Things I saw at 2014 Esri International User Conference

As always, ESRI did an outstanding job putting together this year’s conference with a mix of inspirational messages, product descriptions, technical workshops, vendors and social activities. There is so much more than one person see can see and do, that I must admit I have already included notes and comments from others who attended just to try and give a feel for the variety and magnitude of this event. Although the conference was held more than a month ago, I am sure some things have stuck out in your mind, so please take the time and add your comments and experiences to this blog.


Over 16,000 attended the plenary session, which has been captured on video. You can watch a specific topic highlight, or you watch the entire day! The petroleum industry was mentioned a few times, usually in the context of discussions between Shell and Esri, including Royal Dutch Shell taking the stage to receive the Enterprise GIS Award. The industry as a whole has benefited from the active role Shell has played. I was personally very happy to see Grant Tucker take the stage for his contributions at Shell, and because of his active involvement in the PUG for many years. A surprise and highlight for many staying through the plenary was watching Connecting with Education where two elementary girls presented their school GIS projects. They presented with the confidence of a seasoned veteran speaker. As most know, it has been announced that Esri is donating ArcGIS software for schools, which creates a great opportunity for GIS professionals to offer their time as mentors to help this effort.

The plenary contained many featured product themes, a few of which I would like to highlight. A main focus was showing the maturity of ArcGIS for Portal / AGOL. It contained more integration and tools, like field collector and a WebApp Builder. There were many clients demonstrating the sites and data that they have stood up on this technology. I was excited about the upcoming release of ArcGIS Pro. It has 64bit compatibility, which seemed to give great performance along with a more intuitive interface. For the desktop user (and we know who we are), I believe this will be well received. I have always had an interest in 3D and CityEngine. This product was featuree in a presentation about Urban Development during the plenary.  For those interested, each topic has a depth of details that is available from the conference workshops and Esri’s website.


Even with all the great technology, for me, the primary reason for attendance is the opportunity to connect with friends and peers in the industry. Tuesday is the traditional day for the Petroleum track. It was well attended, with many in the morning having to stand at the back and sides. Most of the PUG Steering Committee was able to attend the conference, with three of the members presenting in the Petroleum track: Jacob Boyle, Sylvain Bard-Maier, and I. The petroleum session offered many opportunities to meet and share experiences with other GIS users in our industry. At the end of this post I have included links to the petroleum presentations. These presentations were followed by the traditional PUG Social that evening. I thought the petroleum track sessions were well attended until I saw the crowd at the PUG Social! All in all, it was a great day for networking and connecting in the petroleum industry.


Wednesday morning started early for me. I signed up to participate in the 5K fun run along the bay. Although feeling the effects of the previous night’s PUG Social, somehow I did manage to improve my time over last year. Wednesday and Thursday were spent between workshops, the vendor area and meeting with colleagues. With all industries present at the conference, attendees have a unique opportunity to see what other industries are doing with the technology, and what services vendors are targeting. The vendor hall seemed endless. There was much talk and presence of drone technology.


ESRI wants to know what you thought of the conference. They even stopped Gina John, PUG Resource Coordinator, to ask her questions about her experience. To complete the perfect mix of experiences at the conference, Esri hosts a Thursday evening social at Balboa Park – including dinner and access to the many museums.

Scott Sitzman, PUG Chairman

The PUG would like to thank our sponsors for their support: Blueback Reservoir, BP, Coler & Colantonio (a CHA company), Esri, Exprodat, Logic Solutions Group, GeoPropel, Landworks, Schlumberger, TeachMeGIS and Trimble.

Links to the Petroleum papers at the UC, and pictures of the PUG Steering Committee members who presented, Scott Sitzman, Sylvain Bard-Maier and Jacob Boyle.


ConocoPhillips – How a Strategic Approach to GIS adds value to ConocoPhillips’ Growth. Scott Sitzman, Paloma Urbano

BP – GIS for Reservoir Management: Estimating Original Gas In Place. Jeffrey VU (trainee of Tarun CHandrasekhar & Jacob Maggard)

Total – E&P maps, the online catalog for GeoScience maps in Total. Sylvain Bard-MAÏER

Seneca , Implementation of Portal for ArcGIS at Seneca Resources. Jacob Boyle

GIS based database of geological/reserve extent maps for E&P Companies. Pal Achintya

Unraveling the hydrocarbon potential of deep water Mozambique Channel. Olayemi Tolulope


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