Photos from this year’s ESRI UC!

I just got a new camera for the UC and I took a boatload of pictures.  Like most people with too powerful a camera pared with tool lightweight a skillset (GIS people can relate to this), most of my product was junk.  However a few interesting pictures did make it through the trash heap into the realm of tolerable.  Check out my photo stream on Flickr to see the dozen or so that were worth salvaging!

Frank and Jesse kick it at the GeoLounge

Live show today at #esriuc

Last reminder (on the blog) that our 5th anniversary live show will be Wednesday night (7/14) at 5:30 in Room 30E. We will have great guests, lots of gaffes, and a little Great Big Sea playing in the background. While we will be announcing the winners of our 5th anniversary contest, we will also have a drawing for door prizes for those folks who attend. Door prizes will include an iPod Shuffle, Amazon gift certificate, ThinkGeek gift certificate, a flash drive with our logo, and who knows what else (I don’t, cause I forgot what else Sue and Frank suggested).

Hope to see you there!

10 Things to Know About Managing GIS Projects

The technical workshop, 10 Things to Know About Managing GIS Projects, is red hot. There are over 150 attendees and standing room only out the door. The workshop is presented by Gerry Clancy and Glenn Berger of the ESRI Professional Service Division. Obviously project management is a hot topic for managers, technical specialists, and the in-between world that most of us exist in at smaller organizations.

1. Define a clear vision and success criteria.
2. Involve the user and stakeholders early and often.
3. Requirements, requirements, requirements
4. Manage change
5. Identify and manage crisis.
6. Use a phased approach
7. Promote communication among teams.
8. Don’t get enamored with technology.
9. Involve IT team early
10. Check out the video that will be available through ESRI. (Have I mentioned that it was super crowded and I was in the way back).

The Mentor-student-teacher relationship

One of the most enjoyable things about attending the ESRI UC is interacting with all of the middle school, high school, and youth groups. Their enthusiasm is infectious — and that is just the teachers, parents, and mentors. The students are modest about their achievements which are usually civic volunteerism projects that benefit their community. The teachers, parents, and mentors are modest about the personal time and money that they invested in the project. They are all modest about the team effort, trust, and overcoming obstacles that volunteer projects entail beyond the geospatial component.

At the 2010 ESRI User Conference session on building content based learning environments on “teaching the teachers”, the speakers (Susan Flentie, Lewistown Junior High School; Jeff Dunn, University of Connecticut Libraries Map and Geographic Information (MAGIC) center, and Stewart Bruce, Washington College), brought up some of the core issues for integrating geospatial skills. The first is that often when teachers say “this would be too difficult for my students” what they mean is “this is difficult for me and I don’t want to look weak in front of my students”. For those who aren’t teachers, it is difficult to understand how much courage it takes for a teacher to let go of some of their authority in a class. Over the years of attending the ED UC and other educational conferences, the teachers who have overcome this problem often do so by taking the risk of learning alongside their students but the reward is that it encourages students to participate and feel mastery over a subject area.
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Podcast 260 delayed

Ummm…we forgot to record the podcast today. Everyone else has already gone to bed or we would be recording now. We will get it recorded and up Tuesday. Apologies for the delay!

ESRI User Conference Plenary – LIVE BLOG!

Plenary Live Blog

Welcome to the 2010 Plenary Live blog!  The show is just starting.  Kudos to ESRI for this year’s bloggers station.  I totally dig the two table thing.  Lots of room to get around and get the job done.  The opening music is a tune I’ve not heard from Macy Gray (I think).  Kinda dig it.

Jack’s on the stage.  It’s the 30th anniversary UC and the largest show they’ve had.  He just welcomed us and said we’re from all planets.  Jesse and our’s jig is up!  Just kidding.  He talking about learning from friends, which I think is going to bring out the VGI stuff pretty heavy this morning, I’m betting.  First up is the meet and greet part, where we’re supposed to introduce ourselves to each other.  That shows the only downside to the new table setup – the only person I can reasonably meet is Barb!

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From the #esriEdUC

While many of the thousands of folks who will be in San Diego are arriving today (or have been vacationing) others of us have spent the weekend at various events (survey, executive, etc). I have, as usual, been hanging around the Education User Conference. With over 700 attendees from k-12, higher ed, informal ed, administration and other education areas the 4th floor of the Hilton has been hopping.

Sessions have been great and you can check Twitter for some of the blow by blow if you would like under the #esriEdUC. If you are an educator attending the ESRIUC and you aren’t also hitting the EdUC you should really rethink your travel plans to add it to your plans next year to include it and the information and conversations you will have at the EdUC.

Where to find us in San Diego

With a few thousand of us heading to San Diego I thought I would highlight where we will be during the week in case you want to check out some of the ‘jive we are laying down’. If you are a presenter or company interested in an interview, contact us via email, twitter, or skype and we will set something up.

Otherwise we will be getting our annual workout of running between sessions, to interviews, and around the Gas Lamp district.

Spatial Humanities SIG at ESRIUC

With interest in the Spatial Humanities, GIS and the Humanities, Geography and Humanities, and other conference names continuing to grow we have put together a Special Interest Group meeting at the ESRI International User Conference to bring together those who are interested in how the humanities can take advantage of spatial concepts. We are going to turn to stage over for a few minutes to Dr. Trevor Harris of WVU, one of the editors of the new Spatial Humanities book, who will give an overview of the concept. This will be followed by a general conversation/group share about how others are approaching the idea. Details are:

  • Tuesday (7/13) at 5:30PM
  • Room 30D of the SDCC
  • Hope to see you there!