About this blog

'Going Spatial' is my personal blog, the views on this site are entirely my own and should in no way be attributed to anyone else or as the opinion of any organisation.

My tweets on GIS, Humanitarian, Tech, Games and Randomness

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Esri UK User Conference 2013

I really need to choose a better instagram filter....
I have come home from our 2013 Esri UK User Conference and I have to say (not biased at all) that it was the best Esri UK UC I have been to. Over 1000 delegates and nearly all the Esri UK staff present too. A lot of people turned up on the day to register so this presented an interesting problem: too many people and I am sure that this will come through in the post-conference feedback. Certainly, in all the 3 of the 4 rooms allocated to talks, they were packed to capacity.

God Damn it's tight in here....

So what was my take on this conference, participating as a delegate rather than as a presenter?

Here are my highlights and observations. These points (like this blog) are entirely my own points and if you disagree, or want clarification - then please contact me. Also, follow #esriuk on twitter to get the tweets.

My own points

  • ArcGIS Online is Esri's eco-system and platform and a damn fine one. It is a full enterprise map-centric platform from desktop to cloud to mobile and all points in between. It is also going to support Enterprise Logins so you can use your own Windows Domain Account to login into ArcGIS Online. Very cool.
  • Esri's message of a map-centric world is now consistent, insistent and very attractive. However, cheaper Esri Credit please!
  • ArcGIS Online is going to be pushed into new areas of business as well as established ones. It certainly going to be more accessible and the messaging has been tooled to this end.
  • On-premise ArcGIS products (desktop and server) are very much alive and even more important as it links seamless with the ArcGIS Online experience. 
  • Portal for ArcGIS (on premise version of ArcGIS Online) will be out with the ArcGIS 10.2 release. Am very excited over this one, having struggled a bit with the beta versions!
  • New applications and functionality with ArcGIS Online means that there's a lot of attractive new features that will attract many non-GIS Professionals to using ArcGIS Online. 
  • The ArcGIS Online Collector - mobile application for collecting points in real time, and ArcGIS Online Operations Dashboard - used to give an overall view of many collectors out in the field. There was a demonstration of this with Esri UK staff members out around in London with their collector apps on their iPhone, Android and Windows phone collecting points and pictures and all being tracked in real time (30 second delay) in the dashboard. 
  • Other features hinted at including disconnected editing and it's demonstration by Ishmael Chavite (Esri Inc ArcGIS Product Manager) which had many of us very excited. 
    Disconnected editing? Hell yeah!
  • Geofencing - with an active ArcGIS Online subscription, users can create 'boundaries' that can generate alerts when a user collects a point within these boundaries. Very nice and makes for some very interesting work flows.
  • Esri is going add the title of also being a content company - providing new and innovative data products available through (you've guessed it) ArcGIS Online.
Esri Inc TV channel coming soon?

  • Esri Maps for Office brings maps and GIS into Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint. This tool will bring simple, real-time mapping into Excel and allow two-way interaction between the spreadsheet and the map. You will need an active ArcGIS Online subscription to get access to this very cool tool.
  • CityEngine, been around since ArcGIS 10.0 is now pretty well integrated and cool as hell. 3-D GIS for sure but a definitely useful for BIM and with new GPS capabilities (able to pinpoint location down to rooms) means big brother is indeed watching you. 
  • Esri will have working solutions that slot into SAP, IBM COGNOS and SHAREPOINT to name three.
  • Charles Kennelly, Esri UK's CTO gave one of the most thought provoking presentations when he whipped through his prediction of what the world will be like in 25 years time. 
Doesn't make me calm at all....

My summary

Esri Inc with ArcGIS Online has an attractive enterprise solution covering desktop to mobile to cloud complete with content and a large user base. With an increasingly varied and well thought out content strategy, Esri is definitely pushing a map-centric ecosystem out to the masses. With a compelling mobile app solution and soon-to-be app store / marketplace - there's real excitement. Speaking to a number of the guests, nearly all were excited and 'got' Esri's message and all were eager to go back to work and try it. There was a little bit for everyone but the central theme was to get online with ArcGIS Online. All the new things coming out of Redlands, California, was to be aligned with the whole ArcGIS Online experience. Esri is changing as a company, its products and services evolving with new technologies and ideas taking form and taking the lead. With Esri switching over to a subscription, pay-as-you-go service, finding new and retaining current customers becomes paramount. I can also see some desktop and desktop services (e.g. complex spatial queries) becoming part of this subscription, pay-as-you-go world too. The customer, you,the user - will become king.