Category Archives: Technology

Real-Time Dashboards: How Are They Used?

A vast amount of data is created every day from sensors and devices: GPS devices on vehicles, objects, and people; sensors monitoring the environment; live video feeds; speed sensors in roadways; social media feeds. What it means is that we have an emerging source of valuable data. It’s called “real-time” data. Only recently has the technology emerged to enable this real-time data to be incorporated into GIS applications.

The real-time GIS capabilities of the ArcGIS platform have transformed how information is utilized during any given situation. Real-time dashboards provide actionable views into the daily operations of organizations, empowering decision makers and stakeholders with the latest information they need to drive current and future ideas and strategies.

Dashboards answer questions like:

  • What’s happening right now?
  • Where is it happening?
  • Who is affected?
  • What assets are available?
  • Where are my people? Continue reading
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DIY Rapid Photo Survey of Entire Neighborhoods

Technology advances so quickly that it’s mind blowing sometimes. Look at the proliferation of drone technology, for example. In mid 2015, Amazon formally asked the FAA for permission to test their commercial drones for use in delivery of packages in 30 minutes or less. Personally, I don’t think I’d mind having my veggie burrito delivered by a friendly drone. Just kidding. Kind of.

For sure, there are real societal concerns that have to be addressed when any new technology is introduced. Issues of privacy, safety, security, and even social equity come to mind. The recent incident of hobbyist drones shutting down airspace above forest fires, resulting in the stopping of aerial bombardments of fire retardants, is a good case in point.

Navigating these issues will be tough, but soon enough, laws and regulations will catch up with the new technology, and then, the proliferation and use of UAV’s will skyrocket, just like GPS did. There are lots of positives to be gained in the planning discipline when this happens. For example, planners should be able to use UAV’s to rapidly conduct condition assessments of neighborhoods and inventory assets, just like people are already doing for ranches, wetlands, natural areas, and mining operations now. Continue reading

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Location Analysis in IoT and Big Data Telematics

You cannot go to a technology conference these days without hearing about the Internet of Things (IoT).  The consensus is that sensors and information technology will soon be all around us, impacting our daily lives to bring us awareness, efficiency, and safety.

We are already experiencing this change via rapidly growing use of smart technology: smart watches, smart refrigerators, and smart buttons on appliances.


Where Is the Smart Vehicle?

It is difficult to find a phone that is not a smartphone. On the other hand, it is next to impossible to buy an affordable car that is truly a smart vehicle.  Innovative manufacturers such as Tesla, Faraday, and Google are the frontrunners when it comes to information technology implementation, while many of the traditional car companies are still in the slow lane.

Telematics information from cars traveling in the Bay Area, California. The different colors show different speed, red being the fastest. Continue reading

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Living Atlas Resources for Earth Science Week and Beyond

Bioclimates in and around the Eastern Himalayas

It is Earth Science Week! Since October 1998, the American Geosciences Institute has organized this national and international event to help the public gain appreciation and understanding of Earth Sciences and to encourage stewardship of the Earth. We want to … Continue reading

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Building Better Civil Solutions with Agile Government

Modern technology has dramatically increased the pace of software application development. Within hours a single person can now conceive, create and distribute an app to millions of people. Thanks to the global internet, access and updating of these apps occurs automatically and constantly. Products can be prototyped, measured, improved and updated many times a day. A result of this rapid iteration is the increasing evolution rate and validation of product capabilities that minimizes time to market. Often referred to as “agile development” or lean, this process is a fundamental shift in how businesses achieve market adoption and customer satisfaction. By contrast, waterfall development historically meant long and disconnected cycles of requirements, design, development, testing and delivery that stretch interminably and often discover late in the process new opportunities or missing requirements. The cost of development and delivery time using waterfall processes can mean projects become “too big to fail” yet also fail to meet critical business and customer objectives. Continue reading

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Six Things that Modern Maps Do

From the dawn of humankind, man has sketched crude abstractions of geography on cave walls and rocks. These early maps documented and communicated important geographic knowledge our ancestors needed to survive.

Fast-forward to 2015. The world has become significantly more complex than it was for our early ancestors. But luckily we now have information technologies at our disposal to help us solve the increasingly complex problems. It’s a natural fit to apply these powerful information technologies to the serious environmental, geographic, and social problems we face. And thus the modern map was born.

Modern maps can be used to tell stories, and apps provide the user experience through which we work with maps and share them. Here are six things that modern maps do to help us address the complex problems we face today. Continue reading

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Putting GeoPlanner and ArcGIS Pro to Work

Create 2D planning scenarios in GeoPlanner and visualize them in 3D in ArcGIS Pro

These are exciting times for the city of Hartford, Connecticut. A new bus rapid transit (BRT) line, CTfastrak, has recently opened, connecting the city to several communities in central Connecticut. Furthermore, minor league baseball is coming to town, as the Hartford Yard Goats prepare for their debut in 2016. The city now faces the challenge of successfully integrating the upcoming sports entertainment development with the new BRT line in order to maximize the impact of both multi-million dollar projects.

As part of the ArcGIS platform, GeoPlanner for ArcGIS and ArcGIS Pro can help city decision-makers and planners understand and visualize the dynamics of urban infrastructure projects as well as help them optimize the impact of these projects. GeoPlanner and ArcGIS Pro offer new opportunities to incorporate GIS into planning and design practices. GeoPlanner allows you to create and assess multiple planning alternatives. ArcGIS Pro helps you understand these alternatives through 3D visualization. The ArcGIS Platform transfers changes between these applications. This enables uninterrupted workflows and helps to facilitate valuable insights. Continue reading

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Six Trending Topics in Web GIS

Analysis, 3D, Smart Mapping, and Other Trends Enable Us to Think About GIS Differently

The web continues to have an enormous impact on how we practice GIS and how we apply geospatial tools and capabilities to support our workflows and solve problems. It has fundamentally changed everything we do, and how we think. This trend has been evolving for years, but clearly has reached escape velocity and a new tipping point. No longer is the question “if” or “when” to embrace Web GIS, the question now is “how” to leverage the new opportunities and workflows it enables.

In an earlier post just after the 2015 Esri Federal GIS Conference, we covered the trending topics at that time. Here’s an update from the 2015 Esri User Conference, that focuses on how some of those trends have matured with new capabilities, and how a few new ones have arrived. Continue reading

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The ArcGIS Product: An Integrated System

If you were unable to attend the 2015 User Conference last week in San Diego, here is a summary of my plenary remarks about recent and coming improvements to the ArcGIS product. 

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ArcGIS is made up of a number of components: a server component, a desktop component, an apps component, and now a content component, an online component, and a portal component. That’s a lot of components, but in fact it’s all one integrated system.

Desktop

Desktop is the component of this integrated system that most of you work with and are familiar with. It supports mapping, visualization, and analytics, and it now embodies two main applications: ArcMap and ArcGIS Pro. These two applications run side by side.

We’ve been putting a lot of resources into ArcGIS Pro, the new 64-bit environment for visualization, over the last several years. We continue to improve and support ArcMap, and will continue to do so for long into the future. And over time, the power of ArcGIS Pro will become more attractive.

The desktop component of the ArcGIS product provides tools for mapping, visualization, editing, and analysis, and we are continually working to simplify and improve this environment.

Continue reading

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Creating Useful Technology and Supporting Our Users

During the plenary session of the 2015 User Conference last week in San Diego, I shared some of the big themes we are pursuing as we innovate the ArcGIS platform. For those of you who were unable to see the plenary, I’ll share some highlights of our work here. 

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ArcGIS is an integrated Web GIS that is supported by services. These are abstracted in a geoinformation model that’s managed by the portal, and then accessible by a number of apps, which are the growing part of this system.

ArcGIS is an integrated Web GIS platform providing mapping, analysis, data management, and collaboration capabilities both on the open Web and on-premises.

As we continue to grow and expand the ArcGIS platform, our focus is on creating useful technology and supporting our users. In our work pursuing this goal, a number of themes have emerged. Continue reading

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