Students from Hino, Japan, visit Esri headquarters in Redlands

Posted by on July 28, 2014 in News, Our Experiences | 0 comments

Students from Hino, Japan, visit Esri headquarters in Redlands

Students from Hino, Japan, visit Esri headquarters in Redlands

By Kristina Hernandez, Redlands Daily Facts
POSTED: 07/25/14, 11:22 PM PDT

REDLANDS >> Esri’s Dave Byers led a group of students from Hino, Japan, through the company’s headquarters on Friday, pointing out how GIS technology is helping shape the world.

“It’s not just about the technology, but how you use it effectively. And we always try to make (our software) easier and easier to use,” he told the small group while Redlander Kiyoko McDonald translated.

About eight students from Hino, their chaperones and their host families were led through the large campus, taking in the scenery and information.

To provide a more intimate look, groups of three were led by an Esri employee with a translator.

Friday’s visit was one of many activities planned for Hino students through the Redlands Sister Cities Association.

For decades, Redlands and Hino have been sister cities and their relationship continues to grow.

The relationship between the two cities was founded in 1963 — a year after the association was founded.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the partnership, members of the association — including McDonald, who hails from Hino — traveled to the city from overseas for a visit.

This year, it was Hino’s turn to come to the United States.

The group arrived on Wednesday and met with host families after traveling to Redlands from Los Angeles International Airport.

On Thursday, the group met with city officials for photo opportunities and a tour of the Redlands Police Department’s Park Avenue station and the Fire Department’s Station One. They also visited Redlands Municipal Airport.

Friday’s activities included the Esri tour and a visit to the University of Redlands.

A party was to be held in the evening at the home of Roy Cencirulo, president of the Redlands Sister Cities Association.

Activities continue through Aug. 4 and include shopping and trips to theme parks.

Esri’s relationship with Hino is a strong one.

In addition to being one of the company’s customers, Esri Japan’s president is from Hino.

Friday’s tour gave the group a small glimpse into the world of GIS. But Byers, whose job title is Esri international manager, Asia and Pacific, is hopeful they will want to know more in the future and look to the company for answers.

“I think what I wanted to give them is not so much a look at the technology, which is fascinating to me, but the real value of GIS,” he said. “There’s intelligence and great power in analysis and visualization. But that doesn’t tell us when the next 100-year weather event will hurt my town and how to protect natural resources or how do I best serve underprivileged kids. For that you need GIS.”

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