This was my first year attending the 2016 ESRI International User Conference, and there was so much to learn, see, and do! There wasn’t a dull moment with a variety of things to attend from lightning sessions to social events. Listed below, is what I consider to be the highlights of this year’s conference.
- ArcGIS Pro-I attended several sessions related to Pro to gain an understanding of where ESRI is heading. This relatively new product will continue to be the focus of innovation within ESRI. One person gave good advice on how to transition projects into ArcGIS Pro. Import your current projects into Pro and utilize ArcMap where Pro has not yet advanced (i.e., parcel editing, georeferencing). More features will be developed within ArcGIS Pro in order to make it more comprehensive and adaptive, but there will be limited new development within ArcMap in the future.
- Apps- At the plenary session, apps were broken down into three categories: office, field, and the community. By having community outreach, cities of the future will become smarter on problems that need to be addressed. An example of this is the Coty of New Orleans has created an adopted a storm drain program. This allows citizens to volunteer to clean out storm drains prior to storm to reduce local street flooding.
- Drones-With the addition of the Drone2Map app it is making the use of drones becoming even more infinite. A new element of research can be conducted with the use of drones giving a wealth of knowledge to the end user.
- Free Training- Jack Dangermond announced during the plenary session, that ESRI will offer unlimited access to self-pace web courses, seminars, videos, and resources on the new ESRI training website. The site will launch in August, and is available to all customers with a qualifying ESRI product that has a current maintenance subscription. I am personally excited to explore this new site to continue my learning!
- Green Infrastructure- Green infrastructure was one of the topics discussed during the plenary session. The intent of this is to identify fragmented natural areas and to connect these fragments with natural corridors to create a more continuous natural world in order to combat continuous land development worldwide. It played on the overall theme of the conference that everything is connected.
- Networking- Individuals from all over the world gathered in San Diego to make the event a great opportunity to meet and talk. I met a lot of new people who are passionate about what we do for a living. By having these new connections, I gained a new perspective on how to approach projects as well as how to grow in knowledge outside of how I am currently using GIS.