Category Archives: Uncategorized

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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Using Open Data to Create Impact Maps

On April 27, a severe weather outbreak began impacting the central United States and Mississippi Valley. Strong winds, large hail, and numerous tornadoes were reported. In Arkansas, one particular tornado resulted in heavy damage and numerous casualties. Fatality and injury reports have not yet been confirmed at the time of writing, and the formal impact assessment is underway.


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Supporting the White House Climate Data Initiative

Yesterday the White House announced a Climate Data Initiative that encourages innovation from the private sector and the general public. It’s a call to use open government data on climate change risks and impacts in compelling and useful ways that help citizens, businesses, and communities make smart choices in the face of climate change.

At Esri, we agree that America stands at a critical juncture. We must tap into our innovation to cut the carbon pollution that causes climate change and affects public health. This includes efforts big and small. We need to increase clean, alternative fuels in our energy portfolio; develop more efficient vehicles; and design smarter cities that foster informed citizens willing to do their part. We need to encourage walkable communities with smart transit and easy recycling programs. Cities must look at all options available to them: updating building codes, adjusting the way they manage natural resources, investing in more resilient infrastructure, and planning for rapid recovery from damages when severe weather events occur. We must increase climate resilience to strengthen roads, bridges, and shorelines to better protect people’s homes, businesses, and way of life. Continue reading

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Roger Tomlinson, Geographer

It is with great sadness that I relay the sudden passing of our dear friend and colleague, Dr. Roger Tomlinson, on February 9, 2014, at the age of 80.

Roger was above all else a geographer and was always proud to say that. He loved GIS, the field that he invented, and was so pleased to come to Esri and help us in thinking through difficult problems. He had a passion for staying current with the most recent technologies and always had insights that none of the rest of us had. He also loved attending the annual Esri User Conference and the opportunity to both see and acknowledge the great work of GIS professionals from around the world. He always said that giving out the Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) Awards was his favorite day of the year. Continue reading

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Are We There Yet? Median US Household Income Recovering in 2013

“Are we there yet?”

Vacationing parents usually answer this familiar question with a resounding “No!” The inquiry also resonates with economists who agree that median household income in the United States is “not there yet.”

Median household income is nowhere near the pre-Great Recession figures. According to Esri’s Updated Demographics data, median household income was $53,150 in 2007. During calendar year 2008 (the first year after the start of the recession), median household income rose to $54,700. In the intervening years, median household income fell from $54,700 in 2009 to $54,442 in 2010, and dropped in 98 percent of US counties. In 2013, Esri’s Updated Demographics data notes that with a figure of $51,314, median household income is still in recovery, increasing by only $1,157 from $50,157 in 2012. Continue reading

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Making the Most of the ArcGIS Platform in Higher Education

Aaron Addison, Director of Data Services & GIS at Washington University in St. Louis, sent a provocative message to Esri’s “highered-l” listserv recently.  His subject line was “What to teach from ArcGIS platform?” “I have been involved with GIS instruction for over 20 years,” Aaron wrote, “and never have I been less clear where a newcomer to the field of GIS should concentrate their skills.”

It’s a good question, especially in light of the emerging centrality of ArcGIS Online as both GIS software-as-a service and a geospatial content management system. Here Esri’s Education Team responds with a vision of how today’s ArcGIS platform can be used to support introductory, intermediate, and advanced GIS education at the college level.

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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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A Look Inside the 2013 GIS Managers’ Open Summit

On Tuesday, July 9th, 2013, more than 130 GIS professionals came together in San Diego, California for the 4th annual GIS Managers’ Open Summit. The GIS Managers’ Open Summit is an “unconference“-style event designed to help GIS managers, business and technology strategists, and other decision makers attending the Esri User Conference to engage in conversations with their peers on topics that relate to business efficiencies, ROI, managing data, and much more.

The day opened with a brief motivational talk by the “father of GIS,” Roger Tomlinson, who emphasized the importance of the work that GIS managers do.  He was followed by Greg Babinski, president of URISA, who talked for a few minutes about the work that URISA is doing to establish a GIS Management Institute and develop a GIS Management Body of Knowledge. Continue reading

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Geodesign for a Sustainable Europe

With the rush to urbanize, how can historic landscapes and archaeological features be preserved to maintain a sense of place? How does society plan for an ever-increasing population while maintaining open space, rural character, and economic vitality? How do communities take full advantage of improvements in technology to design or retrofit spaces and create smart, sustainable cities of the future?

These are some of the questions that will be examined at Geodesign Summit Europe, which will be held in September on an ancient fortress island in the Netherlands.

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