Category Archives: Industry Focus
World Diabetes Day, launched in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation, is observed every November 14 to raise global awareness of diabetes and the issues surrounding its treatment and prevention.
Geography can play an important role in diabetes awareness, prevention, and care coordination. In fact, geography is uniquely able to address the complexity of environmental and behavioral factors impacting the management of this chronic disease. In raising awareness of the issues surrounding diabetes and ways to combat it on World Diabetes Day, it is only natural to begin with understanding the geographic burden of this disease. Given the patterns and trends that a GIS can illuminate, the next steps involve assisting in identifying root causes, planning geographically targeted interventions, and engaging with patients and stakeholders.
By Christian Carlson
The presidential election is happening tomorrow and government workers are preparing for what is expected to be one of the biggest voter turnouts in history. To support large numbers of voters and increased scrutiny of voting operations, governments are turning to technology more than ever before. Advances in mobile, web, cloud infrastructure and mobility have combined to deliver new capabilities, new deployment patterns and, indirectly, the increased expectations today’s citizens have for government resources. When it comes to this year’s election, increased reliance on technology is evident in both social media outreach and applications designed to provide election-day voter support.
Location for Election Support and Transparency
The use of location as a fundamental element of elections support and transparency has been top of mind for me since the 2016 election season kicked into high gear – which now seems like forever ago. Fortunately, there is good news for governments taking advantage of GIS as they hustle to prepare for November 8.
The U.S. Federal Government is well underway to benefiting from the discounts that have been negotiated by GSA under FITARA by utilizing Esri. USDA, DOI, DHS, EPA, National Guard Bureau, DOT, and USAF have combined their purchasing power to reach the next threshold for FITARA discounts – level 1. This translates to a savings of 2% beginning in 2017 for any and all agencies who license Esri software under FITARA for an Enterprise License Agreement (ELA).
This may mean nothing to many of you – but it is significant to the tens of thousands of clients who license Esri software in the Federal government space. What is FITARA? It is the Federal Information Technology Reform Act (FITARA) which came into effect at the beginning of 2015 to help federal government agencies optimize the cost of IT ownership through better management. Since that time, Esri has been proud to participate and offer our customers government-wide savings based on the aggregate purchase for all Federal agencies.
The Federal agencies are also taking advantage of FITARA discounts beyond ELAs… on software and maintenance as well.
By Christian Carlson
On March 29-30, 2017 Esri will hold the fourth annual Public Sector CIO Summit in Redlands, California. The purpose of the summit is to bring together CIO’s from across world to discuss GIS, its capabilities and how location impacts government. The three previous summits have been very successful and resulted in information sharing, new insight, problem solving and new relationships. It has become an event that I look forward to each year and one that I know I will leave with a better understanding our government challenges and new friendships.
I’ll be upfront and tell you that organizing this event comes with a bit of anxiety. There is an abundance professional events that can be attended each year and I am sensitive to making sure that the events we do are high quality and deliver results that are beneficial. That said, we use our personal experience with CIO’s to drive the content and agenda.
I meet with literally 100’s of government IT leaders each year. I use these engagements to understand trends and information gaps that are common across the government IT landscape. The result is an understanding of the issues facing government CIO’s and how we can better support the community. Below are many of the common themes I hear from CIO’s across the country:
During CCIM Thrive, the annual commercial real estate event from the CCIM Institute, Helen Thompson from Esri and senior executives from CCIM’s top data providers will discuss emerging applications for data in the commercial real estate industry. Helen Thompson is responsible for global marketing strategies in the commercial business development team at Esri. She believes that we are entering a phase of business platforms and geographic understanding supported by Location as a Service (LaaS) which will change the way we think about Big Data and a whole lot more.
In anticipation for CCIM’s big data panel discussion on October 25th in Atlanta, we caught up with Helen to collect her thoughts on Esri’s role in big data, as it specifically relates to commercial real estate.
1. What’s one problem that your business solves for commercial real estate professionals?
Smart real estate investment relies on a combination of local and national market knowledge. Understanding market cycle and opportunity is critical and today the quality of decision making is directly related to the quality of your data and insights. Market data is everywhere and Esri make it easy to find it, blend indicators and understand the implications at national, regional and local levels.
Esri’s gold sponsorship at the 2016 IBM World of Watson kicks off Monday, October 24 with a new chapter in the 30+ year partnership. Esri’s collaborative offerings with IBM’s analytics solutions and services will be unveiled during booth demonstrations and presentations throughout the week.
Esri and IBM customers and developers can now take advantage of Esri data and geographic information systems (GIS) technology in the IBM SoftLayer cloud and from IBM Marketplace and Bluemix. To speed startup and productivity, oganizations of all kinds can also leverage Esri managed cloud services in SoftLayer ranging from jumpstart to fully managed support.
Esri also integrates Watson Analytics and Weather Company data with its leading geospatial technology, as well as its global data library of demographic and business data, resulting in an integrated services approach that drives customer success.
“This expansion of our three-decade long partnership with IBM creates solutions that further accelerate scalability and performance,” said SJ Camarata, director of corporate strategies at Esri. “Now, Esri’s global data library and innovative technology in areas such as spatial analytics, big data mapping, and 3D visualization support increased levels of understanding in cognitive IoT applications and workflows.”
By Scott Ball
Starting today Microsoft will be providing a public preview of a free, powerful, Esri-built mapping visual inside Microsoft Power BI. The new visual, ArcGIS Maps for Power BI, will provide a focused set of ArcGIS capabilities in both the cloud and desktop Power BI offerings. With ArcGIS Maps for Power BI you can do more with maps in your BI than ever before:
- Get your location data on the map in a snap using addresses, standard geographic boundaries (such as postal code, city, or state), or latitude and longitude values. Our industry leading geoenablement services have high accuracy and let you display your locations as points or boundaries (when possible).
- Get serious with map visualizations. Use the best map visualizations possible to make your case and tell your story.
- Make your maps easier to read with map themes such as heatmaps or clustering. In areas where you have many points on the map, aggregating the points helps you understand patterns at a glance.
- View your locations by size, color, or both. Visualize sales data by size while using color to show which sales rep owns the account to quickly identify the rock stars.
- Control the data classification used to display your points. You know your data, and you know how it should be displayed. Use common statistical classification methods such as natural breaks, equal interval, quantile, or standard deviation to show your data appropriately.
- Use reference layers to spatially analyze relationships in your data and complement your tabular analysis. A reference layer can help you understand what’s going on in the areas that are important to you. The boundaries of these areas can be used to select your Power BI data and filter the other charts and graphs in your reports and dashboards.
- Use a demographic reference map such as population growth, median household income, or median disposable income to identify interesting areas.
- Use community-submitted ArcGIS reference maps to go beyond the basic standard geographies offered in demographic reference maps. A world of community-shared maps is at your fingertips.
Putting remotely sensed image data to work
Imagery provides more than just plain pictures. Some sensors detect energy beyond what is humanly visible, allowing us to “see” across broad swaths of the electromagnetic spectrum. This enables scientists, geologists, farmers, botanists, and other specialists to examine conditions, events, and activities that would otherwise be hidden. The implications are profound and the applications are seemingly endless.
Expanding your point of view
Every day, the earth is directly imaged from scores of sensors in the sky and from orbit in space. Almost everything that happens is measured, monitored, photographed, and explored by thousands of imaging devices mounted on satellites, aircraft, drones, and robots. Much of this information ends up as imagery that is integrated into a large living, virtual GIS of the world, deployed on the web.
Some of these sensors see beyond what our eyes see, enabling us to view what’s not apparent. Multispectral imagery measures and captures this information about a world that has many more dimensions than just the colors of the rainbow—it sees past the limits of what our eyes perceive.
by Jyotika I. Virmani, Senior Director of Energy and Environment for XPRIZE and Dawn Wright, Esri Chief Scientist
Over 60% of the Earth’s surface has not yet been mapped. The ocean covers 70% of our planet’s landmass, and of that, less than 15% of the sea floor has been mapped at a resolution greater than 5 km. In fact, we have higher resolution maps of the entire surface of the Moon, Venus, and Mars than we do of our own Earth. But this situation can be changed. We are in the midst of a Technological Revolution and with the advent of exponential technologies such as 3D printing, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and Virtual Reality, we now have smaller and cheaper tools and greater access to information.
Mapping the sea floor has, historically, been a challenge. Seawater is obviously opaque, which prevents us from using visible, remote surveying techniques to get maps of the sea floor. Seawater is a harsh and corrosive medium and, with a viscosity greater than air, it has additional engineering challenges such as high friction resulting in rapid power drain for any device that is used to map the bathymetry underwater. It is also expensive to access because the technology of today requires ships to sail to the area being mapped before the mapping technology is deployed. At an average cost of $60,000 a day, it can easily cost a few hundred thousand dollars before mapping can even begin.
The Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE, a 3-year competition launched last December, is incentivizing innovators to develop the autonomous underwater robots we need to map the sea floor at 5m or higher resolution and take high-definition images of the deep sea. Within this is a $1 million National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Bonus Prize, for teams who can develop an underwater tracking device that can autonomously track a biological or chemical to its source. The devices will be shore-based or aerial deployments, removing the massive costs associated with ships. The competition will conclude in December 2018 and, like all other XPRIZE competitions, there will be a number of technical solutions that emerge to provide underwater cartographers the tools they need to survey the sea floor.
Visitors to Esri often pause for pictures beside an ivy-covered wall emblazoned with the word GEOGRAPHY in raised metal letters. The inscription speaks to an ingrained belief that geography offers a unique framework for organizing the world’s knowledge in a way that fosters better decision-making and a more sustainable future. Consistent with this belief, the education outreach team I lead at Esri does what we can to nurture geographic thinking and methods across the spectrum of academic disciplines.
That’s a big job. Disciplines have proliferated since the advent of the modern university in the 19th and 20th centuries. Consider this concept map of contemporary academic disciplines. Few disciplines depicted explicitly recognize geography, let alone GIS, as an integral way of understanding the world. Given the longstanding claim that a science of geographic information undergirds GIS (Goodchild 1992), you might suppose that Information Science is one of the disciplines that’s likely to appreciate the special properties of spatial data. If so, you’d be surprised to find that there’s precious little “G” is IS.