Category Archives: Storytelling with Maps
Maps rich with data analysis are used as a tool in many different ways to help users make better-informed decisions. Esri’s geographic information system (GIS) technology puts information in a geographic context. The element of place is one everyone is familiar with already, but to be engaging, a map needs to go beyond its function. This is why the aesthetics of mapping are so important to Dr. Kenneth Field, Esri senior cartographic product engineer. “There are reasons why people love historical maps,” said Field. “They’re pieces of art as well as well-designed technical products. A map that is well designed, where care has been taken as to the form as much as the function, is one of the reasons why people want to look at some maps over others.”
Field spent 20 years in the United Kingdom teaching cartography and GIS. For the past six years, he has been Esri’s resident mapmaker. “Usually they’re very experimental maps, because what I’m trying to do is push the software,” said Field. “That helps us internally, because it demonstrates all we can do, and it also pushes our users to reflect on what’s possible in an entirely Esri-focused workflow.”
His work at Esri has taken Field around the world to conferences on mapping, not only to demonstrate Esri’s capabilities but also to educate others about cartography using Esri’s GIS tools. One such conference, GeoCart, in New Zealand, allowed Field the opportunity to run a workshop on map design. His two-day preconference workshop has been such a successful part of the last three GeoCart conferences that the New Zealand Cartographic Society awarded him an honorary membership, making Field only the second person to receive this honor.
Dr. Field has also recently been honored by the British Cartographic Society, which gave him its top honor for an innovative map he presented at the society’s 2016 awards. The map illustrates the diversity in British football pitches (fields), showing the pitch dimensions and geographic orientations of 92 professional football clubs in England and Wales. Overlaying the centered and scaled aerial images of the pitches produced a spirographic pattern that was educational in showing how widely the pitches varied, and the information was unique in its presentation. “Purely by chance, the data created this beautiful kaleidoscopic image,” said Field. “I think the reason people liked it is that nobody had ever seen that kind of data handled and presented in that way before.”
January 15 marks the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. A national holiday since 1983, Martin Luther King Jr. Day honors the legacy of the Baptist minister who advanced the civil rights movement in America using nonviolent civil disobedience as a foundation. One of the core inequities that King sought to remedy was segregation. While much of segregation in the United States was state enforced, it was already significantly ingrained within culture and society, and the battles to undo its influences and effects had been raging for over half a century.
The Story Map, Mapping Segregation in Washington DC, shows the history of what was known as racially restrictive covenants in property deeds, which then expanded to neighborhood-wide petition covenants. These signed, legally binding, contractual agreements governing real estate deals, officially restricted the race of the signer. These agreements led to entire neighborhoods becoming effectively white-only zones where black and other minority buyers could not penetrate the market.
By Clint Brown – Director, Product Engineering, Esri
At Esri, we believe that geographic information system (GIS) technology provides a critical framework for understanding, communicating, and organizing information about our world. Underpinning our work at Esri is the belief that applied geographic science provides a powerful medium for understanding complex challenges and that, through the application of GIS, we can explore possible solutions. In light of this, we have been closely tracking the process of establishing the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), creating capabilities that will help create and monitor the SDG data indicators. We believe that Esri’s ArcGIS platform is highly relevant as an applied toolset to achieve the goals set forth in the 2030 Agenda.
This story map is about the use of GIS to support SDGs. Visit sdgs.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapJournal/index.html?appid=c921e7d2cfef4c8ab98b839e27eda74a.
A primary goal of GIS is to provide a framework for organizing and communicating the collective global knowledge about our world and the impact of human activities. GIS and maps are used in all fields across every nation, providing a universal language for communicating and sharing ideas and insight. They offer the unique capability of integrating many different kinds of data. GIS uses spatial location and digital map overlays to organize the content of our world. And overlays can be used to integrate information and analyze relationships among and between all SDG initiatives.
Florida presents unique challenges for the water industry. The groundwater is so close to the surface that I have often heard the phrase “Surface water is groundwater that you can see.” The karst geology adds to this problem. Everything is connected. This has caused great concern regarding water quality and the health of Florida’s rich ecosystems. You’ve probably guessed by now that these water quality concerns have created a diverse regulatory environment.
Image of downtown Orlando. Explore more in this storymap
In addition, water resources and water utilities face challenges surrounding construction, sea level rise, and data collection. Groundwater and tide conditions have to be considered before construction projects can begin. Sea level rise is causing flood inundation and salt water intrusion leading to corrosion. Remote locations, wetlands, sinkholes, and wildlife can make data collection difficult.
An Esri Story Map for the Holidays
In the United States, Santa Claus, the jolly bearer of gifts with a long white beard, has been around in the familiar form we know today since roughly the 1823 publication of the poem A Visit From St. Nicholas. Many others have contributed to Santa’s enduring myth in the U.S., including illustrator Thomas Nast, and writer L. Frank Baum of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz fame. By the mid-century, the popular image of Santa Claus was solidified enough in the American consciousness that even Coca-Cola® was using him for Christmas advertising campaigns.
St. Nicholas, the 4th century Greek patron saint of children who eventually took on the Anglo Saxon guise of Father Christmas, has evolved in a myriad of ways in different parts of the world. Even countries as far removed from Western cultural tradition as Japan have adopted and recreated their own versions of Jolly old Saint Nick. On this special Esri Story Map for the holiday season, see the different forms Santa Claus takes in various cultures mapped around the world.
In the United Kingdom, “Father Christmas,” who is very similar to the modern American Santa Claus, rides a white horse, or sometimes even a goat, instead of reindeer.
Today, December 18, the world celebrates International Migrants Day, an observance initiated by the General Assembly of United Nations to raise awareness of the large and increasing number of migrants in the world, and the unique issues they face. It is also an opportunity to recognize the contributions made by these millions of migrants to the economies of their host and home countries, and to promote respect for their basic human rights.
To mark this year’s International Migrants Day, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is calling on the international community to come together and remember the refugees and migrants who have lost their lives or have disappeared while trying to reach safe harbor after arduous journeys across seas and deserts.
IOM, in collaboration with Esri, has created Migration Flows – Europe Story Map, to give a comprehensive view of migrants’ paths and their unique struggles.
These days we could all use a little more understanding. As noted by Lord Anthony Giddens, former Director of the London School of Economics: “We live in the most interconnected world in history. Yet at the same time, the world is driven by conflicts, dislocations and uncertainties – an unsettling and disturbing mixture of huge opportunities and existential risks.” It is for this reason that the International Council for Science (ICSU), the International Social Science Council (ISSC) and International Council for Philosophy and Human Sciences (CIPSH) jointly established 2016 as the International Year of Global Understanding (IYGU).
The aim of IYGU has been to promote better understanding of how tangible, local actions can have truly global impacts in tackling such critical challenges as climate change, food security and migration. Although human actions have created these global challenges, human actions can also provide the best solutions. One of the founders and architects of the IYGU, Prof. Benno Werlen of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany explains: “We want to build bridges between global thinking and local action. Only when we truly understand the effects of our personal choices – for example in eating, drinking and producing – on the planet, can we make appropriate and effective changes.” Indeed, if individuals know what their day-to-day routines actually mean for the entire planet, they can take appropriate action.
So how can young people get involved? One great way is to enter the IYGU Story Maps Competition to tell their own stories of how local, everyday actions can help us all understand how to work together to solve the problems of our increasingly globalized world.
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.
An Infamous Day in U.S. History
This December 7th marks the 75th Anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. To commemorate this infamous day, Esri has put together a Story Map that shows a detailed, chronological account, complete with maps, historic photographs, and video.
An Infamous Day Story Map takes the viewer through exactly what happened on December 7, 1941, when the Imperial Japanese Navy launched a surprise attack on the United States Pacific Fleet base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. This culmination of international tensions between the United States and Japan over trade rights in East Asia would ultimately draw our country into the most destructive war in history.
Esri’s Story Map commemorating the 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor details the attack, its background, as well as its aftermath. After seizing American territories in the Pacific in response to an embargo on oil and other crucial military supplies, the Japanese launched a preemptive strike on the United States with the intention of crippling its naval power. The Imperial Japanese Navy’s surprise attack destroyed 169 planes, 19 ships, and rendered 2,403 casualties, with 1,178 wounded in only a few hours. Of the American casualties, 68 were civilians. As a result, the United States declared war against Japan, marking our entry into World War II.
See how the attack on Pearl Harbor unfolded, the brave response of the U.S. military, and the ways in which we’ve been commemorating this important event since: An Infamous Day Story Map and http://www.esri.com/products/maps-we-love/infamous-day.
Esri’s new Global Content Challenge contest, engaging students all over the world, is proud to announce the winners! With the power of Esri content at their disposal, students told their own compelling scientific stories using the Esri Story Map Journal app. Entrants used their own geographic analyses, visualizations, predictive models, and more to explore a variety of scientific themes.
The contest was open from August to November and Esri was happy to receive ~550 registrations from students in nearly 60 countries, with 70 actual submissions. A distinguished international panel of judges chose projects that best exemplified the spirit of the contest: unleashing the power of Esri’s Living Atlas of the World content.