Monthly Archives: March 2015
Geography can serve as a starting point for building strong, long-lasting relationships with communities.
“Our business is about building friendships and enduring relationships. The culture of our agency is merely a reflection of the work we do.”
—Larry Norris, CEO of Lewis Communications, Matthew Porter, Lewis Communications: “Putting People First,” Communication Arts, March/April 2015.
Have you ever been walking through your neighborhood and seen a geyser of water shooting up from a broken sprinkler head, or a fallen tree branch lying in the middle of the street, or a tagger’s graffiti scrawled across a bus stop shelter, and wondered how you could notify the right people to come and take care of it? It’s common that people lack the tools to facilitate community engagement.
Geography can serve as a starting point for building a community engagement strategy. And, GIS technology can provide you with the tools you need to accomplish it. Maps and spatial analytics form a sort of universal translator that allows us, as individuals, living and working in communities, to build strong, long-lasting relationships with other people in other communities simply by sharing geographic information. Continue reading
Many of the big issues the world is facing today are fundamentally tied to space and place—they are geographic issues. To grapple with these issues requires a population that can assess and use geographic information to make wise decisions—in short, a geoliterate population. Creating a geoliterate population requires cultivation in three essential areas: core content, geographic tools, and the geographic perspective.
Core content. While core content is important, it is often maligned, perhaps because it is often equated with memorization of facts for examinations. Geography’s core content is richer than mere facts—and much of it is systems thinking: ecosystems, and systems of climate, culture, watersheds, oceans, land use, governments, and many more. Core content focuses include learning about natural phenomena such as how ocean currents affect climate, and cultural phenomena, such as sense of place.
ArcGIS Online gives you everything you need to create interactive web maps and apps that you can share with anyone. With ready-to-use content, apps, and templates, you can be productive right away. From sharing your work with others to preventing accidental deletion of items and more, here are five helpful tips from Esri pros that will help you maximize your use of ArcGIS Online.
1. Get Your Story Map Noticed
You’ve worked hard to make a great Esri Story Map app. But now you want to make it easy for people, including Esri’s Story Map team, to find your work online.
Esri’s World Population Estimate, a new probability surface that estimates the location and count of people throughout the world, is now available in ArcGIS Online.
Esri has been producing a global population estimate in ArcGIS Online for several years. This data is in the form of point features with population counts and characteristics assigned to each point; and it is used behind the scenes in apps such as Business Analyst Online, Community Analyst, and Esri Maps Apps. That may sound simple, but those points are big data; with nearly a billion locations represented. The Geographic Data Enrichment tools depend on those points as the basis for describing the characteristics of local populations in countries lacking a census or countries that do not make detailed census data available.
Based on this earlier point data work, Esri released the World Population Estimate (WPE) in December 2014. WPE takes the form of a raster surface, which is far easier to make available in ArcGIS Online and use in analysis models than the previous point data. Continue reading
Have an idea for a cool app that showcases data visualization using the ArcGIS platform? Develop the app and enter it in the Esri Data Viz App Challenge, which was announced at the 2015 Esri Developer Summit.
The judges will be looking for visually stunning, interactive, and meaningful mapping applications that showcase the data visualization power of ArcGIS and tell a story. The top prize is $10,000 or the software equivalent. The competition closes at 5:00 p.m. (PDT) April 27, 2015.
Get all the details at esri.com.appchallenge.
Geosolutions are desperately needed to solve the world’s big problems, Esri president Jack Dangermond told 1,800 people at the 2015 Esri Developer Summit (DevSummit). Esri and the developer community can work cooperatively to build technology to tackle these issues, he said.
More creative developers are needed to forge solutions, Dangermond said, encouraging the audience to nurture new talent by being a mentor. “The interest we have is growing the next generation—we need more of you,” he said, opening the largest annual Esri developer event, which was held March 10-13 in Palm Springs, California.
To stay profitable and transform business, utilities must break with old habits.
There’s a well-known saying that goes, “Old habits die hard.” All my life, I’ve struggled to manage my weight. I’ve probably lost 1,000 pounds in my life, but the problem is I’ve gained 1,050 pounds. If I really wanted to lose weight permanently, I would kill off my old bad habits for good, not just suspend them for a while during the diet and then bring them back again as soon as I lose enough weight. To really transform yourself, old, negative habits must die.
Electric companies are going through huge change. Regulators insist on unbundling utility components: generation, transmission, distribution, and retail services. In the old days of vertical integration, electric companies could make money on the strength of their business diversity. Today that’s less so. And to make matters worse, energy delivery, transmission and distribution (T&D), faces lots of unknowns, including weather, theft, vandalism, terrorism, and public scrutiny.
Content, 3D, Story Maps, and Other Trends Offer New Opportunities to Re-imagine What’s Possible with GIS
The web has had an enormous impact on how we obtain information, connect with others, and work every day. Clearly GIS has also been transformed by the web—it’s enabling easier access, better workflows, and supporting diverse applications and new types of data, all leveraging flexible service-based architectures.
The web has also increased the value of GIS and the work we do as GIS professionals by making GIS pervasive and driving its importance to become an integral part of the decision making process. But the web has also added new challenges, creating not only demand, but also setting expectations and nudging us forward to consider what we do in new ways.
So what’s happening right now in web GIS? Here’s a few topics that are currently trending.
Movies come in many different genres, and data identifies the people who watch them.
Ever since the first grainy black and white images flickered silently across a screen, movies have fascinated Americans, and the love affair continues unabated today. The movie industry is a major contributor to the US economy. According to Statista, by the end of 2014, the movie industry generated $564 billion in sales in the US. Over the next four years, this figure will grow to $679 billion. PricewaterhouseCoopers says that by 2018, total revenue generated by US filmed entertainment will rise to $39.16 billion, from $31.12 billion.
Drama, comedy, romance, action, horror, or family movies—each category has devoted fans. Esri’s Market Potential and Tapestry Segmentation data was used to create this interactive map of the US by county that shows areas where movie fans are located along with basic demographics and their favorite genre. See where your county ranks for each category.
Parallels between the GIScience Community in the Early 1990s and the Current State of Data Science
I came of age in the early 1990s, as the technology driving geographic information systems (GIS) was beginning to successfully “handle” geospatial data at a range of scales and formats, and a wide array of information technology products emerged from an expanding GIS industry.
However, that small community struggled to reflect the diverse research efforts at play in understanding the deeper issues surrounding geospatial data, and the impediments to effective use of that data (see a GIS history timeline).
Deeper issues? Continue reading