“…we must get on with the mapping of the world”

E.O. Wilson

Kyle Wikstrom
Kyle Wikstrom, GIS Solutions Specialist

The Esri User Conference is the largest gathering of GIS professionals from around the world, who attend hundreds of technical and interest sessions on new ways of understanding our world. Here are just a FEW of the highlights!

ArcGIS for Local Government will move to a new deployment approach that simplifies adoption, hosts solutions through ArcGIS Online, and will migrate to a simplified information model. Plans for the near future include public works, health, and land records. The Parcel Drafter will certainly be an exciting addition for local governments. Solutions will also incorporate other pieces of the ArcGIS Platform, including ArcGIS Pro.

Vector Tiles are changing how we design web maps and share information. Modern digital cartography capabilities make it easy to customize and publish rich, interactive data. Vector tiles give control over map design back to the web mapper and enable the use of customized layers, symbols, languages, boundaries, and more! Vector tiles as basemaps are faster to load, display at any scale, are sharper on high-resolution displays, easier to update, and offer better support for disconnected use. A full release is expected by the end of 2016.

ArcGIS Online use has EXPLODED! Upcoming capabilities include automatic updates of hosted tile layers when features are edited, hosted dynamic services for custom symbologies, vector tiles from hosted services, and faster geocoding. In 2017, we will see more use of social features such as notifications and following, as well as improved galleries. Here are some of the numbers behind this web GIS momentum:

  • 700 Apps are created every day

    ArcGIS Online in numbers
    Web GIS in numbers
  • Every second, there are 3 logins
  • 13TB of bandwidth per month
  • 10 Million addresses are geocoded per day
  • 250,000 routes generated per day

How are organizations using Web GIS?

  1. Location enablement
  2. Constituent engagement
  3. Decision support
  4. Field mobility
  5. Analytics
  6. Location data management

The June update of ArcGIS Online saw improved item pages, interactive attribute tables, and more efficient workflows. Check out Esri’s Daily Hot Apps web application and see the world’s most popular ArcGIS apps!

ArcGIS Pro will continue to see function enhancements as Esri moves to make it an equivalent to ArcMap. ArcMap IS NOT GOING AWAY! There are plans for a 10.5 release of ArcMap in 2017. The product will be supported through 2022 based on Esri’s Product Life Cycle standards. For users who ask, “Why should I use ArcGIS Pro?” the answer is simple: ArcGIS Pro is where Esri is putting all of its focus and efforts.

Imagery and 3D are even easier to incorporate than ever! Drone2Map can be used to capture high-resolution and the up-to-date data for analysis and visualization. From change analysis to oblique imagery and orthophoto generation, ArcGIS can support anything from single scenes to massive collections. Users can even take 2D building footprints and generate 3D scenes using simple LiDAR and publish scenes in ArcGIS Online.

Workforce for ArcGIS will get its first full release in July, and offline supported is expected in 2017.

 Insights for ArcGIS is a new application that represents a revolutionary step in data analysis. Insights empowers users to explore location-based data through interactive analysis. Drag-and-drop controls make it easy to analyze data, find patterns, gain situational awareness, and explore what-if scenarios. This application will be made available to most existing ELA customers for free.

The Racine County team receiving their Esri SAG award
The Racine County team receiving their Esri SAG award

Racine County, Wisconsin, won a Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) Award from Esri for its advancement in web GIS and mapping technology. Pro-West has been working with Racine County since 2015 to deploy GIS technology and integrate third party systems into its applications.

I was very proud to receive an award in the Storytelling with Maps Contest!
I was very proud to receive an award in the Storytelling with Maps Contest!

I also received accolades for being a winner of the Storytelling with Maps Contest, and had the opportunity to visit with Jack Dangermond during the Map Gallery Reception. I also presented two print maps in the Map Gallery and a virtual map project in the NVIDIA ArcGIS Pro Map Wall.


Of the numerous times I’ve attended the Esri UC, this year’s conference emphasized with great importance the need to continue mapping our world. The world around us can be large or it can be small, but it all is related. With some of the first satellite images of our world, everyone zoomed to their homes for locational context of where we each reside in the world. Geography and GIS are key to understanding and sustaining our world and our homes.

GIS is getting smarter. It integrates real-time and powerful analytics to provide the means to engage everyone. But science, technology, and even smarter GIS tools are not enough. You are essential – Working together, engaged, and committed to create a smarter and more sustainable world.

Everyone at Pro-West and Associates is ready to help lead this charge. We are committed to being on your team and empowering you to champion change: to help you make smart decisions and sustain your homes and communities.

I would like to thank Jack Dangermond and the entire team at Esri for hosting another exceptional User Conference.

See you next year!

Goodbye to beautiful San Diego for another year!
Later, San Diego!


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