Some thoughts from the 2017 Esri UC

holy crap.

Almost 18,000 people showed up for a rowdy-good time at this year’s conference. Here at Esri, we work ourselves into a bit of a frenzy in the weeks (months?) before. We do our best to prepare, practice, polish, etc., all with the focus on our users and making sure they get the most out of this crazy week. Did you see the Plenary? If not, you have no excuse now as it’s up on YouTube. Please hop over there and give some, or all the sections a watch. I can stumble over words here about how amazing our users are, but Jack did it so well in his introduction. So just go watch that.

The Sustainable World Community

sustainability starts here

Over by Hall A, the Esri Non-Profit and Global Organizations team hosted another round of the Sustainable World Community where we had representatives from Non-Profits and NGOs, both domestic and international and hoo-boy, heroes doesn’t feel like a strong enough word.

Below are just a few pictures I snapped:

and so many more ..

We also had a mini Demo Theater that was absolutely jam-packed with inspiring and innovative uses of GIS all the way up until the last day. Here is my colleague Brendan presenting a session on 3D, VR & GIS:

Oops, wrong one. Here is the actual session:

Standing room only! Next year, we push for a proper-sized Demo Theater ;)
Storytelling for Humanitarian Crisis | A Federated System for the SDGs

I was fortunate enough to present “GIS for Engaging Stakeholders” where we talked about knowing who your target audience is, and how to BEND THEM TO YOUR WILL.. er.. sorry. Actually, it was just a good conversation on using fun and interactive tools that speak to your users.

~ that session on world domination was in the afternoon on Wednesday ~

Should you be looking for the App I showed during that talk and have had to put up with my nonsense until now, apologies. Ocean Sounds is my random set of tools that can help you out by doing a few things such as creating an Annual Report “starter” Story Map, creating a hosted feature service, or adding a field to a Crowdsource Story Map. ** None of these apps are supported and may seriously jack-up your own apps ** Use at your own risk. Feel free to leave a comment on the GitHub repo if you find something that doesn’t work or would like to suggest something new that would be useful for everyone to use.

Enough Talk

There was a message, or theme that was clear from almost everyone person I talked with: Action. Where do we go after a week-long GIS love-fest? How can take we take all those table-top whiteboards and translate them into something real? Or, for those of you already seeing results, how can we keep it going? Just hearing these comments and having lively debates on the best path forward is a great first step.

I *really* can’t wait for next year. A map can become a conversation about sustainable development, so create it and have at it.