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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Denver Growing Smart with Spatial Technology

I’m here in Denver, Colorado for the New Partners for Smart Growth Conference (2/13-15/2014), a perfect location for an event that illustrates the importance of triple bottom line planning that addresses the environment, the economy, and the social sphere of culture, justice, and equity.

For more than ten years, Denver has been adding light rail and commuter rail to their transportation infrastructure to help reduce traffic and improve accessibility. In the last six years or so, a lot of work has been done to revitalize historic parts of downtown to increase its vibrancy and livability.  New shops and trendy restaurants have moved in; planters, trees, and artwork dot the streets; and in the summer, colorfully-painted upright pianos are randomly placed along the walking mall on 16th Street, with free bus rapid transit attracting the young and old to explore and maybe play a tune. 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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The Face of Our Earth: Esri’s New Partnership with GEOSS

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Last Update: July 31, 2014 In early January, we heard quite a bit about the polar vortex (not a new term, by the way) as North America struggled with some of the most frigid and dangerous temperatures seen in a … Continue reading

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The Geodesign-Biomimicry Connection

Jack Dangermond studied under Ian McHarg and Carl Steinitz, the combination of which took the manual overlay method of designing with nature from paper to the digital world using computers in 1969. His hope was that GIS would become a framework for modeling earth’s systems so they could be managed more sustainably. In 1995, Jack called GIS “the nervous system of the planet,” foreshadowing what I think GIS is on its way to becoming. Geodesign–an iterative design method that uses stakeholder input, geospatial modeling, impact simulations, and real-time feedback to facilitate holistic designs and smart decisions–is the natural evolution of that vision.

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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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The Climate Change-GIS Connection

Climate change and its effects are fundamentally geographic challenges that require a geographic approach, where we endeavor to understand the constraints a changing climate imposes upon the terrestrial and aquatic systems we depend.

Geography is a powerful multidimensional framework enabling scientists to explore data layers, discover emergent new patterns, and test alternative scenarios; so we can understand the risks, develop proactive adaptation strategies, and increase society’s long-term resilience to climate change through policy modification. Esri is committed to providing tools to accelerate the global community’s ability to access content, do analyses and share results. Continue reading

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Creating and Customizing a Story Map — From a Non-GISer

Our friends at GISi recently published a great post about how one of their non-GIS people created a story map. One of our writers had just created a Halloween-themed story map and we thought it would be interesting to learn more about his experience.

Guest Post by Robby Deming

As a writer, I never thought I would create a story map. I have some technical knowledge, but the artistry and rich functionality behind some of our story maps just seemed way out of my reach. After creating The Geography of Horror story map, I’m now proud to say that I couldn’t have been more wrong. Not only is it easy to create a story map, but it’s also relatively easy to put your own unique touch on one.

The Geography of Horror

The hardest part about creating this map? Collecting data on nearly 250 movies.

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Urban Planning and the DNA of the City

A city looks and feels the way it does because of human intention. Early civilizations built their settlements next to waterways, designing them to accommodate this resource accessibility and their own survival. During the beginning of the industrial revolution, cities were planned with ever-evolving rules ensuring that city streets were wide enough to accommodate the full turn of a horse and carriage. In this way, the values of the people were encoded into the very DNA of the city.

A complex built environment can be reduced to three basic elements: links along which travel can occur, nodes representing the intersections where two or more paths cross and public spaces form, and buildings where most human activities take place. The functionalities of place are all defined by rules and procedures, which make up the core design vocabulary of a place.  Procedural design techniques automatically generate urban designs through predefined rules which you can change as much as needed, providing room for limitless new design possibilities. Continue reading

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