- Author: Robert Johnson
It's that time again! The worlds largest GIS User Conference has returned for its 38th year and the first two days have been jam packed with content. This is my fourth time attending, and I'm always a bit surprised by how much the conference seems to have grown every time I come down. This year's attendance is around 16,000 people and it shows! The halls of the San Diego convention center are filled with an unbelievable human tide and I've been in a couple of sessions that were standing room only.
The first day's plenary session was quite a production as usual, but was lacking in the type of big announcements of new software or major updates that have been the norm in years past. Highlights included a look at how Disney Imagineers developed the city of Zootopia using Esri's CityEngine software and a thought-provoking keynote address from Dr. Geoffrey West about the growth cycles of biological organisms and their links to the development of urban areas.
Some highlights from Day 2 included a session on the continued integration of Python and R into the ArcGIS Desktop environment, particularly ArcGIS Pro. The closest thing I've seen to a major announcement so far is that raster support is coming to the R-ArcGIS Bridge with the release of ArcGIS Pro 2.1. I also atteneded a session on Esri's Drone2Map software which looks like a simplified version of Pix4D which has been very nicely integrated with ArcGIS Pro. I think the biggest takeaway from these first days has been that I really need to start seriously working on migrating to ArcGIS Pro!
I look forward to what's in store for the rest of the week. Stay tuned for more updates!