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Winter 2008/2009
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Autumn International User Conferences Bring 2008 to an Exciting Close

The 2008 Esri LAUC and EMEA UC Attract Hundreds and Advance GIS

Both the 2008 Esri Europe, Middle East and Africa User Conference (EMEA UC) and Latin America User Conference (LAUC) drew attendees from many different countries and a variety of industries. photo of an exhibit floorThe conferences gave GIS users an opportunity to come together for collaboration that spans across borders. These informative and essential gatherings helped professionals grow their GIS knowledge base, strengthen their GIS skills, build a valuable network of contacts, and explore geospatial solutions—making a difference in areas throughout the world.

"To know that individuals seemingly worlds apart, and with very diverse backgrounds, have a common interest in GIS is an inspiration for anyone," says Jack Dangermond, Esri president, who gave a Plenary Session presentation at both events. "These international events created a forum for users to join forces and to combine their experiences and ideas for the advancement of problem solving and decision making using GIS."

The 2008 LAUC Offers Attendees an Active Forum

Esri Chile S.A. hosted the 2008 LAUC, which was held October 1–3 in Santiago, Chile, at the Santiago Grand Hyatt. With more than 650 participants, the conference gave GIS users in Latin America a place to communicate about solutions to real-world problems. The event also helped further GIS projects with more than 30 technical workshops and more than 50 user presentations in the fields of government, agriculture, transportation, education, conservation, utilities, mining, forestry, and more.

Attendees cultivated relationships with their peers and Esri staff and accessed key resources, from technology demonstrations to sessions addressing specific trends to meeting with Esri business partners. More than 30 exhibitors were on hand in the GIS Solutions EXPO, showcasing their products and services for cartography, photogrammetry, and remote sensing. During the Plenary Session, visitors heard from keynote speaker and professional geographer Senator Carlos Cantero, who represents the Second Region of Antofagasta, Chile. He addressed the importance and impact of geography and GIS in today's society. Speaker Romy Schmidt, Chile's minister of national property, received an award from Dangermond for her support of the Chilean SNIT (National Spatial Data Infrastructure).

Dangermond also announced the donation of half a million U.S. dollars in Esri software to SNIT and collaborating national agencies.

photo of a presentation in progress"The 2008 LAUC exceeded our expectations," says Merrill Lyew, Latin America regional manager, Esri. "Most Latin American countries were represented at the conference, including 16 attendees from Mexico, 30 from Colombia, and many from neighboring countries. This premier gathering definitely showed that the community of Latin American Esri users is growing and thriving."

To find out more about the 2008 LAUC, visit www.esri-chile.com/lauc2008.

The 2008 EMEA UC Shows How GIS Is Infused in Everyday Life

Hosted by Esri (UK) Ltd., the 2008 EMEA UC was held October 28–30 at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, opposite the Houses of Parliament in London, England. The EMEA UC was the largest-ever GIS event in the UK with more than 1,600 attendees. The event, themed GIS for Everyday Life, helped users grasp Esri's vision for the future, where GIS solutions will continue to evolve and play an increasingly vital role in our lives. Participants ranged from end users and senior executives to business partners and industry analysts involved in industries such as oil and gas, utilities, public works, and commercial business. The EMEA UC provided a broad spectrum of preconference seminars, user presentations, technology demonstrations, workshops, exhibits, and map displays for visitors to best discover how the benefits of GIS can be expanded throughout an organization or community.

"This event was such a success that we have decided to continue the tradition of an Esri (UK) conference in future years," says Nick Chapallaz, director of business strategy and marketing, Esri (UK). "We were overwhelmed with the positive reactions of the participants."

A number of esteemed guests spoke during the conference Plenary Session, including David Shukman, environment and science correspondent, BBC; Sheikh Nawaf Bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa, vice chief executive for administrative and financial affairs, Electricity and Gas Authority, Kingdom of Bahrain; and Timothy Mitchell, group underwriting and claims director, RSA Group. Presentation topics ranged from the front lines of global climate change to delivering a new dimension in risk management, producing rapid mapping for disaster zones, and bringing the real world to the classroom using GIS.

At the same venue, the 2008 Esri EMEA Education User Conference took place October 26–28. Designed for professionals from all areas of education, this conference gave attendees the chance to connect with their peers and gather fresh ideas and insight to apply to their GIS classes and projects. Focused paper sessions, peer discussions, technical sessions, hands-on workshops, and a panel session were some of the ways participants could further their experience with GIS. Professor David Rhind, geographer and former director of the Ordnance Survey, and Dr. Joop van der Schee, professor of education management at Vrije University in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, gave the keynote presentations. Rhind talked about why GIS education is important, and van der Schee discussed how to manage education.

To learn more about the 2008 EMEA UC, visit www.gisforeverydaylife.com.

More Information

For a complete listing of 2009 Esri events worldwide, visit www.esri.com/events.

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