GeoNet Community Guiding Principles

Document created by timothy_hales-esristaff Employee on Nov 8, 2016Last modified by lfountain-esristaff on Nov 22, 2019
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Welcome to GeoNet, the Esri Community! We’re excited to have you join us. Before you get started on your journey, we invite you to check out the information below about our community mission, member guidelines and tips on getting started. 


What is GeoNet?

GeoNet is where the Esri Community—customers, Esri staff, and others in the GIS and geospatial professional community—connect, collaborate, and share experiences.


What is the mission of GeoNet?

The mission of GeoNet is to be the central online destination where the Esri Community gathers to exchange ideas, solve problems, accelerate success and build relationships to create a better world through the use of geographic information technology. To help guide and make sure you have a positive, productive, and fulfilling experience, here are our GeoNet Community Guiding Principles.


GeoNet Community Guiding Principles


The Community Guiding Principles are “Be Helpful. Be Human. Be Smart.” They closely align with our GeoNet Terms of Use, and you can use these Guiding Principles as a quick check to make sure your contributions are adding value and supporting our community goals. 


Be Helpful.

Being helpful means you should always try and elevate the conversation with a thoughtful contribution while thinking of others. Examples of Being Helpful include:


  • Respecting others. Personal arguments, personality conflicts, insults, name-calling, inflamed speech, obscenity and other deviations from our professional mission are not appropriate. General rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t do it or say it in a large public meeting, you shouldn’t do it or say it in the GeoNet Community. 
  • Avoid sensitive or provocative topics. Do not start discussions about anything that could be regarded as off-topic, and provocative or inflammatory. For example, topics such as politics and religion are best avoided in the GeoNet Community.
  • Answering questions. If you're a subject matter expert, we encourage you to respond to posts when someone asks a question, or, if you don’t know the answer, help find someone who does.
  • Making sure your contributions are relevant to the conversations and groups. Always ask yourself, “Is my comment or content going to enhance the conversation? Am I posting it in the right group?”
  • If you’ve found a valuable post, click “like,” mark it as helpful, or share it with others. 
  • Welcome new members and guide them to meaningful conversations and content.


Be Human.

Being human means to be yourself in a professional manner. An important part of collaboration includes building relationships and getting to know each other. We encourage you to be social and share parts of who you are that are appropriate and meaningful because doing so helps make the community more connected and human. Examples of Being Human include:

  • Sharing relevant personal or professional experiences and interests, news about a goal you accomplished, giving a shout-out to others for a job well done, etc.
  • Sharing work experiences and moments that express your creativity, thoughtfulness, and humanity.
  • Making new connections. Join a conversation with others that you may not know to build new relationships.


Be Smart.

Being smart means to think before you post. If something makes you the slightest bit uncomfortable, figure out what needs to be changed, edit your content, then post. Examples of Being Smart include:

  • Avoid posting confidential information or anything that fellow employees or customers, clients, business partners, suppliers, vendors, or other stakeholders might find offensive.
  • Be careful with personally identifying information. Do not send or post social security numbers, home telephone numbers, driver’s license numbers, addresses, credit card numbers, etc.
  • Don't use GeoNet to promote your business or advertise affiliated websites, domains, companies, or services in any of your discussions and don’t spam GeoNet members.
    • If you have questions or want to learn more about how to partner with us to create relevant and appropriate partner content, contact the GeoNet Community team at
  • If it’s not in a private group or message, then content shared on GeoNet is open and public. By default, contributions shared openly on GeoNet are accessible to the GeoNet Community and beyond.
  • Digital = Forever. Just like your email and instant messages, content and communications on GeoNet are immediately captured, are retained and will be accessible far into the future. Make sure you’re comfortable with your contributions being accessible for a long time.


A note about moderation and content review

When needed, the GeoNet Community team and moderators will review comments before or as they're posted, and those that are off-topic or violate any policies will be redirected, removed, or not posted. Please be aware that these guidelines are subject to change.


Ready to Get Started?

For more quick tips and information on how to use GeoNet, check out the latest How-to tips and visit the Community Help group.


We hope these guidelines are helpful and that you enjoy using the GeoNet Community. We look forward to seeing your contributions!


If you have questions, please contact the GeoNet Community team at