Author Archives: Andrew Turner

Andrew Turner
Andrew is the Director of the Esri R&D Center in Washington, DC. He and his team work on engineering innovative new web technology making GIS open and accessible to everyone. Andrew wrote the book on Neogeography, is a charter member of the OSGeo and OpenWeb foundations, has contributed to several open data standards, and other publications regarding geospatial business, community collaboration, feedback control system design, and even home automation. His education includes degrees in Aerospace Engineering and Computer Science. Follow Andrew on Twitter @ajturner or read his blog

Recent Posts

GIS Technology Enables Many Uses for Open Data

The tremendous support for open data demonstrated by this President has brought innovation and engagement to government and has been so impactful on citizen engagement.  Esri, the global smart-mapping leader, has been in lock-step with the Administration on all of their Open Data initiatives.  The ease of use of GIS technology has enabled our users to harness the power of open data in such creative ways.  From the City of Fayetteville, North Carolina whose police department opened more than a 100 data sets to their community as a result of the Police Data Initiative,  to DHS announcing HIFLD Open, which provided public access to over 250 datsets to help better prepare for upcoming disasters, to NOAA publishing their National Water Model to answer a call put forth by the White House Water Summit, we are blown away each and every day when we see what our users in the GIS community are able to do with this data.

FEMA and POTUS with HIFLD Mobile Home Park Data on the Esri Map

Photo credit: Pete Souza, White House Photographer

Continue reading

Posted in Managing GIS, Technology | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Open Data and GIS improve forest management

Congo_Forest_Atlas

Open Data and GIS improve forest management in the Congo Basin By Thomas Maschler and Asa Strong from World Resources Institute Open data enables citizens and communities around the world to engage in important societal and environmental issues. Besides stimulating … Continue reading

Posted in Community Development, Managing GIS | Leave a comment

Data Driven Citizenship

No one cares about a neighborhood more than the people who live there. People spend their days and evenings along the street, raise children, foster connections with neighbors, build businesses, grow gardens, bike, walk, and live. A few choose to engage with their civil organizations, advocating for positive change, or against negative impacts; they participate in civic meetings, and some even run for office in order to have a professional responsibility to their community. Our fundamental goal of democracy is to expand the engagement and active participation to every person.

Contemporaneously, the internet has provided a platform for immediate and global access to information and people. An increasing majority of people carry a web integrated, sensor laden, geolocated mobile computer that makes this access ubiquitous and pervasive. Whether merely reading or actively publishing information, we have an unprecedented ability to interact with both our physical and digital worlds in coordination – essentially integrating our neighborhoods with realtime and historical data about us and our communities.

One of the primary roles of government historically has been to gather resources in order to build physical infrastructure such as roads, parks, and buildings such that communities and commerce can grow and flourish. Increasingly, a new role is for government to provide a digital public infrastructure, one which supports access to information, in order to improve the efficiency of government operations as well as enable more meaningful decisions by constituents. More than just websites, new digital services are more responsive, scalable, and optimistically more effective in serving people’s needs. Combined with open data, information analysis tools, and online forums.

Cub Scout Joshua Perry prepares to collect sales information using Collector for ArcGIS.

Continue reading

Posted in Community Development | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

DHS HIFLD Open: Open Data for Economic Resiliency

HIFLD Open Data

Today at the FedGIS conference in Washington, DC, the US Department of Homeland Security announced that Homeland Security Infrastructure Program (HSIP) is now HIFLD Open. Security and Safeguarding In 2001, the United States was attacked in a coordinated effort at … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Building Better Civil Solutions with Agile Government

Modern technology has dramatically increased the pace of software application development. Within hours a single person can now conceive, create and distribute an app to millions of people. Thanks to the global internet, access and updating of these apps occurs automatically and constantly. Products can be prototyped, measured, improved and updated many times a day. A result of this rapid iteration is the increasing evolution rate and validation of product capabilities that minimizes time to market. Often referred to as “agile development” or lean, this process is a fundamental shift in how businesses achieve market adoption and customer satisfaction. By contrast, waterfall development historically meant long and disconnected cycles of requirements, design, development, testing and delivery that stretch interminably and often discover late in the process new opportunities or missing requirements. The cost of development and delivery time using waterfall processes can mean projects become “too big to fail” yet also fail to meet critical business and customer objectives. Continue reading

Posted in Industry Focus, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Making GIS a Part of the Open Web

GeoServices provide a common API across all of GIS for users and developers to easily access information.

Today is GIS Day, an annual celebration and sharing to our communities about the use of geospatial technology to understand, affect, and engage with our physical world. You can join any of hundreds of local events around the globe to meet local experts, developers, analysts, government staff, and engaged citizens to learn about how to access open data and spatial analysis tools that help you make sense of complex relationships.

Common Services

At the interface of GIS is a commonly overlooked, but incredibly powerful mechanism that makes it possible to uniformly access data regardless of the underlying technology or source of the data. It is this interface which allows for a smartphone application to work with web sites and desktop analysis tools—meaning that people can use the user experience that most fits their needs but they are working from the same common information system.

Continue reading

Posted in Technology | 4 Comments

Esri Open Source: A Year On and Growing

arctocat

Esri has several initiatives developing an open platform. A year ago, I blogged about our foray into consolidating our code and the GIS community to GitHub as our forum for sharing, and indeed actively working, on open-source code. At the time … Continue reading

Posted in Vision | 2 Comments