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What are good conferences for GIS and spatial developers to attend?

For Esri desktop users I think the User Conference is a must attend, but if you are an Esri developer I think the Esri developer conference is a better event.

If you can't make the big shows then the regional events are also a really good deal.

FOSS4G is great when it is in your neighborhood.

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If you're into open source GIS, I would recommend FOSS4G.

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I've attended two ESRI UCs and one ESRI Dev Summit in Palm Springs.

Everything at the Dev Summit is developer-centric. Code everywhere. ESRI engineers everywhere. The engineers are at the UC as well, but not in such a massive concentration as at the Dev Summit. Plus, the Dev Summit is a little bit more intimate (like 3,000 people as opposed to 14,000).

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The O'Reilly Where 2.0 conference is a bit on the expensive side, but has a decent spatial developer turnout. It happens in late March each year.

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State of The Map is a conference that gathers people using/mapping/interested in OpenStreetMap. It might be labeled as less technical, but nevertheless a lot of developers from all around the world attend this event every year.

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A little less technical but also interesting is GeoWeb in Vancouver. It happens every year at the same time.

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    I've gone to GeoWeb last two years. The presentations may not all be technical, but at least for these two years there have been some really smart people there. Worth attending just for hallway conversations. Unfortunately, this part depends a lot on who else shows up :) – JasonBirch Jul 24 '10 at 10:25
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GISScience - http://www.giscience2010.org/

SDH - Spatial Data Handling

More focussed on cartography: ICC - International Cartographic Conference - http://www.icc2011.fr/en/ AutoCarto - http://www.cartogis.org/autocarto

On theory: COSIT - Conference on Spatial Information Theory - http://www.geosensor.net/cosit/

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GeoViz - not regular, but looks good.

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I've never been, and no idea how the content is there, but URISA's Caribbean GIS Conference has been on my bucket list for a while :)

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I like the ESRI Petroleum User Group conference held each February April 18-21 in Houston. I expect to see some interesting oil spill presentations at the next one. Registration fee is $50.

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If you're a member of ACM SIGSPATIAL, I found that you get regularly notified of a variety of upcoming conferences via call for papers. Not everything is strictly GIS related in the classical sense (indoor positioning technologies is a topic as well, for instance), but it is one option for keeping ajour with the research and conference scene.

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