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    Friday, July 29, 2005

    ESRI UC 2005 – Thursday Night Party

    The theme for this year’s party was “Heart of Africa” and I think it was one of the best ESRI parties ever. The crowd was large, the food was really good, and everyone was having a good time. I had a great view of the fireworks being fired from the San Diego bay which was one of the highlights of the night. Gridlock, the ESRI employee band had everyone rocking and celebrating another successful User Conference.

    I personally think the ESRI Events and Conference Management Team did a great job this year. Not only with the party but all aspect of the conference, I think everything went really well this year.

    ESRI UC 2005 – More on Thursday

    Several developer related session were really popular this year…

    .Net for ArcGIS Developers was very popular as there seems to be more and more VB 6 developers moving to VB.Net or C#

    The Road Ahead session had large crowds as the different developer leads from ESRI talked about the 9.2 projects.

    At the same time, the VBA and Java developer sessions got a lot of interest here in San Diego.

    I also walked by some cartographic session that were standing room only.

    ESRI UC 2005 - Thursday

    The conference continues with hundreds of sessions and booths to visit. I spend most of Thursday co-presenting some of the developer sessions and talking with developers in the EDN booth. In the EDN session we outlined our goals for this new developer program that was launched earlier this year.

    EDN Goals
    • Make the ESRI software platform available to all developers
    • Help developers build the best possible solutions
    • Support developers with community resources

    We have gotten a lot of good feedback this week about EDN as there seems to be more and more developers using ESRI products.

    Wednesday, July 27, 2005

    ESRI UC 2005 (Wednesday)

    More Technical session on my schedule for Wednesday… First up was the ArcGIS Developer Road Ahead session. This session was represented by the different development leads of the 9.2 projects that focus on user of ESRI software that are developers. There isn’t time to go into everything but here are a few highlights:

    Key goal for the 9.2 release is simplification
    – Coarse grained APIs (More controls and commands)
    – IDE integration for Visual Studio and Eclipse
    – Enhanced documentation and support
    – Community resources via EDN

    There were several good demos of the Visual Studio .Net integration and the work being done with Java. I think one of the biggest things for developers will be the addition of Geoprocessing with Engine and Servers. Developers will be able to create custom solutions that execute geoprocessing tools and models.

    Tuesday, July 26, 2005

    ESRI UC 2005 – Tuesday

    It’s Tuesday and that means that the technical workshops, paper presentations, and the exhibit hall are open. I helped present a few sessions on EDN and developer opportunities with ArcGIS Engine. This afternoon, I’m going to spend some time at the EDN booth in the ESRI Showcase so stop by and say hello.

    Tuesday night is all about user groups, there are groups based on geography, industry and software so it’s a fun time to meet up with old and new friends.

    Don’t forget that Wednesday evening is the EDN blogger meet up at Dick’s Last Resort at 6pm. Anyone who blogs or reads blogs or just interested is welcome to join us for a little tail-gating before the baseball game.

    ESRI UC 2005 - Monday afternoon

    The plenary session finished strong after lunch with some 4th graders talking about their work with ArcView in studying the horny toad frog in Washington.

    Jane Goodall was the featured keynote to close the session and was really interesting. She definitely had the crowd’s attention. Unfortunately I had to leave early for a meeting…

    Monday night I went out to dinner with friends and had a great dinner at McCormick & Schmick´s in the Omni Hotel. I then headed back to my room as I have 3 session to help present on Tuesday.

    Monday, July 25, 2005

    Plenary part 2 (10:30am – 12:00)

    Next up is the technology / solutions / product demos

    The session started with a video of Scott Morehouse, Director of Software Development and other ESRI Software Architects talking about the different development projects for the 9.2 release.

    Here are the different big demos presented by ESRI staff.

    Usability enhancements for 9.2
    7. Mouse and keyboard shortcuts - Scroll wheel, and hot keys for switching between tools
    6. Customize map scale control (add commonly used scales) and customized the zoom to full extent command
    5. Ability to view metadata from ArcMap / Layers List same every where
    4. Improved CAD Support
    3. Go to XY tool
    2. New Measure tool and Table enhancements
    1. Connect directly to Excel spread sheets.

    Cartography "“Maps have attitude"
    This demo was all about using ArcMap to edit the cartography of the map. The audience around me was really impressed with these new cartographic representation tools.

    Spatial Analysis and Modeling
    New charting tools
    Animation tools
    New GP layer for pre-symbolizing the results of a model and attached the layer to the model. And the support of looping in a GP model
    ArcGIS Server can run GP models
    New sketching tools

    Land Record Management
    Cadastral tools in Survey Analyst
    GDB History
    New ArcIMS Designer and Viewer

    Managing Infrastructure
    ArcPad 7
    Schematics extension
    Enterprise Integration with IBM Websphere ArcWeb Services and SAP
    SQL API for Oracle

    Business Intelligences
    Business Analyst
    Customer Segmentation
    Managing Business

    Geographic Awareness
    ArcWeb new viewer is fast and has a lot of functionality as a web application
    Collaboration - New free extension called GeoChat
    GIS databases are big - the demo used a 9TB geodatabase
    Terrain in the GDB
    Real Time analyst
    Full motion video in ArcGIS Desktop

    The final part of the demo showed off a custom Enginapplicationon running a the Touch Table and Terrian Table for a wide range ocollaborationon and visualization.

    I'm off to lunch with a good friend that gave me my first job in GIS.

    GIS… helping manage our world

    The orientation of the stage is different this year, wide stage and screens with audience not as deep but really wide.

    There was a count down to start the show and it did start right on time at 8:30am.

    As an ESRI employee, I always enjoy the opening video. This years video was to the music Over the Rainbow and showed people from all walks of life, all over the world using GIS and maps.

    Jack Dangermond, President and co-founder of ESRI, enter the stage to applause and welcome everyone to the 25th ESRI User Conference. He then highlighted some of the work by user to help manage our world through screenshots and a really good video with GIS professionals around the world talking about there work.

    First demo was from the GIS Manager form Murray City, Utah.
    Showed and talked about using ArcGIS 9.1 Network Analyst to find the safest route for kids to walk to school. He also showed his work to help determine the best possible location for the new stadium in Salt Lake for the REAL Salt Lake professional soccer team.

    Jack then spent some time on the theme of the conference GIS... helping manage our world
    • World is changing
    • Things need to be managed better
    • GIS is valuable - It's a framework for managing human activities
    • GIS is evolving on the Internet
    • Individual systems are becoming connected intosystemstem of sytems
    • Geo-data is more available then ever before
    • GIS Web Services will provide the Framework (GeoWeb)
    • Enabling Technology (Faster hardware, increased bandwidth, standards, GIS software)

    ESRI Software Strategies

    • Enhance ArcGIS Desktop
    • Simplify and strength GeoData management
    • Extend ArcGIS Server
    • More mobile tools
      Improve the developer experience

    Clint Brown, Director of Software Products via a video talked about the documentation projects going on to improve the software usability and documentation.

    Jack then started talking about the different groups of ESRI Software (Desktop, Server, Mobile, and Developer) and the new features at the 9.2 release.

    I'm not going to go into all the 9.2 features as Iinformationt infomration will bdetailred in detial over the weeks to come.

    After the product and technology review, Jack talked some about the purpose of ESRI in it's 36th year.

    • Advance GIS
    • Serve Users and Partners
    • Develop Professional GIS Workforce
    • Support out employees

    Up next are the product demos...

    The Plenary Session

    The ESRI User Conference officially began this morning with the start of the plenary session. I'll post my notes later this morning.

    I always enjoy the plenary session as it's a great way to see all the ways that GIS is being used around the world.

    More to come...

    Sunday, July 24, 2005

    ESRI UC 2005 – Sunday (July 24th)

    Happy Pioneer Day for all attending the UC from the state of Utah.

    Today was my easy day at the conference, we setup the EDN Island this morning (check the pictures). This afternoon I had some meetings and met up with some users working with ArcGIS Engine. Now the Welcome Social is going on and it’s a party. There’s food, drink, music and some displays for each of the 25 User Conference.

    UC 2005 – Saturday (July 23rd)

    It’s on… Got up this morning and had a nice jog with Chris before heading over to the convention center for the pre-conference seminars. Up first was the ArcGIS for Developers Overview, after lunch it’s the Building Applications with ArcGIS Engine session. These are the sessions I’m involved with but there are several other developer seminars for ArcGIS Desktop developers and a new seminar for Java development with ArcObjects today. If you attended any of these sessions, I'd like to get your feedback via the EDN site.

    Looks like Flickr has approved my account some I will start posting more photos.

    UC 2005 – Friday (July 22nd)

    I took the ESRI bus from Redlands to San Diego Friday afternoon for some meetings. San Diego like most of the US is warmer then normally but still much cooler the Redlands. I’m staying at the Marriott Marina and have a nice view of both the bay and downtown. San Diego has changed over the years that I’ve been attending and working the User Conference. There are several more high-rise buildings and hotels and the conventions center is a lot bigger.

    Wednesday, July 20, 2005

    Full Wireless Coverage at the Conference

    Looks like the entire San Diego Convention Center will have wireless entire access. So don't forget to comment on the EDN developer sessions at And make sure you stop by the EDN booth and say hello.

    Tuesday, July 19, 2005

    San Diego

    Suggests on having fun in San Diego (Note: I’m a family man that doesn’t drink so my definition of fun my be a little different)

    • Enjoy San Diego! The weather is great in July but it can get a little cool in the evenings so a light weight jacket or sweater is recommended.
    • Near the convention center there are the Embarcadero Marina Parks that are right on the water which are great for a morning jog or evening walk.
    • The place at night is the “Gas Lamp” district. That’s where most restaurants and bars are located. There will also be lots of ESRI staff and conference attendees there at nights
    • Go to a Padres game, the stadium is right downtown near the convention center. There are games on Tuesday and Wednesday nights and again on Thursday afternoon.
    • The Thursday night party is great! But I would suggest going a little late as there is always a big line to get in when the party starts. They never run out of food so I wait till the line goes down.
    • At the party, stay till the fireworks show around 9:00pm. The fireworks are launched from a boat in the bay and it’s quite impressive.
    • I recommend going to Old Town San Diego for dinner one night. There are several really good Mexican restaurants. I can’t go to San Diego without having dinner at the Old Town Mexican CafĂ©. They have the best tortillas in the US in my opinion.
    • For beaches, I recommend Mission Beach. California beach water can be a little cold so be prepared.
    • La Jolla Cove is another great place to visit and watch the seals.
    • If you are bring your kids, I recommend the world famous San Diego Zoo.
    • For shopping, Horton Plaza is right downtown and there is also the Sea Port village. (Don’t forget to bring something home for your significate other).

    See you in San Diego…

    Monday, July 18, 2005

    EDN – UC 2005

    There is a new tab across the top of the EDN site – UC 2005. This is the place for User Conference related information for all you developers out there. It’s got your day by day developer schedule to help you find your way through all the different tracks and sessions. You can also post comments and rate any the of the developer sessions. There is also a quick survey regarding the User Conference and your interest in blogging.

    Childern's Map book

    Children Map the World
    Selections from the Barbara Petchenik Children’s World Map Competition

    I was able to briefly flip through this book the other day and was amazed with the maps. I'm sure this will be a hot item at the User Conference story next week.

    User Conference phots

    Brian and Steve have setup a Flickr group called ESRIUC05. I know we all have digital cameras and or phones with cameras so let's share some photos of the conference with GIS blogosphere.

    Friday, July 15, 2005

    Tips for attending the User Conference

    With the 25th Annual ESRI conference just one week away, I thought I would share a few tips on the conference. I haven't been to all 25 but I have been to the last 6 as an ESRI employee.

    1. Use the online conference planner to start planning your week before you get to San Diego
    2. Take care of all the registration stuff on Sunday and then check out the Sunday evening social to celebrate the 25th anniversary.
    3. Jack talks first thing Monday morning so don't be late for the plenary session. You won't want to miss any of his talk or the demos this year.
    4. Jane Goodall is the special keynote this year so make sure you come back after lunch.
    5. The Map Gallery opens Monday night but the maps are on display all week so don't stress if you can't view all the maps on Monday evening.
    6. The ESRI Technical Workshops start on Tuesday but don't worry if you there are two sessions you want to attend at the same time. Most ESRI sessions are offered twice and some three times throughout the week.
    7. Schedule some time to visit the Showcase area - It's big and there is a lot to see.
    8. The ESRI booths are called "Islands" (don't ask me why), for example if you want to learn more about ArcGIS Server then you could stop by the "Server Island".
    9. Wear comfortable shoes because the convention center is big!
    10. Go to the closing session, it's a nice wrap-up on what can be an eventful week.

    Next post I’ll share some tips on San Diego and enjoying your self at the conference.

    Applied Minds

    Here's a good article about Applied Minds, the company that built and showed the Touch Table running a custom Globe Engine application at last years User Conference.

    Developer Training - EDN

    The EDN website has recently been updated to include information on recommended training courses offered by ESRI. This is a great site to find out what instructor lead training is offered for the different products that make up the EDN subscription.

    Here is an example of the courses recommended for developers wanting to create custom GIS solutions with ArcGIS Engine.


    I've been hearing a lot about Ajax lately and honestly didn't know much about it so I've been doing a little research.
    I check my mail today and got the latest issue of "InformationWeek" and the cover story was all about Ajax giving web users a better user experience. I'm still reading up on Ajax but wanted to share a few links

    Monday, July 11, 2005

    UC Time

    Sorry for the lack of posting lately... Things have been busy lately as David Maguire mentions in his new blog, the ESRI International User Conference is only a few weeks away and I've been busy getting my technical workshops and other responsibilities prepared.

    Are you going to the User Conference (UC) this year? I hear that this 25th anniversary year is going to be the biggest ever.

    Monday, July 04, 2005

    What is Wiki?

    What is a Wiki?

    Wiki is web server software that allows users to contribute content. Collaboration is the key to Wiki, which is designed as a powerful system for online communities to build web pages and web sites. Unlike blogs and forums, all users are allowed to contribute and edit existing content. Wiki is derived from the Hawaiian term "wiki wiki" meaning "quick". The concept behind a Wiki is that collaboration on projects will move it along quicker.

    Wikipedia - Wikipedia is a popular content encyclopedia that anyone can edit.