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The 10th Esri APUC Concluded with Big Success

The Esri Asia Pacific User Conference (APUC) has finally returned to Hong Kong after a decade and the 10th Esri APUC was successfully held in 27-28th January 2015. All the participants have contributed to the success of this premium event.



About 600 delegates joined the 10th Esri APUC.



This year, about 600 delegates from 20 countries of Asia, Oceania, Europe and North America descended upon the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. In the two days, the delegates got the latest knowledge of Geographic Information System (GIS) by attending the sessions, walking the GIS Solutions EXPO, being inspired by user cases and demonstrations, and networking with fellow GIS professionals. Over 70 keynotes, workshops, user presentations and tracks were all well attended. The delegates found out that the 10th Esri APUC was a wonderful place to see how the GIS professionals and organizations in Asia Pacific region were solving problems by unique and exciting GIS applications.





Amazing GIS Works

Jack Dangermond, Founder and President of Esri Inc., delivered the opening keynote speech, titled “GIS: Creating Our Future”, for the conference. He began by praising the amazing works that were being done by the GIS professionals around the world including Asia Pacific. He pointed out that those GIS projects served different purposes including Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, Managing Natural Resources, Managing Land Information, Urban and Regional Planning, Transportation Planning and Management, Utilities and Telecommunications, Buildings and Campus Management, Business Analysis and Management, Understanding Human Health, and Citizen Engagement and Crowdsourcing. Those works had been making a difference to the world.



Jack Dangermond showed the advancement of ArcGIS to the attendees.


But Jack went on to warn that our world is facing serious challenges such as exhaust of resources and environmental pollution. He believed that Geography and GIS are important tools to overcome those challenges by understanding the situation and changing the way people think and act. He promised that Esri is driving the advancement of GIS technology in order to fulfill the needs of professionals and organizations who are dealing with various problems around the globe.




Evolving ArcGIS

ArcGIS 10.3 is the latest offering from Esri to resonate with Jack’s statement. In the whole APUC, Esri colleagues had been showcasing and elaborating the advanced architecture, features and functionalities of ArcGIS 10.3. The features of the Esri flagship product include configurable Web Apps, real-time geospatial data integration capability, cloud-based GIS and 3D analyst and visualization. They have made Spatial Analysis, Geodesign and Geospatial Big Data Analysis unprecedentedly easy and efficient.



Esri China (HK) presented local GIS applications in demo booths.


Esri China (Hong Kong) has also presented a number of Esri product enhancement, local applications and data management system using ArcGIS technology in demo booths. The demos included Mobile Mapping System (MMS) which collects the georeferenced images and video of road inventories, and the new Statutory Planning Portal which presents the latest statutory plan and planning information in Hong Kong via a web browser.


The photo corner was very popular that over 100 attendees per day visiting and taking photo there!



GIS is So Easy to Use!

The 10th Esri APUC also showed the attendees how easy it is to use GIS. Students from Chinese International School demonstrated two projects on the stage. One is an electronic bi-lingual (Simplified Chinese and English) walking tours for people to explore Hong Kong, and the other is a virtual journey of Silk Road. Both applications are based on story maps created with ArcGIS Online. The walking tours guided users about the interesting urban landscapes in the city beyond shopping malls, while the Silk Road Journey Story Maps told a number of interesting stories along the historical path. The audiences were impressed by the wonderful GIS applications built by the youngsters.




Students from Chinese International School demonstrated interesting story maps they created with ArcGIS Online.




Information Integration with GIS for Smart City

The 10th Esri APUC featured many expert speakers who share the view on the importance of GIS and its key role in helping cities and countries to become “Smart”. Professor Paul Cheung, former Director of the United Nations Statistics Division, presented the topic “Integrating Official Statistics, Big Data, and Geo-information for Better Planning in Smart Cities: Emerging Perspectives”, in which he explained how GIS is helping to lay the foundation of information infrastructure for Smart City.



Professor Paul Cheung addressed Information Integration for planning of Smart Cities.




He discussed the global trend of Information Integration in order to support rapid decision making for Smart City Initiatives. Data including Geo-Information, Official Statistics and Big Data from multiple sources are being collected and brought together with Location as the integrating framework. Geospatial information will be used for strategic and operational planning for a Smart City with GIS as the core technology. He elaborated his point by assessing the examples from different countries and cities including London, New York, France, Vietnam and Taiwan on the utilization of Integrated Information based on location. Related governance issues at national and global level were addressed as well.

Professor Cheung urged worldwide governments to build and optimize location-based data structures, with the ultimate goal to develop a National Information Infrastructure, so that cities and countries worldwide can enjoy the maximum gain in competitiveness and productivity by utilizing the Integrated Information.

Asia Pacific on the Journey towards Smart City

In fact, many cities and countries in Asia Pacific have already set sail for the journey of developing Smart City. In the Senior Executive Summit of the APUC, many leaders and decision makers from governments and organizations in the region shared their experiences and thoughts on this topic. Both front-end and back-end projects including those on data infrastructure, housing development, utility services and urban planning were discussed. They showed that the works are paying off and people and communities in the region are enjoying the benefits. Given the enthusiastic atmosphere during the discussion, the APUC may serve as a starting point for frequent regional information exchange and collaboration on Smart City.


Participants in Senior Executive Summit shared their insights on developing Smart City projects with GIS.


It was also agreed that GIS is a crucial and indispensable platform for building Smart City at different stages, which include planning and development, design and construction, and operation and maintenance. Given the enthusiastic atmosphere during the discussion, the APUC may serve as a starting point for frequent regional information exchange and collaboration on Smart City.


The 10th Esri APUC was rounded off with a cheerful Gala Dinner. Dr. Winnie Tang, Chairman of Esri China (HK) and Dean Angelides, Corporate Director of International Operations of Esri Inc., hosted the eye dotting ceremony of Lion Dance in the Dinner.


In conclusion, the immense success of the 10th Esri APUC indeed showed that GIS technology is realizing its full potential across different countries and regions across Asia Pacific. As the conference organizer, Esri China (Hong Kong) believes all attendees have taken home with inspired mind of GIS and their customers, organizations, communities and countries will be benefited. Just like Jack said, GIS is creating our future.