2014 ESRI Conference First Day

For those of you that could not make the conference this year, here are some highlights that I took away from the first day:

  • ESRI continues to focus their products to the web and integrate with with the web.  “Web GIS” and “ArcGIS as a Web Platform” are the themes.  They want to extend the ArcGIS Data Model into the cloud.  You will see this more in version 10.3 in 2015.
  • ESRI is also pushing GeoDesign.  They stress that it is not just something planners do, it is what all of us GIS types do on a daily basis.  ESRI is creating tools for GeoDesign use.
  • As suspected, ArcGIS Pro is the product to show off this year.  I like the fact you can have multiple layouts and view your 2D and 3D windows together.  I also liked the demo showing how they changed the annotation rendering and symbology on the fly using the tools in the ribbon interface.
  • There is a new web app builder for Javascript using HTML5, for both ArcGIS Server and ArcGIS Online.  It has some 30+ widgets to work with, you can change things like the layout, color, logo, title, and other settings.  Developers will have tools to extend it as well.
  • Explorer for ArcGIS is now supported on the Mac as well as iPhone and iPad.
  • ArcGIS Online comes with better administration tools.  You can create custom user roles so you can specify what exactly each user can do.  Better metrics and reports down to the user level if you want.  There are new analytic tools, like a drivetime tool, ready to use maps from the Living Atlas, and an Enrichment Layer tool for you to add extra fields of data to your existing layers (think joining tables together).
  • Also your web maps can be extended into a presentation using the Presentation Builder (think Briefing Book).
  • There was a cool demo of a Hotspot Analysis Tool using time as the third dimension.  It aggregates data into a space/time cube which allows you to view statistically significant clustering of your hotspots.
  • 3D is also the big thing.  There are new tools to create web scenes and to fuse your existing data into the 3D environment.  You can quickly build a 3D scene of buildings and trees.  You can create slides for presentations and also save your work online to be able to view your 3D data on a web browser, tablet, or mobile device.  You will see new functionality in 10.3.
  • ArcMap 10.3 is focused on advanced science capabilities.  Will support space/time formats, python aggregator function, raster process template, vector field symbology, and infographics tool.
  • Starbucks did a presentation on how they use ESRI poducts to locate new stores.  My takeaway from their presentation … they will be starting a “Starbucks Evenings Pilot Program” where certain locations will be serving beer and wine!  The map of the LA area below shows those locations (dark symbol) with all other stores (green symbol) and a wine away from home index layer (white-yellow-orange polygons).


So there you go.  And also, I bet if you wait a day, ESRI will put their first day presentations online at video.esri.com.  Check it out! -mike

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