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

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

Hacking a DEM Sunrise

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|This post can alternatively be read as a Cascade story map| You can wield the mighty mighty powers of the Digital Elevation Model (DEM) to create all sorts of practical, and impractical, or just fun, topographic effects. Why? Making interesting … Continue reading

Posted in 3D GIS, Analysis & Geoprocessing, ArcGIS Pro, Cartographic Design, Geodata, Imagery, Mapping, Sciences, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 13 Comments

Smooshing Layers Together for Normalized Maps

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If you orbit anywhere near GIS, you probably saw the seminal cultural comment on non-normalized mapping from the one and only Randall Munroe. If you are a cartographer, you probably took it to heart and gave it a gleeful barbaric … Continue reading

Posted in Analysis & Geoprocessing, ArcGIS Online, Cartographic Design, Geodata, Mapping, Story Maps, Uncategorized, Web | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Air Mile Index: Visualizing a Recruitment Footprint

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Soon, the people of these United States, along with interested multitudes worldwide, will find themselves in the throes of the second-ever college football playoff. Friends, family members, co-workers will find be pitted against one another in choosing their favorite. Geography … Continue reading

Posted in Analysis & Geoprocessing, ArcGIS Pro, Cartographic Design, Geodata, Mapping, Sciences, Spatial Statistics, Transportation, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Six Months of Drought in the American Southeast

Six months of drought in the American Southeast

Wildfires, which started in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the end of November, recently spread north into Gatlinburg, TN. Normally, prescribed burns, to reduce the forest understory’s accumulating fire fuel and maintain the natural cycle of fire in … Continue reading

Posted in Analysis & Geoprocessing, ArcGIS Pro, Cartographic Design, Geodata, Mapping, Public Safety, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

How To: Fake Plastic Maps

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Existential Introduction This post will show you how to make realistic-looking fake maps by faking realism over something real, in order to make it look realistically fake. Got it? Let’s do this! I’m a big fan of using transparency-laden color … Continue reading

Posted in ArcGIS Pro, Cartographic Design, Imagery, Mapping, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Bump-ified Imagery

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There are lots of really complex ways of blending calculated hillshade onto aerial imagery. But there’s also a really simple way! With the addition of transparency support in thematic color gradients in ArcGIS Pro, you can whip up a bit … Continue reading

Posted in ArcGIS Pro, Cartographic Design, Imagery | 10 Comments