Monthly Archives: June 2014
ArcGIS Online is remaking GIS. We already take for granted how easy it is to make maps about anything and share them with anyone. And it’s not just maps. Data is becoming a social product, too. Partly through crowdsourcing (as Joseph Kerski recently wrote about here), and partly through projects like ArcGIS Open Data that help organizations offer their data like ice cream from a truck on a hot day.
But if GIS were a polygon, it would be a triangle: its vertices are maps, data, and analysis. Many people assume all analysis still has to be done in ArcGIS for Desktop. And it’s true that when it comes to geoprocessing tools, ArcGIS for Desktop is like Home Depot—it has everything you could possibly need (although you don’t always find it right away). By comparison, ArcGIS Online is like a good neighborhood hardware store. The inventory is smaller but it’s carefully chosen and more than meets your everyday needs. Continue reading
Every issue from pollution to habitat to biodiversity and beyond has a geographic component, and thus can be studied in the field. Because the world is rapidly changing, and because large organizations have cut back on many of their field staffs, much of the critically needed field data can and should come from citizen scientists.
What is “citizen science”?
“Citizen science is scientific research conducted, in whole or in part, by amateur or nonprofessional scientists, often by crowdsourcing and crowdfunding.”
Consider the major environmental issues of our 21st Century world: Coastal erosion, air, soil, and water pollution, urbanization, desertification, habitat loss, invasive species, and Continue reading