Category Archives: Managing GIS
By Matt Ball, Esri Writer
The Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities has transitioned from an analog to an entirely digital workflow to manage and maintain its water, storm water, and streetlight operations. While it’s hard for some office personnel to remember working with paper maps, some field personnel clearly recall their experiences.
Try riffling through paper on a cold snowy morning, looking for the right mapbook to locate a meter. If the meter was installed less than six months ago, it likely hasn’t made it into your book. If you do find the location in one book, you’ll need to grab another book for more detail.
The first book gives you the block and the side of the street, while the second measures the distance from the curb. Unfortunately, the meter you need to service isn’t showing up in the second book. Work needs to be done, so days can’t be wasted getting an updated map. It isn’t long before you exit the cozy cab of your truck and start digging.
Estimates place the crowds who are expected to turn out in the nation’s capital for the inauguration of Donald Trump at anywhere between 700,000 and 2 million, in addition to related events and protests. In order to help people stay informed, Esri and the District of Columbia Department of Transportation have created an interactive map using geographic information system (GIS) technology, combined with resources such as aerial high-resolution photos and street-level LIDAR imagery.
Users can access the map via any online browser or wireless device such as a smartphone or tablet, where they will be able to see important location information like addresses, street closures, transit stops, medical aid stations, and warming tents.
City Website Empowers Citizens and Businesses with Open Data and Apps
Long Beach, California, just launched a comprehensive data hub called DataLB, which makes the city’s data available to the public online. Using Esri’s geographic information system (GIS) platform, DataLB enables citizens, businesses, and academic institutions to use civic data to improve decision-making.
Since 2014, Long Beach mayor Robert Garcia has been committed to implementing Esri technology within the city to display data in maps and make information easily discoverable and shareable between departments over the web. DataLB extends these capabilities to the public with an easily accessible website that connects people with the civic initiatives that benefit them. For instance, in the case of Measure A, which invested $150 million in Long Beach infrastructure, parks, and public safety, the hub has made all the data on the initiative available via a public story map. This visual tool includes interactive maps showing where funds will be used for specific improvements. And BizMap, a new application, allows the public to look up and export business license information in Long Beach’s business improvement districts and areas.
“DataLB will make huge amounts of city data accessible to the public, staff, and anyone who is interested in learning about or improving our community,” said Garcia. “Long Beach is doing more than just making data public. We are actually making it easy for people to see data in maps and use the site and apps to track public works, open new businesses, and find other resources.”
As a public engagement tool, DataLB reveals city data that was previously only accessible to internal staff. The hub also contains apps specifically designed to enable citizen engagement. For instance, Long Beach is working on an initiative to gather data using Esri’s Survey123 for ArcGIS that may be used in a future information product in order for the hub to visualize the impact of homelessness in Long Beach. This will help public safety and welfare agencies better allocate resources.
By Frits van der Schaaf – Head of Business Development, Automotive
The National Safety Council estimated that in 2015, approximately 38,300 people were killed on U.S. roads and 4.4 million sustained injuries. These tragic statistics are compelling car makers to add connectivity to their safety designs. Their cars will connect to an ecosystem of cloud-based networks that share information to make drivers more aware of their environment and avoid accidents.
Equipped with sensors that create a 360 degree awareness field, a connected vehicle gathers road hazard data. A geographic information system (GIS) processes the real-time data and transforms it into useful information. Using live weather data and historical incident data, for instance, GIS can predict the risk of an accident occurring on a specific section of road when it is raining or when fog will make the road hard to see.
GIS will also play an important role in vehicle and infrastructure sensor systems that share real-time data with each other. While drivers are traveling down the road, their vehicles are “talking” with various roadside structures. A geofence around a school and elderly housing can alert a car’s system to tell the driver to slow down inside the zone. Car sensors detect treacherous potholes and report the locations to other drivers and the city. Roadside sensor systems can capture real-time data about highway traffic conditions in the lane ahead and automatically relay it to the car’s dashboard to forewarn the driver.
By Chris Nickola
For the past four years, Esri has been hosting one of my favorite events to attend each year, the Public Sector CIO Summit. The 2017 summit will take place March 29-30 at Esri’s headquarters in Redlands, CA and as the date approaches, I have been thinking of the reasons why it is one of my favorite events to attend. I can roll them up into three key reasons; focused information for a public sector CIO, shared experiences, and a great group of people to spend two days with.
There are many events every year that try to attract public sector CIOs, so the promise of focused information for this group is always key. The excitement for me is that ArcGIS is used within state agencies today, but in many cases there is much more they can do with the technology they have. Throughout the two days, there are discussions that help explain how CIO’s can maximize their technology to make better decisions, understand and gain efficiencies, and how to empower their state and agencies with a location platform.
I am pleased to share the lineup of oral talks and posters that will be presented this December at the 2016 American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting in San Francisco. Many know of AGU as among the world’s most well-respected Earth science scholarly organizations, and its annual fall meeting dwarfs our UC by over 10,000 attendees. AGU 2016 expects 24,000 attendees, making it the largest Earth and space science meeting in the world.
You’ll see in the list below of papers, posters and sessions that Esri is leading or contributing on a wide variety of interesting and important projects, many with our federal partners at NASA, NOAA, and the USGS, as well as several universities. This showcases how we are an organization that not only enables great understanding of the world with our products and services, but also performs good science, and contributes well as a member of the scientific community. In addition, we will have a 20′ x 20′ exhibit booth presence, #623 (led by Research & Sciences Industry Manager Drew Stephens) with messaging and demos on multidimensional scientific data and analysis, imagery, big data geoanalytics, The Living Atlas, ArcGIS Pro, Ecological Land Units, Ecological Marine Units, GeoPlanner, Insights, story maps, the web GIS pattern, our commitment to open/interoperable, and more.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) indicates that certain areas in the United States can see snow this year as early as August. Make sure your organization has a well-coordinated, smooth, winter season this year. Integrating GIS into your snow and ice control plan, allows you to effectively plan your response, execute operations, and share important information with your constituents.
Today, Wednesday, November 16th is GIS Day. Because of a quirk in class schedule, the Geography teachers at Yorktown High School in Arlington, Virginia, celebrated it Monday, November 14. Jennifer Shearin organized presentations from NGA and Esri for seven sections of AP Human Geography at YHS. Mike Cantwell, a GEOINT Officer at the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency gave 160 students an understanding of the importance of their mission. Humanitarian work in Haiti following Hurricane Matthew was showcased from http://nga.maps.arcgis.com/.
Curt Hammill and Brooke Rippy, from the Defense Team at Esri explained how the gift from Esri and Amazon to every school in America could help YHS. Brooke signed up all 160 students for ArcGIS Online accounts at www.arcgis.com. Brooke told the students how she found a job at Esri. “I was interested in Geology, Environmental Science, and Urban Planning, and realized at George Mason University that they all were joined by Geography. I’m excited to work at the company that invented GIS.”
Mike is reaching out to YHS as a part of NGA’s Partners in Education (PIE) program. He remarked, “The Human Geography students at Yorktown High School now have a better understanding of the NGA mission and how NGA uses ArcGIS to support our Intelligence Community and Department of Defense customers.”
The Tucson Police Department hosted its inaugural Data Sharing Event last weekend in support of the Department’s commitment to the White House Police Data Initiative. The event provided a collaborative, innovative, and fun approach to gathering and analyzing data from bicycle and pedestrian collisions, and it generated a robust discussion about distracted behavior. Members from the Tucson Department of Transportation, various Bicycle and Pedestrian Programs, the University of Arizona, civic and social organizations, and other volunteers all participated.
Participants gathered in groups and analyzed redacted reports on the collisions that were in paper format. Esri’s geoform application was to used capture the paper information and map it quickly. Attributes identified by reviewing the reports, injuries, and citations were all collected.
Our world faces complex challenges that are global in nature but also are increasingly affecting our everyday lives. These challenges occur at multiple scales, locations, time periods, and cross national boundaries. To grapple with these challenges requires robust tools and data sets, and people who can effectively use them. Every day, people are using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to make decisions that help people live healthier, safer lives on a more sustainable planet. How can someone learn about these tools and data sets, and the people who use them? One way is through GIS Day.
GIS Day (www.gisday.com) provides an international forum for users of GIS technology to demonstrate real-world applications that are making these positive differences in our society. This year, GIS Day falls on Wednesday, 16 November 2016. GIS Day is a fun and engaging way to celebrate the benefits that GIS provides, to learn more about GIS, to showcase the uses of GIS, and to connect with those in your community who are using GIS.