Hacking Location: The Future of TV Analytics

The way people view movies and television is changing. How can the industry keep up?

When Kevin Spacey pitched House of Cards to broadcasters, they asked him to do a pilot.

When Kevin Spacey pitched House of Cards to Netflix, they did not ask him to do a pilot.  They wanted to know many episodes he wanted to produce.  Netflix was able to ask that question with confidence because they already had knowledge from data and analysis that would support their decision to air the show.

Continue reading

Posted in Industry Focus | Leave a comment

Knowing When Your Lights Will Come Back On

Knowledge is power. Does your utility have enough of the right spatial intelligence?

“More information is always better than less.” — Simon Sinek, Author

Sinek would never agree that “less is more.” The author went on to describe the value of more information: “When people know the reason things are happening, even if it’s bad news, they can adjust their expectations and react accordingly,” Sinek stated. “Keeping people in the dark only serves to stir negative emotions.”

When I worked for a power company, it was my job to make sure people were not in the dark—literally. When people were out of power, we figured out why: A snow storm had drizzled ice on the power lines. Or some drunk had crashed into a utility pole. Or else some stupid (now dead) squirrel had climbed onto the lines and forgotten that his tail was a very nice conductor. Continue reading

Posted in Industry Focus | Leave a comment

Teaching Geography in the Twenty-First Century

New Tools Are Available to Teach Geography in More Engaging, Dynamic, and Effective Ways

Geography is considered one of the world’s oldest disciplines. It was first defined and formally established by Eratosthenes in 250 BC and has a rich tradition of scholarship extending from 2,000 years ago to the present. As a scientific discipline, geography has always embraced new technologies, research practices, instructional methods, skills, and content.

Teaching geography in the 21st Century includes working with mobile and online mapping tools, in addition to traditional focuses such as physical and cultural geography, fieldwork, and understanding landscapes.

Continue reading

Posted in Industry Focus | Leave a comment

Driving Business Integration with GIS

GIS professionals should take the lead on SAP/GIS integration projects.  It’s good for business, and it’s good for GIS. 

GIS teams often ask me how to integrate mapping features into SAP enterprise applications. The question usually comes up right after they find out that their IT department is moving all legacy business data sources to SAP.

Unfortunately, this “who moved my cheese” scenario often results in the GIS team simply reestablishing links to the same old data. In doing so, they are essentially paving the same old cow paths, rather than seeing the move to SAP as an opportunity to make the processes that drive the business more efficient.

Leading an innovation-focused collaboration with the SAP team and business stakeholders can deliver productivity-enhancing business process improvements, and a higher profile for the GIS team within the enterprise. Continue reading

Posted in Managing GIS | 1 Comment

What is up with the Weather?

Climate change is here, and geospatial tools are already helping us adapt to the “new normal.”

It is hard to believe that as the Polar Vortex returns to North America bringing snow and subzero temperatures, meteorological offices in the UK, Australia, and other countries around the world announced that 2014 was the hottest year on record. Records dating back to 1659 tell us that eight of the UK’s top ten warmest years have occurred since 2002.

Soaring temperatures and high winds in Australia last year fueled some of the worst bushfires in more than 30 years. According to a recent report by Climate Council, a climate change research group based in Australia, changing weather, a growing population, and the proximity of vulnerable assets in bushfire-prone areas have increased the risks to lives and property. The cost of these bushfires is estimated to run into hundreds of millions of dollars each year. It is expected that Australia needs to double the number of firefighters by 2030 to cope with this threat.

Ironically, record warm weather like Australia’s dry spells and drought in California are mirrored with increasingly severe wet weather, including cyclones, in the Pacific and Atlantic hurricanes. Continue reading

Posted in Industry Focus | Leave a comment

Follow the Five Patterns of Business to a Successful GIS

Deploying solutions to support all five patterns insures that your organization will get the maximum ROI from your GIS.

[Note:  This is latest post in our series about Managing GIS.]

If you have been following the development of the ArcGIS platform, you may already be familiar with the “five patterns of business.”  They are:

  • Data Management
  • Planning & Analysis
  • Field Mobility
  • Operational Awareness
  • Constituent Engagement

These five patterns are common to all organizations.  If you are an ArcGIS platform user, then it is important that you understand these patterns, because they are driving the development of the platform.  Because these five patterns are common to all organizations, and Esri can provide a location platform that supports all of them, any organization can get the benefits of GIS in just about everything they do. Continue reading

Posted in Managing GIS | Leave a comment

The Future of Web Maps in Next Generation Textbooks

Integrating interactive web maps with other digital content will make “nextgen” textbooks come alive.

Textbooks are changing, and so is the textbook industry, which accounted for almost $14 billion in US sales in 2013. The high cost of printed texts is driving the change. The Student Public Interest Research Group estimates that full-time US college students spend nearly $1,200 per year on textbooks, on average. Mounting public concern about the high cost of education in general, and textbooks in particular, is forcing publishers away from printed books toward a new generation of less expensive digital products. Esri is interested in the future of textbooks because they affect millions of young people every year, and because of the potential to make textbook maps come alive. Continue reading

Posted in Industry Focus | Leave a comment

Insight beyond the Numbers

Location analytics lets you visualize your key performance indicator data on maps.

Russ was one of my favorite bosses. He was the president of the utility I worked at. I ran electric operations. Russ was an accountant, a bean counter by training. I was (and am) an electrical engineer. Yet we agreed on almost everything about running a gas and electric utility.

Russ once told me that there are only four things you have to do to be successful at running a utility. Only four? Yes. Make money, keep customers happy, keep employees happy and safe, and stay out of trouble. Continue reading

Posted in Industry Focus | Leave a comment

Real-Time Spatial Analysis

Everybody gather around the map and make better decisions in real time. 

You might think of spatial analysis as a process that can help you make sense of large amounts of current and/or historical information.  And you’d be right about that.  But spatial analysis works equally well in real time.

Imagine a metropolitan police department working to stay on top of everything that happens in a big city. Crimes, accidents, and traffic, along with all the mobile and stationary assets that they need to track come together to create an overwhelming task of real-time data collection and analysis.

But in law enforcement, time is of the essence.  They need to get a handle on all of this data—and fast.  They need to respond in the moment. The real-time data coming into their system needs to be understood and acted upon in real time. Continue reading

Posted in Technology | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Top 10 Esri Insider Blog Posts of 2014

Content, Open, and Managing GIS make Big Splashes

Esri Insider provides a platform for Esri’s thought leaders and visionaries to share with you the new ideas and trends that they see in GIS. As 2015 kicks into high gear, we’d like to take a moment to stop and take a look back at the stories that struck a chord with you. These are the ten most popular posts of the Esri Insider blog for 2014.

10. Strengthening the Link between GIS and Science, by Matt Artz, November 5, 2014

This interview with Kevin Butler, Product Engineer with the Geoprocessing and Analysis team, details the integration of ArcGIS with SciPy, a Python-based ecosystem of open source software for mathematics, science, and engineering.

9. Attention GIS Managers: New Strategies for New Times, by Adam Carnow, September 22, 2014

This post, from our Managing GIS series, outlines the skills and strategies required to be a successful manager of today’s modern GIS department. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment