San Diego Gaslamp Maps and 10 Things To Do at the 2018 International ESRIUC

There’s no shortage of things to do at ESRIUC, that’s a fact! This year will mark my 20th UC and, like most years, hammering down exactly what I’ll do all week is a challenge – there’s simply so many things to select from. I’ve started loading up my calendar and have been setting up meetings and taking notes of must attend events.


Like most years, there’s a few things taking place during the week that are a MUST do for me and I’m glad to share a few of these here with you. Good luck building out your agenda for the week and, most important, be sure to plan on having loads of fun. Be sure to bring some comfortable shoes with you!

And so… here I share 10 Must Do things to consider while at the 2018 International ESRIUC:

1. Pre-conference Seminar (Sunday)

The Imagery Summit – A cool event taking place on Sunday for those who want a very full week! Hosted by the Esri imaging team, the Imagery Summit will serve as the forum for the discussion on all things Imagery and Remote Sensing for ArcGIS. The plenary session during the summit will present Esri’s Imagery roadmap. The highlight will be a closing panel discussion with leading Remote Sensing experts from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. See details

2. Monday Plenary Session

It goes without saying that Monday is all about the plenary. Plan to stay all day to hear directly from Jack Dangermond as he outlines the road ahead and discusses the ArcGIS platform, ArcGIS Pro, and the complete product roadmap. Then, kick back as he turns the stage over to his product managers and right-hand men and women. The plenary is always interesting and really sets the tone for the week. Don’t even think about crashing by the pool in the afternoon as special guests will take to the stage to wow you! The afternoon plenary is reserved for special guest speakers and you can expect some great presentations including a look at The Trillion Tree Campaign and a presentation – Our Towns–A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America.


3. Monday Evening Lightning Talks & Map Gallery (Monday 4:30-6 PM, Ballroom 20 A)

Prior to walking through the Map Gallery and checking out the maps over a glass of wine and appies, be sure to enjoy some of the 5 minute Lightning Talks. Hear from users as they describe a project, idea, or experience in less than 5 minutes. These are loads of fun, but keep the heckling to a minimal please! Enjoy some food and amazing maps in the map gallery after the session  More info HERE

ESRIUC map gallery
ESRIUC map gallery

4. Tuesday Must-See Sessions

Ok, this is where things get tricky as there’s SO much to select from. Personally, I start off planning my agenda by looking for sessions that contain the term “An Introduction” in the title. I also keep an eye open for “Road Ahead” sessions. Keep in mind, most popular sessions are delivered twice during the week, and you can also expect them to be recorded and made available for viewing in the near future. A tip, the session ArcGIS Pro: The Road Ahead is a must see (Tues 8:30 AM)  More info HERE

5. Session Tip – Combating the Opioid Epidemic

This session got my attention, and I’m sure it will for many of you. Look for “Combating the Opioid Epidemic and Reducing Homelessness Using ArcGIS”, which will be presented Tuesday at 8:30 (room 31 B) and Thursday at 1 PM (room 16A). This session will provide an overview of a set of maps and apps used to understand the severity of the opioid epidemic and homelessness in a community, promote treatment and shelter alternatives, and understand the effectiveness of response activities.

6. The Startup Zone

The startup Zone is always a favorite place for me to hang out on the exhibition hall floor. This is where you can meet developers and savvy Esri small business partners who are in the early stage of their business. I guarantee you’ll see some really great technology; you may walk away with some fresh ideas or perhaps even a partner opportunity. There’s usually a demo theater where you can sit down and enjoy presentations and pitches from the startup founders as well. The startup zone is found at the very end of the hall inside Hall 5 (and pretty close to the GEO Jobe Booth #2031). Learn more about the Esri Startup Program HERE

The Startup Zone
The Startup Zone

7. Family Night SDCC, Halls B, C, and D

This one is for those of you bringing the family to town with you. Esri generously offers several events that you can enjoy with the whole family if you happen to be lucky enough to have them with you. Wednesday evening, you are free to walk the halls of the massive exhibition hall floor and share all the cool technology with your spouse and/or kids. Get your hands dirty with the technology, watch some very cool hardware in action, chat to industry experts, reach out to professionals about career and employment opportunities, and fill up your swag bag with loads of really cool goodies for the kids (or for the kid inside you).

8. ESRIUC GeoDev Social (aka. DevMeetUp)

Once again, Andy, Jim, Amy and the dev crew (@AmyNiessen @agup @geeknixta @JimBarry) will be bringing the Dev geeks together with something new this year – and at a new location (don’t go to the terrace like years past!). Developers of all levels of expertise are welcome, from seasoned GIS professionals to those new to geospatial development. Wear your best, Geeky, Live by the Code T shirt to this one! Register HERE

The Esri GeoDev crew
The Esri GeoDev crew

9. Thursday Night in the park

Loads of people seem to bail out early and head home Thursday to beat the Friday rush, but they really are missing out! Thursday night in Balboa Park is an amazing experience and a fun party! The networking is fantastic, the entertainment always spectacular, and the environment is breath-taking! Stick around through Thursday and you may even be treated to an awesome fireworks display to end the night. PS, be sure to seek out the model train museum, it’s amazing!!

Party in Balboa Park
Party in Balboa Park

10. Friday Closing Session

If you can handle the marathon week and are fortunate enough to have a late afternoon flight out of town, be sure to try and enjoy the closing session. I’ll admit, I’ve only attended this several times, but each time it’s been totally awesome! Jack and his entire crew of “Generals” will take to the stage for a more casual morning. This is your opportunity to hear about the roadmap, corporate issues, strategies, and you can also ask questions – the Q&A is great!

If you want to try and connect with yours truly while in San Diego be sure to ping me on Twitter @gletham and remember to visit the GEO Jobe Booth at #2031

View the entire ESRIUC Agenda HERE

BONUS Tip – Maps to help you get around San Diego

What about get around San Diego and things to do? Well, you’re in luck because there’s a map or two for that! Rupert Essinger has created a wonderful San Diego Story Map – this is definitely a must read for some great, local tips.

Some Places to Eat in San Diego, California

San Diego Gaslamp Map

Not to be outdone, Martha Rodgers has her San Diego Gaslamp Map. Now for anyone familiar with the Gaslamp, you’ll know that keeping tabs on what businesses have come and gone is no easy thing to do! Businesses come and go every year, and chances are that the favorite watering hole from 5 years ago is now long gone. Add the bookmark to your mobile device or print out the map and keep it in your pocket for quick reference while you navigate the Gaslamp during ESRIUC in search of food and drink. You can access the Map via an ArcGIS Online web application and see also

gaslamp map

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GEOspatial Evangelist & CMO

Geographer, GIS professional, writer, and fan of all things mobile.