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Spring 2007
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Esri Federal User Conference 2007 Highlights Geography

More than 1,900 GIS users representing all parts of federal government gathered in Washington, D.C., at the Washington Convention Center to learn about GIS solutions, the FedUC logocurrent state-of-the-art, and future developments of Esri GIS software technology—and to meet with colleagues and friends. The event was the Seventh Annual Esri Federal User Conference (FedUC), held January 9–11, 2007.

Congressman Paul E. Kanjorski from the 11th Congressional District, Pennsylvania, gave the Keynote Address.

"A challenge I see quite readily today is a lack of willingness to share information and a lack of incentive to share information, particularly between the various levels of government," Kanjorski said. "And since most of this information resides at the local government level or at the state level, it's incumbent upon the federal government to come up with a theory of 'carrot and stick' to accomplish some methodology that encourages and rewards those entities that push this information up the line, make it more useful, and keep it current." He encouraged users to find ways to motivate government to keep current information flowing up and down through all levels. "If we do that," he said, "all of us will have more effective tools."

Esri president Jack Dangermond presented Kanjorski with an Esri Making a Difference Award, citing the role the congressman played in developing the Pennsylvania GIS Consortium at Wilkes University and his important role in creating the Earth Conservancy, an organization that uses GIS to reclaim and develop land that was harmed by coal mining in Pennsylvania.

Later in the plenary, attention turned to GIS software advances, specifically new functionality with the release of ArcGIS 9.2. The ArcGIS 9.2 product family allows Esri users to author data with ArcGIS Desktop software; serve the data using ArcGIS Server; and use it through Web, desktop, and mobile clients. ArcGIS Image Server, a new product, was also introduced. This is software that dynamically performs image processing, georeferencing, and mosaicking.

"This environment for me is about as exciting as anything I've seen in my 40 years of working on this—this idea that I can share or publish to a broader audience and interconnect information," Dangermond said.

More Information

For more information, contact Christopher Thomas, Esri (e-mail: cthomas@esri.com).

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