Center for Geographic Analysis Harvard University
Additional navigation

You are here

ESRI Dev Summit 2016 - Conference Notes

ESRI Dev Summit 2016 (March 8 – 11) by Giovanni Zambotti

The eleventh ESRI Developer Summit 2016 was a vibrant and fervent four days conference, with more than 2000 participant, and definitely the biggest ever. Among several different subjects, and the release of few new products (Python Notebook, ESRI Insights, and Drone2Map for ArcGIS); the fundamental driver of the conference was once again the Web Mapping. More than half of the session presentations were related with this topic.

The keynote speaker Douglas Crockford speech was intriguing, and compelling. He did a wonderful job illustrating the nuts and bolts of the current version of JavaScript (ES6), explaining why this language it will be around for a long time to come.

Mapping APIs:

ArcGIS JS API 4.0 version ( is the next generation ArcGIS API for JavaScript and will support both 2D and 3D

is the next generation ArcGIS API for JavaScript and will support both 2D and 3D. This version will come out in Q2 this year.

Version 4.0 is a substantial overhaul of the ArcGIS API for JavaScript and its mapping components. The migrating from 3.x to 4.0 will be pretty complicated so ESRI recommend developers to consider rewriting applications instead of simply trying to update them.

ESRI Leaflet is now released (v 2.0.0-beta.8) and it’s compatible with leaflet 1.0 beta2. There was a major rewrite to support ES6, and new features where added like the support to non-Mercator projections (, and the layer order



Python Notebook ( will be integrated with the ESRI python API so that a user can test python directly in ArcGIS online.

ESRI is working to integrate Python Conda ( to easily interact with forepart python library and to support multiple version of python with the ArcGIS environment. A future plan is to develop a CONDA GUI to facilitate the user interaction avoiding the interaction with the command line environment. More info here:

More scientific python package are accessible within the ArcGIS stack using SciPy ( More info here:


ESRI Calcite is a flexible design framework, created at ESRI, in which the map and data are the most important component of the user interface. All elements and interactions strengthen a geo-centered user experience.

ArcGIS Online and Server management:

A new client library for interfacing with ArcGIS, either ArcGIS server or ArcGIS installation, was developed within a node.js environment. This is a blog that introduce this tool (



ESRI Insights is a new ESRI analytical application that uses maps, charts, and tables to explore and visualize data. It provides a friendly environment with three main concepts (workbooks, pages, and cards) that allow analyzing and visualizing geospatial data.

Drone2Map for ArcGIS ( is a new application that turns drones into enterprise GIS productivity tools that create professional-quality imagery products in ArcGIS to visualize, analyze and fully exploit the data hidden in your imagery.

Survey 123 ( is simple and intuitive form-centric data gathering solution that makes creating, sharing, and analyzing surveys possible in just few easy steps. Survey 123 is an open source application (

ArcScript ( is a new place to share or find scripts, code samples, add-ins or or dozens of other types of items. Very soon the site will be release out of beta. 

Amazon Spatial Data:

There was an interesting talk from Amazon about how to explore geospatial data with AWS. Below are some useful link: