What We Saw at the Esri UC 2015

"Everyone in GIS uses ArcGIS. And everyone who uses ArcGIS is here!"

-- A GIS manager at the Esri UC

This may or may not be true, but it was hard to dispute while we were walking through the halls of the Esri User Conference (UC) last week. As relative newcomers to Geographic Information Systems (GIS), we were awed by the volume of information, the breadth of the exhibits, and the sheer number of attendees.

esri audience

Here were three big trends we saw this year:

  • GIS goes mobile: We saw lots of demos for new iOS and Android apps -- like Collector for collecting and updating field data
  • Drones everywhere! While established players in aerial imagery like Trimble were there in full force, there were many new entrants in low-cost drone technology
  • More open to open data: Thousands of local government agencies are making their geospatial data publicly available through ArcGIS Open Data

For us, it was gratifying to stumble upon fans of Mapillary in the sea of people -- including Jonah who gave a great overview of OpenStreetMap at the Open Data session, Ashley who chased us down to tell us about using GoPros to track river pollution, and the CartoDB team whom we met at sea, literally.

cartoDB boat

As part of Esri's Startup Program, attending the UC was an opportunity for us to learn how to better serve ArcGIS users. We came away energized with lots of ideas on how our street-level imagery can address the needs of local government -- quickly, easily, and affordably. Expect to see more from us in ArcGIS soon, and if you're an ArcGIS user please reach out! We'd love to tell you more.


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