Redlands, California-More than 300 surveyors, engineers, and geographic information system (GIS) professionals from more than 25 countries attended the ESRI Survey & Engineering GIS Summit, held August 2–5, 2008, at the San Diego Convention Center in California. The summit is the only event of its kind, designed to address the latest geospatial trends, challenges, and solutions in the surveying and engineering industries.

Summit attendees took part in a wide variety of activities including the Plenary Session, where keynote speakers Colonel David W. Madden, commander of the Global Positioning Systems (GPS) Wing at the Space and Missile Systems Center, talked about upcoming technical changes with GPS and their benefits, and Timothy C. McCormick, senior vice president of Dewberry's Hazard Engineering and Geospatial Services Group, discussed the role of GIS in a tech-savvy engineering firm. In addition, ESRI staff led discussions on advancements in GIS and how the technology is creating more complete business solutions with capabilities for project planning and execution using advanced data management and analysis.

The summit's technical workshops and hands-on learning lab gave attendees the opportunity to try out GIS software, such as ArcGIS Survey Analyst, while sessions concentrated on how others use GIS to optimize core data management business functions, where GIS is headed and how it is a vital technology to surveyors and engineers, and how GIS can sharpen the competitive edge in a rapidly changing industry. Other features of the summit included the Industry Panel, where heads of industry-leading organizations tackled the complex professional issues of machine control and answered questions about surveyors' and engineers' responsibilities and professional boundaries in this emerging field. Plus, the summit's EXPO gave ESRI business partners a chance to exhibit their solution products and services while meeting with summit attendees.

"It's an inspiration to see all the new things that surveyors and engineers are doing with GIS, and we appreciate all the time that our users have contributed to share what they've learned with their peers," says Brent Jones, survey and engineering industry solutions manager, ESRI. "It's this professionalism, combined with the innovation that surveyors and engineers are renowned for, that continues to make this event so spectacular."

Since the summit was held concurrently with the 2008 ESRI International User Conference (ESRI UC), which took place August 4–8, it also gave attendees the opportunity to interact with GIS and mapping professionals from around the world. To find out more about the summit and the ESRI UC, visit