Category Archives: Industry Focus
Leaders can leverage GIS to get a complete picture by viewing, mapping, sharing, analyzing, and acting on information about their community.
To get a clear view, community leaders must seek first to understand:
- What and where are the community’s needs?
- What is the status of available resources?
Smart communities are already getting a comprehensive view of needs and resources by using GIS and even incorporating realtime sensor data and 3D visualization. Citizens and businesses are using open data and increased governmental transparency to collaborate and drive innovation. When you can see the entire, community-wide landscape, it is much easier to identify gaps in service or areas that need to become more livable, sustainable, and resilient. That clear view can be seen from a GIS platform — a way to view, map, share, analyze, and act on information about the community. Continue reading
New advancements in technology and data collection can help communities successfully tackle challenges by working smarter instead of harder.
Demographic, economic, and other changes are presenting communities with unprecedented challenges and opportunities. And there are reasons to be hopeful. A combination of smart technology and smart people can drive the development of smart communities.
Change is a Constant
Demographic shifts and fiscal fluctuations impact communities around the globe, prompting community leaders to adapt by changing the way they think and operate. Continue reading
Maps help policy makers consider all aspects of issues and communicate their positions to fellow government leaders and citizens.
Policies reflect a nation’s identity—its values and ambitions. In our modern, interconnected world, understanding policy issues and making the right decisions are critical to creating a sustainable world. When it comes to issues like climate change, use of natural resources, energy, healthcare, and economic growth, policy makers need a way to see all of the factors at play and potential impacts. How will their decisions impact people today and 10 years from now? As leaders from all levels of government consider key issues, they are turning to GIS.
Unlike any other technology, GIS takes big data and makes it easy to understand. Maps can show where money is being spent—is it going to areas of greatest need or to well-heeled neighborhoods? Maps can show where resources are harvested and how that impacts surrounding lands. Maps helps policy makers consider all aspects of issues. Once they have a deep understanding of an issue and take a stance, maps help them communicate their position to fellow government leaders and citizens. Continue reading
Pop quiz! What’s the difference between a paper GIS and a digital GIS display?
“You can fold the paper plot, but you can’t fold the display.” That’s the most common answer. That’s also the problem.
Many people still view GIS displays as less convenient ways to see GIS plots. When I worked for a power company, we built special cabinets in the dispatch center just to hold our medium-voltage operating map sheets. That’s because we’d plotted our sheets on nonstandard sizes, so the standard file cabinets didn’t work. When we converted from our old, hand-drawn operating maps to GIS maps, we just plotted the new map sheets to look exactly like the old ones. And we plotted them on the same size paper as the old paper maps. Why? So they could fit in our custom file cabinets. If we could have recreated coffee stains on the GIS plots, we would have. Everything—the symbols, annotation, line weights, and of course plot sizes—were the same on the new as on the old map sheets.
Our underlying basemap grid was also a throwback to some arbitrary system from early in the previous century. Change it? Get out of town! Continue reading
How a start-up is helping big name brands cash in through spatial modeling and analytics.
Finding a successful retail site doesn’t require a crystal ball, but it does take the ability to clearly see and understand what your data is really telling you. And this is a whole lot simpler and easier when you couple GIS technology with real-world experience.
Shawn Hanna, Managing Partner of Retail Scientifics, knows this well. For thirteen years, he was responsible for advanced analytics at Petco, helping the company with real estate, market planning, marketing, and pricing, all using location intelligence.
When Petco moved the company’s analytics function to Texas from San Diego, California, Shawn and several others decided to venture out on their own. They opened up a consultancy that performs analytics projects for retailers broadly. The group focuses on modeling, forecasting accuracy, ad hoc analytics, and other data driven projects. Continue reading
Supply chain management was one of the factors that helped us out of the middle ages. Where would we be today without the tools and processes to manage the flow of goods and services or the ability to utilize specialist’s skills and resources far apart from another? Chances are, we’d still be raising our own food.
While I admit that I have days when I fantasize about this type of simplicity, I like my cushy life too much to give up on essentials like Starbucks coffee. Plus, my family would quickly starve if we had to rely on my farming skills. So, it is good that instead of farming and foraging, I work for a software company instead.
Today, the flow of goods in the world relies heavily on bits and bytes shared among the world’s computers. Each day, software and computers control billions of dollars-worth of goods traded between countries. These goods—anything from livestock and produce to mobile phones and coffee beans—travel from farms and assembly plants to stores by truck, rail, air, and ship. Supply chains link the world’s population tightly together; all our lives depend increasingly on timely and smooth operations and careful supply chain management.
In an era where nearly everything moveable, measurable, and monitorable, location has become a crucial component of the Internet of Things.
The buzz about the Internet of Things (IoT) is everywhere. You know the IoT: the notion of an always-aware network of sensors found in interconnected devices. Typically these sensors capture identity, status, and other relevant information. But for what value? Having a sensor alerting you to a device-based problem is no good—unless you know where to send a repair person. If a sensor alerts you to your colleague in trouble, it would be nice to know where to send help.
Location is a crucial component of the IoT, and geography gives the IoT its actionable value. That’s why I get even more excited about another new buzz phrase: The Location of Things.
Enhancing internal and external collaboration with the ArcGIS platform.
In the novel You Can’t Go Home Again, mid-20th-century American author Thomas Wolfe fictionalizes his hometown. Wolfe’s main character gets into trouble, angering the townsfolk of his hometown. I can relate.
I grew up in a blue-collar city, where the main claim to fame was that at one time it was the most densely populated city in the United States. That meant packed houses and city streets. You could say that I grew up on the streets of this very crowed city. Shortly after marrying and having a child, my wife and I moved to the suburbs. Later, my career became running electric operations for the power company that covered my old home town.
About 15 years ago, my hometown City Council invited me as a special guest at the chamber. Residents packed the public session; I felt certain at least a few might have gone to high school with me.
The residents weren’t happy. I felt like Wolfe’s character. Continue reading
A collection of data, maps, and apps powered by ArcGIS Online is one broker’s not-so-secret key to success.
John Schultz is a commercial real estate broker in Baltimore, Maryland. With a drive to help retailers continually find their next location, John juggles a lot in any given day: site reviews, lease negotiations, market tours, and much more. And he works in multiple markets, with multiple clients. He’s also a strong family man who’s committed to making time for his wife and two kids.
How does he keep up? He works smart.
For more than 30 years, the annual Esri User Conference (Esri UC) has brought together thought leaders to share the latest innovations and applications in geographic information system (GIS) technology, which seems limited only by the imagination.
Interest in GIS has grown exponentially over the years, which, in turn, has attracted more and more people with varying backgrounds and expertise to the Esri UC. As a result, attendees began demanding coinciding events specific to their particular areas of interest. Esri’s mapping and statistics team will be staging two forums at the Esri UC this summer to meet the needs of users whose business is mapping and GIS data production. Continue reading