John Nelson

John Nelson
I have way too much fun looking for ways to understand and present data visually, hopefully driving product strategy and engaging users. I work in the Content team at esri, pushing and pulling data in all sorts of absurd ways -and then talking about it. I also get to spend time with the Story Maps team, working on fun and useful user experiences. When I'm not doing those things, I'm chasing around toddlers and wrangling chickens, and generally getting into other ad-hoc adventures. Life is good.

Recent Posts

Starbucks vs Dunkin’ Donuts Mega Map Blast

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Data is just maps waiting to be made. And the making of maps is such a fun ride that often there are a bunch of really cool maps that we just blow right through in the map-making process. At the … Continue reading

Posted in Analysis & Geoprocessing, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, ArcMap, Cartographic Design, Geodata, Location Analytics, Mapping, Spatial Statistics, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Woodcut Bathymetry Maps

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Please do not read this blog post about how to create woodcut bathymetric maps. Here’s a close-up… You’re still reading?! Ok, I tried. So, this is an intricately machined woodcut map of oceanic bathymetry. Each 1,000 meter depth layer is … Continue reading

Posted in ArcGIS Pro, Cartographic Design, Geodata, Hydro, Mapping, Oceans & Maritime, Open Data, Telecommunications, Water Utilities | 3 Comments

Interesting and Absurd Uses of Digital Elevation Models

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At the 2017 Esri User Conference, Ken Field will dazzle you with an array of beautiful techniques and examples of Relief Representation. I’ll be there, too, as the peanut gallery, tossing in strange, maybe useful, sometimes ridiculous, examples of Digital … Continue reading

Posted in Analysis & Geoprocessing, ArcGIS Pro, ArcMap, Cartographic Design, Geodata, Hydro, Imagery, Mapping, Oceans & Maritime, Open Data, Sciences, Story Maps, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Esri User Conference Map How-to-a-palooza

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At this year’s Esri User Conference, there will be a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants-crazy-thematic-mapping-demo-fest session wherein the esteemed Dr. Kenneth Field and I trade barbs, quips, and mapping secrets. We’ll pool together some maps that we’ve made and take turns flying through how … Continue reading

Posted in ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, ArcMap, Cartographic Design, Geodata, Mapping, Story Maps, Uncategorized, Web | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Happy Maps

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World Happiness Report  Every year, the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network releases a measure of happiness for surveyed countries, then performs a statistical regression to estimate what factors might drive a sense of happiness up or down. It’s called the … Continue reading

Posted in Analysis & Geoprocessing, Apps, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, ArcMap, Cartographic Design, Geodata, Health, Mapping, Open Data, Story Maps, Uncategorized, Web | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Firefly basemap starter pack for ArcGIS Pro

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Visit this ArcGIS resource page to download an ArcGIS Pro project with all of the files and styles packaged up for a firefly basemap. Grab this firefly imagery set for point symbology. And this, alternate, warm-hue, set of symbols. Firefly? … Continue reading

Posted in ArcGIS Pro, Cartographic Design, Mapping, Story Maps | 2 Comments

Lights On & Lights Out

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Update: Here is an ArcGIS Pro project package that get get you going on creating a firefly basemap, like the one used here. This is a map showing where, in the past four years, nighttime lights have appeared, or been … Continue reading

Posted in Analysis & Geoprocessing, ArcGIS Pro, ArcMap, Cartographic Design, Electric & Gas, Geodata, Hydro, Imagery, Location Analytics, Mapping, National Government, Oceans & Maritime, Open Data, Petroleum, Public Safety, risk assessment, Sciences, Spatial Statistics, State Government, Story Maps, Transportation, Uncategorized, Web | Tagged | 11 Comments

The Weird World of a Cartographer’s Brain -and Basketball

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What we choose to watch on TV says a lot about who we are and what we’re into. Of course viewing preferences between different sports will have a strong regional pattern, but what about the more subtle difference of preferring the … Continue reading

Posted in Analysis & Geoprocessing, ArcGIS Pro, ArcMap, Cartographic Design, Geodata, Local Government, Mapping, Story Maps, Web | 2 Comments

How To Cascade

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Cascade is a new scrollytelling app from Esri’s Story Maps team. Story telling is an inherently intertwined aspect of cartography. Cascade lets you focus on the narrative of your story, enabling maps to be more than lonely overburdened information graphics … Continue reading

Posted in App Developers, Apps, ArcGIS Online, Cartographic Design, Local Government, State Government, Story Maps, Uncategorized, Web | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Beer vs Wine

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The beer/wine topic was a trap! To get us thinking about value-by-alpha. But now you’re here, and you might be like, well, I might as well read about value-by-alpha while I look at booze maps. {Would you like to read … Continue reading

Posted in Analysis & Geoprocessing, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, ArcMap, Cartographic Design, Geodata, Mapping, Story Maps, Web | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments