Author Archives: Damian Spangrud

Damian Spangrud
Damian Spangrud is the Director of Solutions at Esri. The solution team builds apps, maps, and platform configurations that make it easier for users to use GIS across their organizations. In his 20+ years at Esri, he has focused on making the power of GIS understandable and often travels to speak with customers about the role of geography and GIS. Prior to his current role, Damian led the technical product management team as the ArcGIS Product Manager. Damian has an MSC in Earth Science from Montana State University and a BS in Geography from University of Colorado. Follow Damian on Twitter

Recent Posts

A Question of Scale, Resolution, and MMU

I often find myself explaining aspects of map scales to people trying to use maps.  They are interested in questions about how big something shown on the map is, or how far a distance measured on the map is, or the accuracy of features depicted on the map.  As the creators of the maps we must understand the nuances of maps, so that the people who use them can use them appropriately. After all, with great power comes great responsibility!

One of the areas that I find confuses people is map scales, resolution, and minimum mapping units (MMU). Continue reading

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Thematic Mapping with Hexagons

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.

Left: Population Density show with Counties. Right: Population Density shown with Hexagons.

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What are Platform Configurations?

New tools help fast-track implementation of your GIS platform

In my last post I mentioned “platform configurations” as something that Esri provides as part of our industry-specific ArcGIS Solutions. A few folks asked me to clarify what I meant by this.

As the ArcGIS platform continues to evolve, you increasingly do not always need to build your own tools and apps—rather, you can use tools that we provide and just configure them for your own use.  These configurations of the core platform are available as templates to help you to quickly be more successful. Continue reading

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Expanding Your Scope

Unlocking the Full Potential of GIS across Your Organization

Most of us using GIS take advantage of only a fraction of the capabilities, and over time we get comfortable in what we know and do.  While this allows us to improve our work and optimize our processes, it also limits our impact across the organization.  But expanding the scope of your GIS is a lot of work.  At least it used to be.

Enter ArcGIS Solutions.  Now you don’t need to dedicate significant resources and learn new areas from the ground up.  We are committed to providing you easy to use apps, maps, and platform configurations to base your work on.

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