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Perspective: Spring Industry Event Musing

Selina Sandoval

Every spring we here at WhiteStar look forward to two of the highlights of our year—the Esri Petroleum GIS Conference and the FME World Tour.
Both of these software vendors are integral parts of what we (and many of you!) do, and these events are a great opportunity to connect and share. Here’s my thoughts in the rear-view mirror from our Spring 2015 travels.
FME World Tour
We talk about FME all the time. Because, well, we love it and we couldn’t do our jobs without it. This year we had the opportunity to be speakers to a packed room at the Houston stop of this annual tour of user events, and were happy to see many, many industry luminaries in attendance as well.
This is a technically oriented event, and we presented on how FME Server enabled us to go from concept to cloud in 18 months, producing WhiteStar Cloud.
My biggest takeaway was that FME is absolutely taking off in the petroleum industry. This is gratifying to see—we’ve been fans for years, and have recently started a Colorado FME User Group – see below for details on our next meeting.
Esri Petroleum GIS Conference
There certainly were indicators of the oil price downturn at the Esri conference, with attendance down and news of some long-time GIS folks no longer at their posts. At the same time, it’s provided an opportunity to really fundamentally reassess operations from staffing to data to technology, and the general sense that we got from the attendees was upbeat.
Innovative people that are up on the latest tech and finding ways to focus on company ROI seem to be the ones who are staying. Just saying, folks!
In Esri tech news, we saw the introduction of ArcGIS Pro, but also heard from reliable sources that ArcMap isn’t going away anytime soon. Neither is ArcGIS Server.
We saw big, big trends towards automated land mapping—not surprising, considering what it means in terms of time and money savings. Quorum Business Systems seems to be the emerging leader. Along with this, people are ever more aware of the high cost of low quality data. Maps with gaps and slivers are bad business, and give wrong answers to GIS queries.  It’s not just about ugly maps—it’s about the financial impact of inaccurate information.
Our booth was busier than ever. Thanks to all who stopped by, be you WhiteStar users already or just thinking about switching!

 The next Colorado FME User Group meetup is on Wednesday, May 27th at 5:30 pm, at Galvanize – all the details are on our Meetup page. Ms. Alicia Foose from DCP Midstream will talk about "Quick and Easy FME Jobs".  This should be a great talk with discussion about how to solve real world problems in an effective way with FME.  As usual, a beer is on the house!