ESRI Dev Summit 2014, Palm Springs - Conference Notes

ESRI Dev Summit 2014     -  Giovanni Zambotti

The 2014 ESRI Dev summit in Palm Spring (CA) was very intense, interesting and energetic. ESRI has definitely embraced the “Social Coding” as a new way to engage with its developing community and to improve web mapping projects base on its technology. The key note speaker Chris Wanstrath, CEO and a cofounder of GitHub gave an inspiring speech about the meaning of social coding and the future of the open source (

One curious event that happened during the summit was the “100 lines of JavaScript competition” that challenged developers to create innovative JS application. The result of this competition is visible at ( The winner created a real time social mapping app to socialize at a local event or conference ( The summit had more the 250 technical sections, and several of them where related with JS developing.

Since CGA has recently joined the ESRI EDC (ESRI Develop Center) program I have also attended the EDC annual meeting. Several national and international higher educations institute were present and they informally presented their activity. ESRI illustrated their EDC support, and a strongly emphasis their GIS developer hackathon events.

Below you can find some of the new products that ESRI is working on and will be available within the next few months:

ESRI will launch a new generation of ArcGIS desktop application for GIS professionals called ArcGIS Pro. The new software won’t replace ArcMap, but it’ll work side by side with it. ESRI mentioned several key points about ArcGIS Pro:

  • 64 bit multithread application
  • Very fast and functional
  • Full control of the UI
  • All geoprocessing tool will be included (python window, model builder)
  • The project file will be an XML or JSON file (not anymore a binary file).
  • The layer file will be a json file (integration with the web mapping component)
  • Close integration with ArcGIS online
  • Multiple view application (2D and 3D)
  • Strong bound with Python and support of Python 3.4
  • A new TASK concept (workflow manager)
  • 3D design imbedded
  • Multiple layout support

Web Mapping:

  1. For the second consecutive year a strong emphasis was put to present the mapping APIs particularly the JS. ESRI clearly mentioned that the ArcGIS JS API is officially the primary mapping API and will continue to grow at the quarterly base ( In the last year a lot work was done to improve the API, and to simplify its grammar. Although the JS API will be still tight with the dojo framework, the AMD (Asynchronous Module Definition) API was embrace to improve performance and maximize the API flexibility ( A nice presentation about working with AMD was done at the speed-geeking event (
  2. Esri’s new ArcGIS WebApp Builder is a pure HTML5/JavaScript-based application that allows you to create your own intuitive, fast and beautiful web apps without writing a single line of code. The beta launch will start at the end of March (28th), and to participate you can register at (
  3. ESRI is building a new platform (ArcGIS Open Data) to leverage the accessibility of open data within the ArcGIS platform (
  4. koop ( is an interesting open source project to expose GeoJSON services as Feature Services. A sample server is accessible here (

Big Data:
ESRI is working on Big Data building connections between ArcGIS Server/Desktop and hadoop. You can find more information here ( This is a 2013 presentation (, but it might be useful if you would like to start with Big data and ArcGIS. Others relevant information can be found at this blog page ( An interesting tool to get started within a virtual environment is Cloudera manager ( or Hortnworks (

Python is becoming more and more integrated with the ArcGIS platform. The arcpy library is already a robust library and is continuously evolving. The arcpy library allows to interact with the full platform (desktop, server, and online). A good example that shows the integration between ArcGIS desktop and online is show here:

Other projects, visualizations and presentations:

Real-time help game:

Mapping Apps with Angular JS:
Design & UX Tips for Maps:
Mapping with Leaflet:
ArcGIS for Emergency Management:
Big data visualizations:
Map caching visualizations:
ESRI future visualization functionality:
Working Classes in Bay Area:
ESRI wind animation:



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