Just a bit short of 2000 beta users, the AppStudio for ArcGIS beta program is full of great ideas and suggestions. It is amazing to see the number of different apps built so far! You have helped guide our efforts and today we are pleased to announce the availability of AppStudio for ArcGIS Beta 2.
Your feedback has told us:
- All platforms and form factors are important to you, but when it comes to building new apps, Windows is the most important to you.
- You love creating apps from our templates
- The ArcGIS Cloud Make service rocks: Being about to simply tick some boxes, and have Esri build installation files for you app for all the platforms – is pure gold!
- We need to supply more guidance and help for creating your own apps
AppStudio for ArcGIS Beta 2 provides improvements in all of these areas plus more
- AppStudio for ArcGIS now works great on a wider range of Windows devices including virtual machines. You can also use it over Remote Desktop.
- The current templates have been updated with improved webmap and web services support. This is of particular importance to the Map Viewer template!
- The Extend Apps tab at doc.arcgis.com now contains topics to help you build your own app and we have started adding more video tutorials (more are coming soon!)
- Localization is well underway for all 28 languages currently supported by ArcGIS.
- A new AppStudio for ArcGIS video series has been created at video.arcgis.com. In here you can watch the DevSummit Tech Sessions on AppStudio for ArcGIS as well as video tutorials etc
We will continue with a close eye in our forums. Keep your feedback coming!
The AppStudio for ArcGIS Team
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To build on the success of recent Developer Summit in California, we’ve decided to take the event on the road. Esri will be hosting 3 Dev Summits in Europe this September.
I hope developers from all over Europe and the world will come together in Rotterdam, Berlin or London (all 3 if you want). The technical sessions will focus on becoming more effective at building web, mobile and desktop applications. Senior Esri development staff will be presenting so you’ll get a chance to see what’s coming next. Registration information will be available soon but mark your calendar now and plan to join us in Europe.
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
The Defense & Intelligence Development team will be at the 2012 Esri Developer Summit.
Don’t miss the Introduction to ArcGIS for Defense pre-summit seminar, Monday, March 26 (1:15pm – 2:30pm). This seminar is a chance to learn about ArcGIS for Defense and the downloadable maps and apps we’ve built to meet the needs of defense organizations.