Normally at this time of Year, I am getting ready to travel to San Diego for the ESRI User Conference. At the user conference 20,000 people from all over the world gather to hear about what new GIS tools and functionality ESRI is building into their GIS products. The participants also attend hundreds of technical sessions and workshops to improve their GIS Skills and they also network and discuss how they are using GIS in their fields of interests.
This year with COVID-19 the in-person user conference is not occurring, and the User Conference is going to be presented as a virtual conference (see agenda) with plenary sessions, technical sessions, and technical support. This is unfortunate, but it provides for a broader community to attend the plenary and learn about how GIS is currently being used and what GIS can be used for.
The plenary session is always an eye-opener! It typically has examples of impactful ways in which GIS is changing the world - examples from education, environment, planning, health, and so much more! It is really a great experience, and I recommend it.
If you are curious about what GIS can do or to get ideas about how else GIS could be used in our Organization please register and attend the plenary sessions of the ESRI Virtual User Conference. If you want to talk about GIS or about what you saw at the Virtual User Conference, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
‘Get access to the Plenary Session livestream
Watch powerful stories about how GIS is making a difference in the world. See demonstrations of Esri technology and learn about the newest upgrades. Hear a keynote from Jack Dangermond and presentations from other thought-provoking speakers.
Plenary Session access is complimentary for everyone'
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For those of you who have been following ESRI and GIS software in the past few years, you know that ESRI has been developing a new desktop GIS software called ArcGIS Pro. This past week ESRI released a new version of this software version 2.5. There are many improvements, of those that excites me the most is the integration of Jupyter Notebooks into the ArcGIS Pro software. For other improvements note the included list from ESRI . If you have ArcGIS Pro installed on your computer you can update the software as of last week.
- Author: Robert Johnson
The Esri Developer Summit in Palm Springs was, as usual, a very informative look into the resources Esri provides for those who want to take their software to the next level. Although this year's conference was a bit light on major announcements (they're probably saving all the good stuff for the User Conference in July) there were still a few interesting takeaways:
- ArcGIS Notebooks are continuing the trend of tight integration of Python with the ArcGIS suite. While currently available through ArcGIS Enterprise portal, the next release of ArcGIS Pro is going to support Python Notebooks directly in the desktop environment.
- Web apps are becoming lighter, more efficient and more mobile-friendly. Progressive web app standards are making it easier to develop functional, responsive web apps rather than needing to delve into the more complicated world of native apps.
- ArcGIS Pro is finally going to support publishing to standalone servers in the next release! Esri is framing this as a tool for transitioning to Portal servers, but those of us that still use standalone servers will take it.
- ArcMap really has become obsolete. While Esri is still pledging to support it for "years to come", all new functionality will only be available in Pro.
All in all, the Dev Summit is a great resource for keeping up to date on all the cutting-edge technology that Esri has to offer. It's a great learning experience and I look forward to attending again in the future.
- Author: Sean Hogan
ESRI held its first ‘Imagery Education Summit' in Redlands California this week, and even though I came with high expectations, I was still pleasantly surprised with the caliber of the summit's presentations. It is very difficult to pick out a favorite among these talks; however, I can say that I particularly enjoyed the presentations by Jarlath O'Neil Dunn from the University of Vermont (pictured below), on ‘Success Stories and Progress' in image analysis and mapping, and by Jason Ur from Harvard University, regarding his work with ‘Drones and Archaeology Case Studies' in Iraq. The innovative approaches that they and others at the summit presented were truly inspiring!
One take-away from this event is that ESRI is making huge strides to incorporate more remote sensing processing options into ArcGIS Pro's ‘Image Analysis' toolbox. Speaking for myself, as both a remote sensing and GIS practitioner, I am excited about the prospect of being able to do more of my work within just one application environment, as opposed to doing my image stitching in Pix4D, image analysis in ENVI, and then finally my spatial analysis and mapping in ArcGIS. For the sake of efficiency, I look very forward to the day that I can do all of this in just one app.
For you drone enthusiasts out there, one neat new feature in the ArcGIS Pro Image Analysis tools is basic image stitching for producing color balanced orthomosaics and digital surface model outputs. This new function is not at the level of what Pix4D or Drone-to-Map can do yet, but for basic RGB image processing it may be good enough for many people's needs. Plus, it is a brand new tool that is bound to improve over time.
A couple more neat news items that were mentioned at the summit include:
- ESRI now offers a FREE ‘Schools Mapping Software Bundle', which includes both fully functional ArcGIS Pro and ArcGIS Online licenses for every K-12 school worldwide. http://www.esri.com/industries/education/software-bundle#.
- ESRI also now offers free ‘Massive Open Online Courses' (MOOCs), which among other things include approximately 30 courses on working with imagery alone, http://www.esri.com/mooc/imagery.
The future for spatial science has never looked brighter!