The 2014 Esri International User Conference was held last week in beautiful San Diego, California. The Online GIS team want to share their personal experiences from the trip. It's great to see that each person took home something different from the conference. Overall it is an awesome feeling to have 16,000 of your professional peers and mentors in one place. There is bound to be a moment when you are so inspired that you literally have to take a moment to collect yourself. With all that said, enjoy the first hand experiences of the 2014 Esri UC.
Leah Lewis: The fun began for me on Saturday with the much smaller Education Conference. For me, that’s my favorite. The group is small and there are a lot of people doing exactly what I’m doing here at UWF. It’s a time for me to get inspired, get involved and to be quite honest, impress people with what we are doing at UWF. I attended a session on how to create a mobile GIS course where instead of textbooks, students were required to purchase an android tablet. I thought that was a pretty cool idea and something that I plan to look into here on campus. Also, I went to several sessions on web GIS and how many universities are using the platform instead of static maps. I know here at UWF this is high on our priority list. I also attended several round table discussions where instructors and researchers talked about how make their courses better and how they are keeping their online students engaged in the materials.
Ahh Moocs. Mooc talk was everywhere. Anthony Robinson of Penn State presented his research after his widely successful Mooc at Penn State. Esri also has a Mooc opening soon. Well….did you know UWF is developing a Mooc? It was great to hear about all of the successes and missteps from others. I left those sessions even more excited about our Mooc (if that is even possible).
I know a lot of you are interested in giving back. You need those contribution points for the GISP application or you want to make sure that today’s youth are fully able to grasp geography and maps. If that’s the case, then you should check out the ConnectEd Initiative and Esri. Early this year, Jack Dangermond pledged billions of dollars to schools in the hopes of having a GIS is all schools. Esri is looking for people like you to serve as GeoMentors to local youth and teachers. They need our help getting this implemented in schools. The ConnectEd website is full of resources, maps, and apps needed to get teachers excited. Just today, I sent an email to a friend at the Escambia County District to arrange a meeting with the superintendent. I’ll keep you posted on the developments but I have a very good feeling about this. I can’t wait!!
One last thing and I know a lot of you will be interested in this hot topic. The GISP. The elusive GISP. The exam? When will it happen? Well, you heard it here first. In 2015, the exam will be part of the certification process. The exam, will not however, replace the current portfolio. So what does that mean? The application process is going to get tougher. If you are close to being ready to submit, I would encourage you to do so before the end of 2014. If you need help reviewing your materials, I would be more than happy to help.
So, that’s just a fraction of my week. It was amazing, awesome, and oh so exhausting, but I would do it over and over again. The sheer number of GIS people in one place is mind-blowing at times. I find this to be really funny considering when I first started in GIS, there were only a couple of people in my office who were using the software. Last week, I was surrounding by 16,000 of the coolest mappers I know.
Penelope Mitchell: This was my first time attending ESRI's International User Conference. As the conference rookie, I was in shock and awe nearly the whole time :) The Education Conference kick started the shenanigans. The plenary lectures focused on K-12 challenges and the path and fate of higher education--both topics looking at GIS in a different way. Cindy Marten, Superintendent of the San Diego Unified School District, was an amazing and inspiring speaker. It was very easy to ascertain this woman was very action oriented. Marten spoke upon the use of geographic data to power and measure change within the community, and emphasized using data as a flashlight to guide us forward, rather than a hammer to punish. Anthony Robinson of Penn State spoke upon the high quality of online education and projected that within the next ten years at least one third of higher education enrollees will be in flexible online education programs.
And before I shut my trap, in case you have not heard, I want to share one of the coolest things ESRI recently unveiled: GeoNet: a forum to discuss, collaborate, and network with fellow GIS people! Log in, it’s pretty awesome.
Brittney Markle: July in San Diego is always such an exciting time of the year. Learning the new goings on in the world of ESRI and GIS are just the tip of the iceberg. Visualizing where and how we can apply current and new concepts to our content is where it really interesting. Here’s a list of some of the things I took away this that I hope can be implemented in our program to update materials, provide resources (to student and instructors), exemplify current applications, promote our courses (across campus!), and engage student participation.
· If the education conference taught me one thing it was the importance of campus & local connections. Campus wide connections (other departments that could use GIS- History, biology, chemistry, public health, political science, etc) as well as other local connections (community colleges, local high schools and middle schools, etc).
· Web GIS is the future. That statement might not be 100% accurate but it is getting big and student exposure to this world should increase. There are a multitude of ways to apply web based mapping can be applied to our labs. I can't wait to see how to integrate web mapping fundamentals and tools into lab instructions and assignments.
· 10.3 and ArcPro- This was the big deal of the UC. I have pages and pages of notes on both but in the end was still left wondering to what extent ArcPro will be available to us. The beta version is available now with the full version to release sometime in November of this year. There will be ESRI training courses pertaining to ArcPro upon full release. ArcGIS 10.3 is set to be released in September! ArcPro looks like it could be a lot of fun. It’s an application that fuses together ArcMap, Catalog, Globe, and Scene... whoa! Various capabilities include:
o Faster 2D & 3D rendering
o Multithread display
o Ribbon platform
o Multiple layout display
o Easy publish and sharing capabilities
o Tasks in the form of guided workflows
o Simple search and query
o 3D editing and analysis
o Temporal analysis
o ESRI Higher Ed:
· Serious data, content, and student resource right here!
In the last session I went to the speakers were joking around and one of them asked what we thought Arc stood for. The humorous answer was “Always Right Click”. I thought that as pretty funny and very true... and that’s the last tid bit I have to share. I sure does feel good to purge all of that information!