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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Benefitting from Change

The Esri Forestry GIS Conference held its third meeting at Esri headquarters in Redlands, California on May 14-16. Esri president Jack Dangermond launched the event by welcoming attendees, who represented land and timber companies, government organizations, and universities, and came from as far away as Guyana, Ireland, and South Africa. Continue reading

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A Living Atlas of the World

Atlases have long been used by people to help navigate and understand our world.  A traditional atlas consists of a collection of static maps portraying various aspects of geography, bound together in book form and updated with new information at long intervals.  The geography covered, in terms of both themes and extent, is set in stone for any given atlas, and the thematic information is typically created and authored by a select few authoritative sources.

These traditional atlases have served us well for many hundreds of years.  But today, the world is changing rapidly, and it’s difficult for traditional atlases to keep up with the pace of that change.  To help us keep pace with our evolving planet, our concept of what exactly constitutes an atlas must also evolve. Continue reading

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Retirement Hopes Fade for Many Americans

Playing on the beach with grandchildren, fishing in mountain streams, and perfecting golf scores…those are fading dreams of retirement for scores of older people in the US. Many have changed or postponed their retirement plans due to job losses, reduced home values, and decimated 401k assets. Some now believe they’ll never retire. Even more alarming is the lack of savings among those of retirement age. According to a survey conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), most workers questioned say they have virtually no savings or investments. And 37% of those surveyed think they will have to wait until after age 65 to retire.

When they can least afford it, many seniors are also carrying mortgages and credit card debt. Others have made loans to adult children that have not yet been repaid. AARP comments that 34% of older Americans have used credit cards for basic expenses such as mortgage payments, healthcare, groceries, and utilities. As a result, their average household credit card debt stands at approximately $8,248.

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The New Age of Real-Time GIS

GIS is a platform for understanding our world. In the past, the data that fueled GIS was typically created to represent the state of the geoscape at a specific moment in time (“historic” or “current”; or “future” to represent a future modeled state). While this data has proven valuable for countless GIS applications and analyses, even the “current” snapshot falls out of sync with the real world quickly. In today’s fast-paced, constantly changing world, the “current” snapshot is outdated almost as soon as it is created.

A number of new technologies are combining to enable the real time collection of data, and the sharing of that data in real time with GIS. The result is a dynamic platform which enables real time visualization, analysis, and understanding of our world. This is the new age of real-time GIS. Continue reading

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Esri DevSummit Photo Journal: Day Two

The Esri DevSummit fires up day two in Palm Springs. You can follow along on Twitter with the  #DevSummit tags or check out our Flickr photos throughout the week. Here’s a brief recap of the action from day two (March 26):

The man, the myth, the UX legend

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Esri Partner Conference and DevSummit Photo Journal: Day Two

The Esri Partner Conference is cruising into day two as the Esri DevSummit kicks off its first day in Palm Springs. You can follow along on Twitter with the #EsriEPC and #DevSummit tags or check out our Flickr photos throughout the week. Here’s a brief recap of the action from day two (March 25):

The ArcGIS 10.2 buzz has everyone all smiles as we head into day two.

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Esri Partner Conference Photo Journal: Day One

The Esri Partner Conference is off to a rocking start in Palm Springs. You can follow along on Twitter with the #EsriEPC tag or check out our Flickr photos throughout the week. Here’s a brief recap of the action from day one (March 24):

Esri president Jack Dangermond creates a moment of WOW as he presents the ArcGIS platform for the future.

Jack Dangermond, Esri

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Causality in Time and Space: Agent-Based Modeling for GIS Users

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

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