Category Archives: Technology

Ten Essential Steps for Story Map Success

“Everyone has a story to tell.
Harness the power of maps to tell yours.”

Story Maps are easy to author, but to craft a truly great one you’ll likely need to put in a little extra effort . Like playing a guitar, it’s easy to learn the F, C, G, and E chords and start strumming away. But if you’re looking to become a true virtuoso, then it will take some thought, study, prep, and even practice. Here are 10 steps for success you should consider to build awesome stories.

Continue reading

Posted in Storytelling with Maps, Technology | Tagged | Leave a comment

Esri’s Fourth Annual Public Sector CIO Summit

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:

Continue reading

Posted in Industry Focus, Managing GIS, Technology, Vision | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

GIS Technology Enables Many Uses for Open Data

The tremendous support for open data demonstrated by this President has brought innovation and engagement to government and has been so impactful on citizen engagement.  Esri, the global smart-mapping leader, has been in lock-step with the Administration on all of their Open Data initiatives.  The ease of use of GIS technology has enabled our users to harness the power of open data in such creative ways.  From the City of Fayetteville, North Carolina whose police department opened more than a 100 data sets to their community as a result of the Police Data Initiative,  to DHS announcing HIFLD Open, which provided public access to over 250 datsets to help better prepare for upcoming disasters, to NOAA publishing their National Water Model to answer a call put forth by the White House Water Summit, we are blown away each and every day when we see what our users in the GIS community are able to do with this data.

FEMA and POTUS with HIFLD Mobile Home Park Data on the Esri Map

Photo credit: Pete Souza, White House Photographer

Continue reading

Posted in Managing GIS, Technology | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Esri Brings Smart Mapping to IBM World of Watson 2016

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.”

Continue reading

Posted in Industry Focus, Technology, Vision | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Esri Announces ArcGIS for Server on the Microsoft Azure US Government Cloud

By Mike Quinn

Esri is excited to announce the availability of ArcGIS for Server on the Microsoft Azure US Government Cloud. ArcGIS for Server will allow users to deploy leading-edge GIS technology on Microsoft Azure virtual machines.

As the world’s leading enterprise mapping and spatial analytics platform, ArcGIS for Server provides a complete Web GIS environment for mapping and spatial analytics with ready-to-use maps and apps that can be shared and used by everyone in the organization.  ArcGIS for Server easily dovetails with other enterprise systems, including Microsoft Azure SQL and supports Azure security and compliance standards.  Mapping, analysis and geodata products can be readily used in apps for office and field workers, and for engaging and crowdsourcing communities.

Continue reading

Posted in Technology, Vision | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Imagery has so many uses

Show me my home! The human era of GIS begins          

Little more than a decade ago, seemingly the whole world snapped awake to the power of imagery of the earth from above. We began by exploring a continuous, multiscale image map of the world provided online by Google and other mapping companies. A combination of satellite and aerial photography, these pictures of Earth helped us to experience the power of imagery, and people everywhere began to experience some of what GIS practitioners already knew. We immediately zoomed in on our neighborhoods and saw locational contexts for where we reside in the world. This emerging capability allowed us to see our local communities and neighborhoods through a marvelous new microscope. Eventually, naturally, we focused beyond that first local exploration to see anywhere in the world. What resulted was a whole new way to experience and think about the world.

Initially, we zoomed in on our homes and explored our neighborhoods through this new lens. This experience transformed how people everywhere began to more fully understand their place in the world. We immediately visited other places that we knew about. Today, we continue by traveling to faraway places we want to visit. Aerial photos provide a new context from the sky and have forever changed our human perspective. This map tour visits selected areas in several communities where ultra-high-resolution imagery is available.

These simple pictures captured people’s imagination, providing whole new perspectives, and inspired new possibilities. Today, virtually anyone with Internet access can zero in on their own neighborhood to see their day-to-day world in entirely new ways. In addition, people everywhere truly appreciate the power of combining all kinds of map layers with imagery for a richer, more significant understanding.

Almost overnight, everyone with access to a computer became a GIS user.

A range of applications

By now, it’s apparent that imagery enables whole new perspectives and insights into your world and the issues you want to address. Imagery also has numerous advantages and capabilities.

Almost daily access to new information

Image collection is rapid and increasing. And access to imagery is increasingly becoming more responsive. Many satellites and sensors are already deployed with more coming all the time, collecting new data, adding to a continuous collection effort—a time series of observations about our planet. These image collections are enabling us to map, measure, and monitor virtually everything on or near the earth’s surface. All of us can quite rapidly gather much of the data that we need for our work. Imagery has become our primary method for exploration when we “travel” to other planets and beyond. We send probes into space and receive returns primarily in the form of imagery that provides a continuous time series of information observations. And it enables us to derive new information in many interesting ways.

Looking back in time

The use of aerial imagery is still relatively young. While imagery only began to be used in the twentieth century, it is easy to compare observations for existing points in time that reside in our imagery collections. In addition, we can overlay imagery with historical maps, enabling us to compare the past with the present.

Imagery data collections are becoming richer every day

Imagery is creating an explosion of discovery. Many imagery initiatives are repetitive and growing, expanding and adding to image databases for our areas of interest. ArcGIS is scaling out, enabling the management of increasingly large, dynamically growing earth observations. This points to the immediacy of imagery and its capacity for easy integration, enabling all kinds of new applications and opportunities for use—things like before-and-after views for disaster response, rapid exploitation of newly collected imagery, image interpretation and classification, and the ability to derive intelligence. Over time, many of these techniques will grow in interesting new ways, enabling deeper learning about our communities, the problems and issues we face, and how we can use GIS to address these.

Imagery enables powerful analytic capabilities

Imagery and its general raster format enable rich analysis using ArcGIS. And, in turn, these enable more meaningful insights and perspectives about the problems we want to address.


This post is excerpted from The ArcGIS Imagery Book: New View, New Vision. Imagery is suddenly a big deal, and those who are adept at finding it, analyzing it, and understanding what it actually means are going to be in demand in the years ahead. The purpose of this book is to help everyone from GIS professionals to app developers, and web designers to virtually anyone how to become smarter, more skillful, and more powerful appliers of image data. The book is available through and other booksellers, and is also available at for free.

Posted in Technology | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Esri and Partners Demonstrating ArcGIS and Industry Solutions at GITEX 2016

By Richard Budden

With over 150,000 participants, GITEX is the largest technology event in the Middle East, and the third largest in the world. People attend the week long show to learn about the latest innovations, network with experts and decision makers, and discover the latest technologies being applied to every industry you can think of.

Esri will be attending the event again this year, from 16th to 20th October at Dubai’s World Trade Centre. As well as demonstrating the latest ArcGIS platform developments, this year we’ll be bringing some of our key regional partners and startups with us, all of which are leveraging ArcGIS in new and exciting ways.

Continue reading

Posted in Technology | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

ArcGIS + Microsoft Power BI = More Bang for Your Buck

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.
Posted in Industry Focus, Technology | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Alaska Revealed

Exciting news from the Arctic! Version 2 of the Arctic DEM has been released. Topographic elevation of the Arctic can now be viewed and analyzed like never before. This release extends the detailed 2 meter Alaska elevation data with additional 2m data for Novaya Zemlya and Franz Josef Land, as well as preliminary 8 meter data for the entire Arctic.  Additional detailed 2 meter elevation data will be released in quarterly installments over 2017 until the arctic data is complete.  This is the result of a partnership between Esri, the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, the National Science Foundation, and the Polar Geospatial Center at the University of Minnesota.

In September 2016, the White House hosted an Arctic Ministerial meeting, with over 20 countries represented, where this data was showcased and new commitments on data provisions were sought.  The goal of the meeting and the function of the new data is to help people better understand, adapt to, and address the changing conditions in the Arctic.

The four key themes include:

  • Understanding Arctic-Science Challenges and their Regional and Global Implications.
  • Strengthening and Integrating Arctic Observations and Data Sharing.
  • Applying Expanded Scientific Understanding of the Arctic to Build Regional Resilience and Shape Global Responses.
  • Using Arctic Science as a Vehicle for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education and Citizen Empowerment.

Continue reading

Posted in Storytelling with Maps, Technology, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Multispectral Imagery in Action

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.

Nicaragua’s Momotombo Volcano awoke with an explosive eruption in December 2015. This false color image highlights hot areas, primarily the lava flow that extends to the northeast.

Continue reading

Posted in Industry Focus, Managing GIS, Technology | Tagged , , | Leave a comment