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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

ESRI User Conference 2007: DAY 1

It's another great trip to San Diego, CA this year!

Day 1: We started with great presentations by the ESRI staff on the latest and greatest with their efforts. Ann told us that the licenses will include more extensions. ArcGIS online is a great resource: http://services.arcgisonline.com/. The folks from the ESRI Mapping Center shared their new website and offered some great ways for educators to connect with serious cartographers. ESRI responded to our requests from last year's curriculum development meeting and has created the Education Community website. Be sure to check that out at http://edcommunity.esri.com/ .

After the break we heard from Prof. Stig Enemark of Denmark. He shared the challenges of surveying and how educators can play a role in maintaining their vocation. I especially liked a quote he shared, a chinese proverb. "Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand." I love to hear this kind of message. We in education must remember to "involve" students in their curriculum so that "understand."

He was followed by Curtis Sumner who is the Executive Director of the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping. He also brought us the message that we all need each other to make a difference in education and ultimately the future workforce. His organization is fostering relationships with educators by offering a one year free membership. You can find them at http://www.acsm.net/.

I spent the rest of my afternoon in a computer lab learning about downloading Census data and importing it to ArcGIS. Now I understand why I had not done much of this in the past. It's certainly a more time consuming process than simply adding shapefiles, but gives great analytical opportunities once you have it. You can download data at http://factfinder.census.gov/.

We concluded DAY 1 with the Education Expo and Reception. It's always great to see all my GIS pals from around the country. I especially enjoyed talking with the folks from Service at Sea. They're embarking on a very interesting physical and education journey. Check it out at http://www.serviceatsea.org/.

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