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15 Posts authored by: lfountain-esristaff Employee

COVID-19 & Crisis Management

Este GeraghtyWith the growing impact of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on our day to day lives, families, and well-being, the GIS community response became increasingly vital as a communications hub and crisis response resource all over the world. Este Geraghty and Ryan Lanclos had a segment in the User Conference that highlighted the ArcGIS Dashboards, ArcGIS Hubs, and ArcGIS Survey123 solutions from countries and communities across the globe.


There are new capabilities and approaches available for GIS professionals to continue local responses to #covid-19 See the video to learn how time series forecasting, ArcGIS Indoors, and community contact tracing can help you expand your response solutions:


Time Modeling For an example of time series modeling, Lauren Bennett demonstrates how to forecast data and in ArcGIS Pro






Amanda Stanko demonstrated how ArcGIS Indoors could help businesses follow social distancing guidelines and manage available space to allow people to work.


Contact TracingJuhan Yoon used ArcGIS Pro to show how community contact tracing can work for finding hotspots, visualizing contact transmission, and more.







Learn more about the Disaster Response framework, program, and lessons learned over time to improve GIS technology and our response.  


Watch: COVID-19 & Crisis Management – A GIS Approach


Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainable Development GoalsJack introduced Jeffrey Sachs, President of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), to the Plenary to share more about sustainable goals and the new opportunity to work in real-time to realize these goals with GIS. Jeffrey explains how the SDSN was developed to address the universal challenges of our population and our environment. The interconnectedness of these issues can be addressed by the interconnectedness of our network and capabilities as geographers and GIS practitioners. The launch of is a resource to visualize and analyze the work towards these goals at a faster frequency with Esri technology, using GeoCards.


Watch: SDSN – A Conversation on Global Sustainability


National Geographic Society – A Conversation on Education

The National Geographic Society is expanding its legacy of education about our world. Dr. Vicki Phillips, Executive Vice President & Chief Education Officer of National Geographic Society, introduced their goals to increase access to geographic knowledge in partnership with Esri. Watch the video to learn more about their educational resources and plans launched with and learn how they aspire to cultivate a new generation of GIS changemakers. Sign up for a free 3-month subscription to National Geographic Society from the User Conference digital swag page.


Watch: National Geographic Society – A Conversation on Education

During the closing session, Esri announced winners from the Map Gallery and shared some results from the virtual UC. Check out a few of the many winners from the Map Gallery and some interesting stats from the 2020 Esri User Conference and virtual Run/Walk activity. 


Best Cartography Map Gallery Winner

Grave Smoky Mountains National Park

 Best Cartography Winner


For Best Cartography, this map by Aaron Koelker created with ArcGIS Pro was selected. During a UC Live segment, Kenneth Fields, John Nelson, and Edie Punt analyzed the design of the map and pointed out the balanced use of negative space, typography, and styling as some of the winning features of this map.


UC Live AnalystsUC Live Cartography


First Place ArcGIS Analytic Methods and Results Map Gallery Winner

Evaluation of Visitation Across 21 New York State Parks

21 State Parks


Trust for Public Land won for the ArcGIS Analytical Methods and Results category by mapping anonymized cell phone data for 21 public parks. The map was created with ArcGIS Pro, ModelBuilder, ArcMap, ArcGIS Notebooks, and R, and was featured in the new GIS for Equity & Social Justice category.


First Place Communicating Science Spatially Map Gallery Winner

Re-wilding the city: Urbanscape Connectivity Potential across Bristol, UK

 Rewilding A City


For Communicating Science Spatially, the Re-wilding of Bristol, UK was selected for first place. The author, Emma Hall, is a student of University of the West of England and she used ArcGIS Pro to create this thematic map to illustrate opportunities for connectivity with wildlife. See her video introduction for more information about her studies.  


See the full list of Virtual Map Gallery Award Winners for more categories.


We broke records with attendance this year as a result of having a virtual conference. Here are a few metrics about how many users and staff participated. 


Total Registered Users



Esri Staff




57% United States / International 43%

To get a sense of where our registered attendees were located around the world, check out this density map shared during a UC Live segment.

 UC Registrants Map


Some of our four-legged friends were able to join the conference with their finest Esri swag for the first time as well.

 Dogs of the Esri UC


In an ArcGIS StoryMap about the Virtual Run/Walk, you can see how users participated in Uruguay, United Kingdom, Kenya, Latvia, and other countries. You can also see how a few runners got creative with tracking their activity:


Esri RunWalk 2020

Total Distance from Esri’s Virtual Run/Walk

16,297 km / 10,126 mi


Learn More in the Esri Virtual Run/Walk StoryMap



UC attendees found topics on ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Field Apps, ArcGIS StoryMaps, and ways to improve map design as must-see sessions out of the available technical sessions in the virtual platform. Here are the top 10 live sessions that were attended:


Top 10 Live Sessions

  1. ArcGIS Pro: The Road Ahead
  2. Map Wizardy with ArcGIS
  3. ArcGIS Field Apps: The Road Ahead
  4. ArcGIS Pro Tasks: An Introduction
  5. ArcGIS Pro: An Introduction to Mapping and Visualization
  6. ArcGIS StoryMaps: What’s New and What’s Coming
  7. ArcGIS Pro: Migrating from ArcMap
  8. ArcGIS Enterprise: An Introduction
  9. ArcGIS API for Python: An Introduction to the Modules
  10. ArcGIS Maps for Adobe Creative Cloud: An Introduction


For user sessions, peer users were interested in 3D, coding subject matters for Python, Arcade, R - ArcGIS, and more.


Top 10 User Sessions

  1. 3D Analyst: Surface Modeling with 3D Analyst
  2. ArcGIS Dashboards: Designing Effective Dashboards
  3. Advanced Analysis of Satellite Imagery Using Python
  4. 3D Feature and Sub-Surface Analysis
  5. ArcGIS Arcade: An Introduction
  6. ArcGIS API for Python: An Introduction
  7. ArcGIS Pro: An Introduction
  8. BIM & GIS: Monitoring Works Execution and Environment with Surveying Drone
  9. ArcGIS Collector: Advanced Data Collection Workflows
  10. A Tour of the R-ArcGIS Bridge


Keep your virtual UC experience alive with Esri GeoNet! The GeoNet Community has almost 200,000 registered Esri users, with more new users joining the community every day. You can always network, connect, collaborate, and share your work here for feedback and professional development. You’ll find Esri staff and distributors here to assist you and bring you the latest on products and solutions offered by Esri. To join the Esri Community, start here.


Check out these stories of how users in the Esri Community found support with GeoNet:



Catch up on recaps for the UC 2020

From the GeoExperience Center at Esri’s headquarters in Redlands, California, Esri staff demonstrated new products and capabilities from the ArcGIS Platform. Here is a brief summary of the demos, the products, product communities, and links to videos to see the demos again from the 2020 Esri User Conference



Day 1

ArcGIS Online Map Viewer Beta

Madeline Schueren welcomes viewers to the GeoExperience Center and proceeds to present the ArcGIS Online Map Viewer that you can access now through ArcGIS Online.


With Map Viewer Beta, users can quickly create map visualizations with the power of ArcGIS API for JavaScript. Madeline was able to show the diverse demographics of Los Angeles by applying colorblind-friendly gradients, palettes specifically designed for dark backgrounds, and by mapping with dot density. In a map of the City of Philadelphia, she demonstrated clustering, custom label attributes, and filtering capabilities.


Take a look at the use of the cartographic blending feature in the last map, where she was able to create vivid imagery of terrain and population data.


Watch: ArcGIS Online Map Viewer (7:20)


Suitability Modeling


Suitability ModelingIn ArcGIS Pro, Juhan Yoon demonstrated a new way to spark learning of spatial analysis through a new suitability modeling tool. Juhan performed the task to find additional land to produce coffee in Hawaii by collecting layers with pertinent data. After visualizing options and applying numerical scoring, Juhan optimized the results and created a new map to demonstrate the Gaussian function for locating wet and dry soil.


Watch: ArcGIS Pro Suitability Modeler (5:38)


ArcGIS Pro 3D Voxels


3D Voxels



Ivonne Seler demonstrated the 3D Voxels capability coming with ArcGIS Pro 2.6. With 3D Voxels, data is stored in 3-dimensional cubes for data analysis. Ivonne uses the example of carbon monoxide concentrations to show the capability and slices into 3D data for further analysis.






3D VoxelsIn another example, Ivonne analyzes soil information that could be impactful to construction companies in the Netherlands. Through 500 million voxel cubes, Ivonne exaggerated the data to locate high concentration areas of a particular soil. See the full demo for this and another example that visualizes temperature levels in the Atlantic Ocean.


Watch: ArcGIS Pro 3D Vexels (3:51)


Day 2

ArcGIS Pro


Additional functionality from ArcGIS Pro featured in the Plenary included custom map graphics, the Least Square Adjustment tool for parcel data management, integration with Autodesk BIM 360, the Utility Network and Non-spatial objects feature, spatial analysis and geoprocessing functionality, and the Locate XT extension.


Custom Graphics in ArcGIS Pro


To kick off the features segment of ArcGIS Pro, Michelle Viengvilay created a map of the Galapagos Islands. She enhanced the map by adding a custom graphics layer featuring the currents, a custom label of the map, and additional details.




Parcel Management in ArcGIS ProThe next capability was a new feature for parcel fabric management. Jason Camerano used the Least Square Adjustment Tool to help quality check parcel data in a town in Texas and increased the accuracy of spatial points for a county in Wisconsin.


Autodesk BIM 360 will be integrated with ArcGIS Pro, improving collaboration and productivity for GIS teams. With the integration, you can work with different file types and incorporate Utility Network data.


Delison da Silva used Utility Network and the non-spatial object capability to help a telecommunications team track their equipment with unique non-spatial features.


Spatial Analysis and GeoprocessingFor spatial analysis and geoprocessing, Ankita Bakshi showed two new capabilities: Colocation analysis and spider diagrams that show origin destination links.


Kenyon Huber-Wilker showed how Locate XT, an extension for ArcGIS Pro and ArcGIS Enterprise, can extract data from a large set of unstructured documents, format the text, and adjust the text for language and timestamps. See the video to see these six features in action. 


Watch ArcGIS Pro: Six New Capabilities (15:17)


Site Scan for ArcGIS


Site Scan for ArcGIS
Site Scan enables users to manage their drone data, flight plan, image processing, and analysis as an “end-to-end” solution for drone workflows. Jeremiah Johnson introduces the product and performs a full drone launch in this demo using the solution.


Watch: Site Scan for ArcGIS (3:28)




Imagery and Remote Sensing


Imagery and Remote SensingJulia Lenhardt showed how raster analysis features could determine changes in land imagery with the Continuous Change Detection Tool. For predictive raster analysis, Vinay Viswambharan, demonstrated a workflow with a few steps. Vinay uses the trend analysis tool, applies a new prediction tool, creates a temporal profile, and produces a time-series map to show the prediction in temperature changes.


Watch: Imagery & Remote Sensing (6:44)




Analytics IoT

ArcGIS Analytics for IoT

Using a current project with the State of California and Esri, Suzanne Foss shared a project where she mapped the real-time data of vehicles and trucks, and enhanced reporting on activities by setting e-mail notifications for specific events.


Watch: ArcGIS Analytics for IoT (4:38)





Artificial Intelligence Deep LearningArtificial Intelligence and Deep Learning


Fifteen deep learning models are available through ArcGIS API for Python. Follow Shannon Kalisky in this demo as she goes through steps to create a deep learning model. This capability will be coming to 3D Base Map Solutions for Local Government.


Watch: AI & Deep Learning (4:03)




ArcGIS Experience Builder


ArcGIS Experience Builder

Build an app solution with the tools and features of ArcGIS Experience Builder. Kenyon Huber-Wilker walks through creating a custom solution with ArcGIS Survey123, ArcGIS Dashboards, ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World, and ArcGIS StoryMaps for a disaster response communications hub.


Watch: ArcGIS Experience Builder (6:52)


Day 3

Living Atlas of the World - GeoCards

ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World - Indicators of the Planet (GeoCards)


Bernie Szukalski presented, GeoCards, a product that can be seen in the ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World Indicators of the Planet. GeoCards help summarize key data and indicators of content that can be used with ArcGIS Experience Builder and ArcGIS StoryMaps. Get a glimpse of how it was used in ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World and learn how you can use and incorporate these cards in your next project.


Watch: A Global GIS, Jack Dangermond (19:54)



Catch up on recaps for the UC 2020

Jack opening the Plenary Esri UC 2020

Day 1: Plenary

Jack warmly welcomed an audience of 80,000 to the first virtual Esri User Conference hosted at corporate headquarters in Redlands. This is a second first-time for Esri to host a user conference in Redlands, as this was where the first Esri User Conference was hosted 40 years ago, with 11 people in attendance.


The virtual UC provides more users the opportunity to attend the conference who haven’t attended before from all over the world. While the audience is diverse with industries, disciplines, and interests with GIS, we are united by our mission to address the issues of the world that impact us all. 


Your Work

Jack highlighted a few maps out of thousands that were submitted for the Esri User Conference. This review features several types of geospatial analysis and applications including Environmental Monitoring, Modeling, and Assessment, Natural Resources Management, Managing and Analyzing Land Information, Urban Design and Planning, 3D Building and City Modeling, Transportation Planning and Management, Engineering and Public Works, Utilities and Telecommunications, Public Safety and Emergency Management, Water and Wastewater Management, Disaster Preparation and Response, Remote Sensing Sensing, and Cartography.


A video highlighting the GIS Community’s work with COVID-19 responses featured a glimpse of the thousands of ArcGIS Dashboards, ArcGIS Online maps, and ArcGIS Hub created to monitor the pandemic in local communities.


Celebrating Excellence in GIS

Out of all of the Esri users in the world, “less than 100th of 1 percent” of users were selected in the United States and Global categories for the Special Achievement in GIS Awards (SAG Awards). Winners from a variety of industries were acknowledged on screen and with a special message from Jack on the SAG Awards page


“There’s no greater acknowledgment that we can give GIS professionals than to be acknowledged in front of their peers. Only they know what it took to build the systems, to get the support, to do the right science, to build the right workflows, to create the right maps,” said Jack.

View the full list of winners on the Esri’s website to sort winners by category.


See the List of Winners 


The honoree for the Making A Difference Award went to Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering. Johns Hopkins made trillions of maps and generated billions of views behind an idea that started from graduate student, Ensheng Dong, to track the spread of coronavirus and ultimately “woke up the world to seeing it in context” after the Johns Hopkins team scaled their work for everyone.


The Enterprise GIS Award went to the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development for implementing enterprise GIS within their department and empowering each field employee in the organization with GIS capabilities.


Enel Green Power was an additional Enterprise GIS Award recipient, as pioneering leaders with renewable energy.


The President’s Award went to The Regional Municipality of York in Ontario, Canada. They built the first shared geospatial infrastructure system by collaborating with agencies and networks.  


Watch Esri UC 2020 – Welcoming Our Users Virtually, Jack Dangermond


GIS-Interconnecting Our World


The world saw how a global pandemic, social unrest, and changes in our natural environment are impacting us in 2020. Environmental degradation and social instability are challenges that interconnect us, but with understanding, communication, and collaboration, we can address these together through GIS. 


To scale this effort, GIS professionals and organizations are working towards creating geospatial infrastructures to communicate and collaborate on unified approaches to address what’s happening now and what will come in the future. Hear from Jack on the importance of GIS during these challenging times.


Watch GIS-Interconnecting Our World


ArcGIS – Helping Our Users Be Successful

In this segment, Jack reviews what’s new and what’s on the road ahead for ArcGIS to help users be successful with their efforts to integrate and transform the use and application of GIS in our world.


The Developer team opens this segment with a 4-minute overview of what’s new with ArcGIS software in 3D, Smart Cities Solutions, ArcGIS Online, Spatial Data Management, ArcGIS Mission, and more. Here are the products reviewed and what’s new with their video timestamps:



ArcGIS Products

Esri Geo-Enabled Systems

What’s Next


As GIS technology and your career in the industry progresses, Esri has resources available and training to keep your skills sharp. GeoNet is one of those resources where users can learn from each other, collaborate, share ideas about their work. If you’re not a member, start here to learn more about the community. 

Follow places of interest for professional development and skill-building here including Esri Training, Esri Press Books, and Learn ArcGIS.



Serving Our Users

Like many people around the world, Esri staff is working from home to see you succeed in your work with GIS. After playing a montage of what working from home looks like for Esri staff, Jack highlighted a few resources from Esri, Esri Partners, and Esri relationships to serve your work.


  • The Disaster Response Team has been working diligently with Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) solutions and supporting users with building GIS responses in communities.
  • Through Esri’s special relationship with National Geographic Society, a free 3-month digital subscription to the magazine is offered to Esri users as a part of the digital swag bag.
  • For K-12 students, the National Geographic Society also announced a new resource for education through
  • Learn ArcGIS will be extending access to lessons for one year for higher education students starting September 1, 2020.


 “You’ll be increasingly essential as the world continues to evolve,” said Jack in closing. With global challenges impacting organizations, communities, and our environment, GIS professionals, and the technology they use will be essential to helping the world understand the way to creating a sustainable future.


Watch Serving Our Users

The Closing Session video from the virtual Esri User Conference will be posted and only available for replay through the end of today - Thursday, July 16 in the UC Main Stage. During the live stream of the closing session, the audio dropped just a few minutes before the session ended. That content was recorded and the concluding comments from Jack will be included


Check back in the virtual UC Main Stage for those who are interested in hearing the rest of the Closing Session! 

The virtual Esri User Conference 2020 is buzzing with 80,000 attendees navigating their way from the main stage, to technical sessions, to the Expo, and more all within a few moves of a mouse.


Here are a few things I'm catching around the conference so far. Comment below about how your virtual experience is going and tell us what your favorite moment has been.


Getting Started

For those who have not attended a User Conference in San Diego, I'll walk you through the typical way your day might start at the convention center as a way to explore the new virtual conference. In San Diego, when you go to registration to get your badge, this is where you decide whether your badge will simply be your registration badge or whether it will be your badge of honor from participating in the quiet, competitive hunt of button collecting. You'll be tempted to start by picking up a few buttons as you receive your swag bag for the conference.



UC BackgroundsConsider the button collecting this year to be virtual backgrounds. In the Digital Swag Bag, you'll find custom Esri Zoom backgrounds to download for use in your next online meeting. You could even have Jack pop in your meeting to check on things (pictured bottom left) or see yourself on top of the Data World (top right).


Download the poster with Globie demonstrating some yoga moves that you can do between sessions, a virtual Map Book, activities for kids, and more.


From the registration booth, you might choose to browse through the Esri store before you go to the Expo. You can do that by visiting the new live Esri Merch Store, now available online. Check out the available books from Esri Press Books, t-shirts, and more swag to add to your collection. You can also purchase software in the Esri Store.



The Expo

Browsing the Expo is where you'll find the opportunity to see engaging exhibits, meet vendors and colleagues, and engage with Esri staff in their Showcase exhibits. With this virtual experience, you can live chat with representatives at their booths, watch videos, or visit linked resources.


The GeoNet team is in the Esri Showcase, and we've been receiving hellos and visits from our GeoNet Community MVPs Chelsea Rozek, Matthew Driscoll, Curtis Price,  and Rickey Fite. Thanks for stopping by to chat!

If you are in the Conference, be sure to stop by to ask the GeoNet Team questions and see our available links and new video announcement for the expected launch date of the GeoNet Platform Update! Michelle Mathias and Christopher Catania are also available for one-on-one meetings if you have some questions about the Esri Community.






Not only can you meet with Esri Staff, sponsors, and exhibitors, you can connect with other users in the conference in a Networking feature within the platform.






Map Gallery

Your next stop after the Expo, if you're killing some time before a session, you might just stop by the Map Gallery for some inspiration. Whether you're a registered User Conference attendee or not, you can still browse the map gallery and participate in voting for your favorite maps.


Here are a few interesting ones:


Check out this Star Wars map created with ArcGIS Pro from Daniel Adams.



From the GIS for Equity & Social Justice category, Young Scholar Azile Mdleleni created an ArcGIS StoryMaps about Life in the informal settlement of Alaska in South Africa.



From the Local Government category, Peter Snajczuk shared a map created with ArcGIS Pro and Python to determine the height of buildings for solar panel installation.



Explore more in the Map Gallery.


Technical Sessions, Presentations, and UC Live  

The best part of User Conference is all of the workshops and sessions for products, industries, and special interest groups, where you can enhance your skills, get help for your most challenging questions, and connect with other users in your field.








For featured technical sessions, I stopped by Map Wizardry with ArcGIS, where John Nelson and Kenneth Field shared ways to create great maps along with some resources to get started. Viewers interacted with the presenters in a chat box during the session.





User sessions are presented on-demand so that you can watch an array of sessions around your schedule at any time. Pictured is a user presentation on using ArcGIS Enterprise among the Tribal Community from Frank Roberts of INNOVATE! Inc.











Esri staff members are hosting interactive chats with attendees as they discuss a range of topics.
During yesterday's Mappy Hour, viewers participated in a 3D versus 2D discussion after seeing a 3D rendering of the original 2D Mindard map. Which map would you prefer?



Stacy Krieg of Esri Press Books, Margot Bordne, Whitney Kotlewski, and special guest host Rae Wynn Grant discussed the Women In GIS book and their upcoming special interest group session on Thursday, July 16. Check out the updated agenda in the platform to get reminded of sessions of interest to you. You can also see our User Conference space for agendas.



Virtual Experience


Virtual UC Run/Walk

If San Diego attendees were missing out on seeing their step counts increase or missing the unique community experience of the Esri UC Run/Walk activity, Esri created a Virtual Run/Walk that kicked off on Monday, July 13.  Even if you're not registered to attend the Esri UC, you can still join the worldwide movement by signing up and walking or running in your neighborhood.









Is your first time attending? Share with us what you're getting out of the virtual UC.



More updates to come!

Do you have questions about GeoNet or want to learn how to connect and collaborate with the Esri Community? GeoNet will be featured in the virtual 2020 Esri User Conference Expo to answer your questions. In our virtual booth, you will be able to chat with GeoNet Team members, arrange 1-on-1 meetings with the team to discuss your community needs, and learn more about the GeoNet Platform Update happening later this year. See the expo hours below.


2020 Virtual Esri UC Expo Hours

Monday, July 13, 2020

12:05 PM - 3:50 PM PDT

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

7:30 AM - 9:40 AM PDT

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

11:10 AM – 3:50 PM PDT

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

7:30 AM - 9:40 AM PDT

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

11:10 AM – 3:50 PM PDT


Follow the User Conference space for the latest content and fliers.

Esri UC 2020 Virtual Banner


It’s official!  The Esri UC will be held online on July 13-15, 2020. See the FAQs for a message from Jack and to learn more about how you can attend this year’s virtual event. Stay tuned for developments! Follow Esri on Twitter for updates and follow the User Conference place.


Event Overview Page | Esri UC FAQs  | Registration Page

Several anniversaries were acknowledged during the week of the UC. There were subtle nods in the event design and not-so-subtle swag giveaways for Esri’s 50th anniversary during the Thursday night celebration. In the Plenary, Jack acknowledged the City of San Diego’s 250th anniversary when they accepted the President’s Award. Jack and Laura also happened to be celebrating their anniversary as well during the week of the UC.


Along with record-breaking UC stats, 2019 was a momentous year for Esri and a particularly special landmark for one of its networks. 


The Esri Young Professionals Network (YPN) celebrated their own milestone of 5 years as a collaborative network bringing young professionals in the geospatial industry together to push the boundaries of technology and bridge connections to GIS with the broader world.


Overview of YPN Social at UC 2019Above: Attendees at the YPN Social on Wednesday Evening at UC 2019


In 2014, YPN started as an Esri employee network in the Washington D.C. office. Jeff Peters, who is now Esri’s Global Business Director, led the network in the beginning to bring employees together as they started their careers in geospatial technology and set the foundation for their career pathways. Participation from a diverse group of employees in all career stages helped foster a community of professionals that helped newcomers to GIS with mentorship and creative thinking. YPN quickly had to move its roots to the Esri headquarters in Redlands due to the overwhelming growth. The network broadened with user participation as well.


YPN Fireside Chat at UC 2019At the UC, YPN hosted sessions and events including a Welcome Social & Fireside Chat on Sunday and their popular YPN Social on Wednesday evening. Attendees have come to expect huge turnouts and great networking, but Wilson Parnell, an Advisory Board Member of YPN, said that wasn’t always the case for YPN’s events in the beginning.

“When YPN hosted sessions before, there would typically be anywhere from five to six in attendance, and now we’re experiencing standing room only in some sessions,” said Parnell. “Our growth in numbers speaks to one of our accomplishments in the past five years.”


Left: GeoNet at the YPN Welcome Social & Fireside Chat


YPNx5 Presentation at UC 2019

Above: Mark Jensen presents the Illinois County Tour Map at the YPNx5: Beyond the Horizon Session at UC 2019


YPNx5: Beyond the Horizon was a session that highlighted the anniversary of YPN at the UC. Instead of touting the accomplishments of the network, however, they turned the focus to their mission to “Connect, Learn, and Lead” by presenting speakers who were seeing beyond current advancements in technology like aerial imagery and artificial intelligence and presented topics that were speaking to their future perspectives as up-and-coming geospatial technology leaders. Their leadership stories all held a theme of service to a bigger picture, from saving penguins and sharks, making decisions around climate change and military strategy, demonstrating fun ways to bring new people into mapping, and using GIS as a catalyst to change the possibilities for African American women and Latino communities.


 “The whole theme of the UC is about service. GIS allows you to make better decisions whether you’re in business, non-profit, social advocacy, or local government. It allows you to chart and map important areas to conserve. GIS is about being in service to someone or something else and I’m glad we captured that feeling in our YPNx5 session.,” said Parnell.


YPN Advisory Board Member, Caroline Garris sees the collaborative nature of YPN as one of its greatest assets and accomplishments. “Not only did we see growth in our sessions, but so many other special interest groups (SIGS) were able to host their own sessions for the first time at the UC,” said Garris. The UC hosted several SIGS around diversity and inclusion that YPN supported with promotion and development efforts to get them launched. They look forward to seeing more SIG sessions being offered in the future.


As far as future growth and goals for YPN, Garris sees YPN reaching beyond the 20,000 attendees at the UC. They’re reaching for the world.


“GIS is a powerful technology,” said Garris. “Using GIS makes us powerful as professionals. So now the question we pose within our network is: How do we share GIS with the broader world so that they can be empowered too? We challenge young professionals to think beyond mapping to explain the power of GIS and how it applies in so many areas. We want to share the power of the 20,000 people at UC with everyone around the world.”


It’s safe to say, we can expect young professionals of all ages will continuously be born in the future with more anniversaries to come under the helm of YPN’s mission and dedicated members. Cheers to your first five years Esri Young Professionals Network and to rising GIS professionals everywhere!


Want to help them reach their goal of reaching out to the world? YPN announced a challenge to GIS professionals at the UC that will soon be shared with the GeoNet Community. Learn more about how you can help spread the knowledge and power of GIS with YPN. Follow their space for announcements! 


If you’re a YPN member, go down memory lane with YPN in this post and share a YPN story that impacted you.

Attendees at Balboa Park

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







Special Anniversary Swag

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


And of course, there were free buttons. 


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

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


Stack of Anniversary BandanasBandana Close Up

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


Man Wearing Anniversary Bandana



Sights & Entertainment

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


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



Some people danced.


Sailor and Woman Dancing


This attendee was inspired to draw.


User Inspired to Draw at Thursday Night Party


Some people played drums.


Woman drums with Thursday Night Party performers.


Others played games...


Group Plays on Foosball Game Table


Lots of games.


Young children playing Jenga

Man and Woman Play Up 4 It Game

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


Mariachi Band Performing

Mexican Folk Dancers


Mexican Folk Dancers Performing


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


Band Performing on Stage

Women Singing in Military Costume

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


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

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


Drummer Smiling in Camera

DJs at Thursday Night Party



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


Family enjoying Thursday Night PartyFamily enjoying Thursday Night Party


Moments & Milestones Timeline


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


Timeline Panel at Esri UCTimeline Panel at Esri UC


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



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


“Philly Women in GIS Branch Started!” -Anonymous

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



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

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



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



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



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

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



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

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


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


“GeoNet community forms.” – Esri

 2014 GeoNet Community Forms on the Timeline


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

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


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



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


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


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



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


Learning & Resources 

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


Logistics & Fun Stuff

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


Dave displays his bundles of buttons and badges.





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











GeoNet button



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






Map Gallery Awards  


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


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

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

GeoNet 2019 Contest Winners 



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


Congratulations and thank you for your incredible contributions!  


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


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


See our other UC 2019 highlights: 

Highlight #1: The Expo Experience at Esri UC 2019 

Highlight #2: Maps and Their Makers at UC 2019 

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

Highlight #4: GeoNet Community Unites, Shares Stories 

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

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


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


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


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


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


GeoNet at YPN Fireside Chat 


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


Chris Catania shares a member story at a GeoNet 101 Session


Welcoming New Members


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


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


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


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


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


MVPs Share Memorable Moments 


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


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


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


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


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

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


GeoNet Community Meet-Up at UC 2019


GeoNet Community Meet-up 


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


More highlights:

Highlight #1: The Expo Experience at Esri UC 2019 

Highlight #2: Maps and Their Makers at UC 2019 

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

Highlight #4: GeoNet Community Unites, Shares Stories 

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

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


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


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


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


The Plenary Meet and Greet 


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


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

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


Your Work 


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


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


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


GIS: The Intelligent Nervous System 


Jack shares his vision of GIS: The Intelligent Nervous System


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


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

 How your work as a GIS professional is essential


Your Work Is Essential


It Will Take Leadership: 

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


ArcGIS: Creating a Common Language 


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


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


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


Featured Stories & Guests 


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


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


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


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


2019 Esri UC’s Big Ideas 


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


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


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


UC attendees take a lunch break in Downtown San Diego


Kevin Eubanks Shares “The Gift” 


Kevin Eubanks talks with Jack Dangermond on the Plenary stage


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


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


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


The Future of Our World 


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


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


More highlights:

Highlight #1: The Expo Experience at Esri UC 2019 

Highlight #2: Maps and Their Makers at UC 2019 

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

Highlight #4: GeoNet Community Unites, Shares Stories 

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

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


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


The love of maps.


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


A view of the Map Gallery Reception at UC 2019.


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


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


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


Jack Dangermond stopped and took selfies with UC attendees.

Jack Dangermond takes selfie


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



A Few Maps from the Gallery


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


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


A UC attendee takes on the mindful mapping challenge.

Learn more about this map.


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


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

Learn more about this map.


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


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


Learn more about this map.


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


Recognition for A Map Well Done


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


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


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


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


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


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

Daniel Laumer and Hasret Gümgümcü pose with their Young Scholar Award

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


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


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


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


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


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


I'd rather be mapping


More highlights:

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

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

Highlight #4: GeoNet Community Unites, Shares Stories 

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

Happy UC 2019 GeoNet!

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

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

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

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

2019 Esri UC's Big Ideas 

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

See What Others Can't

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


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


UC 2019 Expo


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


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


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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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



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



GeoNet Member Highlight

Kevin sees the possibilities of the GeoNet platform.


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


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


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


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


Summits, Sessions, & Symposiums


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

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


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




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

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


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


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


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

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


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


 Work Hard. Stay Humble. Make Maps!


More highlights:

Highlight #1: The Expo Experience at Esri UC 2019 

Highlight #2: Maps and Their Makers at UC 2019 

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

Highlight #4: GeoNet Community Unites, Shares Stories 

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