Highlight #4: GeoNet Community Unites, Shares Stories at UC 2019

07-15-2019 04:30 PM
Community Team
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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

MVP Regular Contributor

awesome @Leslie Fountain!

Community Team

Thanks Andres Castillo! It was so nice to meet you. I hope you had a good time at the UC! 

New Contributor III

Peggy Deaton‌ this is awesome!! Way to spread our story!

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!