We are happy to share that during Esri’s 41st annual User Conference, Jack Dangermond, Esri’s founder and president, awarded University of Michigan the most prestigious award, the President’s Award. Video link of the award is here.
This is the first time in Esri’s history that a university user is receiving this special recognition. We are all very proud of the work and contributions University of Michigan has done for encouraging innovative GIS use across campus, as well as for their contribution of lessons learned and best practices, which have served the broader Education community.
University of Michigan was recognized for being a model for the higher education community in how to become a true geospatial university. They have enabled and supported its community through the implementation of a large-scale, campus-wide GIS, where faculty, staff and students in all disciplines implement GIS as an innovative tool in research, learning and administration. This has enabled numerous initiatives across campus such as field research programs in Geology, Archaeology and Biology, scholarship research in Digital Humanities and antiracism studies, among many others.
When ArcGIS Online was first released in 2012, they were an early adopter and implemented it as Software-as-a-Service, which has enabled the university to create a paradigm shift in the way ArcGIS is deployed across the institution. GIS has become a university-wide enterprise system capability for everyone, allowing it to become as ubiquitous as Google or Microsoft products. Just as electricity is delivered equally across the university, so is GIS.
University of Michigan has been a great collaborator with Esri product management and development teams as well – partnering with other fellow educators, collecting feedback, and providing that feedback to those various Esri teams. By spearheading this partnership and collaboration to enhance Esri’s development efforts, they have helped influence changes and updates to Esri’s SaaS technology to better serve the Education community, and the broader GIS user community. They are also a distinguished Esri Innovation Program (EIP) member and collaborator.
University of Michigan GIS advocate, Peter Knoop, a Research Computing Consultant at LSA (Literature, Sciences, and the Arts), has led a lot of the above efforts, and has devoted time to share lessons learned with others in the academic community. Numerous workshops, webinars, and events, covering topics such as best practices for a successful implementation of GIS technology, managing ArcGIS in Higher Education, and providing GIS support on campus, have been held over recent years. This time has been a precious moment of learning for all of us in the Education community.
Congratulations to the University of Michigan for a well-deserved achievement.