Author Archives: Charlie Frye

Charlie Frye
Charlie Frye is the Chief Cartographer at Esri, manages the Cartographic Projects Group on the Content Team. He has worked at Esri in the Software Products since 1994.

Recent Posts

Updated Map Features Global Ecology in Unprecedented Detail

In 2014, the US Geological Survey (USGS) and Esri announced the publication of the most detailed global ecological land units(ELUs) map in the world. The ELUs are terrestrial ecosystems defined and modeled as unique combinations of bioclimate, landform, geology, and land cover.

In creating the original version, the team learned of the input data’s limitations and created a plan to improve the ELUs with updated input data in 2015. Today, Esri and USGS are pleased to announce the availability of an update to the global ecological land units (ELUs) map.

In particular, Esri created a new global landforms layer to address valid criticisms of the earlier version, which under-represented hills and over represented plains. Additionally, the new landforms dataset gained more classes, including tablelands. The new dataset is also more regionalized, or less fragmented than the earlier dataset, and therefore more intuitive.

Highlighted is a portion of the Kaibab Plateau on the north side of the Grand Canyon in the U.S. New landform classes such as tablelands were incorporated into the 2015 Ecological Land Units dataset. Click on the image to open the EcoExplorer App to learn more about Ecological Land Units where you live.

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Updated Population Dataset Sharpens Focus on the Human Footprint

We are pleased to announce a new edition of the World Population Estimated layer on ArcGIS Online. Like the 2013 edition, this layer estimates the global footprint of where people live, but with an improved methodology.

In addition, the 2015 edition includes a population density estimate in units of persons per square kilometer. This gives demographers and statisticians the same data expressed in units they use every day. Mapmakers can transform the density layer into other projected coordinate systems with minimal loss of data because the units are independent of the varying area of cells that result when not using an equal area projected coordinate system.

Population Density in around Zurich showing how geography affects where people can live such as alpine valleys, river valleys, and broad plains. Click the image to open an interactive map to explore the data.

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Living Atlas Resources for Earth Science Week and Beyond

Bioclimates in and around the Eastern Himalayas

It is Earth Science Week! Since October 1998, the American Geosciences Institute has organized this national and international event to help the public gain appreciation and understanding of Earth Sciences and to encourage stewardship of the Earth. We want to … Continue reading

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Map Gives New Insights into Global Population

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.

World Population Estimate map for Jakarta, Indonesia.

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

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