Highlights from the ESRI User Conference 2016

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The ESRI User Conference, held at the San Diego Convention Center, was an event to remember, as it was my first opportunity to attend one.  What other location could be more prime than in beautiful San Diego.  Living in Las Vegas, where temperatures were well over 100 degrees, it was a fantastic relief to hang out in mild temperatures and enjoy the scenes of the bay and the City.

The opening address by Jack Dangermond and keynote speaker’s presentations were fantastic as they presented their upcoming solutions and platform to over 16,000 attendees (over 900 of them were from utility companies).  Topics included improved performance, updated User Interfaces, the new Insights product and new tools for data collection.

Mr. Dangermond presented his vision for GIS and how we can all contribute to enable a smarter world.  He presented award to companies who were the most innovative, leveraging advanced spatial analysis, creating insight, supporting decision making and driving action.  He focused on delivering information in real-time and solving the ever-growing demands of big data analytics.

The conference had more quality sessions and presentations than could be imagined.  Everything from hands on training, new solutions, product features to customer’s presentations on solving business issues and addressing internal and external customer demands.

The exhibit hall was packed with informative solutions both from ESRI and their partner community.  Laced within the show floor were arrangements of meeting areas for additional presentations and education on the ESRI solutions.  Most interesting were the 3D solutions and the use of Drones for collecting and delivering high quality imagery for the GIS.  They had a real drone demonstration flying within a caged area of the hall.  It was fun to watch, and gave me ideas on how we could leverage this technology for our GSI Forester product.

Evening socials designed to group people of the same interests were provided, creating an excellent opportunity to network with one’s peers and engage in solutions discussions.  I attended the Utility Social where I was introduced to many key Utility employees and discussed how GSI’s solutions can help their business needs and meet their requirements.

During off time, I was able to tour through the Map Gallery.  The maps were provided from users around the globe.  The focus of the maps was to provide a story board of how user’s implementations met their ever changing business needs.  Many of the solutions were quite fascinating.

The ESRI User Conference was an absolute pleasure to attend.  It is beneficial to everyone who uses or engages with GIS in their daily lives.

Learn more about the ESRI User Conference on Twitter @EsriUC

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