Tuesday, July 12, 2011


The first day of the UC was informative, fun, and at times a little overwhelming. Jack and his colleagues were doing their thing at the plenary, and made a few announcements about 10.1 and ArcGIS Online that I found particularly noteworthy:

  • Dynamic legneds will be supported (finally!!)
  • Automatic image enhancement
  • Dynamic viewing of LAS files (LiDAR)
  • Right-click within an MXD to package and/or convert map into a service
  • ArcGIS online now supports a wide range of data import options, including drag-and-drop of CSV for point data (that was one of the coolest demos of the plenary)
  • ESRI is in the process of building a global, multi-resolution topographic mosaic that will also include user-contributed hi-res LiDAR. Not clear about when that will launch, but the data will be accessible as WMS *and* as points and rasters.

BEST NEWS OF ALL: ESRI is releasing 'ArcGIS Home' desktop + extensions for $100. The idea is to enable neophytes to get started, veterans to develop new skills, and anyone to use their software for volunteer projects.

Unfortunately, I felt like the message from ESRI at the plenary was WEB WEB WEB WEB and there was very little emphasis on any of the cool new analytical tools they are developing in the desktop, much less on how they're dealing with the huge list of bugs at 10.0 (for example, I still can't get dissolve to work, which is why I'm still about 90% in 9.3.1). I understand where they're coming from, but it would sure be great if they'd get the core functionality of their software working before they push us all into the bright shiny cloud-computing future.

Jack doing his thing at the plenary

After the morning plenary we had a two hour break, and after a great lunch with my former colleague (and current Cascade Land Conservancy GIS Manage)r Christopher Walter, I took in some of the sights of the waterfront, including the San Diego Maritime Museum. It was really great to finally explore the Surprise, a ship I've read so much about in Patrick O'Brian's novels.

The HMS Surprise!
The map gallery reception that afternoon was superb as usual, but it sure seems like there is far, far less representation of the non-profit world in general and the conservation GIS community in particular.

One of the many cool maps on display in the Map Gallery. How the heck did they create that symbology?!

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