We have our latest and greatest Forum MVP Winners here to announce. Twice per year we award MVP prizes to those users who contribute the most to our forums, based on the points they earn as you vote on their posts throughout the year. Our forums continue to be the most popular community tool for discussing, sharing, and helping one other to get the most from ArcGIS, as we have over 15,000 active users, 22,000 new threads and over 40,000 posts per year. What helps us to be so successful though, is you, our users. We like to recognize those that put in the time and effort to continue making our forums thrive!
We have some new MVP badges in our list!* Welcome to the team, folks! MVP badges do not need to be renewed. Once an MVP, always an MVP. We also give them additional tools like the ability to move a thread from one forum to the other in order to give your questions a better chance of being answered. They can also mark an answer as being the best one by clicking the green check mark. See more about the MVP Program here.
Not only are the MVPs badged so you can find them, but they’re also eligible for prizes like software, books, training courses, and conference seats as a collective ‘thank you’ from us for all of their great effort. First we have our top three Annual Esri MVP Forums users who are being awarded from May 2012 – April 2013:
Robert Scheitlin rscheitlin
Anthony Giles email@example.com
Mathew Coyle mzcoyle
Next, we are awarding the following Semi-Annual Esri MVP Forums users who are being recognized for their contributions from October 2012 – April 2013:
Robert Scheitlin rscheitlin
Anthony Giles firstname.lastname@example.org
Wayne Whitley* Wayne_Whitley
Mathew Coyle mzcoyle
Curtis Price curtvprice
Shaning Yu* shaningesri
Richard Watson rlwatson
Rhett Zufelt* rzufelt
Caleb Mackey* Caleb1987
V Stuart Foote vsfoote
Again, thank you so much to all of you who help to continue building a great system that supports our Esri community.
Our forums continue to be the most popular community tool for discussing, sharing, and helping one other to get the most from ArcGIS, as we have over 15,000 active users, 22,000 new threads and over 40,000 posts per year. What helps us to be so successful though, is you, our users. We would like to recognize those users who contribute the most to our forums. Continue reading
We share the Earth, so we need to be able to communicate information about the Earth. Communication means “transmitting or exchanging through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior.” Standardization means “agreeing on a common system.” Open Geospatial Consortium … Continue reading
Unhackathon #2: TED Prize City 2.0 Equality Challenge: Esri Promotes Spreading Economic Opportunity To All
On April 6th and 7th 2012, Mix and Stir Studio hosted its second Unhackathon. The ambitious target: Use design-driven technology to spread economic growth created by small businesses throughout an entire city, and better connect social services with citizens who need them most. Together with TED City 2.0, the Equal Justice Initiative, officials from the City of San Francisco, and California College of the Arts, Mix and Stir brought people together to emphasize the distinctive approach to solving problems from the design-first angle. Technical Professionals, Business Strategists, and Designers brainstormed for two days to conceptualize solutions that might create more awareness among underserved populations of various government services and opportunities available to them.
The event kicked off Friday night with a social gathering for folks to mingle and introduce themselves. An experienced panel of professionals then discussed what they have learned from working closely with people living near poverty level.
The panel outlined various characteristics that develop amongst people living under these conditions. Daily life at the povery level is fluid – unstable and unpredictable. Uncertainty about the next meal or the next address makes it very difficult to meet appointments to learn about government servces. No fresh food. No health clinics. No open spaces. No green spaces. No affordable housing. No safety. Impoverished neighborhoods suffer from a lack of resources. Residents want security, a neighborhood where they don’t have to worry about being shot. They want what most people want: affordable housing, reliable means to pay bills and educate their children, and good health. These obstacles do not create just hopelessness or desperation, but also genuine community. People show extreme courageousness to keep going; creativeity to solve problems; collective pain and loss leading to strength and sense of kinship; extraordinary ability to communicate at the neighborhood level. Their own stories excite them. They have passion for each other and each other’s families.
In the context of creating solutions, the panel explained the difficulty making data from different agencies available to low-income residents and the complexity of utilizing it. It’s out there, but there’s no consistency or uniformity with it. Visualizing it or traversing it at a one-stop-shop is impossible. People providing it lack knowledge to present it so it’s easy to retrieve answers to the questions underserved populations have: Where do I get affordable housing? Where is affordable health care? Where can I get healthy food?
Unhackathon #2 brought people together and set the stage for creative minds to conceptualize solutions to this information gap. Designers, Business People, and City Officials have attempted this before, and often. Commonly designers fail because they approach problems from their own perspectives. Approaching problems from the daily poverty perspective differs than coming at them from a position of security like most folks in the center of designing solutions. And the perpetual enemy that often accompanies people trying to serve those in need rears its head often: Expectation of gratitude. The Perspective Disparity can lead to solutions that don’t fit and may lack vision, empathy, and understanding of people’s wants and needs.
So the Unhackathon attendees went to work. They formed teams and developed concepts. Proposed solutions considered what people living in poverty want, have and have access to. Esri sent professional representatives to participate as team members in developing possible solutions: Brenda Wolfe, a Product Manger working with Community Analyst; Amadea Azerki, a Solution Engineer with the California Regional Office, Shannon McElvaney a Consultant/Project Manager with GeoDesign Services; and John Yaist, a Technical Lead with the EDN Group. These Esri employees with their experience and backgrounds in location information helped incorporate spatial thinking to influence the business and design aspects of potential solutions.
Solutions focused on easing major pains for low-income populations – getting information and getting to places to investigate available government services. Design solutions ranged from text-based systems to mobile classrooms and service vehicles to local partnering networks. The judges chose to award three concepts with focused mentoring to further present the ideas for a chance at $10,000 TED City 2.0 Grant.
These 3 concepts were:
- Ping –Think TaskRabbit meets Avon Online. This software platform allows a community leader to organize, manage and provide contracts to home-based entrepreneurs via text message.
- Pop-Up Skill Shop – This concept pairs the owners of vacant, rundown buildings with a green design/build contracting service that apprentices low income youth in an equity share arrangement.
- Mobile Services Mall – Think Taco truck meets City Hall. This van comes outfitted with externally mounted computer terminals and will drive and park at central locations like neighborhood churches to provide the low income community with access to city, county, or federal services they might not know about or be able to find.
These winning ideas focused on making it easy for residents to access the service. The problems the Unhackathon addressed often focused on location: Where could someone find what they need? The event allowed Esri to demonstrate its practical approach to solving problems to an audience inexperienced in application of spatial software, tools, and data. An event like this provides a forum to open minds and increase awareness of how maps and a person’s sense of place can be critical components in the design of solutions that are widely applicable and easy to implement against real problems. Unhackathon attendees seemed excited about the possibility maps provide for visualization in the design process. Esri’s support of these Unhackathons will prove valuable for exposing what maps can do as problem-solving tools.
Written by John Yaist
On February 24th and 25th this year, Mix and Stir Studio hosted a unique event targeted at solving two pressing problems in the city of San Francisco, CA. Together with The City and California College of the Arts, Mix and Stir billed the show “Unhackathon #1” to emphasize the distinctive approach to solving problems from the design-first angle. The event called together technical professionals, business strategists, and designers to brainstorm over two problems: taxi underutilization and MTA/Muni rider communication.
Any solution to either problem revolved around gathering, analyzing, and visualizing large amounts of spatial data: Esri’s heartbeat! Esri sent a team of professionals to participate in the manner the event organizers envisioned. Jeff Archer served as a “Technical Mentor”. He visited the different teams and underscored the importance of thinking about the technical issues and how they might influence the business and design aspects of potential solutions. John Yaist, from the EDN Team, and Sooriaraj Jayaraman, a user-experience design expert, actually contributed as team members in the contest.
The show kicked off Friday night with a social gathering followed by information panels comprised of industry experts from various city organizations to outline each problem. The panels provided background information and highlighted the complexities of each problem.
Is your organization on Twitter? The Community Maps Program is now!
We’ll be tweeting announcements and interesting news on the Program. Feel free to share how your organization is using your basemap or applications.
Follow us @AGOL_CM_Program!
Are you attending the CA/HI/NV Regional User Conference in Redlands, CA March 7-8, 2012? The ArcGIS Data Reviewer team is offering free GIS data health checks focused on validating water/wastewater and parcel data. Industry experts will run an analysis on your data in a file or personal geodatabase and provide a report of the error findings (if any). Be sure to sign up ahead of time by sending an email to email@example.com in order to ensure a spot. Please provide your name, organization, and preferred time slot.
The traffic services provide the ability to visualize historic, live, and predictive traffic data and traffic incidents. You can also enable your local network datasets to access the live traffic feeds.
The network analysis services provide the ability to perform transportation analytics like routing and drive time analysis using latest and accurate data that you don’t have to manage.
All of this content can be accessed through ArcMap 10.1 or any of the web clients. The services are currently in Beta, with a sample of San Diego publically available. Anyone wanting to use these services outside of the San Diego sample area can do so, by simply joining the ArcGIS 10.1 Beta Community and completing the ArcGIS Network Analyst Extension task and ArcGIS for Server Extensions program.
Over the past two years Esri’s Community Maps Program has been collecting cached basemaps from authoritative data owners from around the globe. These cached products are then integrated into the World Topographic basemap on ArcGIS Online and served out to the public as a free basemap service. While participants in the Community Maps program are enthusiastic about the benefits of contributing their content, they have also provided feedback that the process of caching their basemap can be a challenge. Whether it is lack of expertise, hardware limitations or simply a case of more pressing priorities, difficulties with caching often result in organizations delaying their content submissions to the Community Maps Program.
If you attended one of Esri’s free Community Maps Training events prior to December 2011, you were taught the basic four steps in the map production process: Inventory, Migrate, Author, and Cache. This workflow is now changing to: Inventory, Migrate, Author, and send a Map Package for Esri to cache.
In order to help out all organizations and make the process easier, Esri is now offering to cache your authored basemaps. Our purpose in this workflow modification is to reduce the workload on the contributor and allow these projects to be published in the World Topographic map service more quickly. We changed our Training format recently and announced that the workflow step of caching is now replaced with submitting your data and authored basemap as a Map Package (ArcGIS 10) or at minimum the Map Document (MXD) and associated source data in a geodatabase. Help for creating the Map Package refer to the help at this link.
As software and hardware technologies evolve and become more efficient, the process of contributing to the Community Maps Program will evolve as well. The Esri team continues to strive for making the contribution process easier and quicker and all around more manageable to deliver authoritative map content to the user community.
If you have any questions please email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On our way to Charlotte, after waving at some highway patrolmen, Jim Barry ( @JimBarry) and I (@AmyNiessen), arrived at the hotel, and it was definitely a warm welcome. Charlotte was very much a downtown that I would imagine. On the road, the crosswalks were painted in checkers as a cute way of announcing the NASCAR Hall of Fame nearby. Being that we were only there one day, we had to get right down to business. We needed to prep for the meet up in the evening and wanted to get to the venue, Black Finn (@BlackFinnCLT), beforehand to set up.
When we arrived, we were introduced to the coordinator, Courtney Maddox, who was very kind in helping us get set up for the night’s event. She immediately offered us the entire upstairs bar, as opposed to the tiny room that we used the last time we visited. On top of that, we were getting a microphone. Hooray for microphones (don’t get me started…)! As people started to come in, I started to get a little hungry. I was able to sneak in a few bites of the gourmet food Black Finn had in store for us for the evening. Lucky me! As people checked in, I started to see some familiar faces from our Charlotte office, such as Garima Vyas and David Crosby. We also recognized another friend (although he was disguised in plaid), Glenn Goodrich (@ruprictGeek), who was all set perform the keynote speech.
Jim introduced the EDN Team and the Meetup.com sites that we have for all of our Dev Meet Up events. The Meetup.com site provides a way for users to network and plan for upcoming Dev Meet ups. The EDN Team can stay in touch with users this way and really cater the event toward what the users want. As soon as Jim turned the stage over to Glenn, he kicked off the evening by displaying Backbone.js. He was kind enough to share a little bit of code with everyone. Thanks, Glenn!
Now onto our lightning talks. Bryan Townsend from York County, SC presented “Customize by Configuration”. He presented features from the Geocortex Viewer for Silverlight. Interestingly enough, random sound bytes would interject with rock ‘n roll tunes into Bryan’s presentation. They came at good times, though and it seemed as though he planned it that way.
Finally, we had a few trivia questions that needed to be answered in exchange for our Esri tote bag and some other very cool items. Some renamed the Esri tote bag as the official shopping bag of Colorado.
We want to thank everyone for coming out. To stay involved, please visit our Carolinas Meetup.com page where you can meet other developers in this area, find out more about our events, and be notified of our next visit. Ciao for now!