EUC 2021: Creating a sustainable future with GIS

The Esri User Conference was held in early July 2021, entirely through a virtual platform medium hosted by Esri. It seemed more apt than ever, that this year’s plenary topic was focused on GIS and a sustainable world. The purpose of the EUC is for GIS professionals to connect, learn, and share knowledge in advancements of Esri technology, and the influential work being conducted worldwide. This year, despite being held online, the EUC was joined by GIS professionals from 130 countries worldwide. It’s safe to say the world of GIS continues to be a well-connected, global community.

As always, the inspiring Jack Dangermond opened the EUC plenary with his thoughts on the progression of GIS. For 2021, that meant an entirely virtual experience due to the ongoing pandemic, which went some way in emphasising the need for sustainability now more than ever. 

The featured video of the plenary titled ‘GIS – Creating a sustainable future’, opens with scenes of a thriving, modern world. As the scenes move to images of the most recent disasters – from fire, flooding, pollution and the pandemic – it is suggested that our very success in terms of technological and industrial growth, may now threaten our future. A focus is placed on our biggest challenge as a modern society – continuing to make advancements and grow, while ensuring that we sustain what sustains us.

In the world of GIS, we have a unique position in that our work allows us the understanding and science to to see patterns and relationships to forge sustainable solutions. It’s an interesting merging of two worlds – environment and technology – that allows those in the field of GIS to see the intrinsic relationship to nature. A geographic approach and advanced map building are essential for creating a more sustainable future. From energy, environment, to modernising cities; GIS is involved with nearly every big issue that our world is facing.

With the push for organisations to use location intelligence to shape a more sustainable and prosperous future, GBS was honoured to be recently featured in the Esri Arc News section for a recent conservation project. Highlighting partners for their exceptional use of Esri software, we were showcased for our project with Auckland Council. With a need to modernise their conservation activities, GBS built the Auckland Council a Conservation Information System using ArcGIS Enterprise, ArcGIS Dashboards, ArcGIS Field Maps, and ArcGIS Survey123.

Esri’s vision that humanity and nature can not only coexist but thrive was louder than ever this year, and GBS will continue to harness our unique position of geospatial awareness for our clients and projects. You can watch the opening video of this year’s EUC plenary below.

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