Insights from the NZ Esri User Conference 2023

    The NZ Esri User Conference made it back to Auckland this year after last year’s success at the impressive Te Pae Conference Centre in Christchurch. 

    Hosted at the Cordis Hotel, the venue provided an elegant setting with the great hall accommodating approximately 650 delegates in an impressive style. The plenary was polished, featuring keynotes from Esri Inc. and various New Zealand organisations, showcasing success stories enabled by the Esri platform. The subsequent two days were dedicated to user presentations and technical updates, demonstrating the depth of the Esri platform.

    In slightly less enlightened times, there was a saying that behind every great man, there was a great woman.  Fortunately, things have moved on, nevertheless this sentiment can be aptly applied to technology, suggesting that behind many a great Esri story lies a great FME story.  And just like great women in the original phrase, FME doesn’t always receive the recognition it deserves.

    FME has consistently been the tool of choice for the geospatial professional. Conversations and tech sessions at the conference emphasised that FME continues to play a crucial role in enabling location technology solutions, more often than not going beyond simple data translation. It’s the extensive capabilities of FME that elevate it beyond mere ETL functions, placing it in the realm of solution delivery where data manipulation and integration are paramount.

    Behind many a great Esri story, there’s an equally compelling FME story, and behind every great FME story are remarkable individuals who solve complex data and integration problems in ways that continue to astound. As my journey into the world of FME continues, I am constantly amazed at the problems that are solved using FME and the smart professionals who do it.

    Data is akin to a rising tide, its volume ever-increasing as new applications and sensors produce more and more information, much of it geo-enabled.  It can be hard to prevent data from flooding an organisation, and this is where FME helps to harness and manage data streams, knocking down data silos, integrating applications, and making the most of both spatial and non-spatial information.

    With over 20 years of experience in the geospatial industry, it’s exhilarating to be part of an adjacent industry where data, regardless of its content, drives business. The conference not only celebrated the successes of the Esri platform but also underscored the pivotal role of FME and the brilliant minds shaping the geospatial landscape.

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