2009 ESRI International User Conference Exceeds 12,000 Attendees

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GIS Software Users Gather for Informative Plenary Session, Hundreds of User Presentations, Product Demonstrations, and Extensive GIS Training

ESRI president Jack Dangermond presents Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley with the ESRI President's Award.

You are an extraordinary group, and it's a privilege to be with you

More than 12,000 attendees from around the world gathered July 13-17 at the 2009 ESRI International User Conference (ESRI UC), the largest geographic information system (GIS) conference in the world. The ESRI user community traveled to the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California, to learn about the latest developments in GIS and to network with colleagues despite a bad economy and tight budgets.

"Travel and training were cancelled within our city organizations this year," shared James Judge, GIS coordinator, City of West Palm Beach, Florida. "In order to attend, I paid my own way because I feel the price is worth the experience."

The ESRI UC experience began with an impressive Plenary Session. Before thousands of attendees, ESRI president Jack Dangermond honored the Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) award winners and presented several distinguished individuals with awards for their exceptional use of GIS technology. Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley was awarded the coveted ESRI President's Award. O'Malley shared the strategy and thinking behind several GIS applications developed under his leadership and also demonstrated specific examples of GIS success in the state. "It's an honor to be here with all of you and a privilege to receive this award," said O'Malley. "GIS just might be the linchpin of a powerful new movement."

Dangermond then shared his vision for ESRI, and staff showcased the capabilities available in ArcGIS 9.3.1 and the upcoming ArcGIS 9.4 software release. Later, attendees were encouraged to volunteer their time and expertise to help others develop GIS skills by becoming a GeoMentor. The plenary concluded with much-anticipated keynote addresses from economist Hernando de Soto, biologist Willie Smits, and the United States Census Bureau's Timothy Trainor.

"You are an extraordinary group, and it's a privilege to be with you," Dangermond expressed to attendees. "You are making a difference, and this is the week where you can look and share among your peers -- people who understand what it takes to do what you do."

The week progressed with user presentations, technical and industry sessions, and workshops. Special Interest Group and Regional User Group meetings organized by industry, field, region, or area of interest facilitated networking among attendees. Product demonstrations and conversations with ESRI staff took place throughout the ESRI Showcase, and more than 300 exhibitors were available in the Exhibit Pavilion to answer questions about their advancements and solutions.

Users showcased their work in the Map Gallery, Virtual Map Gallery, and User Software Applications Fair. Special Displays from organizations such as the National Geographic Society and CenterPoint Energy, Inc. illustrated how GIS is an essential tool in today's world. New this year were Lightning Talks, five-minute-long user presentations demonstrating inventive applications based on ESRI Web and mobile technology.

The 2010 ESRI UC will be held July 12-16 at the San Diego Convention Center. To find out more about the ESRI UC and to view videos from the Plenary Session, visit http://www.esri.com/uc.

About ESRI:
Since 1969, ESRI has been giving customers around the world the power to think and plan geographically. The market leader in GIS, ESRI software is used in more than 300,000 organizations worldwide including each of the 200 largest cities in the United States, most national governments, more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 7,000 colleges and universities. ESRI applications, running on more than one million desktops and thousands of Web and enterprise servers, provide the backbone for the world's mapping and spatial analysis. ESRI is the only vendor that provides complete technical solutions for desktop, mobile, server, and Internet platforms. Visit us at http://www.esri.com.

ESRI, the ESRI globe logo, GIS by ESRI, ArcGIS, http://www.esri.com, and @esri.com are trademarks, registered trademarks, or service marks of ESRI in the United States, the European Community, or certain other jurisdictions. Other companies and products mentioned herein may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective trademark owners.

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Caitlyn Mitchell
ESRI
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