Category Archives: Technology
Kevin Johnston has been part of Esri’s software development team for more than 20 years, focusing on the ArcGIS Spatial Analyst extension and various aspects of dynamic and statistical modeling. In addition to working at Esri, Kevin does volunteer conservation work on a variety of conservation projects, including elephant-movement models for Amboseli National Park in Kenya, snow leopard corridor models in Nepal, and agent-based models of cougar movement in Arizona. With the release of a new book he edited called Agent Analyst: Agent-Based Modeling in ArcGIS, I asked Kevin to share some basic information on agent-based modeling and how the GIS community might leverage it in their projects. Continue reading
Change has been the constant for the US demographic landscape recently. Two major demographic differences since Census 2000 are the growth of minority populations and changes to household composition. Traditional households of “dad, mom, two kids, and a dog” are no longer the norm. Household types are changing and evolving, so it may be a slow goodbye to the household types portrayed in “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “The Cosby Show”, and hello to a group of entirely different kind of households. Continue reading
We’re fortunate to be engaged as GIS professionals today. Never before has there been so much potential to transform the work we do and the organizations we serve geospatially. What do we need for this transformation? We need authoritative data at … Continue reading
GIS users had lots to cheer about in 2012, with major releases of software with important new capabilities. These deliveries have also set the course ahead for what’s to come in 2013. Here’s a quick look back on the past year, with a glimpse at the year ahead.
Clearly a significant release, and one of the best and most comprehensive updates in many years, the big milestone for Esri professional GIS users this year was ArcGIS 10.1, fulfilling many initiatives introduced in 2010 with ArcGIS 10.0. Beyond the new features and functions it delivered, ArcGIS was transformed, becoming a complete and unified system, with integrated online and mobile capabilities to support a variety of workflows and needs. Continue reading
Like it or not, we are all aging. In 2000, the median age in the United States was 35.3 years. By 2010, this number had increased to 37.0 years; today, the median age is 37.3 years. By 2030, seniors will comprise 20 percent of the total US population. In addition to people living longer, the jump in the US median age is also due to aging Baby Boomers.
Seniors are not one monolithic demographic cohort. From those aged 55 to those in their 80s and older, seniors have vastly different lifestyles, preferences, and spending habits. These differences become even more apparent when classified by demographics such as affluence, education, employment, and race/ethnicity. Data about product and media preferences, leisure activities, and shopping habits provides even more detail. Continue reading
A great map often starts with a great basemap. It’s the canvas upon which we paint our operational layers, providing context and bringing them to life. Esri has published many different kinds of basemaps, including Streets, Imagery, Topographic, and more. These basemaps are continually updated as new information becomes available.
One of the most popular basemaps (and the default ArcGIS Online basemap) is the World Topographic basemap, also known as the “Community Basemap.” It’s a GIS crowd-sourced basemap that compiles data from many GIS users that participate in Esri’s Community Maps Program.
The basemap is compiled from the best available sources, and includes boundaries, cities, water features, physiographic features, parks, landmarks, transportation, and buildings. Updates are published monthly, and you can find more details on ArcGIS Online.
GIS technology has evolved from a tool for specialized professionals to a platform that can be used “by everyone.” An important component of this more far-reaching platform is the development and release of Solution Templates that are designed to facilitate GIS throughout the organization.
“Our goal is to provide things that help people be successful,” said Damian Spangrud, Esri’s new Director of Solutions. “But the landscape is changing—the types of people we are serving, how they are using our technology, and even the definition of what is ‘success’— everything is changing. As we started to think about where GIS fits in this new landscape, the questions we started asking ourselves were: What kinds of things can we give people so that they can tailor their ArcGIS system to be more successful? And how can we help them share their GIS investment with everyone across the organization?”
Some events, like birthdays, weddings, and graduations, are easy to mark on the calendar. Others, like the beginning of a social movement, or a language—or the invention of GIS—are harder to pinpoint. However, the confluence of three pivotal events in 1962 and 1963 makes this as good a time as any to celebrate a half century of GIS. Continue reading
Years ago when introducing GIS, we often talked about the five essential parts that make for a successful implementation–hardware, software, data, methods (or procedures), and people. These same five parts are still valid today, though their context has evolved considerably over time.
Hardware, software, data, and methods are challenges that we can manage in straightforward ways. We can understand what needs to be done, and we can identify the solution.
The latter ingredient–people–is the most complex factor. It’s the wildcard of GIS, and is also the primary key to successfully lifting a GIS off the ground, nurturing its growth, and (perhaps more importantly) keeping it relevant over time.