Some thoughts on making the UC better

The ESRI sessions are a great place to really see what the people in our field are doing.  The diversity is really inspiring.  Occasionally I’ll get the random person who’ll ask, “What can you do with GIS?”  I’d love to have a copy of the User Conference program to whip out when that happens and say, “Take a look at this.  The question you should be asking is, ‘What CAN’T you do with GIS?’”

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No Streaming for Live show

2921336244_7ffc9a70d7_mThe bandwidth is just too sketchy at the ESRI User Conference (happens when you have 1000’s with wifi devices), but it means we will not be streaming the live show this afternoon. We did want to share a cupcake with you since we will be having some at the show.

ESRI UC Day 2 Roundup – Couple of Sessions

Frank Looking at His Tweet in the Socail Media Lounge

I caught a few sessions and two in particular I thought were worth taking notes.  The first is about return on investments and calculating them for government.  Ultimately the presentations weren’t that strong on this topic in that session, but there was a wealth of information about how local governments can develop GIS even on limited budgets.  Personally, I think the session was slighly misnamed, which is unfortunate because the presenations were great.  The second session wasn’t even actually a regular session – it was a Special Interest Groups.  Not a lot of people note the SIGs – largely because they happen at lunch time, I suspect – but there was a lot of great information at the Flex developers Special Interest Group.  There was a fascinating presenation by Adobe concerning skinning your Flex application.  Although the topic sounds trivial, anyone who’s done much with the Flex development environment can tell you that the interface development is a bit of a bear.  The session really helped boil some of that complex stuff down, I think.  Anywho, enough with my monday morning quarterbacking comentary and on to the notes!

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EdUC plenary and keynote 2009

The multiple-conferenced beast that is the ESRI User Conference is underway today with the Education User Conference (where I am), the Homeland Security Summit, and the Surveying & Engineering Summit. 

This year the EdUC has moved to the other end of the SDCC to the Hilton Bayfront. The opening plenary saw the motley crew that is the ESRI Ed team make their way on stage to highlight and discuss a few things. Michael Gould started things off (ok so i walked in at the end of Angela’s topic) with a discussion of the vision of the Ed Team and how GIS use will likely follow the general trend and move to the cloud in education. Tom Baker talked about how the has expanded over the year and the resources that are available for GIS educators to interact and learn. Joseph Kerski talked about just a couple of the lessons available from ArcLessons and the data conduit that is the Ed team blog. Laura Bowden talked about ESRI Press’s new Academic imprint, the rollout of new translations of Press books, and the republication of some older books. She also pointed out that ESRI will be rolling out a software certification program at 9.4 (won’t compeat with GISP or ASPRS certification) and a few new training courses. Ann Johnson highlighted changes to 9.3.1 education license options that see some license levels getting additional seats, new extensions, and new names. I am sure details are available on the Ed industry page. Of interest to some, they have made it easier for educators to get student disks, though they have a new name now. Finally, Charlie Fitzpatrick spoke about the program that you should check out and think about supporting (yeah, I am talking to you).

There was a great moment at the end of the plenary when they recognized the soon to be ‘retiring’ Ann Johnson to a well deserved round of applause. But don’t worry. as you already know from the podcast Ann is going to be working with the GeoTech Center after she leaves ESRI.    

Bern kicked off the keynote section showing off AGX 900, ArcGIS Online (are we going to call it AGO?), and layer packages and talked about their potential place in education. 

The keynote was given by Dr Henk Scholten and he talked about some of their work on using geospatial technologies to develop spatial thinking. 

Be sure to check out our Saturday wrap up podcast to hear more about the plenary, keynote, and the sessions we make it to when we aren’t finishing our own presentations.         

AVSP: Live! on July 15 in San Diego

AVSP: LiveWith just three weeks until the ESRI User Conference(s) we have firmed up our plans for the 4th Anniversary AVSP: Live! show that will take place on Wednesday, July 15 at 5:00PDT in Room 30E of the SDCC. We are excited to be joined by ArcPad team members to talk about ArcPad 8 and mobile GIS and members of the Geoweb3d team to talk about their upcoming release and 3D GIS and geovisualization. These great conversations will take place with our weekly highlights on geospatial news along with interesting websites, tips, and events.

Besides the podcast itself there are plenty of other reasons to come see us including:

  • CAKE!!
  • door prizes
  • Frank’s infamous edits
  • We will be announcing our 4th Anniversary contest winners
  • To top it all off, Frank has pledged to donate $2 per person in attendance at the live show [up to 125 people] to our Tweet4Trees drive. We will be announcing the total of the tree planting campaign at the show.

    So if you are in San Diego on July 15 at 5:00 come join us. If not, check the blog and twitter just before the live show to see if we have figured out how to stream the show *fingers crossed*. See you there!

    Share your work at the ESRI UC

    I am in presentation mode for the ESRI UC and EdUC already and reminders of other ways to contribute to the conferences keep popping up on my radar. You can submit up to three images by June 15 to be considered for presentation during the conference plenary. You can also submit to the Map Gallery and the new Virtual Map Gallery.

    This year the number of concurrent conferences has increased as well. If you are going to be in town for the UC you may want to look into the long standing EdUC and Survey & Engineering Summit, the 2nd Remote Sensing Summit, and the newly moved Business GIS and Homeland Security Summits.

    For more information about the concurrent conferences and submission guidelines head over to