New to ArcGIS? Finding your way through the Esri User Conference

Guides have been updated 7/13/2020 with links directly into the Virtual User Conference environment. 

Some of Esri’s strengths – our relentless innovation and breadth of documentation and free training content – can also create a challenge for new users. Where should I start?

The annual Esri User Conference always has hundreds of technical sessions with so many topics covered, including

This year’s virtual format (July 13-16) will make available even more recorded content (live and on demand) than ever before, allowing users to peruse new content with less FOMO than they might typically have in San Diego. All the sessions will be available on demand, even the live ones (once finished), and will also be accessible through September 1 on the conference website.

Invite your colleagues!

The virtual conference format also allows us to expand the conference to more people. All sessions can be accessed by anyone in your organization, if your organization is current on its maintenance plan or has an Enterprise Agreement. This will allow more people to realize all that’s possible with ArcGIS and a strategy to leverage spatial analysis and location intelligence. Students also get access to all the great session content. And anyone get register for the plenary sessions.

However, with all this content, if you or your colleagues are completely new to ArcGIS, you might quickly feel overwhelmed. That’s where our Esri User Conference 2020 Wayfinding Guides can help.

Get the UC Wayfinding Guides

If you see yourself or a colleague in one of the roles below, check out the UC 2020 Wayfinding Guides to conference sessions below. These 2 page “on ramps” will point you first to some introductory ArcGIS content, then a sampling of relevant sessions, progressing in order of prerequisite knowledge to deeper dives into specific products, capabilities and scenarios based on your role and workflows.

Perhaps, you are a Technology or Program Executive trying to understand what’s special about spatial, and make sure ArcGIS will play nicely with your other systems.

Wayfinding Guide to Esri UC 2020 for Executives 

(updated 7/13 with links inside virtual platform)


Maybe you are an IT Manager, Data Administrator or Solutions Architect, and you are need to roadmap the right-sized deployment and integrations for your organization or understand the geodatabase.

Wayfinding Guide to Esri UC 2020 for IT or Data Managers 

(updated 7/13 with links inside virtual platform)


Maybe you are an application or systems integrations Developer tasked with building custom applications or integrating location into existing business applications. Browse all the sessions in this blog and download the:

Wayfinding Guide to Esri UC 2020 for Developers

(updated 7/13 with links inside virtual platform)


Or maybe you are a Data Scientist looking for some more easy buttons on some powerful spatial analytics techniques or want to more quickly scale and operationalize your work within the organization.

Wayfinding Guide to Esri UC 2020 for Data Scientists

(updated 7/13 with links inside virtual platform)


But don’t let that stop you from spelunking through UC! Browse the agenda, chat with experts, attend a special interest group, search keywords of interest, and let curiosity guide you. You might be amazed. But when you feel overwhelmed or work deadlines loom, consult the Way-Finding Guide!

How to Use the Wayfinding Guide

We’ll update this post and the documents with the latest links as the schedule evolves.

Last update 7/13/2020

About the author

Adam Martin is a Senior Product Manager focused on ArcGIS Knowledge and system interoperability. With more than fifteen years of entrepreneurial, government and private sector experience, he applies business and technology strategies as levers to improve government digital services and public decision making. Based in Washington, DC, he focuses on how ArcGIS connects “all the data” into knowledge graphs to find hidden patterns and relationships, provide quick context and accelerate decision making. He is also a proud dad, metadata hobbyist and consummate starter of things.

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