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Community Team

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

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Community Team

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

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Community Team

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

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

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Community Team

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

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Community Team

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! 

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Community Team

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!

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New Contributor II

Top 10 things that are better watching the UC from home

10. Shoes are optional

9. Don’t have a very tall group of Swedish guys sit in the row in front of me just as the session begins

8. Easy to find someplace uncrowded to eat lunch on Monday

7. Can do five miles on a treadmill while watching the plenary session

6. A Diet Coke at home isn’t $7 and is actually cold

5. Don’t have to deal with the convention center air conditioning

4. The drive is easy, and parking is free

3. My dog can watch with me

2. Chairs at home are way more comfortable

1. No line for the bathroom


Top 10 things that are worse watching the UC from home

10. No buttons to add to my badge.

9. Can’t play the “What language is that group speaking?” game

8. Jack can’t hear us clapping when we think something is cool

7. No chance for unexpected learning when walking by something I hadn’t heard of before

6. Attention deficit disorder sitting at my desk is a challenge, and other work is distracting

5. No excuse for being late, but I was anyway

4. Don’t get to meet fascinating people from all over the world who are doing cool stuff I wish I was doing

3. My dog keeps bugging me to switch to Pro

2. It’s not San Diego

1. I miss my geo-friends!

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Community Team

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.

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Community Team

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

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