Author Archives: Bern Szukalski

Bern Szukalski
Bern Szukalski is Chief Technology Advocate and a Product Strategist at Esri, focusing on ways to broaden access to geographic information, and helping users succeed with the ArcGIS Platform. Follow @bernszukalski.

Recent Posts

Story Maps for “Bread and Butter” Applications

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Story Maps are fun, easy, and informative. Their popularity is documented by the many interesting examples you will find at the Story Maps Gallery. An enduring favorite of mine is not the most sophisticated, or provocative, or one that required … Continue reading

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The 2014 Winter Olympic Story (Maps)

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The 2014 Winter Olympics are upon us, and there will be lots of stories to tell both during and after the games. Several ArcGIS story maps help tell different kinds of stories that complement and provide context for what we’ll … Continue reading

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Another Year, Another 100 Million (or so)

By the time you see the image below it will be way out of date.

From Worldometers, it’s snapshot in time of the current world population which, depending on your source, is growing at a rate of somewhere between 75 and 140 million people each year. Proving, if nothing else, that humans are quite prolific.

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Celebrating Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address

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“Four score and seven years ago” began what time would remember as a milestone in American history. On November 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address, a speech that many consider among the most eloquent and important of … Continue reading

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Story Maps Speak In Many Languages

Stories are spoken in many languages, and the same is true for Story Maps. The results of a story map competition held at the recent Esri France SIG 2013 conference offered some compelling examples for me.

The winning story map merged themes of culture with urban and industrial heritage, but my favorite was a photographic tour of the Paris Metro. This was a tough selection to make over my second favorite story map about the seasonal migration (or transhumance) of people and their sheep. Of course all of these story maps are in French. Continue reading

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Smithsonian’s Story Map Examines the Shale Gas Boom

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is transforming communities across the US above shale rock layers that trap natural gas and oil. Fracking involves the injection of millions of gallons of water and other fluids into shale deposits under high pressure, causing fracturing of the surrounding rock and the release of gas through nearby wells. The extraction technique is controversial, and the resulting changes to nearby communities are argued as both good and bad.

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Smithsonian’s Historic Look at Cities

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Among the current top stories on Smithsonian’s website is a “then and now” perspective of a handful of cities using David Rumsey’s historical maps and current aerial imagery in an interactive application. The applications were built using one of the … Continue reading

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Story Map Examines World’s Busiest Airports

Most of us have experienced busy airports when traveling, and this latest story map examines the 25 busiest airports in the world. Which airport do you think is the busiest? This story map presents some surprising and interesting results.

The story map is built using a just-released new storytelling “countdown” template, which you can download from ArcGIS Online or the storytelling with maps template gallery.

What stories can you tell using the countdown story map? Let us know! View lots more stories at the storytelling with maps website.

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From Story Maps to Information Maps

Story maps are very popular.  They combine web maps, text, and rich media content to create compelling applications that inform, educate, entertain, and inspire people about a variety of topics. Many story maps can be lumped into the “fun” category–stories about personal journeys, vacations, adventures, and sightseeing across the globe. Here’s an example: Skiing the Haute Route: Touring from Chamonix, France to Zermatt, Switzerland:

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Transforming Essential GIS Skills

Over the years GIS has grown to cover a very broad horizon. It’s no longer the domain of specialized departments; instead it has become deeply woven into an organization’s fabric and extends to a very public and connected audience. The fact that we think differently today than in the past about how we use–and perhaps more importantly how we can use–GIS reminds us that we need to continue to evolve our skills in new directions, whether we’re seasoned GIS veterans, or simply trying to land that first job.

A recent e-mail from someone just beginning to to take their first steps into the GIS job market had me thinking about this again. They asked me whether they should take a course in Python to improve their GIS job prospects. Continue reading

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