Speaking the “Language” of Spatial Analysis via Story Maps

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Spatial analysis has always been a hallmark of GIS, the “numerical recipes” which set GIS apart from other forms of computerized visualization and information management. With GIS we pose questions and derive results using a wide array of analytical tools … Continue reading

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Building the Most Detailed Population Map in the World

Esri is compiling a human geography database of demographics and statistics about all countries in the world and mapping this data using an innovative methodology.

Sociodemographic data is a valuable asset for businesses, governments, and society. Describing and understanding the human geography of the world requires tools to assimilate data in a statistically valid way that will allow for meaningful decision making.

Traditionally, people are counted in a census. But a census is time-consuming, costly, and does not collect the types of statistics at the level required to address today’s complex societal issues. Continue reading

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Boomers’ Retirement: Changing Outlook

For generations, Americans worked hard, lived within their means, saved for retirement, spent their golden years in relative comfort, and passed on a healthy inheritance to their children. Many Classic Boomers held only one or two jobs during their careers; received healthy raises, bonuses, and pensions; and didn’t have to worry about healthcare costs gutting their assets. These were traditionally-held patterns and goals. Based on these behaviors, many in succeeding generations could count on an inheritance to help finance large expenditures such as buying a house or paying for their children’s educations. Now? Maybe not so much. Ironically, in the days before the first wave of Boomers began to retire, economists warned against the impact of the largest transfer of wealth in our nation’s history.

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Expanding Your Scope

Unlocking the Full Potential of GIS across Your Organization

Most of us using GIS take advantage of only a fraction of the capabilities, and over time we get comfortable in what we know and do.  While this allows us to improve our work and optimize our processes, it also limits our impact across the organization.  But expanding the scope of your GIS is a lot of work.  At least it used to be.

Enter ArcGIS Solutions.  Now you don’t need to dedicate significant resources and learn new areas from the ground up.  We are committed to providing you easy to use apps, maps, and platform configurations to base your work on.

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From NIMBY to NOPE: Overcoming the Location Dilemma

There’s an old saying: Everyone wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to die.

Everyone wants low cost, environmentally friendly energy. But people don’t want to look at transmission towers, pumping stations, power plants, substations, and wind farms. More than that, they don’t want any of these things located anywhere near them. We used to call this situation NIMBY or Not In My Backyard. Today we have gone from NIMBY to NOPE (Not On Planet Earth).

Transportation organizations have the same problem as utility companies. Everyone complains about traffic jams, lack of public transportation, not enough flights, lack of access to ports, and emissions from freight trains. Yet when a project comes along to provide relief, there is an outcry of opposition.

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A Framework for Resilience: Four GIS Building Blocks

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Temperature shifts, stronger and more frequent storms, drought, fire, and floods… We’re already seeing the effects of climate change manifested in many ways. These changes are placing critical habitats at risk, shifting ecosystems, reducing water supplies, creating health concerns, and … Continue reading

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Ancient Rituals and Modern Technology

The electric and gas utility business is complex. Some say the electric grid is the most sophisticated technology in the world. Natural gas networks are not far behind. Diving deep in to the business, there is probably one of nearly every kind of technological wonder at play. Control systems, artificial intelligence, Lidar, sensor networks, augmented reality, and of course GIS. Utilities, to some extent like the space industry, drive innovation of technology. Yet overlaid with all this sparkling technology are some old patterns of behavior.

Every industry strives to improve. Utilities can improve by getting rid of old habits.

Two old behaviors linger: working in silos, and heavy reliance on institutional knowledge. Continue reading

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Creating Our Future

New Tools Will Help Us Meet the World’s Challenges

We try to predict the future every day. You think about what the weather might be like. You think about what might happen with your favorite sports team. You think about what the future might hold for you.

Beyond prediction, some of us are actually engaged professionally in creating the future. Because as Peter Drucker said, “The best way to predict the future is to create the future.”

2014 Esri User Conference Plenary: GIS–Creating Our Future.

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Looking for Park Space: Spatial Analysis with ArcGIS Online

ArcGIS Online is remaking GIS. We already take for granted how easy it is to make maps about anything and share them with anyone. And it’s not just maps. Data is becoming a social product, too. Partly through crowdsourcing (as Joseph Kerski recently wrote about here), and partly through projects like ArcGIS Open Data that help organizations offer their data like ice cream from a truck on a hot day.

But if GIS were a polygon, it would be a triangle: its vertices are maps, data, and analysis. Many people assume all analysis still has to be done in ArcGIS for Desktop. And it’s true that when it comes to geoprocessing tools, ArcGIS for Desktop is like Home Depot—it has everything you could possibly need (although you don’t always find it right away). By comparison, ArcGIS Online is like a good neighborhood hardware store. The inventory is smaller but it’s carefully chosen and more than meets your everyday needs. Continue reading

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Geoenabling Citizen Science

Every issue from pollution to habitat to biodiversity and beyond has a geographic component, and thus can be studied in the field.  Because the world is rapidly changing, and because large organizations have cut back on many of their field staffs, much of the critically needed field data can and should come from citizen scientists.

What is “citizen science”?

“Citizen science is scientific research conducted, in whole or in part, by amateur or nonprofessional scientists, often by crowdsourcing and crowdfunding.”

Wikipedia

Consider the major environmental issues of our 21st Century world:  Coastal erosion, air, soil, and water pollution, urbanization, desertification, habitat loss, invasive species, and Continue reading

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