Esri’s User Conference has come and gone but the excitement around the future of location based technology and the platforms supporting it are still very much a part of every discussion we have here at GISinc. I’d like to take a few moments and recap what we’ve learned at this year’s users conference for us as a Platinum Partner and for our customers.

Esri has been hard at work this past year, I noticed a lot of enhancements and capabilities have been added to the ArcGIS Platform. ArcGIS Enterprise is now at version 10.5.1. No changes to the base components; Web Adaptor, Portal, GIS Server and the Data Store. You can find a blog post on What’s new here. One thing to note, there is a new Enterprise Builder tool that will guide you through the complete installation of all components. This currently takes place on a single server only but is a great tool for getting started.

Other platform enhancements:

  • ArcGIS Content – Esri continues to improve upon, the already largest collection of geographic information in the world, with new and updated content. Important to mention this content can be accessed through ArcGIS Online through the Living Atlas or hosted as managed service on-premise through ArcGIS Enterprise. Discover the many datasets at the improved Living Atlas Portal.


  • ArcGIS Hub – This is a new product and is scheduled to be released in October of this year. This product will provide a web based platform for two-way engagement connecting governments to its citizens through initiatives. Initiatives provide a way to prioritize meaningful policy driven goals; organize data, content, information and teams together which feed into applications, dashboards and survey. You can learn more about the ArcGIS Hub here. An important note, the ArcGIS Hub is built on top of the ArcGIS Open Data, also provided as a solution of ArcGIS Online.


  • ArcGIS Online – ArcGIS Online had an update prior to the User Conference in June with several notable enhancements; to get a full list, visit the What’s New blog post. The ones that stand out to me are:
    • Map Viewer - Arcade is an expression language that the entire ArcGIS Platform will utilize moving forward. Arcade allows for creating custom attributes in popups, in addition to defining rules on Geodatabases. You can think of this as similar to the attribute assistant.
    • Smart Mapping – Better support for callout graphics and text as well as SmartMapping is now part of the user experience.
    • User Experience – Most of the item management process has been improved with a new user experience.
    • Operations Dashboard – ArcGIS Online will provide an online dashboard experience like the desktop application. This new Dashboard will be tied to your ArcGIS Online organization account and can be shared like other web applications. The Dashboard is currently in beta, read more about it here.
    • Vector Basemaps – Although this is not something new, it is becoming more pervasive throughout the Online experience. Vector Basemaps can now be part of your organizations basemaps alongside the traditional tiled services.


  • ArcGIS Desktop – Version 2.0 of ArcGIS Pro is now available and is fully integrated with ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Enterprise. There is a great presentation given by James Sullivan where he highlights his top 10 enhancements made to Pro. Here’s a list that stood out to me.
    • Annotation, inline editing of text
    • Charting and layout improvements
    • Auto GeoReferencing
    • Catalog is Back!
    • Full WFS support
    • 3D editing and visualization, onscreen navigation
    • Sharing options (Visualization, Editing, Exploratory)
    • Multiple instances of Pro on single desktop

The conference was full of Big Data discussions alongside real-time monitoring and analytics with regards to the Internet of Things or, IoT. ArcGIS Enterprise at release 10.5.1 becomes more integrated into this emerging technology through GeoEvent, GeoAnalytics, Spatiotemporal Big Data Store, Insights for ArcGIS and now the new Operations Dashboard. We are seeing a big uptake with organizations leveraging this new technology and looking for ways to integrate into their existing business systems to provide better experiences to citizens through Smart Community initiatives.

Mobility through field collection and collaboration is gaining in capabilities and user experience. We now have access to several mobile solutions through Explorer, Collector and Survey123. For some, this may not be much of new information as it is a reminder, but Explorer for ArcGIS has made some big enhancements over the past few months. In fact, it’s editing functionality is comparable to Collector; if not better with built-in functionality for things like red-lining. We are also seeing more use cases for Survey123 when we are deploying Collector type applications; like editing existing features is now possible in Survey123.

Final note, the User Conference was full of exiting technology and user stories. We at GISinc look forward to the remainder of the year as we implement this technology and find ways to better support our customers as you upgrade to ArcGIS Enterprise.


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