Tag Archives: GIS
Finding a balance between consumers and companies when sharing geolocation information in the age of big data analytics.
Recently we returned from a retail conference where we highlighted to attendees the differences in perception and attitudes they have toward location data, depending on whether they are using it in their personal or professional lives.
This was the type of conference where those big-box and household-name retailers you see every day send their people in charge. They meet and discuss different ways to sort out the massive amounts of data they capture from today’s digital world. Their main purpose? Turn that data into hard results. Continue reading
Increase your customer base by putting actionable information into the hands of people that need it.
As we’ve already mentioned in our Managing GIS series, the expectations of mapping have changed for both executives and your customers—the consumers of geographic information. In a government agency, your customers are not just your colleagues, but also the public. As GIS professionals, we have to adjust to this changing landscape, and in doing so we are provided with new opportunities to make ourselves indispensable by showing the full value that GIS can actually bring to the organization. And one of the keys to doing this is to increase our customer base by exceeding their expectations.
Several years ago, I was in a meeting with a GIS manager and a CIO. The Community Planning Director interrupted the meeting briefly and asked the GIS manager for an updated map of foreclosures in the county. The GIS manager quickly agreed to do this, the director left, and our meeting continued. It was absolutely all I could do not to stop the director before he left and ask him one important question:
“Why do you need the map?” Continue reading
Interactive Maps Communicate Real-time Information to Plug the Holes
We have all heard the term safety net. It’s a system, a policy, a program, or device used to protect its owners just in case something bad happens. For example, people often refer to social security as a safety net for older people who don’t have a pension. The term comes to us from the circus, where large, roped nets are set up below trapeze artists. Without the nets, sweaty palms or small distractions could mean instant death. But with the net, they fall harmlessly and land with only a fright. However, most trapeze artists never want to fall. First of all, falling is a sign of failure. Second, when the term originated, the circus actors didn’t trust the integrity of the net, as circuses had and have notoriously bad maintenance. Safety nets have flaws. Trapeze artists know that. Some nets even have holes. Continue reading
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
GIS Responds to the Tough Questions
Electric utilities face a new world–one in which the infrastructure is aging along with the workers. The price of everything keeps going up. Customers want better and faster service, but some of them cannot pay their bills. Natural disasters seem to get nastier each year. Governments continue to dole out more and more regulations. The community wants better service, lower emissions, and fewer mishaps. It’s a political nightmare to raise rates. Plus, the new smart grid devices are smothering utility operators with data.
In short: utilities cannot continue to operate as they have been. Utilities need a better way to do business. GIS can help. Continue reading
To everyone who attended the 2013 Esri User Conference, I want to thank you for helping to make this year’s User Conference such a great success. For those who could not attend, let me take a few minutes to give you an overview of my opening remarks on Monday morning.
The theme of this year’s User Conference was “GIS: Transforming Our World.” When I first started looking into this magical word transformation, I found something really profound. It basically means change. Changing in two ways–physical change as well as the perception of what we see. And GIS has a lot of relevance to both of these kinds of change. Your work as GIS professionals is physically changing the world through all kinds of activities. But it’s also changing how we see things, and how we communicate them, which is driving changes in the way we understand and interact with our world. Continue reading
Story maps are very popular. They combine web maps, text, and rich media content to create compelling applications that inform, educate, entertain, and inspire people about a variety of topics. Many story maps can be lumped into the “fun” category–stories about personal journeys, vacations, adventures, and sightseeing across the globe. Here’s an example: Skiing the Haute Route: Touring from Chamonix, France to Zermatt, Switzerland:
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
Updated: October 26, 2014
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
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.