps, places, locations, or geography. They make it easy for you to harness the power of maps to tell your story. The applications are designed to be attractive and usable by anyone, which makes them great for education and outreach, either to the general public or to a specific audience."


More than 1,000 new story maps are being created each day. The Storytelling with Maps Contest encouraged users to create a story map, with judging based on how effectively they made the subject matter interesting, understandable, and engaging.


The Esri Story Maps Gallery provides great examples, handpicked by the Esri Story Maps team, with creating approaches and best practices.


The Esri Storytelling with Maps Contest winners can be viewed here:


8:37 - GIS Digital Transformation, Enterprise GIS, President's, and SAG Awards


GIS Digital Transformation Award


Abu Dhabi embarked on a mission to make GIS a central system across more than 70 government and quasi-government agencies back in 2007 with the launch of the Abu Dhabi Spatial Data Infrastructure (AD-SDI) initiative. The effort to link urban planning, local government, utilities, infrastructure, safety, security, environment, cultural heritage, public health, business and education has paid off with increased collaboration, more detailed analysis, better planning, and improved decision making. In recognition of this ongoing effort, Abu Dhabi receives the GIS Digital Transformation Award at the 2017 Esri International User Conference.


H.E. Rashed Lahaj Al Mansoori, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Systems and Information Center (ADSIC), accepts the award.


Enterprise Award

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) serves US policy makers, the armed forces, intelligence agencies, and first responders. NGA’s data and applications have recently undergone a migration to a cloud-native environment to improve accessibility and greatly increase the availability of computing resources in order to achieve advanced analytics. They have also undertaken a shift toward delivering their data as GEOINT services so that data can be used in any application. One of NGA’s first GEOINT Services, the IC GIS Portal, has been in use for a little more than two years and has grown to serve more than 60,000 users worldwide. In recognition of this far-forward strategy, NGA receives the Enterprise GIS Award at the 2017 Esri International User Conference.


Justin Poole, Director, Source Operations and Management, Jim McIntyre, Technical Executive, Foundation GEOINT Group, and Tracy Toutant, IC GIS Portal Manager from NGA accept the award.


President's Award

Each business day, UPS drivers make an average of 120 delivery stops. A reduction of just one mile per driver per day over one year can save UPS up to $50 million. The number of route combinations a driver can make for those 120 deliveries is a mind-bogglingly big number that is greater than the number of nanoseconds the Earth has existed, according to UPS. To ensure UPS drivers use the most optimized delivery routes in regard to distance, fuel and time, UPS developed On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation (ORION). UPS uses Esri's maps in the ORION system, and the maps and routing algorithms contribute to make routing more efficient. UPS has elevated the impact of GIS to the bottom line of their business, and for this outstanding GIS work they receive the President’s Award at the 2017 Esri International User Conference.


Jim Collins, Vice President, Industrial Engineering and Jack Levis, Senior Director, Process Management from UPS accepts the award.


SAG Awards


The Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) Awards will take place on Wednesday, July 12. Visit the SAG award website to view the full list of this year’s winners and to learn more about each winner’s work.


9:00 - Jack’s Vision




Jack shares his vision.  

"The Science of Where may be a new phrase to you. From the very beginning GIS was applied to sciences of various types. It wasn’t until 1993 when Dr. Mike Goodchild wrote a paper about GI Science that the term took hold. The world began to realize that GIS is science in its own right. It integrates and incorporates many sciences in kind of a meta science."

"The Science of Where is the science of geography and the technology of GIS. The maps I shared are evidence that this is a framework for applying science to almost everything."

"Why is this science so important now? We are living in a world that is increasingly challenged. Growing population, issues of climate change, loss of nature, social conflict… The organizations we work in are confronted with this changing world. We need to better understand, and form better collaborations to address these issues."

"Our world is undergoing a massive digital transformation. We are automating everything and measuring everything that moves and changes and are wiring it together in a fabric across the planet."


"The Science of Where is a fundamental digital language about understanding. GIS provides us a language and framework to organize maps and data and visualize and analyze the shapes and patterns. We can make decisions and take those into action."


"It is transforming how we think, and creating a sustainable future. That’s a high aspiration. Can we make difference? Yes, we can!"


"GIS provides a platform to manage our systems of record in small organizations as well as mammoth organizations. It’s a system of engagement. It’s a system of insight to approach problem solving in a holistic way because it integrates people and processes. Using the Power of Where, we are integrating everything."


"GIS is advancing rapidly. With all the new data sources and advances in computing – distributed computing and deep learning. This is ramping up. My sense is that this momentum will expand your ability to apply this technology everywhere."

"Web GIS is the modern GIS architecture. It’s helping you do your work better. It’s leveraging Web Services to integrate teams with shared knowledge to improve collaboration."


Web GIS simplifies working with all types of data. It brings data together. It can access any data type: imagery, maps, real-time data, 3D…


The complexity of our cities are being modeled with the Internet of Things, with real-time information applied to do space-time analysis in meaningful ways.


We are extending the reach and bringing the power of maps to everyone, across your organizations and beyond.


Smart mapping is about using computation and analysis to automate the creation of maps.


Web GIS is revolutionizing how we plan and design, integrating science into the design process. We can do interactive designs, and look at different scenarios, to collaborate on good designs.

9:15 - Lauren Bennett Shows How to Apply The Science of Where with ArcGIS



Spatial analysis (Spatial Analyst) is how we apply The Science of Where to ask questions, solve problems, and make smart decisions. The city of Boston has a bustling bike share system that they plan to increase by 50% in just 2 years. This means two things...extending the bike lane network and putting new bike stations throughout the city. Bennett demonstrates the use of spatial analysis to tackle both.


To figure out where to put a new bike lane, we have to start by understanding how people are using the system. We can see highest usage in downtown Boston and near both Harvard and MIT in Cambridge. But that’s only part of the story. Where do people go once they pick up a bike? How are these stations connected? Looking at where trips start and end, we can see which stations have the strongest connections. We can combine our understanding of how people are using the system with powerful network analysis to identify highly used, highly connected stations without adequate bike lane coverage.


A good bike lane isn’t just about the shortest path...a good bike lane isn’t too we’ll include slope, it must be well we’ll include street lights, it should be we’ll include trees, and it avoids major we’ll include traffic volume. We can use spatial analysis to combine a sophisticated weighted overlay with our network analysis to choose the best path.


Next, we’ll site some new bike share stations. One of Boston’s priorities for locating new stations is providing equitable access, ensuring everyone is within a 10-minute walk of a bike share. Looking at these 10-minute walk times, it’s clear that there are some gaps in service, which is where we’ll put our candidate stations. Of course, we also need to consider where people live.


Combining network analysis and population data, we can calculate which potential sites provide the biggest improvements to access. And we can see how the model has allocated the underlying population to each site. We’ve sited the stations so that they are accessible to as many people as possible, but how many people are actually going to use them? How many bikes will they need?


Geostatistical surface models show what we know about the existing stations to predict usage at each of the new stations. These predictions will be important when planning the buildout.


Ultimately, it’s all about getting creative and integrating and applying The Science of Where, including powerful network, raster, and geostatistical methods, to unlock the full potential of our data. It’s how GIS professionals, build the maps that run the world and shape the future.


9:20 - Web GIS Engages Community

Web GIS is making spatial analysis more accessible and opening up data science. The Python API (ArcGIS API for Python) and R integration (R - ArcGIS) open up GIS to more analysts. Web GIS is connecting everyone with Web maps and apps to share and collaborate.


Citizens want to know more about their city, and city leaders want to interact more with their citizen. We have been working on technologies to improve these connections.


There’s a change occurring with Web GIS that's enabling a whole new scale of GIS, a system of systems. In Las Vegas, the water agency is sharing their information as web services with other utilities. Sharing information across and between organizations, even across states, between agencies, across cities. This pattern is beginning to emerge.


ArcGIS is a complete GIS platform. The intention of the design is to support individuals, teams and organizations. I’m very proud of the people that work on developing this technology. They take the notion of an integrated platform very seriously.


ArcGIS organizes and manages all aspects of GIS. It supports multiple implementation patters – a system of systems pattern – that integrates other patterns to connect everything.


9:34 - Oakland County, Michigan's Digital Transformation


Phil Bertolini, Deputy County Executive/CIO of Oakland County, Michigan starts off his talk about his county’s digital transformation by holding up his hand and showing where the county is located on the state. Michiganians may be the biggest GeoGeeks of all, or at least those that live on the lower peninsula, because the mitten shape of the state gives them an easy geographic reference to show where they live.


Oakland County, Michigan was forced to reimagine their economy during the recent recession, and much of this creative work took place at the county level as they have been a shared service provider for local municipalities for more than 50 years. Their mantra is, “build it once, pay for it once, and everyone will benefit.”


Oakland County has grown their Distributed GIS Model through WebGIS to combine their many collaborative systems of record into a System of Systems. The central Access Oakland gateway provides land and property information reports and maps, centralized payment of local taxes, citations, and fees to the court system, and provides a subscription-based application for licensed surveyors and related professionals. This has branched out these services to municipalities, businesses, and citizens.


The county sent out emissaries across the globe to recruit new types of businesses to grow alongside the automotive industry. To date, they have attracted 400 new businesses, growing the economy by 3.9 billion dollars. They also discovered that their thriving healthcare cluster makes the county a destination for medical services.


Bertolini challenged his staff to think of their GIS program and their current vested users as the trunk of a tree, with new users growing branch by branch.



Tammi Shepherd, Chief, Application Services and Mike Dagle, IT Business Analyst, introduced six new user groups that have branched the reach of their GIS services:


Katelin from the social media team created a blog post about Cider Mills in the County. The GIS team took this post and created a map that soon turned into a Map of the Month Program to highlight the unique activities taking place in the County.


Laura, the chief tax administrator, has benefited from a suite of apps that enable contractors to more accurately stake notices on properties that are in arrears on their taxes. The apps ensure that notices are staked to the right properties, and it has streamlined the process. What used to take months, and multiple people, now takes one person one week.


Tim from the Water Resources Commissioner’s Office who uses a distributed asset management system to maintain their infrastructure benefited from GeoAnalytics to visualize where and exactly how much is being spent across the county. This analysis is used to convince municipalities to invest in infrastructure, and it helps them prioritize and allocate their scarce resources.


Brenda, an assessor who created an app to allow colleagues to answer frequently asked questions about property details. The app provides acreage, wetlands, and historical imagery dating back to 1940. This app added 60 new users in Equalization Division where Brenda works, and it has since spread to other municipalities, with a template approach that allows each municipality to add their logo and make it their own.


Trisha from Public Health has been working to curb the opioid epidemic. The Open Data page was extended using the new configurable opioid solution templates to raise awareness and provide prevention resources, such as where to dispose of unused medications and to find treatment and recovery resources.


Key takeaways:

  • Challenged to branch their GIS services to more users, Oakland County set out to find and inspire just one user who would inspire many more.
  • Oakland County’s mantra, “build it once, pay for it once, and allow everyone to benefit,” meets the pattern of their modern WebGIS that allows them to take a templated approach to spread useful maps and apps to their many stakeholders.


9:45 - ArcGIS Content



Jack shares a series of updates on ArcGIS content. "We have created connections to create the foremost collection of global geographic information. It has become a Living Atlas for our planet."


We are advancing data models, improving workflows, and adding tools to improve editing. We now have new tools for CAD integration, working with our colleagues at Autodesk. We are improving geocoding.


In the world of field GIS, we are taking ArcGIS beyond the office. We have released a new version of ArcGIS Online in a disconnected environment.


Our work in mapping and cartography are advancing tools and methods. We’re improving 3D thematic display and representation. In ArcGIS Pro, we’ve added measured grids, dynamic charts and layouts. Production charting and mapping are also advancing. You can now use your own vector tiles, using your own projection.


We’ve made progress on integration with the Adobe Creative Cloud, so graphic designers can work alongside you productively.


ArcGIS is a common 3D platform for visualization and analysis. Bringing in CAD, BIM, Lidar and other 3D data and formats. New tools for urban planning and geodesign are advancing visualization, animation and augmented reality.


ArcGIS is now a complete imagery platform supporting advanced processing, analysis and image management. If you have an image and pan and zoom, it does dynamic processing. It looks at raw imagery coming off a sensor and it gives me on-the-fly results. It provides change analysis and classification with NDVI. It works with full-motion video.


There are powerful analytics and dynamic image services. Every night Landsat imagery are stood up on the cloud and made available. This fall, we’ll support the Sentinel-2 European satellite. All of this imagery is available on the Living Atlas that I spoke about before. We’re also teaming with DigitalGlobe to offer their high-resolution imagery and image analysis on the fly.


We’re expanding and improving tools for spatial analysis. Spatial statistics and new tools for space-time pattern mining. We are also working on providing model builder models as a service through improved computer processing.


Insights is a new product that provides a whole new way to do spatial analysis in an intuitive way. It’s called exploratory data analysis and visualization – exploring and comparing to open up our community to do thing faster and better as well as sharing with colleagues.


We’ve been working to make spatial processing faster to handle big data. We are able to look at large image collections and do space-time analytics at scale. Tens of thousands of images can be accessed using distributed computing with the new architectures that I spoke about earlier. Real-time analytics supports the notion of monitoring and learning – organizations can bring data alive, manage their operations. We can now handle hundreds of thousands observations per second and analyze those streams in real time.


ArcGIS is designed to be open — supporting open, interoperable and standards-compliant innovation.


ArcGIS is an integrated system.


It supports workflows with apps for the field, office and community. It enables entire organizations to be more connected.


ArcGIS Solutions with an industry focus simplify and accelerate deployment with a template-based approach.


Those that want to create their own apps can use Web AppBuilder to create apps using no code and AppStudio where they build once and deploy to multiple mobile operating systems.


ArcGIS Desktop


We are making improvements. What’s coming this fall is a new data model for utilities and better support for metadata and parcels. We are working on extensions, improving Network Analyst, Spatial Analyst, 3D Analyst, as well as Data Interoperability, Workflow Manager, Data Reviewer and Geostatistical Analyst.


ArcGIS Enterprise


Our next-generation server platform provides a whole new generation of tools and allows it to scale among many organizations. We simplified administration and enabled portal content replication. We’ve also made it easier to install and deploy.


Portal Content Replication means you can take data from one department and replicate it to another department or other organizations. We can replicate web maps, scenes and related content automatically, setting it up with rules and taking distributed GIS to scale.


ArcGIS API for Python


This enables scripted automation and a whole new way to experience and leverage ArcGIS. We can automate scripts and script analytical processes.


ArcGIS Online


We are growing rapidly with more than 4 million subscribers with 3 billion tiles served/day, 11 million items, and 40 million open data downloads. With millions of people using it all the time, there’s a growing community of users that are exploring, analyzing, making maps and sharing.


ArcGIS Hub

This is a way to collaborate with your community that is built around policy initiatives. These initiatives are encapsulated in maps and apps.


ArcGIS Hub (ArcGIS Hub) provides a new technology framework to support government community engagement initiatives with an eye on operational goals. We all live in a community, and each community is different, but they all experience common challenges. The ArcGIS Hub offers a way to bring policy-driven initiatives such as safer streets, opioid addiction mitigation, economic development and more in a coordinated way that can be measured.



The City of South Bend, Indiana is using the ArcGIS Hub to tackle their issue of blight with their Vacant to Value initiative that tackles the 25% vacant lots in the city. They have web and mobile applications that help the public understand the current problem, the government vision, and the plans of action.


Points of action encourage the public to get involved, allowing residents to create an identity to receive updates or to become advocates, and they can use spatial and statistical analysis to generate their own insights.


The template-based approach allowed the community to configure and publish this initiative in 30 minutes and with a three-step approach to monitor and manage the initiative

  1. inform the public with a story map and website
  2. listen to the public with surveys and crowdsourcing tools
  3. monitor progress with dashboards to communicate status of issues to community and government officials


Community participants used the data and tools to design their own advocacy page to turn vacant lots into community gardens. Through this and other initiatives, South Bend empowers their 100,000 residents to collaborate alongside government.


ArcGIS Hub includes initiative templates that organizations adopt, configure and extend to share best practices and solutions. These first initiatives were designed in close collaboration with our early adopters and we hope you'll join us in designing and evolving new initiatives.


10:10 - The ArcGIS platform and the road ahead




Jack shares more of what is coming.  


"ArcGIS is a platform for developers. It’s a platform for the maker community. We’ve added major advancements for JavaScript, Runtime, Python, and more."


"We build a number of focused application products for Geodesign, Location intelligence and domain-specific apps for pipelines, roads, highway, airports, and more. They are engineered to extend the platform."


"The road ahead for ArcGIS is rich. We will continue to provide improvements with releases every six months or so. We have hundreds of developers focused on what you want them to do and work on."




"Esri is about serving our users. I apologize for the mistakes we make. We like the idea of advancing our science and technology. We love the idea of making a difference with our work, like you do."


"We don’t just work on software. We work on professional development tools, training, e-learning, and books. The new ArcGIS Book was given to you. They are integrated with online resources to help you expand your knowledge."


"We are very appreciative of our partners. Many are huge IT organizations that help extend the reach of our tools."


We support a series of relationships, like the Nature Conservancy, the National Audubon Society. We provide our software and they enrich our community.


We are announcing a new GIS Volunteer Community to provide resources where they are needed. GIS Corps is doing amazing work to respond to disasters around the world, helping people do things. I’m so proud of being affiliated with this organization.


The SCGIS group are focused on conservation and understanding and protecting nature. Silvia Earle has recently announced the Mission Blue program to protect our ocean.


In education, we are providing our software for free for K-12 education (K12 Instruction) We thank the GeoMentors (GeoMentors) that are sharing their knowledge


We’ve been working together for many years, developing The Science of Where.


It’s now recognized as a powerful force…

For solving problems and understanding our world


Web GIS takes GIS to a whole new scale

Helping you do your work better

Transforming how you share and collaborate



As GIS professionals, we now have many new opportunities

To contribute to our organizations


What Should We Do Next?

  • Envision what’s possible
  • Learn the new technology
  • Adopt the new patterns
  • Explore new applications
  • Share and Collaborate
  • Encourage new users and uses
  • Communicate Your Successes


Knowing is not enough, we must apply.

Being willing is not enough, we must do.

-- Leonardo da Vinci




Break time! That's it for the Act One... Join us back at 10:35 for Act Two!


10:50 - Top Ten Favorite Things in ArcGIS Pro

Welcome back!  Now it's time for a bit of fun from James Sullivan, a solution engineer in Esri’s Alexandria, Virginia office as he shares a top ten list of improvements in ArcGIS Pro 2.0. The list is delivered via a tour of Sullivan’s neighborhood in Loudon County, Virginia.



We now have annotation support in ArcGIS Pro 2.0. Sullivan updates his address using the annotation edit tool, changing style, repositioning the annotation where they need to go, or taking advantage of inline text editing to make updates.



Data exploration with the new Charting Tools. We can create Box Plots, to look at demographics and average net worth for each block group in Loudon County, which happens to be one of the wealthiest counties in the country, visualizing by districts and median net worth. Bar charts allow you to filter by selection. You can link charts together and they change dynamically. Each block group for districts that I select. You can embed the work in information products. As a bonus, we have improved the navigation of large attribute tables, greatly speeding navigation.



The charts we just created can be added to a Layout. Layout improvements include dynamic updates for each page. There is full support for graticules and measured grids, regardless of the data you’re using. Legends can update to reflect what’s shown in the map extent.



Moving over to Dulles International Airport lets us show you some of the advanced imagery improvements. The auto georeferencing tool creates automated tie points for adding images. Dragging an older unreferenced image into Pro and manually fitting it into display, I can see that it’s inverted. A quick swipe shows us where the runway was created a decade ago.



"Where did the catalog go? Well, we heard your feedback on GeoNet and your ideas in ArcGIS Ideas." 


This item came from us directly from where you leave us messages on what you want. We renamed this the Project Pane in ArcGIS Pro and now it’s back to the Catalog Pane that you all know and love. We also made it quicker by storing your connections and most-used data stores.


Shouts and applause erupt! 



ArcGIS Pro now supports WFS. Zooming out to the county level I’ve created a connection to the USGS for the geology of the county. I can link this with the clip tool. I’m left with a subset of the data over Loudon County. I can see what rock types are present, and link to a chart to see the quantities.



"Anybody get disorientated when working with 3D?" A user cheers. "Sounds like that guy does. Well, we have an update for you."


3D Editing and visualization is shown going to an old train station that’s now a restaurant. I can split the roof surface in half and then drag upwards to match the lidar point cloud. Power poles can be updated with heights to view and to  compare. 



The onscreen navigator allows me to get oriented in a 3D view. I can control the navigation from the ground and get oriented. I can use the inner ring of my Navigator to revolve around a feature.



Improvements to sharing extend the idea of a connected desktop with three sharing options.



You can now run multiple instances of Pro on the same machine at the same time. As a bonus, on this number, we’ve also added a Dark Theme that looks really cool!


Excited about those updates? Which are your favorite? 


10:55 - Let's Talk Enterprise Deployment 



Julia Guard takes the stage to discuss enterprise deployment.


With ArcGIS Pro (ArcGIS Pro) 10.5.1 installation and configuration become much easier. The components of software installation are packaged into a single installation and configuration experience called the ArcGIS Enterprise Builder. This is accessed in a Web browser and with this tool, you can have a fully configured ArcGIS Enterprise installation in under an hour. This lowers the barrier to entry for enterprise deployment for many organizations.


We also work with Chef, an open source automation tool with cookbooks and recipes. This provides configuration in a predictable and repeatable way. You don’t have to write the recipes, you just need to get into the kitchen and pick the right recipes for your organization.


If you're using Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure, you won't need to do either of these. We've streamlined cloud deployment working closely with these organizations.


These tools simplify the deployment process.


11:12 - "Did You Know?" with Bern 


Bern Szukalski kicks off the “Did You Know” segment to show users, even power users, some items they may not yet know, emphasizing that there’s always room for discovery.


Szukalski accesses World Imagery and shows that if you add world imagery as a layer rather than a basemap, you’re just one click away from knowing everything about it – the source, the acquisition date, the resolution, and the accuracy. Next, he zooms into Seattle showing recent imagery that happens to be cloudy. If you add World Imagery Clarity the clouds disappear. Another world imagery basemap called Firefly provides grayscale imagery that adds drama, particularly with heat map content, revealing true color imagery when you zoom in. A new partnership with Airbus adds the highest resolution elevation across the globe.


Lisa Berry shows Vector Tile Basemaps and how you can set them as your default. You can add Streets at Night and Navigation in settings. In ArcGIS Pro, you can use your own data to make vector tile base maps. You can add your own local data and use local projection such as the British National Grid, which is the projection used by the Ordnance Survey. You can also customize vector basemaps, such as with a Newspaper or Children’s map examples. Vector tile basemaps provides a way to create a strong foundation for your maps.


Juhan Yoo shows the World Geocoder and how you can quickly find locations. It has increased global coverage, even down to the street level in Iceland. The World Geocoder now supports both Military Grid Reference and the U.S. National Grid and degrees, minutes and seconds. We have also added some unique capabilities.


Jennifer Bell shows the ability to compare air pollution in 2013 and 2016. Smart mapping allows you to quickly visualize your data. Using Arcade Expressions, you can dynamically create new attributes on the fly. Variable changes calculate the difference between 2013 and 2016 and provides a new change over time map with counts and amounts. It also outputs a new color map, showing the counties that have experienced a decrease or increase in air pollution. Users can get creative with color and font choices. Next, she shows a map with Caribbean ancestry in each county of the US. The predominance map has custom pop-ups.



Juan Carlos Tarazona demonstrates Business Analyst (Business Analyst), perhaps the best app you haven’t seen. You can enter a zip code and quickly generate infographics to learn more about the location, such as demographics, economic indicators and crime to help make informed business decisions. The app works in 137 countries around the world. Tarazona zooms into Rio De Janeiro, Brazil and looks to locate a new food market. The analytics capabilities allow you to navigate, add your own data, go to the ArcGIS Marketplace to search for more data, and start building amazing infographics of your own.


Thomas Emga showed Scene Viewer and its support for vector tiles in 3D. Using the globe, he zooms into Helsinki, Finland to show its support of local scenes using projected coordinate systems. With smart mapping, you can make the buildings display information such as their connections to public transportation. We also have ready-to-use 3D web scenes, such as examples from the city of Lyon, France. You can zoom to a point layer with tourist attractions and view callouts and labels. With the decluttering option, you can generate a dynamic, yet comprehensive and readable view of all your data. We can also view massive point clouds in a Web browser, showing that the scene viewer is requesting 40 billion points. You can also view photorealistic scenes provided by our partner Vricon.


11:30 - Say hello to the Geoduck from Taylor Shellfish Farms


Taylor Shellfish Farms is a fifth-generation operation with 30 farms across the Pacific Northwest, with the highest concentration in the southern part of Puget Sound. It prides itself on its long history of environmentalism, achieving the only Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification in the United States that designates their shellfish are farmed responsibly.


Nyle Taylor, Farm Project Coordinator and fifth-generation shellfish farmer, recounted the 24x7 operations that bring their clams, oysters and geoduck to market, including in their own oyster bars.


Yes, GeoGeeks that is spelled geoduck, but it’s pronounced “gooey-duck.” The geoduck is native to the Pacific Northwest and is the world’s largest burrowing clam. Taylor introduced a live geoduck to the audience.



While they’ve been using GIS for less than a year, their use of ArcGIS Online and mobile field apps have spread throughout the organization.


Erin Ewald, Assistant Director of Regulatory & Environmental Compliance, latched onto GIS upon inheriting responsibility for maintaining maps of their farm beds, which were previously done by hand. The first step was to manage and update their maps with GIS, and the second step was to make this data mobile.


Using Explorer (ArcGIS Explorer) on their mobile devices, they’re now able to take their real-time business, operations, and environmental data out to their 30 farms. The ability to view GIS data in the field helps them understand the environment they’re working in.


The apps allow farm managers, with years of experience, to redline maps and share real-time changes in conditions or to record suggestions for where each farm could expand. The offline editing capability in Explorer is crucial as many of the farms are in rural areas with spotty cell signal coverage. Explorer also provides a handy repository for data and attachments, such as their permits that can be shown to Fish and Wildlife inspectors as they come around.


They use Survey123 (ArcGIS Survey123)  for field data collection, such as reports of shoreline debris or the presence of herring spawn, which they’re required to report to regulators and to maintain their ASC certification. They have created multilingual surveys in English, Spanish and Khmer (the Cambodian language) to help make data collection a habit for their diverse crews.


They use Collector (Collector for ArcGIS) to update operational farm data about their farm beds. The data is used to better evaluate the status of various farms, freeing up information that was previously only in the minds of their farmers.


Taylor relates a story about Brian, a farm manager that was seriously injured in a car crash. His injuries impaired his ability to recall all the details about his farm, greatly frustrating him. The Collector app allowed him to confidently continue his role, and he’s now a great advocate for the mobile apps.


Workforce (ArcGIS Workforce) is helping them to collaborate with the local Squaxin Tribe in Oakland Bay, who have been harvesting shellfish there for centuries. They have put in place a coordinated effort to improve the health of the watershed by managing water quality sample assignments between their field workers and the tribe. Every rain with more than an inch of precipitation triggers sampling, and they can select and assign sampling points—taking on the marine sampling themselves and assigning freshwater sampling to the tribe.


Drone2Map (The specified item was not found.)  has helped them greatly improve the mapping of their farm beds. Drones allow them to capture the beds at low tide with a clear understanding of elevation, which is critical detail to locate the beds at optimum depth for farming each specific species. They can better see beach drainage and layout their beds so that their seed won’t get washed away.


Finally, the 3D maps and story maps help them to share their story with their customers, including virtual tours that help convey what it takes to go from Tide to Table.


Key takeaways:

  • GIS has helped Taylor Shellfish Farms to streamline their fieldwork with handy apps that all their workers can use, effectively capturing their institutional knowledge.
  • Drone2Map has greatly improved the speed and accuracy of laying out new beds.
  • Story maps have proven to be an effective communication tool both internally and to their customers.


11:33 - ArcGIS Insights and water conservation


Insights for ArcGIS (ArcGIS Insights)  is an exciting new spatial business intelligence tool that allows all members of your organization to use the power of geography and relationships to explore and analyze your data. 


Derek Lorbiecki from Esri’s water team demonstrates how water utilities have used Insights to answer questions and discover complex relationships in their data.


Insights workbooks are the documents that store all your pages and cards, and they are where you view maps tables and charts and perform analysis. He shows an analysis performed by the White House Utility District in northern Tennessee. They had noticed an unusually large number of service request for leaks coming from one zone in the southeast of their service area. In this analysis, they discover a spike in leaks in developments built in 2007. Digging deeper they see that these leaks are coming mainly from condo developments. Bringing in the pipe material into the analysis, they can see that the suspect pipe is this green colored pipe, and the legend tells us that it’s copper pipe. Further investigation found that the copper pipes in these two condo developments were defective. They have since been replaced and the number of leaks has significantly decreased.


Next, he uses Insights to analyze water consumption in the East Valley Water District in Southern California.


For this analysis, he locates customers in the meters feature class, and how much water they have consumed, which is found in the customer consumption table. He joins the consumption table and the meter feature class in the Insights relationship view. With the established relationship, he creates an “inefficient use” field, which shows a ratio of actual water consumption to allocated consumption. A map card of customers with inefficient use is created by dragging the field onto the insights page. 


Symbolizing the data as a heat map shows that there are pockets of inefficient use across the service area. To explore how water use has changed over time, he creates a time series chart that shows water consumption by billing date. This chart shows a spike in water usage in the end of September, when It is generally hot and dry.


He next investigates high outdoor water consumption by calculating a ratio of outdoor water use to indoor water use. Insights creates this field on the fly and we can immediately use that field to create a new card and start analyzing the data.


Next, he singles out customers who are using at least 20x more water outside than inside. This filter takes us from over 20,000 customers to the 442 customers we are the most concerned about. He breaks this data down ever further with the new Insights Box Plot to discover that there are, in fact, 30 customers who are outliers using between 50 and 110x more water than we would expect.


Turning on the aerial photo and zooming into one of these customers, we can see that this customer has a pool, a large lawn, and lots of trees.


Finally, he shares this Insights page out to the organization, which can return to it as needed for future analysis because Insights has documented all the steps in the workbook.


Key takeaway:

  • Insights lets us identify and answer questions like, “Why are new developments experiencing so many leaks?” and “Where do I need to focus my water conservation efforts?”
  • Insights is designed to be used on all your rich spatial and non-spatial data to help your organization make new discoveries


11:40 - The Chesapeake Bay story:  Mapping the Bay and restoring it



The Chesapeake Bay watershed covers 64,000 square miles across six states (New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, and Delaware). It’s the largest estuary in the US and the third largest in the world.


The importance of the estuary plays significantly in the nation’s founding as John Smith, the famous explorer, mapped it to exploit its resources and the first settlements occurred within its boundaries. Today, we are mapping the Bay in order to restore it.


Jeff Allenby, Director of Conservation Technology at the Chesapeake Conservancy, relates recent imagery improvements that have greatly improved these conservation efforts. The prior 30m-resolution imagery that uses methods from the 1980’s doesn’t work for today’s challenges, causing a disconnect between data used for planning and the data used for taking action.


To improve the resolution of planning and action plans, the Conservancy has been working to build 1 meter or 1 foot ground sampling distance imagery along with Lidar-derived elevation for much more accurate surface models and basemaps. They have been using the Raster Analytics framework of ArcGIS to significantly reduce the time it takes to process this data, which is a compute intensive process.


The automated workflow with processing on Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing service takes 150 hours to process, compared to a calculation of more than 2,500 hours using their workflows of the past. These faster and cheaper methods allow the Conservancy to automatically update their data making it practical to greatly improve their monitoring across the entire watershed.


Cassandra Pallai, Geospatial Program Manager, spoke to the looming 2025 deadline to achieve their cleanup goals. Each year, the population in the watershed grows by 100,000 people, which places more pressure to improve their impacts and to identify ways they can be most effective.


The improved datasets help to identify gaps in tree cover and holes in the riparian buffers that are the highest potential for pollution from agricultural runoff. The effort has provided a greatly improved baseline, but now the challenge is to track change over time. Thankfully, with the semi-automated workflow new data can be generated much more quickly and cost effectively.


Pallai zeroed in on Albemarle County, using their improved imagery to assess where tree canopy has been lost due to development. While individual developments and tributaries aren’t significant, collectively the action maps for each tributary are the means for reaching their Bay-wide goals.


Environmental management is changing with the move from effort-based to performance-based management that can prioritize specific actions. Focusing on projects where they will generate the biggest “bang for the buck” is becoming possible as they are able to focus more of their resources on spatial analysis rather than spending so much time generating data.


Key takeaways:

  • Raster analytics greatly speeds the creation of high-resolution land cover data using automation and the power of the cloud.
  • The high-resolution data greatly improves project planning across the Bay as well as the quantification of the benefits for each tributary project throughout its action plan.
  • Moving from effort- to performance-based management prioritizes specific actions that have the greatest impact. High-resolution imagery provides the means to measure outcomes remotely rather than rely on time-consuming measurements from the field.


11:48 - Deep Learning with Microsoft


Lucas Joppa, Microsoft’s Chief Environmental Scientist took to the stage to talk about Artificial Intelligence (AI). Microsoft holds a deep belief that humans and machines, working together through increasingly intelligent algorithms, can radically change the way we respond to some of our biggest challenges.


Microsoft has been working alongside Esri to address some of the challenges that the Chesapeake Conservancy faces. They are applying AI to help accelerate the Conservancy’s work in the hopes they can empower more organizations in more places to sustainably manage their lands.


A research project integrated an algorithm into ArcGIS to process images of the Chesapeake watershed. One-meter NAIP imagery from the Living Atlas was used with Microsoft’s Deep Learning model to produce classified NAIP imagery on the fly, identifying forests, fields, water and impervious surfaces such as houses and roads.


The view of the imagery is split into four panes to show the raw imagery, the Chesapeake Conservancy’s landcover classifications, how the deep learning algorithm parsed the imagery, and to show how the deep learning algorithm classified the imagery. The pane that displayed how the algorithm is thinking is very useful because it helps to fine tune the inputs and the algorithm to make it more accurate over time.


Next Microsoft ingested imagery from Oakland County to see if the same deep learning algorithm could classify landcover in a different place it has never seen before. The algorithm ran through and classified imagery for the entire county in the cloud in hours. The exercise helps to benchmark the effectiveness of the algorithm which will get better at classifying imagery at the pace that imagery is collected and posted.


“I hope many of you are sitting there thinking, ‘huh, is that it?’”, says Joppa. “And yes, that really is it! Because ultimately, the point of AI done well is to disappear into the background, letting you forget about the complexity of the computations.”


11:50 - Sit back and relax with Jupyter notebooks!



Rohit Singh uses the ArcGIS API for Python (ArcGIS API for Python) to script and automate a Web GIS, doing things like spatial analysis, GIS administration and content management.


Python in Jupyter Notebooks provides an easy to use modern, interactive, and browser-based application to write and document code. It supports rich media and markdown, and it’s growing very popular in the data science and academic communities.


Singh types Python code to display results interactively. He first imports the ArcGIS API for Python in the notebook and connects to his ArcGIS Online account. In three lines of code, he creates his first map to display content related to San Diego. Another line of code displays a layer for trolley stations. He then adds some places to see and does some spatial analysis with a few more lines of code to find places within a short walk from trolley stations. These are returned as a Pandas dataframe, which are like bringing in Excel into the Jupyter Notebook.


Singh creates another interactive map for his morning runs. He likes to run where it’s flat and in nature, so he does some weighted overlay analysis as well as raster analysis to show a map of places that fit these criteria. This map algebra doesn’t require complex code, and the library of functions from the Python API make it easy to look and run code others have created.


Next Singh shows how it’s easy to script administrative functions with the scenario of a call late Friday from his manager to customize a home page with all the users from his division, add groups for collaboration, and to populate the web page with maps. Thankfully, the workflow has all been scripted, so all he needs to do is combine the scripts and “run all.” A manual process would have taken hours, but it’s done in a matter of minutes.


11:55 - Going deep with IBM


Singh hands off to Mansour Raad who shows how Jupyter Notebooks can link to IBM Deep Learning. He shows how Georgia Power uses drones to inspect transmission lines and how they are looking for broken, contaminated, or flashed insulators. Every flight generates thousands of images and with 17,000 miles of transmission lines and more than 60,000 structures the process to find problems is a daunting task.


Today they do tagging and classifying manually. We’ve trained IBM Watson to visually filter images for broken insulators using deep learning by creating Python models to automate the process.


The IBM Watson API has deep learning visual recognition for deep understanding to automate feature identification.

12:10 - Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service (STARS)


Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service (STARS) is a nonprofit air ambulance service that serves the western Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. They are dedicated to saving lives with their highly specialized helicopter emergency medical transport systems for the critically ill and injured in an area that is largely remote.


They work closely with partners on the ground in emergency medical services, fire and with hospitals. They also have a number of clients in remote areas that are doing dangerous work, such as the field crews that work for oil and gas companies and other natural resource extraction industries.


Kevin Hatch, Telecommunication Specialist at the STARS Emergency Link Centre, speaks to the importance of the close monitoring of each mission to coordinate transport and care. Each mission requires constant aircraft monitoring and coordination with partners to keep the patient and the aircraft safe. For each mission, they assess access issues in remote locations, weather conditions, the availability of resources, the location of landing sites, and the condition of the patient.


An emergency physician with a background in transport medicine selects the most appropriate option and oversees the care of the patient during transport. The dispatcher stays in contact with the flight and air medical crews, adjusting and communicating each variable of the transport as conditions dictate.


STARS has built a dynamic Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) application using ArcGIS GeoEvent Server and ArcGIS GeoAnalytics Server to script and automate the display of all of the variables that guide their missions.


Paul Wiles, GIS and Telephony Technologist, STARS Emergency Link Centre explains how the dynamic SOP pulls in the real-time details from the dispatcher, the status of the helicopter, and the geography of the incident to display the relevant information to make mission decisions.


The GeoEvent Server enriches the information with additional knowledge, such as the preregistered emergency response plans specific to each oil and gas customer. The plans include the location of workers, and site details such as air access points, potential hazards and the medical capabilities at the site.


The GeoEvent Server is able to take in the AVL signal for the location of the helicopter, and factors in the status and location to instruct the dispatcher to perform actions specific to the geography. It reminds the dispatcher to secure the landing zone, and triggers them to pass along updates to both the pilots and the air medical crews.


The dynamic SOP displays only the information that is necessary, telling the dispatcher what they need to know when they need to know it. This automation triggered by the current geography of the helicopter greatly improves efficiency, reduces human error by streamlining the details the dispatcher needs to juggle, and ensures that the best lifesaving decisions are made.


In the words of one of STARS’ dispatchers, “These maps and apps have changed our world.”


In addition to the dynamic SOP innovation, STARS is also using this data for spatial analysis of their broader operations, including the analysis of historical mission data. They have been in operation for 30 years, and just recently gained the ability to see all of their mission data on a map.


The new analysis of flight paths, flight volumes, and changes in paths and flight volume is leading to new questions. They are seeing patterns in their data that is allowing them to determine the best form of transport that gets the patient from the scene to the point of best care. Putting their data on a map gives the visual they need to create context-specific dialogue to improve their coverage and response times.


Hatch shows a short video that documents patients whose outcomes were improved by quick access to medical care.


“When we talk about dynamic SOPs, mapping, spatial analysis, innovation, engagement, what we’re really talking about are improvements to the tools our team uses to help us make more success stories,” says Hatch. “Because at the end of the day it’s about the patient.”


Key takeaways:

  • The ArcGIS GeoEvent Server and ArcGIS GeoAnalytics Server have allowed STARS to automate the display of the dynamic variables that guide each mission.
  • Displaying data as its needed based upon the geography allows the dispatcher provide focused instructions to the flight and air medical crews while coordinating with on-the-ground partners.
  • Analyzing historical flight data with a map-based view has provided new insight into data patterns to improve response times.



And that's a wrap for the Morning Plenary Session!

Join us after the lunch break on the Live Blog: 2017 Esri UC Plenary (Afternoon Session)

We're excited to announce that, like we did last year, we'll be live blogging the Monday plenary, posting daily updates and hosting GeoNet Community meet-ups at UC 2017! So whether you're at User Conference or not, we invite you to follow along and join the conversation in the User Conference space on GeoNet. Check out the event details below and we look forward to sharing what's happening in San Diego throughout the week here on GeoNet and connecting with you at UC. 


Plenary Live Blog 

During the plenary, Matt Ball  and I will be live blogging the morning and afternoon session presentations on GeoNet in the User Conference space. We invite you to follow and share your experiences in the comments on those blog posts.


UC 2017 Daily Updates 

On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Matt, myself and a host of guest contributors (customers, partners and Esri staff) will be contributing to the daily updates about what we're learning and experiencing throughout the week. Beginning on Tuesday you can follow each daily blog post in the User Conference space. 


GeoNet SIG/Meetups 

What: Connect with other GeoNet Community members and hear how, and why, more than 220,000 Esri Community members, like you, are working better, sharing ideas and finding valuable solutions on GeoNet. Search this event in the UC agenda  ) and add it to your schedule.  We're also excited to announce that you can add to your UC button collection by picking up the first-ever GeoNet UC button!


When: 12-1pm PST, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

  • Note: to allow for your UC scheduling flexibility, the GeoNet SIG/meet-ups will be held onTuesday, Wednesday andThursday featuring the same content (see agenda below) on each day. 

Where:  SDCC - Room 24 B

  • You are encouraged to bring your lunch to the event. 




GeoNet 101 session

For the first time at UC we're hosting a GeoNet 101 hands-on and interactive session to welcome and support new members. Know a fellow Esri user who needs to join and get started GeoNet? Invite them to this session! 


When: Wednesday, 10:15 am - 11:30 am PST


Where: Marina - Salon F


Who is this 101 session for?

  • This hands-on and instructional session is for Esri users who have just learned about GeoNet and haven't joined yet, or users who have just begun their journey and want to learn the basics of GeoNet. 
  • Search this GeoNet 101 event in the UC agenda and add it to your schedule.

What to expect?  

  • Hear the history of GeoNet and learn the basics of how to get started on GeoNet and so you can join the growing community of more than 200,000 Esri users and GIS professionals.
  • We'll also share success stories about how the Esri Community is using GeoNet to share ideas, ask questions, collaborate better and get help on their GIS projects.
  • This session is interactive so plan to get tips and hands-on instruction to begin your GeoNet journey at UC!

With the deadline fast approaching, we want to encourage you to submit your images for the Plenary Session at the Esri User Conference (Esri UC).

This is a great opportunity to show the world how you're leveraging GIS technology to overcome challenges, solve real-world problems, and achieve your goals. When you submit your images for consideration, you could see one or more of them showcased by Jack Dangermond at the Plenary Session.

Show us how your maps

  • Helped drive smarter decisions about resources, operations, or strategy
  • Helped communities work together
  • Helped people understand a complex topic or tell a story
  • Illustrate spatial analysis, modeling, and science
  • Illustrate integration with other systems
  • Illustrate the use of ArcGIS technology
  • Illustrate the use of ArcGIS for Server, or other web mapping applications

Submit your image today! The submission deadline is June 6, 2017.

Hi GeoNet Community members - We're getting together at UC 2017 and we invite you to attend these GeoNet community events happening during the week. Check out the event details below and we look forward to seeing you at UC! 


GeoNet Community SIG/Meet-up

What: Connect with other GeoNet Community members and hear how (and why) more than 220,000 Esri Community members, like you, are working better, sharing ideas and finding valuable solutions on GeoNet. We'll also share more about the GeoNet Community strategy including roadmap updates, current metrics, feature tips, and inspiring user success stories. Search this event in the UC agenda and add it to your schedule. 


When: 12-1pm PST, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

  • Note: to allow for your UC scheduling flexibility, this GeoNet SIG/meet-up will be held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday featuring the same content on each day. Click the links above to read more info and RSVP. 


Where:  SDCC - Room 24 B

  • You are encouraged to bring your lunch to the event. 



GeoNet 101 session

For the first time at UC we're hosting a GeoNet 101 hands-on and interactive session to welcome and support new members. Know a fellow Esri user who needs to join and get started GeoNet? Invite them to this session! 


When: Wednesday, 10:15 am - 11:30 am PST


Where: Marina - Salon F


Who is this 101 session for?

  • This hands-on and instructional session is for Esri users who have just learned about GeoNet and haven't joined yet, or users who have just begun their journey and want to learn the basics of GeoNet. 
  • Search this GeoNet 101 event in the UC agenda and add it to your schedule.

What to expect?  

  • Hear the history of GeoNet and learn the basics of how to get started on GeoNet and so you can join the growing community of more than 200,000 Esri users and GIS professionals.
  • We'll also share success stories about how the Esri Community is using GeoNet to share ideas, ask questions, collaborate better and get help on their GIS projects.
  • This session is interactive so plan to get tips and hands-on instruction to begin your GeoNet journey at UC!

IMG_0410 (1).jpg


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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Esri 5K Run/Walk

By Chris Catania


Welcome to Day 3 of UC!  We kick off today's coverage with a shout out to the runners of the Esri 5K run/walk. The festivities got going early at 6:30am as more than 500 conference attendees ran, jogged and walked their way around the marina. It was a perfectly cool morning and a great start to the day as everyone celebrated the 3.2 mile journey with high fives and post-race selfies as they triumphantly crossed the finish line then headed to the showers to gear up for another exciting day at the User Conference. Nice work, everyone!


Special thanks to the Esri Startup Program for the race photo!


Stay tuned for more updates today as we continue to explore User Conference. What are you looking forward today? What have been your favorite experiences and moments so far?


Drone Zone!!!

by Timothy Hales




The drone zone was a popular spot during the Esri UC Expo. Every time someone fired up a drone people gathered around to catch a glimpse of the action. Partners presented various applications that used drone technology to inspect structures, compile imagery, and collect LiDAR. As mentioned in the Plenary, Esri recently released Drone2Map (Drone2Map for ArcGIS)   which turns raw still imagery from drones into professional 2D and 3D imagery products. The desktop app will mean that affordable imagery is available on demand for land analysis, infrastructure inspection, and monitoring events such as natural disasters and environmental changes.



AAG GeoMentor

by Timothy Hales




It was great to meet up with Candice Luebbering who works with the AAG Geomentors. They are working to connect GIS professionals and educators across the world to help teach students GIS technology. Esri has partnered with them to provide resources and support. One of Esri's initiatives is ConnectEd which provides free online mapping for schools. Connect with them on GeoNet - GeoMentors.


Inspired by students in the map gallery

by Chris Catania


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I enjoyed touring around the map gallery on Monday and through the conference! This being my first UC it was great to explore all the different maps and talk with the map authors and learn what inspired them.  During the plenary I was impressed by the student presentations so decided to talk with the students from UC Berkley (top left), National 4-H GIS leadership team (top right) and the San Andreas High School (bottom) about their work in GIS.  Reflecting on their work and understanding more about the focus of their maps encouraged me think deeper about the world around me. The future of GIS is bright, indeed. And I'm looking forward to continuing the student conversation in the GeoMentors group.


What were your favorite map discoveries and discussions? What did you learn as you cruised through the map gallery?


Exploring "what's next" in the Esri Startup area

By Timothy Hales




The Esri Startup Program (Esri Startup Program) area in the expo was buzzing with excitement and innovation. We spent a few minutes with Jeff Lafrenz from VizworX – Visibly Better Solutions . They offer a product that focuses on in-person collaboration. They provide the capability for multiple people to engage within a single map displayed on a touch screen. Each person has their own viewer to interact with the map. They even have a way for a remote user to interact with the map. I was very impress with use of the APIs and look forward to seeing how their product develops over time.


GeoNet Community Meet-up

by Chris Catania

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It was good times and great conversations at our second GeoNet Community UC meet-up! We celebrated the growth of the GeoNet by sharing community metrics and success stories and we talked about the future strategy of the community.


Best of all, we had an excellent conversation with our members and it was a pleasure to hear from top contributor and MVP, Rebecca Strauch, GISP about the value of the community to her daily GIS work and what she's learning:


“I’m amazed at how much I learn when I browse thru the various posts. It’s incredible how many times I see something that could help me improve the project I’m working on right now, or something I want to look into later.”


“I am a GIS analyst, developer and ArcGIS Server administrator and also manage the licenses, provide user support and troubleshoot in our department. When it comes to issues I come across, I typically don’t have anyone in the office that I can talk to. GeoNet is like a very large, extended peer group. There is almost always someone that has come across the same issue, and even if not, there are many other users that are willing to help or giving things I can try out myself. Even if I end up calling tech support, I’ve typically already done research so I can expedite the conversation by letting them know what I’ve already ruled out.”


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


We're looking forward to the last meet-up tomorrow at 12pm in 33A. See you there!


Traveling, Mapping the world at the GIS Kids Fair

By Chris Catania

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Later in the afternoon we made our way to the GIS Kids Fair. During the conference more than 200 kids and parents had attended the fair and it was a joy to see families having so much fun working together and virtually traveling around the world and using GIS to make memories as they mapped out their journey with story maps. Kudos to the Esri training and certification staff for putting together an excellent learning and collaborative experience.



Social learning and listening at its best

by Chris Catania

The day wrapped up as we took in the evening's social poolside festivities at the YPN social and the GeoDev Meet-up. Since I'm only 82 days into my role at Esri, one of my favorite parts of the UC has been to meet and talk with Esri customers and I had many opportunities to ask questions, listen and learn at both events. I've had so many valuable discussions this week and I've appreciated getting a better understanding of how they use GIS in their work and how they currently use (or don't use) the GeoNet Community and how would like to see the GeoNet experience evolve.


Each conversation has helped me understand where we should and shouldn't take the community. Best of all, these informal social chats have revealed many valuable nuances of how the Esri platform is utilized across the various industries.


And what I've discovered this week has really inspired me to think differently and find ways to connect customers and Esri employees in the community and enable us to work better and collaborate more. And I look forward to sharing more of what I'm learning as our journey continues.


What did you enjoy the most about Day 3? What are you learning so far at UC?

We're excited to announce that we'll be hosting GeoNet Community meet-ups, live blogging and starting interactive discussions during User Conference this year! The live blogging and daily discussions will take place in the User Conference space on GeoNet. Check out the details below and let us know if you are able to attend either meet-up or would like to share your UC experience and contribute to the live blogging or daily discussions. We're looking forward to connecting with you at UC! Thanks and let us know if you have any questions, ideas or suggestions.


Live blogging and daily discussion details:


  • Live blogging: Throughout the conference Timothy Hales and I will be live blogging various events and presentations on GeoNet in the User Conference space. We invite you to follow and share your experiences in the comments on those blog posts.


  • Daily discussions: Each day we will post a discussion thread where you can contribute to the daily questions and share your UC experiences. News updates and a recap of the previous day's live blogging will also be included in the discussions post.



Meet-up Details


Monday, June 27: Informal Meet & Greet Meet-up

  • What: Meet & Greet with Chris & Timothy and Esri Community members
  • When: 4-5pm
  • Where: Map Gallery (specific location TBD)


Tuesday - Thursday, June 28-30: Formal meet-ups with agenda

Note: These meet-ups will happen each day Tuesday through Thursday and have a more detailed agenda than the Monday informal Meet & Greet meet-up. The idea is that the agenda will be the same for these meet-ups, and given your UC schedules for Tuesday through Thursday, you can attend a formal meet-up that fits your schedule. Here are the details and sneak peek at what you can expect.

  • What: Meet-up with detailed agenda (below)
  • When: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday from 12-1pm
  • Where: SDCC, Room 33A


Meet-up agenda

  • Meet and Greet with Chris Catania and Timothy Hales
  • Recognize top members for collaboration and contributions
  • Member success stories
  • Special guest: Christina Sullivan, Head of Marketing Strategy and Planning
    • Christina will join us to share work on an Esri branding refresh initiative. Your feedback on this initiative will help us expand into new markets while preserving our core markets and users. Join us and get in on the ground floor of this exciting work!
  • What’s coming next in GeoNet (new features, etc.)
  • Wrap-up and Q&A