Americans Love Movies!

Movies come in many different genres, and data identifies the people who watch them.

Ever since the first grainy black and white images flickered silently across a screen, movies have fascinated Americans, and the love affair continues unabated today. The movie industry is a major contributor to the US economy. According to Statista, by the end of 2014, the movie industry generated $564 billion in sales in the US. Over the next four years, this figure will grow to $679 billion. PricewaterhouseCoopers says that by 2018, total revenue generated by US filmed entertainment will rise to $39.16 billion, from $31.12 billion.

Drama, comedy, romance, action, horror, or family movies—each category has devoted fans. Esri’s Market Potential and Tapestry Segmentation data was used to create this interactive map of the US by county that shows areas where movie fans are located along with basic demographics and their favorite genre. See where your county ranks for each category.

This interactive map of the US shows areas where movie fans are located along with basic demographics and their favorite genre.

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Have I Been a Data Scientist from the Start?

Parallels between the GIScience Community in the Early 1990s and the Current State of Data Science

I came of age in the early 1990s, as the technology driving geographic information systems (GIS) was beginning to successfully “handle” geospatial data at a range of scales and formats, and a wide array of information technology products emerged from an expanding GIS industry.

However, that small community struggled to reflect the diverse research efforts at play in understanding the deeper issues surrounding geospatial data, and the impediments to effective use of that data (see a GIS history timeline).

Deeper issues? Continue reading

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A Strong Core Leads to a Healthy Business

Using ArcGIS as a system of record can help retailers navigate the global marketplace successfully

The retail world is expanding. According to an International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), 70 percent of the retail chains around the world are opening new stores this year. It’s a global phenomenon that is coming at a time when consumer expectations and habits are evolving at an unprecedented fast pace.

What is driving this growth? The ability to understand microdemographics, changes in distribution channels, and the power of the web seem to be the catalysts that are ensuring growth across a large scale. Retailers no longer need to be entrenched in a local environment to understand their customer base, build up brand, and grow sales.  There has been no other time in history when a retailer could first open a store in San Francisco, a second in Sydney, and a third in Singapore in quick succession and expect to be successful.

By understanding where data comes from, anyone in a business can decipher knowledge quickly and make better decisions.

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Mastering Spatial Thinking through Web Mapping

Teaching spatial thinking concepts and their practical application through hands-on exploration prepares today’s students for tomorrow’s jobs. 

Spatial thinking is identifying, analyzing, and understanding the location, scale, patterns, and trends of the geographic and temporal relationships among data, phenomena, and issues.  Spatial thinking helps us better understand our world and solve the tough problems we face today.

Geo-technologies—which include geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, global positioning systems (GPS), and web mapping—are the way we apply spatial thinking concepts to our everyday lives.  In 2004, the US Department of Labor identified three rapidly growing fields for the 21st Century: Nanotechnology, biotechnology, and geo-technology. Teaching the concepts of spatial thinking and the use of geo-technologies to today’s students is important because it’s where the jobs are—and will continue to be in the future. Continue reading

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Web GIS and Esri’s Massive Global Library of Content

Esri is now curating an enormous and rapidly growing library of ready-to-use maps, imagery, and geo-referenced data for the entire world. This online collection of authoritative content, together with the new Web GIS pattern, is having a huge impact on the way people use GIS. 

GIS has a long history of successfully adapting to new technologies, applications, customer types, and business models. From mainframes to minicomputers, UNIX workstations to PCs, desktops to the enterprise to the cloud, each round of technical innovation has led to countless advantages for users of the technology. Every one of these changes has extended the reach of GIS by making it more accessible and usable by more people and for more applications.

Esri is curating a massive library of ready-to-use data for the entire world.

Today, Web GIS together with massive online content is creating a major transformation in the use and access of GIS with simpler tools and information architecture.  Some of the major initiatives that are enabling this transformation include: Continue reading

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Risk. Utility. And location.

GIS gives utilities a repeatable means of mitigating risk and minimizing surprises.

The probability that something bad will happen makes us think of our protectors: insurance companies. Insurance companies accumulate the combined risk of policyholders. Insurers lose money if bad things happen. They make money if bad things don’t happen.

Some say utilities are risk averse. It’s true that utilities historically are conservative. They avoid taking actions that could trigger unwanted consequences. The problem is, the cost of remaining conservative rises constantly. Given recent economic troubles, utilities must learn to avoid negative consequences while also avoiding overspending to do so. The situation gets worse when you consider utility infrastructure ages faster than many utilities can afford to replace. So as facilities enter disrepair, hazards abound. Reliability suffers.

What happens? Continue reading

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Data Drives Economic Development

Demographics, lifestyle, and spending data provide answers to the “Who, What, and How” questions that business owners need to ask.

When local Economic Development departments need to attract new businesses to fill empty sites, where do they start? The answer: Show ‘em some data!

Data about the types of people who live, work, and shop near a site is like gold to business owners, revealing incredibly valuable intelligence. To learn where a new site can be successful, business owners need answers to three basic questions about an area population:

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Before Time Runs Out: An Ocean of Information for Climate Resilience

Recent innovations in information, analyses, and science-policy linkages  can help guide the planet towards a more resilient future.

For many of us when we think about the ocean, it’s a situation of “out of sight, out of mind.” In our limited awareness of the ocean, we see only the surface and think only of vast expanses of lifeless water, not realizing all of the complexities at play.

In fact, the ocean provides over HALF of the oxygen that we breathe. It regulates ALL of our weather patterns, it feeds us, and it provides for our energy and economy.

The ocean is a champion at absorbing human-derived (anthropogenic) CO2. Around half of all carbon dioxide produced by humans since the industrial revolution has dissolved into the world’s oceans. Coastal habitats store five times more carbon than do inland tropical forests. This has all helped to slow global warming.

So in reality, the ocean is vital to all of us, no matter WHERE we live. Continue reading

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It’s a Fuel Eat Fuel World

Advanced location analytics assist gas utilities in the face of growing demand—and growing competition. 

Natural gas and electric distribution utilities compete to bring energy to homes and businesses for heating purposes. Today, these utilities continue a long-running battle to gain market share at the expense of each other. Stakes are high. Generally, the winner supplying energy for heating has some competitive advantage in supplying energy for hot water and cooking. But not necessarily.

At times, executives responsible for customer growth in natural gas distribution envy their peers in water and electric distribution. Virtually every household and business needs water and electricity for some purpose. That’s not the case for natural gas.

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Geography on the World Stage

The convergence of five global trends—geo-awareness, geo-enablement, geotechnologies, citizen science, and storytelling—has the potential to offer geography a world audience.

Five converging global trends may present geography with world attention that may be unprecedented in the history of the discipline. These include geo-awareness, geo-enablement, geotechnologies, citizen science, and storytelling. Each of these recent trends is transforming the audience for geography and how geography is taught, perceived, and used.

Issues central to geography are now part of the global consciousness. Everyday objects are rapidly becoming locatable, and thus able to be monitored and mapped. Many tools and data sets that were formerly used and examined only by geographers and other earth and environmental scientists are now in the hands of the general public. Citizens outside academia are becoming involved in contributing data to the scientific community. Multimedia and cloud-based GIS have greatly multiplied the attraction that maps have had for centuries to tell stories. Continue reading

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