Esri’s FedGIS Conference Showcased the Present and Future of Government Advances in Location Intelligence


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REDLANDS, Calif.—April 10, 2018—At this year's Esri FedGIS Conference on March 20-21st in Washington DC, attendees including over 4000 government thought leaders, GIS innovators, and multi-disciplinary experts learned about how location intelligence can help them achieve their ambitious goals for turning deep insights into action.

The Wednesday Keynote Plenary featured Esri founder and president Jack Dangermond and Sue Gordon, Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence in a discussion that delved into the history of their acquaintance, as well as the role of GIS technology in national intelligence.


“The Wednesday Keynote Plenary featured a discussion between Esri founder and president Jack Dangermond and Sue Gordon, Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence.”

“I really love geography and GIS because I think it’s accessible STEM,” said Gordon. “You are doing all those fundamental things in a way that allows you to see what you’re playing with. We don’t show human activity well enough, and the combination of a map plus geospatial information presented differently is really powerful.”

Using examples such as mass migration, Gordon talked about the importance of visual tools with insightful data that can be used to communicate complex geopolitical issues in the decision-making process. Her enthusiasm and respect for STEM was even more clear as she urged future parents, “tell your kids to get a STEM education…If you are a leader you need to be a technical leader.”

Elaborating on the subject of skills that will be more important in the coming decades as technology advances, she spoke more about how children in the future will eventually not need to know how to drive a car due to the rise of autonomous vehicles. This presents a dilemma for the elementary education in geography that many of us go through. “Most of us learn geography when we start driving cars…Geography is a foundational skill we need—how will people get that experience without driving?” However, Gordon ended on an optimistic note, observing with Dangermond that ultimately, the concepts that we viewed as science fiction five years ago are starting to be realized today, such as augmented reality, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture - Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) also presented at FedGIS. Web GIS is helping them in their mission to safeguard American agriculture and protect the nation's animals and plants while also feeding people in the US and around the world. "Using Web GIS for a variety of APHIS programs, we seek to find new and innovative approaches to gather scientific data,” said Shannon Reid Hamm of APHIS. “With tools like Web GIS, APHIS can transform this data into usable information, share it with the public, and continue to protect the health and value of American agriculture and natural resources."

Also on hand as a special guest was the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Office of the Inspector General (HHS OIG). HHS is using spatial analytics to combat fraud, waste and abuse. By doing so, they seek to improve the efficiency of more than 100 of their programs, including Medicaid and Medicare. The OIG is utilizing Insights for ArcGIS to help guide resources to make maximum positive impacts on the opioid epidemic, exploring whether rates of oxycodone prescriptions are higher than average and are trending upwards.  

Attendees left FedGIS with a fresh understanding about how The Science of Where can help with the kind of tough decision-making that is common in federal government.  But most of all, they came away with an exciting map of where the future of government technology is headed.

About Esri

Esri, the global market leader in geographic information system (GIS) software, offers the most powerful mapping and spatial analytics technology available. Since 1969, Esri has helped customers unlock the full potential of data to improve operational and business results. Today, Esri software is deployed in more than 350,000 organizations including the world's largest cities, most national governments, 75 percent of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 7,000 colleges and universities. Esri engineers the most advanced solutions for digital transformation, the Internet of Things (IoT), and location analytics to inform the most authoritative maps in the world. Visit us at

 Copyright © 2018 Esri. All rights reserved. Esri, the Esri globe logo, The Science of Where,, and are trademarks, service marks, or registered marks of Esri in the United States, the European Community, or certain other jurisdictions. Other companies and products or services mentioned herein may be trademarks, service marks, or registered marks of their respective mark owners.


 Karen Richardson

Public Relations, Esri

Mobile: 914-841-3180


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