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SpatialTau - Virtual

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In any given year I probably attend one or two conferences. But looking back to 2019 I didn’t attend one which is odd for me as I’m usually keynoting at least one a year. But it is weird how we get busy and can’t make the time to spend away from the family or work. But then 2020 comes and COVID derails all conference planning not only for this year but probably for future. I attended my first Esri conference in probably 5 years earlier this year. I’ve been to countless URISA events and I’m filling up my calendar quickly with many choices.
A side benefit to having everything be virtual is that not only do you not have to come up with money for travel or vacation to enjoy that conference, but you can enjoy it while working your day job. I find it fascinating to re-engage with so many communities at a time where we were worried that the days of community might be over because of social distancing. Of course these conferences do lose the happy hour and late night socializing that makes for a great time, but ends up refocusing the time on the subject matter rather than the networking. There is something wonderful to be said about this.
Just this week I’ve signed up for at least 4 of them. AGIC as the Arizona state GIS conference is something I don’t attend as much as I probably should, but it was the first one I signed up this week for. AGIC is never convenient for me with both timing and location (not that I don’t love getting out of town to Prescott). While my focus is usually not local to Arizona, this is a great way to see what amazing things people around me are working on.
A pair of conferences I rarely go to are open for registration and free. Autodesk University and Bentley’s The Year in Infrastructure. Autodesk is very interesting because of the new partnership with Esri. There should be a lot of collaboration on projects which will be very interesting to see. Bentley has gone all in on Digital Twins so their conference will be very interesting to follow. Plus given they are going to have an IPO it could be quite the party.
Lastly one of my favorite conferences, GIS in the Rockies, is coming up very soon. I was lucky enough to keynote the conference back in 2013 and I’ve attended quite a few times. While not free, $25 for a conference is an amazing deal and could show how conferences could become more virtual in the future.
There are so many virtual conferences out there as we start to get into fall conference season. If you know of any that I’m missing, reply to this email and let me know. I’ll try to share them next newsletter.
Maps: Fires and Air Quality in California, Oregon and Washington - The New York Times
Israel's borders explained in maps - BBC News
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James Fee
James Fee @jamesmfee

Spatial, workflows and technology

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