During the last two weeks of July this year (2015), I will be attending a pair of conferences - one familiar, and one new - together which should complement each other perfectly for this time in MannionGeo's evolution.
The Esri User Conference (UC) is an event that has been part of my schedule most years since my inaugural visit in 1996. Over that time, the venue has moved from Palm Springs to San Diego. The software has transitioned from a workstation, to client-server, to web GIS architecture. And, personally, I've grown from my role as a new Esri employee and glorified conference gopher, to automating and managing the Map Gallery, to presenting an alphabet soup of technical workshops ranging from AML to SDE. Now, I go to the UC as an Esri business partner, with all of the benefits and privileges that that confers - such as actually attending the plenary session and paper presentations.
A the end of the week, I will summarize the highlights of the small slice of the UC that I'm able to experience as one individual, among hundreds of events, thousands of attendees, and millions of square feet of convention center space.
The second event is the InfoAg Conference in St. Louis (July 28-30). This conference started in 1995, the same year that I began my own GIS career, though I haven't attended InfoAg until now. It's been a quick two years since MannionGeo engaged in its first precision agriculture project, and the pace of GIS adoption and adaptation that I've witnessed in the precision ag community over that short window has been astounding. While I'm well-versed in the technology end of the spectrum, I am still racing to build my knowledge of the business and science of the agriculture industry. In looking for ways to engage more directly, the consensus among the agronomists, vendors, and growers with whom I spoke was that InfoAg was the forum I was seeking.
Being new to InfoAg, I'm not quite sure what to expect. Still those expectations are high, given the conference's reputation, who's-who roster of sponsors, and engaging agenda. As with the Esri UC, I'll post a summary after the week is complete.
Meeting at the Conferences
If you will be attending either show and would like to meet, I welcome you to reach out. The best way to do so is using the contact form on this website. Please let me know which day and time would be best, and I will contact you promptly to make arrangements.
Note also that I will be attending the Esri Mid-West Agriculture User Group Meeting the day before the InfoAg Conference begins (Monday, July 27). I believe that we'll all be in the same room, so if you will be there too, I look forward to either meeting you, or to seeing you again, whichever case may be.
The Lighter Side
After 20 years of flying and driving extensively for work, I've decided to try some alternative modes of transportation for the Esri and InfoAg conferences. Among the type of rambling blog content that no one but the author values (of which there will be plenty, I'm sure), I promise to include some practical tips for next year's conference travelers - including a review of the new DecoBike bicycle sharing service in San Diego. You can find that information in the following posts:
Esri User Conference 2015 highlights (coming soon)