Posted on: 27 August 2018    

Last week I attended the New Zealand Esri User Conference (NZEUC) at SkyCity in Auckland. This is NZ’s largest gathering of geospatial professionals and the event was well attended by public and private sector clients and industry professionals. Our Abley team members attending the conference this year were Chris Morris, Hamish Kingsbury, Subodh Dhakal and myself, who collectively presented seven times during the conference and Special Interest Groups.

This was my first User Conference – I have been to alot of conferences before, but they have all been academic or technical, whereas this conference was focused primarily on Esri productsCompared to other conferences the plenary was largely technical demonstrations of the software, rather than inspiring speakers or politicians related to the field. The latter part of the plenary included a brilliant presentation by Scott Sambell on using GIS in pest management – which is going to be an essential part of New Zealand going pest-free in the future! 

Throughout the conference I attended a number of really good presentations.  Particular standouts for me were Matt Grose describing how they have updated DOC's online viewer and infrastructure, Graeme Blick presenting on the future of LINZ mapping in New Zealand (land, sea and coastline), and I learnt some new things in Gyanesh Gounder’s presentation on dashboards that have recently been developed at Watercare. 

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Hamish Kingsbury presenting on "Automated Service Authoring"

 Subodh presenting

Subodh Dhakal presenting on "GIS at NCTIR"

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On stage for my Lightning Talk on "Get Moving with geometryEngine" 

The expo area was the heart of the conference, and hosted the opening function, lunches, morning and afternoon teas. Once again Abley had a booth in this exhibition area, which was a great place to meet and mingle with a wide variety of people. As someone who has been “sort of” doing GIS for a long time it was really interesting to be joining this large established community.

The conference dinner was a real standout, with excellent food and a great conference beer from Tuatara. The MC, Ben Hurley, kept us thoroughly entertained until the band got started and the dance floor came out.

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Team Abley "Going for Gold" at the conference dinner

The final day started with Lightning Talk sessions in the main room (surprisingly well attended, given it was 9am after the conference dinner), where I presented on using the JavaScript APIs Geometry Engine.  Presenting code to a few hundred people while wearing a pop-star microphone was quite an experience!

Overall, the conference was thoroughly enjoyable.  I met loads of interesting people and learnt a lot of new things, including what is coming in the industry and some ways of improving what we do. It was an interesting experience compared to many of the other conferences I have been to, but well worth attending – see you all next year!

Blog written by Stacy Rendall, Principal Developer and Research Specialist

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