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Winter 2003/2004
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In Conjunction With the European Educational User Conference

Innsbruck Hosts 2003 Esri European User Conference

From October 8–10, 2003, more than 1,000 Esri software users, many of them from Africa and the Middle East, gathered in the beautiful city of Innsbruck, Austria, to take part in the 18th Esri European User Conference, organized by Esri distributors SynerGIS Informationssysteme GmbH and Esri Geoinformatik GmbH and sponsored by Hewlett–Packard, IBM, and Navigation Technologies. Both distributors organized a very successful event that was held in both English and German. Technical workshops were held in both languages as were the user presentation sessions.

The opening day started with a presentation by Esri President Jack Dangermond during which he told the audience that the day GIS will be used to tap into and manage the "nervous system" of the earth is no longer far away. "Monitoring both the natural and human-made (planned) worlds will enable people to better manage our planet, which should result in better integration of both worlds," said Dangermond. "The technology is there; convincing people and organizations to start sharing data and applications will be the big challenge. Meetings such as this User Conference contribute to this vision."

Austrian explorer Christoph Hoebenreich was the second keynote speaker. In his presentation he told the audience to view the world via computers but not to forget to return to nature. His speech was accompanied by a slide show of his adventures that span the globe.

David Maguire, Esri director of products, solutions, and international, and a team from Esri explained and demonstrated the new functions of ArcGIS 9—especially ArcGIS 3D Analyst with ArcGlobe. The audience was clearly impressed with ArcGlobe software's flyby through the Alps.

European Educational User Conference

The first Esri European Educational User Conference, held on Friday and Saturday, October 10–11, was attended by 100 people from both higher education and primary and secondary schools. Jack Dangermond provided a keynote address stressing the use of project-based learning, which can be extremely applicable to GIS education. The presentations underscored the wide-ranging use of GIS in European schools. On Saturday the audience had the opportunity to participate in workshops, one of which highlighted the Diercke GIS curriculum in Germany.

Since this first Educational User Conference was a success, a similar event will be combined with the 19th European Conference for Esri Users, which will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark, November 8–10, 2004.

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