“The Science of Where” has been the Esri tagline for some time now. It says it all in terms of the Esri approach to GIS and mapping vs. let’s say, Google who still does a lot of GIS science, but does not provide those tools to customers. Google wants their software to be invisible.
The opening video with views of the earth at the 38th Esri User Conference was spectacular, complete with a symphony orchestra. Others may try to copy the opening, but few succeed, at least in the geospatial field. I like to call it the “Church of Esri.” The total attendance this year is being pegged at 18k. That’s a lot of faith and revenue.
After a number of minutes of project video Jack opened the plenary. He looks good and is showing little sign of slowing down. After all these years he has seen a lot of technology come and go, but you can’t dispute the power of GIS and it is only getting more more ingrained in our society.
He noted that over 130 countries were represented and that the theme of the conference “Inspiring What’s Next” requires us to accelerate the use of GIS, not slow down. The raw power of visualization is appreciated more in GIS than any other geospatial software.
Make no mistake Esri is all in when it comes to social media. They fully understand where the next generation of customers is going to come from and they intend to connect with them early on. The younger generations are demanding more awareness and sensitivity to the environment. When they get into the positions of authority the world is going to be a different place – I hope.
As Jack said, “Collaboration happens at the speed of trust.” Hundreds of thousands, if not millions trust Jack. He has been inspiring what’s next for over 50 years. The world owes him and his team a big thank you.
You can watch it all here.