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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Sharing Information to Support Smart Grid

I recently co-presented a session on GIS and the Smart Grid to a group of about 150 folks from the gas and electric utilities and the telecommunications businesses. We thought it might be interesting to have the groups come together since as more and more utilities implement Smart Grid (electric and gas), there will become greater interdependencies on one another. We further thought that this session would be a great opportunity for each company to tell us their current practices on sharing data, problems and issues. The premise was, of course, that since ArcGIS is a platform which facilitates sharing of information, that both groups could give us feedback on how best to facilitate collaboration. Much to our surprise, the groups do not have much collaboration at all. In fact, they hadn’t really considered it very seriously. When I probed them further, I asked, well how do you share information with each other? One utility guy, perhaps, half-jokingly said that he bought his friend from the phone company a beer and that’s when they shared information.

The biggest take away from this session was this: the discussion on this topic hasn’t really started. It should. Continue reading

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Story Map Commemorates Historic Flight

Wiley Post was an accomplished American aviator, and the first to fly a fixed-wing aircraft around the globe in 1931, setting a record time of 8 days, 15 hours, and 51 minutes. Interestingly, the first around the world flight was made by Hugo Eckener in 1921, piloting the Graf Zeppelin and taking 21 days.

In 1933 Post repeated his flight, this time flying solo, and breaking his previous record with a time of 7 days, 18 hours, and 49 minutes. His plane, the Winnie May, is now on display at Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.

You can learn more via an Esri story map that commemorates the 80th anniversary of Post’s feat by visiting the Smithsonian’s Air & Space website, or viewing the story map application.

Visit Storytelling with Maps to view more interesting story maps from Esri and the ArcGIS community.

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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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Esri and the Scientific Community

Updated: July 29, 2014

Current Projects | Other Initiatives | Staying Connected

At Esri we are concerned with supporting basic and applied science, but we also recognize that there are many major themes of compelling interest to society that will drive scientific research for the next two decades. And thus we view science as helping us to understand much more than solely how the Earth works, but how the Earth should look (e.g., by way of geodesign), and how we should look at the Earth (i.e., by way of Earth observation in varying forms and the accompanying data science issues of analysis, modeling, developing and documenting useful datasets for science, interoperating between these datasets and between various approaches). Continue reading

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Story Map Marks Gettysburg Sesquicentennial

Fought from July 1 to July 3, 1863, the Battle of Gettysburg marked a turning point in America’s Civil War. Fought in a small market town in Pennsylvania,  the battle involved about 164,000 men, and was the bloodiest of the war with over 51,000 casualties.

Marking next week’s sesquicentennial of the battle, a new Battle of Gettysburg Story Map has just been published. The story map represents a collaborative effort with Smithsonian, Anne Kelly Knowles of Middlebury College, Alex Tait of International Mapping, and Esri’s story maps team. It offers a new way to explore the Battle, and provides insights as to how elevation and visibility played an important role in its strategy and outcome.

The story map can be viewed on Smithsonian’s website and can also be opened as a standalone story map application. You can explore other story maps at Esri’s Storytelling with Maps website.

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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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Story Map Informs about World Refugee Day

refugee

World Refugee Day was established by the United Nations to honor the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homes under threat of persecution, conflict and violence. Each year on June 20th … Continue reading

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After the Storm

The outbreak of bad weather that has plagued the US over the past few weeks has created a significant need for access to location data and pre- and post-event map imagery.  I was recently on a call with a former colleague who was looking for the latest post-event imagery.  He described how imagery and other recently available features of ArcGIS Online, Esri’s cloud-based mapping platform, were having a significant impact on streamlining their claims workflow and efforts to effectively align field resources. Continue reading

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Understanding Our World with Landsat Data and ArcGIS

Landsat data from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) is one of the best sources for understanding and analyzing changes to our world that have occurred over the last 40 years. With the launch of Landsat 8 in February of this year, the continuity of the program is assured into at least the next decade. Esri continues to support making Landsat imagery and image processing part of our platform and has recently added more capabilities to ArcGIS that make it even easier to analyze and enhance Landsat data.

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