Monthly Archives: June 2017

Helpers in the Sustainable World Community

It’s easy to be discouraged these days. Every day, critical habitats are fragmented, communities are shattered by conflict, and essential natural resources are squandered. But remember what Mr. Rodgers said about bleak world news: “Look at the helpers.” Helpers are everywhere—especially in the Sustainable World Community (SWC). That community works tirelessly to fix the 17 major problems that threaten global sustainability.

In 2015, members of the United Nations (UN) committed to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity by agreeing to a ratified list of objectives called Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDGs include specific targets that can easily be hit within the next 15 years with the coordination of the SWC.

From Tuesday through Thursday at the 2017 Esri UC, members of the community will show exactly what they’re doing in the Sustainable World Community showcase. The showcase is an opportunity to prove that geospatial science is helping. We’re deeply committed to supporting organizations that use GIS as the launching point to fulfill the UN’s mission.

Despite their diversity, all 36 members of the SWC share a common goal to meet the challenges inherent in the SDGs. But because the Sustainable World Community consists of a wide spectrum of organizations that work across multiple topics, it’s good to know who does what for which goal. Goal 1, No Poverty, for instance, includes the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Participants working on goal 2, No Hunger include Catholic Relief Services and the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research. Organizations working toward goal 16, Peace and Justice Strong Institutions include Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Demining and Halo Trust. Of special importance are the organizations that provide subject matter expertise and guidance across many partner organizations. The organizations working on goal 17, Partnerships for the Goals include Development Gateway, International Joint Commission of the US and Canada, National Geographic Society, National Tribal Geospatial Support Center, Org Hunter, and URISA GISCorps.

Please join us at the Sustainable World Community Showcase during the Esri User Conference to see how our customers radiate help across the globe. Visit the Esri demonstration tower to meet the helpers and see The Science of Where in action.

For logistics and agenda, click the event flier. #esriswc

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The Science of Where for Sustainable Development Webinar Series

GIS integrates everything. In three words, this is what Clint Brown, Esri’s Director of Product Engineering, more eloquently explained in his article earlier this year where he outlined the value of using GIS as the platform to fulfill the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It provides a universal language that scientists, statisticians, policy makers, corporations, and citizens can all use and understand. This common framework is essential in order to address the many complex and interrelated challenges the world faces as they will require unprecedented cooperation across our global communities.

In order to elaborate on how GIS technology’s ability to integrate everything can be used to better understand, organize, and communicate information to maximize the impact of Sustainable Development efforts, we are presenting a webinar series outlining how you can apply the Science of Where to this work.

We will kick things off on June 29th with the first webinar focusing on “GIS Solutions for the Sustainable Development Goals”. Through real world examples, this webinar will provide an overview of how GIS can help plan effective programs that target the areas most in need, monitor and evaluate the performance of those resources and investments to maximize impact, and strengthen partnerships and collaboration with partners, beneficiaries, and stakeholders.

The remaining webinars in the series will dig deeper into each of these topics:

“Planning Effective Programs — Planning and Prioritizing Sustainable Development Investment/Activities” will present technologies and methodologies that can help focus activities for greater effect by optimizing staff and budgetary resources.

“Measuring Your Impact — Monitoring & Evaluation for Sustainable Development Programs” will look at ways to collect and analyze results data in order justify spending resources, secure future funding, and iterate and improve the way we operate.

Finally, “Strengthening Partnerships — Engaging Stakeholders and Beneficiaries” will explore the ways GIS tools and apps can help you increase your effectiveness in connecting with stakeholders.

In addition to showing off the latest technology, we have lined up a list of guest speakers who will be sharing their own stories of successes and lessons learned.

If you’d like more information visit our landing page for more information or better yet, register now to get the latest information regarding event times and guest speakers.

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Wish You Had an Easy Web App to Save Millions?

By Florian Brandi-Dohrn, AED-SICAD

Connecting renewables to the grid is a complex workflow and process for utilities. For instance, where does one place outlets for electric cars without endangering grid stability and energy provision security? Or, for a new residential area, how does one plan the new lines and connect them to the grid intelligently? These manual processes deserve a better way, especially in an era of continuous digitalization of our core processes. Thankfully, we developed the UT Smart Apps to solve just this challenge.

Some of the leading DSOs are using the UT Smart Apps. These JavaScript-based web clients running in the Esri Portal come in three modular flavors:

PLAN
The PLAN module allows you to create planning projects and scenarios. Design as many scenarios as you like and draw the grid for each scenario as you like. Add the load, or the generated energy at each end point, and use the CAD-like construction tools to be sure that each point is at the right location.

CALC
Second, the CALC module allows you to start a network calculation (e.g., a load flow) with one simple click. Most importantly, this network calculation runs directly on your precious, low-voltage GIS data. . Using the CALC module, you can simulate various planning scenarios. In addition, you can simulate switching scenarios in case you’d like to re-configure the grid due to new, planned assets.

EDIT
Finally, the EDIT module allows you to update the switch status. The correct switch status is an important aspect in the use of these Smart Apps, because the correct topology is a very important piece of information for the network calculation. For ease of use, many users have combined all this functionality into one convenient web app.

Why Use UT Smart Apps?

Those DSOs working with the UT Smart Apps cut down in the technical evaluation of new service points, new renewable plants, or simply electric outlets for cars. Some current users report getting 95% of their technical evaluations down from 15 hours to just 30 minutes. And of course, all technical evaluations are now properly documented, allowing for each decision to be backed up with a proper document detailing the load flow calculation that was run.

The UT Smart Apps save utilities millions of dollars per year, thanks to their dramatic reductions in time spent manually calculating the impact of grid connections. On average, the apps help planning engineers shave 15 hours off the assessment of new grid connections, especially for renewable sources.

AED-SICAD is partnering with Esri Platinum Partner SSP Innovations to implement the UT Smart Apps at U.S. utilities. Find AED-SICAD and SSP in the exhibitor hall at the 2017 Esri User Conference in San Diego, booths 927 and 926. Don’t hesitate to ask either of them about the UT Smart Apps in person.

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Share Your Work for the Plenary

As the Esri User Conference fast approaches, I need your help to put the finishing touches on my plenary session slides. They’re fantastic, but from my discussions with many of you about your fabulous work, I get the sense there’s even more stunning maps and photographs out there yet to be shared. I want to promote your work in my opening address on the giant screen in the San Diego Convention Center.

Highlighting your work is almost sacred to me because it shows you’re actualizing The Science of Where. Screenshots of maps and apps that change organizations motivate me. Your work also lights a fire under the Esri community to replicate what you’ve created, apply it in different ways, and even scale it up into something bigger.

In that spirit, I invite you to submit up to three images or videos by June 6 for us to consider including in the presentation. You can upload your work using the new image submission website. We’re particularly interested in images, maps, or screenshots on the following topics:

  • Maps that help with decision making
  • Maps that support situational awareness
  • Maps that support collaboration
  • Maps that help understand a complex situation
  • Maps that tell a story—story maps
  • Maps that demonstrate the use of spatial analysis, modeling, and science
  • Real-time maps and operational dashboards
  • High-quality basemaps and cartographic displays
  • Maps that show the use of imagery analytics
  • 3D maps and visualization
  • Images that depict the use of portals, web maps, and apps
  • Screenshots, diagrams, or photos illustrating the people working with GIS, including in the field

Thanks to everyone who has contributed so far. To everyone else who intends to upload images and videos, thank you in advance.

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