Exploring the Virtual Esri User Conference 2020

07-14-2020 05:57 PM
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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!