Category Archives: Uncategorized

Will This Back-To-School Shopping Season Hit or Miss?

Anticipation and Anxiety for Students and Retailers

As summer vacations end, students eagerly or anxiously anticipate a new school year, new teachers, and new friends. Retailers also anticipate the Back to School (BTS) season, hoping that fickle consumers will buy their merchandise.  The BTS category includes clothes, electronics, and school supplies for elementary, high school, and college ages.

When does BTS shopping begin? Traditionally, the BTS season began in late July and finished soon after school opened. This timeframe is longer now because some consumers prefer to replenish supplies throughout the year, or wait until the holidays to buy electronics and clothing.

Likelihood of using coupons (US average: 100).

Google Trends says that searches for back-to-school supplies and apparel are consistent across the country. It’s when consumers search that varies a lot, especially by region. For example, Google notes that searches for “bags and packs” tend to start in late June in the Deep South, expand westward, and then head to the Midwest and the Northeast. By mid-July, the whole country is in the market. Continue reading

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Mapping the Theme Parks Market

Leverage Esri’s Market Potential data to help tap in to this multi-billion dollar industry.

Visiting a theme park as a vacation destination or a special day trip is on thousands of people’s bucket lists. The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) counts more than 400 amusement parks and attractions in the US. The IAAPA noted in 2011 that 25% of Americans surveyed had visited an amusement park in the last 12 months, and that 43% of indicated that they planned to visit an amusement park in the next year.

Theme parks are a multi-billion dollar industry. For example, in 2014, Disney Parks and Resorts was by far the largest amusement and theme park company in terms of global revenue. With revenues exceeding $15 billion US dollars, Disney generated almost six times that of its closest competitor, Universal Studios Theme Parks (source: Statista). Continue reading

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New App Puts the World in Your Hand

Field Notes – Earth uses the power of three new global maps to help answer important questions about our place in the world.

Esri is pleased to announce the immediate availability of Field Notes – Earth, a new smartphone app that uses three powerful new maps to help you answer important questions about your place in the world, such as:

  • What is your ideal climate?
  • Where does your food come from?
  • What drives your choice to live in a high or low density location?
  • …and much more.

Built using Esri’s AppStudio for ArcGIS, this free app shares the power of geographic information through a common language to describe in tremendous detail the landscape of planet Earth. Continue reading

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Smart Communities as Hubs of Innovation

Six strategies your community can employ to become a smart community.

Putting in place a GIS platform and open data strategy creates the infrastructure for information sharing, solution creation, and innovation. The most solution-oriented, economically competitive communities will find ways to make their GIS platform and open data initiatives actionable by others in the community. These communities will actively work to become a hub of innovation by engaging with NGOs, start-ups, academia, businesses, and citizens.

Encourage Start-Ups

Data provided by the local government can find innovative uses when put in the hands of local start-ups. Entrepreneurial thinkers are often willing to put time, energy, and resources into creating new solutions. If those solutions meet a real need, a small business can bloom and grow within the community, creating attractive new job opportunities. Continue reading

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Building a Solid Foundation for a Smart Community

While there are many new data sources and analysis techniques available today, GIS is not new to most communities. GIS capabilities have been used within government departments for decades in order to make the delivery of community services more efficient and effective. Governments have shown significant return on investment (ROI) when they use GIS technology to solve problems. King County, Washington, staff use GIS applications to improve operations in more than 42 county agencies. Dr. Richard Zerbe, an economist at the University of Washington, conducted a study measuring the ROI of the King County GIS program during the 18-year period between 1992 and 2010 and found that the county accrued net benefits between $776 million and $1.7 billion during that time.

“Our GIS service is an example of a high-performing IT service that is providing a large amount of customer efficiency for the investment. The GIS service is a model that we want all our services within King County IT to aspire to.” — King County Chief Information Officer Bill Kehoe Continue reading

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Applying Geography Everywhere: Ten Big Ideas

A new hands-on website and a print book help seasoned GIS practitioners and newcomers to GIS learn to make GIS web maps, work with mobile apps, and much more.

Cover image courtesy Stamen Design.

People around the world are discovering that online maps do more than direct consumers to stores or help travelers navigate from point A to point B. Maps communicate important information that help organizations make decisions. That’s why Esri published The ArcGIS Book, an easy to comprehend guide to learning 10 big ideas about web mapping and how to use the Esri ArcGIS platform to put those ideas into action.

The ten big ideas explored in The ArcGIS Book are:

  1. Maps, the Web, and You: Power and possibility with Web GIS
  2. Cartography is for Everyone: New ways to make, see, and use maps
  3. Tell Your Story Using a Map: Inform, engage, and inspire people with story maps
  4. Great Maps Need Great Data: Creating and using authoritative geographic data
  5. The Importance of Where: How spatial analysis leads to insight
  6. Mapping the Third Dimension: A change in perspective
  7. The Power of Apps: Focused tools that get work done
  8. Your Mobile GIS: The GIS of the whole world plus a live data sensor in your pocket
  9. Real-Time Dashboards: Integrating live data feeds for managing operations
  10. GIS is Social: Web GIS is the GIS of the world

Continue reading

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What Do Americans Do on the Fourth of July Weekend?

They get outdoors, fire up the grill, find great sales, and watch fireworks, presenting a great opportunity for US businesses.

The Fourth of July weekend is a popular weekend for families to start celebrating summer. Many families go hiking, camping, picnicking, hit the beach, grill outdoors, snag the best shopping deals and discounts, and see fireworks. Businesses that attract people’s attention and provide the must-haves for these summer activities often see an increase in business. But how do you get the attention of a busy shopper on the go, who is already bombarded with deals and offers before summer even starts? You need data intelligence to learn more about people’s behaviors and lifestyle choices so you can send the right deal at the right time. You need to answer questions such as: Where are the outdoorsy people? Where do the consumers live who spend the most on grilling essentials? Where are the best ZIP codes to target for direct mail coupons? Using Esri’s demographics and lifestyles data in Business Analyst Online, you can easily and quickly answer these questions. Let’s take a look: Continue reading

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It All Comes Down to Communication

Five story maps show how governments can increase awareness and inform the public on matters of resilience and sustainability.

“It all comes down to communication,” I thought to myself as I imbibed the words of mayors and other elected officials at the National League of Cities’ Resilient Cities Summit this past May.

For two days, I had the pleasure of listening to eighteen city mayors and executives express their desires for their cities to be more sustainable and resilient.  They also articulated their frustrations about the roadblocks that seemed to inevitably arise.  I came away with little desire to ever be an elected official (tough job!), but also with a strong desire to help them.  But how? Continue reading

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The Evolution of Esri’s MOOC Program, Part III

Looking into the Future                             

David DiBiase is Director of Esri’s Education Outreach team and former Director of the John A. Dutton e-Education Institute at Pennsylvania State University. I recently had the opportunity to chat with David about the importance of offering Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) as part of Esri’s well-established education program. In the third and final part of our discussion, David talks about the future of the MOOC program at Esri. [Read the first and second parts of our discussion.]

Baumann: What’s in the future for MOOCs at Esri?

DiBiase: Many students express excitement about the capabilities of ArcGIS Online, and appreciation to Esri for offering the course. Many are experienced ArcGIS users. Many others are new to Esri. The company is pleased with the response. We plan to offer Going Places with Spatial Analysis two or three times in 2015, depending on demand.

By summarizing data in different ways you can reveal patterns, answers questions and support further analysis.

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Carl Steinitz Honored for Excellence in Landscape Architecture Education

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) recently announced its 2015 honors recipients. The honors will be presented at the president’s dinner on November 9, held during the 2015 ASLA Annual Meeting & EXPO in Chicago. Among the honorees is Prof. Carl Steinitz, who will receive the Jot D. Carpenter Teaching Medal for significant and sustained excellence in landscape architecture education. I wanted to share some personal experiences and thoughts on Carl as an educator who had a profound impact on the direction of my life.

Prof. Carl Steinitz at the 2014 Geodesign Summit in Redlands, California.

I was a student of Carl Steinitz’s in 1968‐1969 at the Lab (later called the Laboratory for Computer Graphics and Spatial Analysis) in the Graduate School of Design (GSD) at Harvard. Continue reading

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