Good Times and Timelines: Esri Celebrates 50 Years at UC 2019 (Photos)

07-25-2019 04:04 PM
Community Team
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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.

MVP Regular Contributor

wow Leslie Fountain!

Great blog.

I can't believe it!

Out of all those people at Balboa, and my wife and I appear in a picture of your blog!

(underneath "Good times were had by all, including GeoNet MVP Andres Castillo and family!")

I wish my daughter made it in too.


Thank you Leslie, for adding that second photo of my family.

This was certainly a pleasant surprise to see.

Thank you Leslie.

Great pic.

Did you take it?

I didn't even know soneone was taking pictures.

It really was a memorable party.

My daughter danced the night away with us.

Community Team

Hi Andres Castillo! Glad you liked the photo and blog! I did take the photo, I have a couple more. I'll send you a message. 

About the Author
Community Content Manager | GIS tech enthusiast, Marketing Communications professional, and former customer of Esri. I'm here to share stories and highlight content from community members in Esri Community. Industry experience: County Government, Health & Human Services, and Business. Follow me to see what's new!