Monthly Archives: April 2015
Why the Workbook Getting to Know Web GIS Is This Year’s Must Read for GIS Students
With an estimated three billion people using the Internet, it’s no wonder that GIS is rapidly moving onto the web. Web GIS is becoming more popular within government agencies, businesses, and other organizations around the world as public demand skyrockets for services that include maps.
That’s why learning web GIS is a must, especially for students who plan a career in geospatial technology. To teach them the fundamentals, Esri recently published Getting to Know Web GIS, a new how-to workbook that teaches, step by step, how to build and share web GIS apps quickly and easily using the Esri ArcGIS platform. The apps can be used in a browser on any type of device, from the desktop to a mobile phone.
Getting to Know Web GIS, written by Esri senior web GIS application developer Pinde Fu, is a follow-up to the popular 2010 book Web GIS: Principles and Applications, which Fu cowrote with professor Jiulin Sun from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. After getting schooled in the basic concepts of web GIS, readers were clamoring for help to build web apps.
Citizens become the environmental researchers and change agents for more ecologically healthy neighborhoods and communities.
“GIS—and in particular, participatory GIS—is about communities locating themselves, spatially, according to the environment that shapes their lives. Participatory GIS is also about how communities locate themselves socially within society and finding ways to equalize imbalances around who makes decisions that determine how neighborhoods are planned and resources are managed.”
—Kirstin Miller, Executive Director of Ecocity Builders
If you want to change the quality of life in your city, you have to get people involved. The good folks at Ecocity Builders refer to this effort as “empowering ordinary citizens to claim a stake in their city’s future.” And one of the ways they make this happen is through their Ecocitizen World Map Project. Continue reading
In an era where nearly everything moveable, measurable, and monitorable, location has become a crucial component of the Internet of Things.
The buzz about the Internet of Things (IoT) is everywhere. You know the IoT: the notion of an always-aware network of sensors found in interconnected devices. Typically these sensors capture identity, status, and other relevant information. But for what value? Having a sensor alerting you to a device-based problem is no good—unless you know where to send a repair person. If a sensor alerts you to your colleague in trouble, it would be nice to know where to send help.
Location is a crucial component of the IoT, and geography gives the IoT its actionable value. That’s why I get even more excited about another new buzz phrase: The Location of Things.
At Esri, we believe that geography is at the heart of a more resilient and sustainable future. Governments, industry leaders, academics, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) trust us to connect them with the analytic knowledge they need to make these critical decisions that shape the planet. Our technology enables organizations to create responsible and sustainable solutions to problems at local and global scales.
Celebrated annually since 1970, Earth Day events are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental conservation and protection. “The celebration of this day is important for Esri as an acknowledgement of our fragile planet, but also to recognize the work our staff and our users are doing to make the world a better place,” said Jack Dangermond, Esri founder and president. “Thank you for all you do.”
In honor of Earth Day, we invite you to take a few minutes to explore these five compelling interactive maps created using Esri’s story maps technology that detail how our planet is changing. Continue reading
For many Americans, the rise in student loan debt means slowing economic recovery, delaying lifestage changes, and even postponing retirement.
Usually considered an issue that impacts only recent college graduates, new studies find that student loan debt is growing among pre-retirees and even those who have already retired. The 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) notes that the rise in student loan debt is pervasive and affects nearly every age group. Families with education loans increased between 2010 and 2013, continuing the long-term trend of rising education debt. Forty-five percent of all American families have outstanding student loans, up from 33 percent in 2007. Between 2001 and 2013, education debt increased from 22.4 percent to 38.8 percent for young families—a household headed by someone younger than age 40.
How is this situation impacting the overall US economy?
Because of their student loans, many younger people are delaying home ownership, marriage, and having kids until their finances improve. Because most of this group aren’t establishing their own households now, growth of the broader economy remains sluggish. Many aren’t buying houses, or items such as furnishings, baby/children’s products, or home improvement/construction materials.
Enhancing internal and external collaboration with the ArcGIS platform.
In the novel You Can’t Go Home Again, mid-20th-century American author Thomas Wolfe fictionalizes his hometown. Wolfe’s main character gets into trouble, angering the townsfolk of his hometown. I can relate.
I grew up in a blue-collar city, where the main claim to fame was that at one time it was the most densely populated city in the United States. That meant packed houses and city streets. You could say that I grew up on the streets of this very crowed city. Shortly after marrying and having a child, my wife and I moved to the suburbs. Later, my career became running electric operations for the power company that covered my old home town.
About 15 years ago, my hometown City Council invited me as a special guest at the chamber. Residents packed the public session; I felt certain at least a few might have gone to high school with me.
The residents weren’t happy. I felt like Wolfe’s character. Continue reading
A collection of data, maps, and apps powered by ArcGIS Online is one broker’s not-so-secret key to success.
John Schultz is a commercial real estate broker in Baltimore, Maryland. With a drive to help retailers continually find their next location, John juggles a lot in any given day: site reviews, lease negotiations, market tours, and much more. And he works in multiple markets, with multiple clients. He’s also a strong family man who’s committed to making time for his wife and two kids.
How does he keep up? He works smart.
For more than 30 years, the annual Esri User Conference (Esri UC) has brought together thought leaders to share the latest innovations and applications in geographic information system (GIS) technology, which seems limited only by the imagination.
Interest in GIS has grown exponentially over the years, which, in turn, has attracted more and more people with varying backgrounds and expertise to the Esri UC. As a result, attendees began demanding coinciding events specific to their particular areas of interest. Esri’s mapping and statistics team will be staging two forums at the Esri UC this summer to meet the needs of users whose business is mapping and GIS data production. Continue reading
Empowering People with Spatial Analysis Tools
According to the MapAsheville website, “Priority Places is a free, interactive mapping tool provided by the City of Asheville to strengthen strategic economic development and planning activities. The mapping tool facilitates business siting, neighborhood renewal and real estate development by enabling the identification of optimal locations for activities.”
The website prompts users to select the criteria that matter most, weight each factor’s importance, and create a “priority map” based on the those choices as well as custom reports on a host of demographic data. It then uses weighted map overlay analysis to create heat maps of sites that best meet chosen criteria. Continue reading
Want to be “in” the cool club? Use hexagons to visualize your data.
Over the last few years we’ve seen more and more maps that use hexagons. They have become “cool”. Why is that? Well, hexagons and other regularly shaped features allow you to normalize geography for thematic mapping rather than be constrained to using irregular shaped polygons created from a political process (for example, county boundaries, census tracts, zip codes, etc.). And this is VERY useful because of the massive disparity in some of these shapes.
For instance, if you create a thematic map using US counties, the county where I live disproportionately stands out as it the largest county in the US and is 20,105 square miles (52,070 km2), or slightly larger than the states of New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, and Rhode Island combined. Using appropriately sized regularly spaced shapes helps solve this disparity of perception.