My day at the ESRI Conference

So I headed off to my annual visit to the ESRI Conference here in San Diego.  ESRI is the global leader in GIS Software (Geographic Information Systems, which is maps and other shit like that).  This year I decided to take some photos so I could share them with you and give you a sneak peek into the exciting world of being an IT networking geek.

The conference was at the San Diego convention center and it was surprising huge.  There were tons of people from around the globe.  Unfortunately, like everything else, they try and play on current popular themes for these types of dork-fests and the ESRI conference was no different.  I saw way too much of this all over the place.

I get my power from Grecian formula!

I get my power from Grecian formula!

Feel the awesome fisting power of Captain Molesto!! Seriously, what the hell is this?  I mean, whose idea was it to use this guy in a picture like this?  It’s like Halloween at the local retirement village.  If you saw someone dressed like this playing anywhere near children you would tackle him and immediately call the police.  That isn’t even a wig.  That is his real creepy mane of silver hair.  Yikes.

Undaunted by this, I ventured deeper into the conference, which of course, eventually led to the gift shop.  It had an array of corny geographic referenced T shirts, like this one.

Nothing says "hip" and "trendy" like a GI Joe cartoon reference

Nothing says “hip” and “trendy” like a GI Joe cartoon reference

And for those parents who don’t really like their son and want his ass kicked on a regular basis, you could buy them this little number below to wear around the neighborhood

I hope those shoes give you super speed cause you are gonna need it!

I hope those shoes give you super speed cause you are gonna need it!

I am fairly confident that MapMan will not be a high demand costume this Halloween.  Of course, I ended up buying a long sleeve T because I love them and can’t help but buy one when I see it.  It is blue with 3D glasses on the front.  Yes, I am a total dork-burger.

One thing I noticed about an hour into my journey was this.

I hate Starbucks

I hate Starbucks

I know, it is just a picture of Starbucks, but there is more to it than that.  There is either a full on Starbucks or a Starbucks cart about every 10 feet at this conference.  It was at this point, Phase 3 of their world domination plan started to make sense.  Additives in the coffee will create an unconscious response in the thousands of map geeks here, causing them to prominently display and mark all Starbucks locations on every map or mapping app they create, thus driving up corporate profits that can be spent on the Donald Trump for President campaign fund…DIABOLICAL!!!

So let’s talk about drones.

Spy on your neighbors, map landscapes, or murder someone from up high.  Drones, they're what's for dinner!

Spy on your neighbors, map landscapes, or murder someone from up high. Drones, they’re what’s for dinner!

Here’s one.  They were everywhere at this conference.  Helicopter ones like this one, along with many that looked like small stealth bombers.  I had to shoot this picture from far away because they started yelling at me in Swedish when I was too close.  It has been a while since the Muppets but based on my Swedish Chef translations, I am pretty sure they told me to fuck off.  That or I got invited to enjoy some rabbit stew, it was hard to tell between all the shouting and “yumpin yimminies”. Many cities are going to start using these for “mapping” the surrounding area, along with watching you undress, cook dinner, sleep, beat your kids, etc. Go ask Rand Paul about it, he probably has a pamphlet he can give you.

I ventured upstairs, which was kind of out of the way of the other stuff and a bit weird.  But while I was up there I came across this.

I hope this place allows gambling...and hookers

I hope this place allows gambling…and hookers

Null Island is some kind of GIS inside joke that I am clearly on the outside of.  I took this picture because I sat on a bench and watched about 20 people come stand in front of it and take selfies, like they were on vacation at Null Island, while they snickered and laughed as they walked away.  I looked it up and found this on Wikipedia: Null Island is a fictional island in the Gulf of Guinea added to the Natural Earth public domain map dataset,[1] located where the equator crosses the prime meridian, at coordinates 0°N 0°E.[2][3] Natural Earth describes the entity as a “1 meter square island” with “scale rank 100, indicating it should never be shown in mapping.”[1] Although intended humorously, the fiction has a serious purpose and is used by mapping systems to trap errors.[3]

In reality, a weather observation buoy, part of the PIRATA system, is moored at the supposed location of the island.[4]

So now I learned a new fact about mapping and also that map jokes are fucking terrible.  This made me hungry so I ate lunch.

After lunch I noticed this little nugget while strolling through the exhibits


Will I Am was a guest speaker.  I bet there is no one better equipped to give a speech on 3d and spatial mappings than the man who was one of the main people responsible for unleashing Fergie on the world.  He is the John McCain of music.  Thanks for nothing.  Do us all a favor and go back to writing snappy jingles for random episodes of Sesame Street.

Yeah, at this point I was pretty bored and just started raiding all the random candy bowls for mini peanut butter cups.


Kapow indeed!  Seeing yet another horrible super hero themed poster really sent me into a lame spiral.  I put my camera away and began thinking of random ways I could entertain myself, but most of them would land me in jail.

All in all, the conference was good way to not have to go to work, but on a whole, it was really nerdy, even for me.  And that is saying a lot because I am super nerdy and love nerdy stuff.  But this was not nerdy fun, it was just…nerdy.  Like atomic wedgie, stuffed into a locker nerdy.  So in closing, I will base my review not on any star system but via this picture of me below.  You are free to draw your own conclusions.

I know what you are thinking, and yes, my breath is probably awful

I know what you are thinking, and yes, my breath is probably awful



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