Monthly Archives: January 2012

Traveling Through Time with GIS

A “time machine” is a plot device frequently used in science fiction.  From H.G. Wells’ groundbreaking 1895 novel The Time Machine to Marty McFly’s use of a temporally-enabled DeLorean in Back to the Future, time travel has certainly captured our collective imagination.  But the science behind time travel is dubious at best.  And even though we can’t actually physically move backward or forward in time, we can at least experience some of the thrills—and benefits—of time travel through temporal analysis.

Geospatial professionals are well versed in visualization of spatial relationships and dependencies. But when looking for relationships and dependencies, examining proximity in time can be equally important. Pioneering environmental planner Ian McHarg put great emphasis on chronology, or the placing of geographic layers in chronological sequence to show relationships, dependencies, and causation through time.

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Big Data—A Banking Boom or Bust?

Location-based insight

Business data is growing at such a rate that many organizations can become overwhelmed by the big data problem. A recent McKinsey, IDC, and Department of Labor Statistics analysis [PDF] of data in business found that financial/securities organizations have 3.8 petabytes per firm—that’s more than 400 million gigabytes, or about 12.5 million iPads, per company! Banking comes in a distant second with 1.9 PB. This puts big data found in financial services companies into perspective since this is even greater than most communications and media companies’ average of 1.8 PB. Continue reading

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A 2012 Esri GIS Look Ahead

As one year ends and another begins, we’re often anticipating what the New Year will look like for members of the Esri community. Most of the road ahead is reasonably predictable. Esri is not revolutionary so much as it is an evolutionary company, evolving software and services in step with established trends in platforms, software, and related technologies. While that provides milepost predictability, there are still milestones looking forward. Here’s a summary look ahead and four key milestones that what we can expect during 2012.

The Release of ArcGIS 10.1

The release of ArcGIS 10.1 will be a major event this year, bringing to fruition themes of expanding online GIS, strengthening the server platform, adding key reinforcements to traditional GIS, expanding mobile capabilities, empowering developers, and more. Those might seem like the usual high-level list for any release, but looking behind the scenes this release promises to be more revolutionary than most, specifically in terms of online (read: cloud) capabilities that will evolve rapidly throughout the coming year.

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