An ESRI day: GisTech 2012

An ESRI day: GisTech 2012

So, today I was at the GISTech 2012. It’s a conference made posible by ESRI and the ArcGis Gebruikers Groep Nederland (AGGN) and it was being held in Rotterdam. So I’m kinda making this blog to sum up the things I heard today now that it’s still fresh.

The main theme was “The Map’s Power”, and I think it was a fitting theme. Everything was aimed at how to use a map (note: not a GIS) to help your organisation.

I did have a bit of a mixed feeling throughout the sessions, for they were all pretty much aimed at:

  • ArcGis users
  • (Dutch) Governments

I am neither working for a government (but for a company that serves government) and I haven’t touched ESRI software in quite a while.

All in all, I was happily suprised by the program, I’m truly amazed by the capabilities of the new ArcGis 10.1 suite. It all seems so easy to work with. Ofcourse, I amagine, only the Happy Flow was being shown. But then again, I would do the same if I were standing there. Unless I was showing the awesome error handling, ofcourse.

Anyway, the morning schedual was filled with ESRI’s ArcGis 10.1 Suite. As I said, I’m amazed with the ease of everything. They showed us how to create maps in Excel, via and lot’s more. Although it looks really impressive and cool to use, a small voice in my head keeps saying “this must cost a fortune to use”. I didn’t ask though, but as far as I can see right now there seems to be a free personal account thingie. Will check that out later.

On to the paralel sessions! They had 5 tracks: Data, Development, Usage, New in 10.1 and AGGN. Each had three sessions. I went for 2 Data sessions: BGT/IMGeo and Open GeoData and one AGGN session. Basically, all three were interesting, but not really what I hoped. Mainly because of the intended audience: ArcGis users. But I did get some nice things out of it. First of all, IMGeo/BGT main point was: create a propper IMGeo database first, then extract BGT data from that. IMGeo contains a lot more information then BGT has to, so it’s better to delete stuff then trying to add it afterwards.

Secondly, Open GeoData was a lot about how Open Data is being used. Who is supplying data, who is using data and who is building apps for / with it. Also they explained a few healthy and less healthy ways to use it. (in terms of getting more open data)

Thirdly, I went to an AGGN session on using PDOK (Dutch map service for public data). As I researched PDOK myself too, it was a bit boring. However, the PDOK architect was there as well and he did shine some light on technical issues and told me a few things that I wanted to hear. Also, there was one guy from ESRI as well who told us about how the PDOK layers can be found in It all seemed really fast, so this was the first thing I tried when I got home. However, it seems that ESRI just uses the PDOK itself… Which is really a turndown as the PDOK servers seems to be really unstable. 🙁

So all in all a day full of suprises and a few disapointments. I will be checking into more of the map data sources, because I still feel ESRI can setup a better and more stable source then PDOK can at this moment. Time will tell, I will cerainly post about it if I find nice working details!