Jim Herries

Recent Posts

Making Better Maps, One Map at a Time

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We’ve all been there – some real-world phenomenon has been observed and crunched into data, and now that data is ready to share on a map…this is the part where the map data has to be transformed into information. Maps can … Continue reading

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Updated Canvas Basemap Template Available

Canvas Template

A map template for the light gray canvas basemap and reference map is now available in ArcGIS Online and the Community Maps Resource Center. The Light Gray Canvas Map Template is an ArcGIS map document that can be used to … Continue reading

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New release of Thematic Atlas sample application

Example: Voter Atlas

There is a new version of the Esri Thematic Atlas available at http://atlas.esri.com. The Thematic Atlas sample application lets you showcase a collection of intelligent web maps, focused around specific themes. The Esri Thematic Atlas sample application uses web maps and the ArcGIS … Continue reading

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An intelligent map checklist

Figure 1: What you see in your MXD’s legend is what appears in your web map.  Avoid cryptic file names, field names and legend labels that report numbers but not context.  The legend in this example uses qualitative phrasing (e.g. “Great Increase”) as well as numeric (e.g. “More than 1.5%) because the audience likely has no idea what constitutes significant increases or decreases.

When you create an intelligent web map or map service, you are sharing something that you hope will stand on its own and be useful to others.  How can you deliver a map that is both attractive and useful for … Continue reading

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Adding demographic data from ArcGIS Online to your maps

By Jim Herries, Cartographic Product Engineer

Demographic Data - Thumb

We got a good question the other day on Ask a Cartographer, so we thought we would share the answer here as well:

“I’m a VERY novice GISer. I work for a fire department. My Chief wants me to be able to add demographic layers to our district map, but when I look around, the maps are all “Google Earth” types or PDF files, which I can’t do anything with. Where and how do I get demographic data I can add to my map as a layer?”

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How to fix ZIP codes from a CSV file

By Jim Herries, Esri Cartographic Product Engineer

ZIP Code Thumb.png

Comma-separated value (.CSV) files are sometimes used to import attribute data into ArcMap to join those attributes to existing map features, such as administrative boundaries (counties, states, provinces) and postal codes. However, chances are good that if you work with .CSV files you will run into the problem below at some point.

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FanMap™: Bracketography edition released

By Jim Herries, Esri Cartography Product Engineer

Bracketography thumbnail

This is the time of year in the U.S. when the college basketball season wraps up in a fury of games which are officially known as the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship, but more commonly referred to as “March Madness.” Fans of all ages race to complete their brackets and test their ability to pick which team will advance toward the Final Four and Championship games.

What do we know about the distribution of the fan base for these teams? The Mapping Center Team recently released FanMap™: Bracketography Edition to the public to see what could be discovered. We hope you’ll vote and pass the Web site information along to others.

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Making the FanMap: Super Bowl edition

By Jim Herries, Esri Cartographic Product Engineer

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A great way to get feedback on a Web map design is to put it in front of as many people as possible and let them interact with it. This was a major motivation for a recent Mapping Center project involving cartography and American football that resulted in FanMap: Super Bowl Edition.

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A Different View of Your Neighborhood

 by Jim Herries

I’m trying to convince a friend of mine that it’s time to sell the house and move to an area closer to work.  To compare the potential new neighborhoods, I sent her this map available from ESRI’s new Mapping for Everyone site

This map is like a satellite image of factors at work in the local economy.  Want to know how your neighborhood stacks up to the surrounding areas in terms of median home value for 2009?  What is the unemployment story around your neighborhood?  This is a glimpse at just a few bits of demographic and consumer data that ESRI has available.

Each year ESRI publishes selected demographic maps in ArcGIS Online, to make them available so people out in the real world can think about how to use this data.  My friend saw this map and the light went on: “I’ve been thinking about that area.”  Seeing the spatial patterns helped move the conversation forward.

While business users of GIS have found this type of visual presentation useful for years, a lot of interest is building in other areas, such as public safety and emergency response.  It makes sense – if you want to plan ahead about how best to serve the public, it really helps to have current information on where the people, housing and businesses are.

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How Does the Recession Affect U.S. Household Income?

by Jim Herries

Good article in this month’s ArcWatch, excerpt below, full article here.  I don’t know about you, but I feel the effects of this recession personally, and I see its effects on my neighborhood. 

Good demographic data captures these effects at the smallest levels of geography so that we can take a step back and look at our neighborhoods and  communities, our trade areas and markets.  The data and software tools are certainly here, so the question is: how are you applying this data to your organization’s problems?

“Almost everyone feels the impact of the current recession. Americans who haven’t lost a home or a job are, in many cases, experiencing low or no income growth. They are seeing the value of their houses, savings accounts, and retirement funds decreasing. Credit costs them more. Their hard-strapped state and local governments are cutting back on services. Some businesses in their communities are shuttering due to the downturn.” 

full article here

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