ESRI UC Hot Topics and Activities

Thanks, Ann Johnson ( for your insights form the ESRI User Conference and ESRI Education User Conference!

Activity Report on Esri EdUC and UC – July 12 to 18, 2014 – Ann Johnson

1)      New product:  ArcGIS Pro.  If you “get” (have licenses for) ArcGIS Desktop, you automatically get access to ArcGIS Pro.  You MUST have an ArcGIS Online Organization account to use it. Some details:

  1.  Is work in progress with release in Q4 (maybe).
  2. It is a 64 bit multi-threaded software but will NOT run on a 32 bit system.
  3. Uses “smart ribbons” that expand depending on what you are working on (ala Windows Office).
  4. Can be on same computer as ArcGIS 10.3 and have the same “level” – basic, standard or advanced (old level names were ArcView to ArcInfo) and use all extensions.
  5. Can have multiple layouts, 2D and 3D with Scene or Globe.
  6. Can import .mxd and create .aprx projects.  BUT you can’t export back into ArcGIS 10.3.
  7. Has new “Task” tab with functionality where you can create a “named” task that has a “list of steps” that are displayed when you click on a Task with steps (functions) that need to be executed  in order to execute your defined task (analysis).
  8. Can bring in Landsat 8 as a tiled image that displays the “5 best” images for area you review.  You can then carry out a lot of predefined functions on the L8 images.  The Functions will be available “free” on the Esri Resource page.
  9.  Includes all geoprocessing functions in desktop but adds additional functions.
  10. Uses Python 3.4 (so you will have to have two versions 2.7 for desktop).

2)     ArcGIS Online for Organizations and Site Licenses:  Lots of updates and geoprocessing functionality now or will soon be available.  The big news is that all K-12 schools can get an Organizational account and can be used with GeoMentor Program..  Also all current education licenses will get 500% more credits.  The new credit limit should come out in the next month or so.  Organization administrators encouraged to customize their “users” so they cannot geocode.  Also there is a credit estimator.  Note that ArcGIS Online is for Education and Research use ONLY.  So not Administrative use.  Students will get access to the new (latest) version of 10.3 “soon.”  Take a look at for a detailed, step by step introduction to using ArcGIS Online with Skill Builder Activities.  See also

3)     EdUC Expo:  This was a really good activity.  Lots of traffic as food was served both Saturday and Sunday from 4:00 to 6:00 pm.  Lots of questions and handouts.  Luggage tag maker a big hit.  Projecting of website – used a sheet.  It really showed that we had a lot of work needed on the design of website.

4)     UC Academic Fair:  I don’t think this event is worth doing as it is expensive and very short time period with audience mainly industry (4:30 to 7:00 pm and $1,000 plus cost).

5)     UC Exhibit Hall:  Excellent access to many industry exhibitors.  Most were interested in education.  Need to have “team” focused on this next year to make firm contacts.

6)     Presentations:  both EdUC and UC had many presentations that were specific to education or curriculum.  GeoTech has purchased the Technical Workshops and will receive a thumbdrive with them on it in the next month.  We can “host” it to Team and to “members” behind a login. This should be an excellent resource for learning or updating content.  I found the ½ hour technical sessions really valuable with good access to the individuals building the “product/function.”

7)     Hot Topics:  Esri is going to do a MOOC.  Hopes for 40,000 attendees.  Esri is also going to do Badges.  Not a lot of details on this yet.

8)     Unconference sessions at EdUC:  I did not attend this,, but think Wing did – maybe he can tell us about it and how we should participate next year.

9)     Plenary Session:  hot topics included the difficulty of spreading GIS across campus and career pathways (K-12 to University).  Look at for info on P21 and its use of GTCM and defining skills and competencies.  Buzz words – Personalized Learning, Competency Based Learning, Outcomes based learning, UAV, Lidar, Look at Lumina Foundation – push for college success.  Session on using GIS and campus mapping was excellent including U of MN System and U of KY.  Need to talk with U of KY and work together.  Look at CityEngine for campus mapping.  Try or – have not checked these URLs.  Also see GeoNet below.

10)  Great Maps Session and relationship to our Website redesign:  This was two 1.5 hour sessions that really gave great hints for maps, but also for any graphic (poster) or websites.  Main takeaways were:  Know your audience (what they need) and sketch out design before moving to technologyPLUS keep it simple – 3 click rule to content!

  1. Web site:  a way to communicate to a specific audience.  Within 3 seconds the “audience” should:  know what it is about, find it appealing and want to “stay” and engage with content.  Use 3 second rule – flash site and ask if others know what it is about, is it appealing and what did the “see.”
  2. Website is a “Stage.”  Use 1/3 Layouts (divide page into 6 parts and align items within the parts).  Tell your story using balance of items and eye flow.


  1. Colors:  Use appropriate colors with important things in “brighter colors.”  The color pallet should compliment logo and be “consistent with branding.”
  2. Fonts:  should be consistent in hierarchy with size, style and color for specific uses (headings, links, text, etc.)
  3.  Design Process: Determine Audience, Story for Audience, Sketch it out after picking color pallet, font style and hierarchy, test layout design (3 second), THEN go to technology and create layout – with 3 click rule in mind to access content.

                                                    i.     Pitfalls:  No defining message, no hierarchy – all parts same level of importance (headers, graphics, fonts, elements), titles and headers not clear and simple, disorganized content (not on a grid), poor color choices (hue, saturation, etc.); trying to reach too broad of an audience. Too many clicks to content.

11)  Community Building – GeoNet launched:  a “platform” for sharing questions and resources with peers.  Can have subgroups – there is one for Campus mapping.  See

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