The annual Esri European User Conference opened today in Oslo. Bringing together a diverse audience of geographic information system (GIS) practitioners, educators, researchers and business people – all practising or interested in applying GIS. This year the event was sponsored by Geodata Norway.
Geir Hansen, CEO at Geodata opened the event and welcomed the packed audience attending the event in the center of Oslo in the Congress Hall. He mentioned the infrastructure needs in the country as well as other places in Europe, and the need for achieving a balance.
Then Esri CEO and president Jack Dangermond took to the stage, welcoming guests and those in attendance before asking everyone, as per usual at Esri conference events, to introduce themselves to the person next to them – which exploded into a round of discussion as talk and voices rose, only to see him have to quiet the audience down with a smile.
I’ve seen ArcGIS grow over the years to include new options, quality, improved services and the like, and Dangermond harnessing the audience attention, boldly, and correctly stating that ArcGIS is a transformational and something that is about to take a next giant leap forward. I have to say, it is nice to see him witnessing this step, because the product is ready for some real game-changing future directions – something he dwelled upon.
One always gets the sense that Dangermond’s thoughts are a few steps ahead, and as he spoke, the audience was listening and watching attentively, but his smile and words carried a confidence that something major lies ahead.
Dangermond addressed the issues of understanding through maps, how spatial analysis creates understanding and how people will tell stories about their maps to improve and increase understanding among themselves.
One thing was certain at the opening – everything that followed throughout the day supported what he mentioned both with content and in application. I can’t remember Esri ever having GIS as together as they do now.
More to come…..