ESRI International User Conference 2007

Q & A

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Dear User:

The month of July is very busy at ESRI this year as we prepare to host you at the ESRI User Conference.  I want to personally thank you for your feedback on the conference questionnaire.  We urge you to read our responses to your questions below before the conference.

Your input gives us insight into your interests and the direction you would like us to take.  We have already made a number of strategic decisions based on your comments and we will work aggressively to focus our organization to be both responsible and responsive to your suggestions.

The technology focus of this year's conference will be ArcGIS.  This year, we will highlight the ArcGIS 9.3 release which includes many quality and performance improvements as well as user requested enhancements.

While GIS technology will be a major focus at this conference, there will be many opportunities for sharing and learning about applications and successful GIS implementations.  The conference will showcase user papers, special interest group meetings, and dozens of regional user group meetings.  I would again like your help in maintaining our sense of commmunity by interacting and sharing knowledge with your peers.  As always, reach out to those who are new to the GIS community and make them feel welcome and connected.

Best Regards,

Jack Dangermond

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1. Why have responses from Technical Support slowed down in the last few months? Will this be improving?

2. How will ESRI improve technical support over the next year?

3. What improvements have been made to the ESRI Support Center Web site (

4. Does ESRI monitor the online discussion forums to help answer questions?

5. What types of information are available on the Web to help ArcGIS users make better maps?

6. Can you provide better access to ESRI customer records about my organization?

7. How can I use the Web to improve my customer support?

8. Would ESRI provide more free tutorials, particularly in the area of editing, georeferencing, and using personal geodatabases?

9. What is ESRI doing in ArcGIS to make it easier for users to share geoprocessing models and best practices?


1. What value does the ESRI Developer Network (EDN) provide to an application developer?

1. What value does the ESRI Developer Network (EDN) provide to an application developer?

2. Will Python become the standard scripting environment for ArcGIS?

3. What are ESRI’s plans regarding support for Java?

4. What are ESRI's plans for the ArcSDE Java/C API?

5. Will there be a replacement for MapObjects other than ArcGIS Engine?

6. What are ESRI's plans for integrating Flash technology into the ArcGIS Server environment?

7. What is your view of application vendors building geospatial applications directly on spatially extended databases such as Oracle Spatial, DB2's Spatial Extender, and Microsoft's spatial extension (future) as opposed to ArcSDE?

8. When will ESRI’s product utilize multi-processor/multi-threading environments?

ArcGIS Server

1. What are your plans for improving documentation for ArcGIS Server, especially related to developer help?

2. Why is ESRI pushing ArcGIS Server so aggressively?

3. Is ArcIMS going away?

4. Please provide an overview of the ArcGIS Server licensing model.

5. With the release of 9.2, how will I decide whether to use ArcIMS or ArcGIS Server? What is the future of ArcIMS?

6. Why would users consider migrating from ArcIMS to ArcGIS Server?

7. What’s coming in ArcGIS Server 9.3?

8. Will ESRI support JavaScript APIs for mashing up ArcGIS Server with other Web applications?

9. There is no print or export function in ArcGIS Server. When will this be supported?

10. Does ESRI have a hardware bundle with ArcGIS Server?

11. What is ArcGIS Image Server?


1. What is ESRI doing to improve software quality and stability?

2. Why is ESRI releasing service packs?

3. When will ESRI be releasing Service Pack 3?

4. When will ESRI publish a list of known software defects?

5. What improvements are being made to the diagnostic tools available in ESRI's software and systems?

6. I have been experiencing some issues using raster datasets in ArcGIS 9.2. Are these problems being fixed?

7. What has ESRI done to improve the ability to work with very large raster datasets?

8. Why have some of my models and scripts stopped working when I migrated to ArcGIS 9.2 from earlier versions?

Geodatabase & ArcSDE Technology

1. What were the main geodatabase management improvements at ArcGIS 9.2?

2. What happened to ArcSDE?

3. Can we expect the file geodatabase to be the new file format supported into the future?

4. Are shapefiles going away?

5. How do I use the new geodatabase replication functionality?

6. What is the difference between ArcInfo coverage topology and topology in the geodatabase?

7. Can I create a table of coverage-like topology information using geodatabase topology?

8. How easy is it to migrate my existing content to take advantage of the new high precision coordinate in ArcGIS 9.2?

9. Can Oracle Spatial technology work with ArcGIS? Why are there different formats to choose from?

10. I would like to know about the future of ESRI's native format, SDE Binary, which contains the data type long raw in Oracle. I understand Oracle is not supporting Long Raw in the future release. How will you deal with this problem?

11. I have heard Microsoft is developing a spatial type in SQL Server. Will ESRI be supporting this?

12. What are ESRI’s plans for opening up access to the geodatabase?

13. Does ESRI offer a direct spatial SQL interface for its geodatabase?

14. Will ArcGIS Server support PostgreSQL? Will it provide SQL access to features stored in a geodatabase?

15. Will ESRI support the PostGIS open-source spatial extension for PostgreSQL?

16. What is the status of CAD Client?

Mobile GIS

1. What is ESRI's mobile strategy?

2. Are there any new enhancements to ArcGIS Mobile?

3. What is new in ArcPad 7.1 and when will it be released?

4. Can you explain ArcPad vs. ArcGIS Mobile solutions?

5. How can I leverage GPS technology with my GIS, and what is ESRI's plan for including GPS services on mobile devices?


1. What is the meaning of this year's User Conference theme, “The Geographic Approach"?

2. What are some of the market trends in the GIS industry?

3. What is ESRI's direction with respect to image data management?

4. How is GIS being used to aid in disaster relief?

5. What is the role of the geospatial industry to help combat global warming?

6. What is the impact of Google Earth and Virtual Earth on the GIS market?

7. Can you describe the future of GIS portals and metadata?

8. Where do you think the GIS profession is going?

9. Does GIS have value for kids? What kinds of things do students, teachers, and administrators do with GIS?

10. What are the benefits of GIS?

11. How does GIS manage geographic knowledge?


1. What are ESRI's main business strategies?

2. What are the chief reasons for ESRI's ongoing success?

3. What is ESRI’s response to the consumer mapping and visualization Web sites?

4. What are some of the results from your survey? What have you discovered?

5. How is ESRI Professional Services organized? How can I use them?

6. What is the future of the ESRI Business Partner Program?

Standards & Interoperability

1. What is ESRI's overall software direction with respect to interoperability standards?

2. To what extent does ESRI support interoperability with KML and Google Earth? Is KML becoming an OGC standard like GML?

3. What OGC and ISO/TC211 Standards does ESRI support?

4. How is ESRI improving its support of OGC standards?

5. Does ESRI have an interoperability strategy to work with or integrate its tools with Google Earth and Virtual Earth?

6. How is ESRI participating in the Open Source environment?


1. When will ESRI certify support on Microsoft’s Vista operating system?

2. What is the status of ESRI’s support for running ArcGIS on 64-bit operating systems?

3. Are you keeping pace with Linux platforms?

4. Does ESRI have a plan to improve ArcGIS Desktop to utilize multiprocessors on a PC?

5. Will ESRI support Macintosh computers?


1. What does ESRI mean by Author, Serve, and Use?

2. What are ESRI’s plans for ArcGIS 9.3?

3. What are the specific enhancements for ArcGIS Desktop at 9.3?

4. Will ESRI introduce additional geoprocessing tools to improve cartographic workflows?

5. How can I optimize the use of ArcScene for better performance?

6. Can you improve the performance of the “Near” spatial analysis tool?

7. What is ESRI doing to improve spatial joins?

8. What new capabilities are coming that deal with spatial statistics?

9. What is ESRI doing to improve GIS and CAD interoperability?

10. There are a lot of different ArcGIS products. Are they developed independently?

11. What is ESRI doing about the speed of ArcMap?

12. When will ESRI support multiple layouts in an MXD?

13. When will ESRI support better handling of graphical exports of large format maps (72 x 55 inches and larger)?

14. What is ESRI working on beyond 9.3?

15. What is topology and why is it important in ArcGIS?

16. Can you clarify the difference between ESRI’s viewer technologies ArcGIS Explorer, ArcExplorer, and ArcWeb Explorer? When should I use one over the other?

ArcGIS Extensions

1. What new functions will be added to ArcGIS Network Analyst at 9.3?

2. What improvements will be made in ArcGIS 3D Analyst?

3. Is there any new documentation for ArcGIS 3D Analyst?

4. What improvements are planned for ArcGIS Schematics at 9.3?

5. Does ArcGIS 3D Analyst provide support for interchanging SketchUp models?

6. How can I import SketchUp 3D drawings into ArcGlobe?

7. I've heard about Job Tracking for ArcGIS (JTX) - what is it designed for?

8. What’s new in the Survey Analyst extension for ArcGIS?

9. What is the cadastral fabric dataset?

10. How is spatial accuracy maintained in a cadastral fabric?

11. Why are the Cadastral Editor and Cadastral Fabric important?

ArcWeb Services

1. Can you provide an update on ArcWeb Services?

2. How can I use AJAX and Adobe Flex in ArcWeb Services?

3. Will there be any UC sessions related to migrating from ArcWeb Services v2 to v2006.1?

4. Will ESRI host custom Web applications and data?


1. What is the GeoWeb? How will it be used?

2. Will big Internet companies put all GIS data into one large repository?

3. Should users provide our image data to the consumer mapping Web sites?

4. How do you feel about the geospatial “tagging” going on with consumer mapping sites?

5. What is driving the interest by Google and Microsoft in the Web mapping marketplace?

6. What can I do with ArcGIS Explorer?

ArcGIS Online

1. What is ArcGIS Online?

2. How can I serve the ArcGIS Online maps on my own server?

System Design

1. Can you explain service-oriented architecture (SOA) and what it means to GIS users?

2. Does ESRI have any online resources or white papers that can help me understand the configuration of ArcIMS and ArcGIS Server and help me deal with issues of performance, security, and configuration?

3. We are having performance degradation when we use ArcGIS in a Citrix environment at our remote locations. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve our performance?

4. What are the typical configurations supported by ArcGIS?

Training and Education

1. I want to learn about cartographic representations. What training do you have for them?

2. I'm a developer but I'm new to GIS. How can I get training on ArcGIS Server?

3. Where can I get affordable training?

4. I enjoy the free live training seminars at the Virtual Campus but can’t always attend. Do you plan to repeat these?

5. What are podcasts and how can they help me with my training?

6. With all of the training offered at ESRI, it is difficult to determine what classes I need. Can you help me decide what classes to take?

7. What is ESRI's program for GIS in schools? Can other youth-based organizations participate?

8. What tools are available for use in schools? Are there grants or special licensing available?

9. What has ESRI done to further develop education materials for ArcGIS professionals?

Data and Solutions

1. What are ESRI’s solution products?

2. What is ESRI's strategy for providing data products?

3. When will I receive ArcGIS Business Analyst 9.2?

4. Why is the ArcGIS Business Analyst data always shipped after the software update?

5. When will ArcGIS Business Analyst be available on the server?

User Conference

1. What is the wireless accessibility of the San Diego Convention Center?

2. Is there an online job board during the conference for participants to post available jobs?

3. Is the User Conference agenda online?

4. Where can I get the latest information about the UC?