Lawrie Jordan Talks about the Weather—the Weather Track at Esri UC, That is

Talking about the weather used to be something we did when there was nothing else to talk about. Now, the weather IS the thing to talk about and for good reasons. Lawrie Jordan, Director of Imagery at Esri, tells us why and gives a sneak preview of weather in this year’s special “Weather in GIS 2014” Track, to be held on Tuesday, July 15, in the SDCC Ballroom 20D, from 1:30p – 5:15p.

Meet Lawrie Jordan and attend the Weather in GIS track at Esri UC.

Q: Why is there a focus on weather this year at Esri UC?
A: Weather and GIS are a natural fit. GIS users need useful, real-time information quickly in order to move beyond traditional mapping, and towards supporting dynamic operations and situation awareness.  Together, weather in Esri’s maps & apps provides multiple benefits to the GIS community, driving workflows for emergency response, public safety, asset management, insurance, utilities, infrastructure repair, dispatch, storm water, and more.

Q: What will the weather track offer?
A: The agenda is very rich, with several unique real-world weather use cases, and we’re especially looking forward to the AccuWeather keynote. The format will focus on a very interesting set of lightning talks (no pun intended) plus a “Story Map for Stormy Weather” session and a compelling panel discussion.

Q: What’s the significance of weather data for Esri users?
A: Weather is one of the most dynamic and important data streams that feeds a modern GIS. It also drives the world’s largest industry: agriculture. Weather can give us early warning indications to allow us to plan for severe events, protect lives and property, and to be more resilient in adapting to potential environmental changes.  We can look at droughts, storms, and floods to help predict crop yields. And, weather is used to assist insurance companies and policy holders to better manage assets and minimize risk.

Q: What’s your favorite type of weather?
A: I love the weather in Southern California. I’m from the deep South—Georgia—where there’s a lot of humidity. I really enjoy the weather here in Redlands, especially in Fall and Winter.  In Summer, the evenings are always delightfully cool – my favorite time to take a spin in a classic sports car.

Register for Esri UC today!

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Brian Cross is Listening… What can you tell him at Esri UC?

Q & A with Brian Cross

Brian Cross is Esri’s Director of Professional Services. Here, Brian talks about what Esri UC means to him, what it could mean for you, and why his role at Esri is a dream job.

Talk to Brian Cross, and hear his tech keynote, at Esri UC.

Q: What will you show at Esri UC?
A: I am going to show real demos of real work where Esri has partnered with our users to do interesting and powerful things. One of the coolest things about my job is that I get to be part of exciting projects all around the world. We have hand-picked some of these implementations, focusing on those that  are pushing the envelope and showing different ways people use the ArcGIS Platform, as well as different approaches to rolling out GIS capability.

Q: Can you tell us some of the users you will feature this year?
A: I’m not ready to pull the curtain back yet. I can tell you we are showcasing the latest uses of Esri technology, things like 3D and real-time GIS and ArcGIS Online implementations. This should be interesting to users who are thinking about their own implementation patterns and how to make best use of the current technology.

Q: What does Esri UC mean to you?
A: Esri UC is the time of the year where everything is real. It’s where we get to have human engagement with so many people who use our technology all year long, and to see our users get to spend time talking to each other. It’s really inspiring and very energizing to see everything we are all doing as a community.

Q: What do you want from users at Esri UC?
A: I want to hear the good things, and the bad things—whatever we can do to be better.

Q: What’s your advice for Esri UC attendees?
A: Put yourself out there and meet people. It might seem cliché, but it’s all about relationships and sharing. What’s working for you? What’s not? This is why we have the Esri UC. The conference is also about the moments you get to connect with people. I really enjoy the social dynamic in the evenings. Meet people and learn their story and why they are in San Diego. Pretty much everyone there—from recent college graduates to senior executives—is there to interact spontaneously.

Q: Rumor has it this is your dream job. Can you tell us why?
A: I have been with Esri for 15 years. In college I studied geology and spatial concept, but didn’t get hands on with GIS technology. Then I heard about Esri—a company that combines software and maps—and that they needed people with leadership and management skills. When I got here I realized I was surrounded by colleagues and our users who share a passion for maps; “map geeks” like me!  So yes, for me, this job is a dream combination of all these elements.

Registration for Esri UC is open!

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Esri 30/30: Malaria Analysis in Sierra Leone

Today’s Story: Geospatial Analysis of Malaria Indicator Survey Data in Sierra Leone

Today we travel to West Africa where Catholic Relief Services and Johns Hopkins University conducted a study to assess prevalence, prevention, and control efforts of malaria in Sierra Leone.

Learn about GIS for fighting malaria at Esri UC.

At Esri UC, you will hear from how the team gathered data using mobile devices, then used ArcGIS Online to visualize the data. They used point density tools and choropleths to compare prevalence of malaria, preventative approaches, and access to health facilities across the country. With that information at hand, and easy to share, the team was able to demonstrate to stakeholders the effectiveness of preventative measures. This talk is part of the moderated paper session: GIS for Developing Healthy Societies and Environments.

Hear from hundreds of GIS professionals at Esri UC. Register today!

To find sessions for your industry, click here.

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Esri 30/30: Using GIS to Solve History’s Mysteries

Today’s Story: Where did it really happen? Locating the first shot of the Philippine-American War

Today we go to Manila, 115 years ago, when a single gunshot marked the beginning of the Philippine-American War. Just where that gunshot actually took place is the subject of controversy.

By using historical maps, vector layers, and descriptive accounts, Ariel Blanco from the University of the Philippines was able to determine that the shot that started the Philippine-American War was fired on Sociego Street, rather than the San Juan bridge as previously believed.

Markers of the first shot of the Philippine-American War. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Learn about the forensic power of GIS and how it can be used to help model some of history’s most notorious events at Esri UC. Ariel’s talk is part of the moderated paper session: Using GIS for Determining Archaeological Locations.

Hear from hundreds of GIS professionals at Esri UC.

To find sessions for your industry, click here.

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Esri 30/30: Diving Deep in the Blautopfhöhle Cave of Germany

Today’s Story: ArcGIS Online for the Spelunking Community—Mapping Germany’s Blautopfhöhle

Hold your breath because today we’re diving into the water-filled Blautopfhöhle cave in Germany’s Swabian Alps. The cave entrance is concealed by sapphire-colored water and wasn’t discovered until the 1980s.

Above ground enterance to Blautopfhöhle cave system. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Since then, spelunkers and geologists have been exploring the underground river—or karst spring—that stretches a horizontal three-quarter mile distance before opening up into a vast, air-filled cave full of speleothem formations.

At Esri UC learn about how explorers Georg Dilk, Rainer Kettemann, and others mapped the cave by independently contributing data and maps to ArcGIS Online. The collaborative effort helped HFT-Stuttgart university reach a wider audience and integrate multimedia elements into the map for a more dynamic experience.

Learn about using ArcGIS Online for crowdsourcing at Esri UC. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Georg  and Rainer’s talk is part of the modified paper session ArcGIS Online: Successful Implementations.

Hear from hundreds of GIS professionals at Esri UC.

To find sessions for your industry, click here.

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Esri 30/30: Grow Food Anywhere! Urban Gardens through GIS

Today’s Story: Let’s Grow! Gardens in Parking Lots and Yards

Now we travel to Tacoma, Washington where the people of Hilltop Urban Gardens are busy finding the best locales for community gardens. They use 3D analysis to focus their community outreach and planting plan.

Learn about modeling urban gardens at Esri UC.

Hilltop Urban Gardens, a community-based urban agriculture, justice, and equity organization, is working toward food independence by developing a network of urban farms planted within parking strips and yards. Food produced is shared with participating members of the community.

At Esri UC, Tonya Kauhi of GeoEngineers, Inc., and Dean Jackson, of Hilltop Urban Gardens, will explain how their team used GIS to perform 3D volumetric shadow analysis that identified planting areas with six or more hours of sunlight during the planting and growing season. They used this information to help focus expansion and outreach efforts.

Hear from Tonya, Dean, and hundreds of other GIS professionals at Esri UC.

To find sessions for your industry, click here.

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Esri 30/30: Here Comes the Sun… 3D Roof Models for Solar Energy

Today’s Story: Modeling Solar Potential in 3D at USC

Today we travel to Los Angeles where people wear sunglasses and 3D glasses. Right now, we don’t need either. Instead, we are using 3D roof models to see how much of the sun’s energy can be harnessed on the glorious campus of USC.

Learn about solar potential modeling in 3D at Esri UC.

KyoHyouk Kim and Su Jin Lee of the Spatial Sciences Institute at the University of Southern California are studying the various factors that affect the final solar potential and the spatial resolution of the input. They built 3D roof models using Esri CityEngine. The team can create higher resolution models for building structures. They used detailed 3D roof models to estimate the solar potential on the USC campus and estimated suitable roof area for solar panel installment, expected electricity output, savings, and carbon savings.

Hear from the USC team at Esri UC in the session: 3D Analysis in GIS .

To find sessions for your industry, click here.

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Esri 30/30: Decoding Insurgent Attacks in Afghanistan

Today’s Story: Building a Model to Predict Surprise Insurgent Attacks

Today we travel to Afghanistan, where it can be daunting to predict insurgent attacks on US and UN troops. Enemy forces strike at random, and they use the rugged terrain and dense cityscapes to their advantage. But what if the frequency and locations of attacks could be analyzed and put into a GIS? Would it tell a story?

GIS helps map areas of potential insurgent attacks. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

At Esri UC, Marcus Carwell and Manoj Jha of Morgan State University will talk about their ongoing work to map insurgency in Afghanistan and Iraq. The team developed mathematical models, and heat maps to help predict the likelihood and location of attacks. With their findings, Marcus and Manoj were able produce maps with safer routes for the movement of US and UN troops. This talk is part of the moderated paper session: Risks Posed in Sharing Data and Using GIS for Crisis Prevention and Public Safety.

Learn about GIS for defense and crisis prevention at Esri UC.

To find sessions for your industry, click here.

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Esri 30/30: Water Main Break! Live the Scenario, Learn How to Respond

Today’s Story: Experience a Water Main Break

Today we imagine ourselves in San Diego—beautiful beaches, fabulous restaurants, temperate weather. Then suddenly, a major water main breaks! Streets flood with water. City officials force evacuations from hotels in the Gaslamp District.

Learn about emergency response for water main breaks and more at Esri UC.

Luckily, in this scenario, emergency responders are using the Esri location platform. Ops Center officers can quickly assess the extent of the flooding, reroute traffic, and establish a perimeter. They alert the public using a public information map and Twitter alerts. They even identify and execute alternative housing options for evacuees.

At Esri UC, you can live through this scenario and see how each step of the emergency response can be enacted using ArcGIS. Find it in the Demo Theater, OPS Center Theater, National Security Showcase Exhibit Hall D.

See this demo and many more at Esri UC.

To find sessions for your industry, click here.

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Esri 30/30: Crowdsourcing for Disaster Relief

Today’s Story: Disaster Relief Teams Use Tweets and Maps to Help People After Typhoon Yolanda

On November 8, 2013 the Philippines was ravaged by Typhoon Yolanda (also called Typhoon Haiyan), the strongest storm to ever make landfall. Over 6,000 people in the Philippines were killed by the storm. Tacloban City and Guiuan were among the areas hit the hardest. Widespread damage throughout the country affected vital services and infrastructure.

Without power, hospitals were unable to treat the wounded, road navigability issues disrupted aid efforts, and lack of access to clean drinking water posed significant health risks. To further complicate matters, aid workers didn’t have a full understanding of all of the locations needing aid and the kinds of aid needed.

Aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. Photo: International Transport Workers’ Federation via Flickr

One solution to this problem came in the form of combining tweets and maps. As a way to effectively communicate the need for aid in these areas, MicroMappers, a disaster response app developer, enlisted the help of digital humanitarian volunteers to sort, rate, and geocode tweets and images from the hurricane using the MicroMappers’ Clicker app.

Geocoded content was published to Esri Story Maps and shared online with humanitarian organizations and the media. Thanks to the digital volunteers, armed with the Clicker app, MicroMaps was able to organize a massive amount of social media data and display it in a visually intuitive story map that showed the severity of damage in any given area.

Learn how to make crowdsourced story maps at Esri UC.

At Esri UC, Ji Lucas from MicroMappers will demonstrate how digital humanitarian volunteers converted raw social media data from disaster events into intelligent maps to help coordinate relief efforts. Ji’s talk, Using Microtasking to Crisis Map Social Media During Disasters, is part of the Public Safety Showcase Demo Theater on Thursday.

Hear from Ji and hundreds of other GIS professionals at Esri UC.

To find sessions for your industry, click here.

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