Category Archives: Uncategorized

Helpers in the Sustainable World Community

It’s easy to be discouraged these days. Every day, critical habitats are fragmented, communities are shattered by conflict, and essential natural resources are squandered. But remember what Mr. Rodgers said about bleak world news: “Look at the helpers.” Helpers are everywhere—especially in the Sustainable World Community (SWC). That community works tirelessly to fix the 17 major problems that threaten global sustainability.

In 2015, members of the United Nations (UN) committed to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity by agreeing to a ratified list of objectives called Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDGs include specific targets that can easily be hit within the next 15 years with the coordination of the SWC.

From Tuesday through Thursday at the 2017 Esri UC, members of the community will show exactly what they’re doing in the Sustainable World Community showcase. The showcase is an opportunity to prove that geospatial science is helping. We’re deeply committed to supporting organizations that use GIS as the launching point to fulfill the UN’s mission.

Despite their diversity, all 36 members of the SWC share a common goal to meet the challenges inherent in the SDGs. But because the Sustainable World Community consists of a wide spectrum of organizations that work across multiple topics, it’s good to know who does what for which goal. Goal 1, No Poverty, for instance, includes the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Participants working on goal 2, No Hunger include Catholic Relief Services and the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research. Organizations working toward goal 16, Peace and Justice Strong Institutions include Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Demining and Halo Trust. Of special importance are the organizations that provide subject matter expertise and guidance across many partner organizations. The organizations working on goal 17, Partnerships for the Goals include Development Gateway, International Joint Commission of the US and Canada, National Geographic Society, National Tribal Geospatial Support Center, Org Hunter, and URISA GISCorps.

Please join us at the Sustainable World Community Showcase during the Esri User Conference to see how our customers radiate help across the globe. Visit the Esri demonstration tower to meet the helpers and see The Science of Where in action.

For logistics and agenda, click the event flier. #esriswc

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The Science of Where for Sustainable Development Webinar Series

GIS integrates everything. In three words, this is what Clint Brown, Esri’s Director of Product Engineering, more eloquently explained in his article earlier this year where he outlined the value of using GIS as the platform to fulfill the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It provides a universal language that scientists, statisticians, policy makers, corporations, and citizens can all use and understand. This common framework is essential in order to address the many complex and interrelated challenges the world faces as they will require unprecedented cooperation across our global communities.

In order to elaborate on how GIS technology’s ability to integrate everything can be used to better understand, organize, and communicate information to maximize the impact of Sustainable Development efforts, we are presenting a webinar series outlining how you can apply the Science of Where to this work.

We will kick things off on June 29th with the first webinar focusing on “GIS Solutions for the Sustainable Development Goals”. Through real world examples, this webinar will provide an overview of how GIS can help plan effective programs that target the areas most in need, monitor and evaluate the performance of those resources and investments to maximize impact, and strengthen partnerships and collaboration with partners, beneficiaries, and stakeholders.

The remaining webinars in the series will dig deeper into each of these topics:

“Planning Effective Programs — Planning and Prioritizing Sustainable Development Investment/Activities” will present technologies and methodologies that can help focus activities for greater effect by optimizing staff and budgetary resources.

“Measuring Your Impact — Monitoring & Evaluation for Sustainable Development Programs” will look at ways to collect and analyze results data in order justify spending resources, secure future funding, and iterate and improve the way we operate.

Finally, “Strengthening Partnerships — Engaging Stakeholders and Beneficiaries” will explore the ways GIS tools and apps can help you increase your effectiveness in connecting with stakeholders.

In addition to showing off the latest technology, we have lined up a list of guest speakers who will be sharing their own stories of successes and lessons learned.

If you’d like more information visit our landing page for more information or better yet, register now to get the latest information regarding event times and guest speakers.

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Share Your Work for the Plenary

As the Esri User Conference fast approaches, I need your help to put the finishing touches on my plenary session slides. They’re fantastic, but from my discussions with many of you about your fabulous work, I get the sense there’s even more stunning maps and photographs out there yet to be shared. I want to promote your work in my opening address on the giant screen in the San Diego Convention Center.

Highlighting your work is almost sacred to me because it shows you’re actualizing The Science of Where. Screenshots of maps and apps that change organizations motivate me. Your work also lights a fire under the Esri community to replicate what you’ve created, apply it in different ways, and even scale it up into something bigger.

In that spirit, I invite you to submit up to three images or videos by June 6 for us to consider including in the presentation. You can upload your work using the new image submission website. We’re particularly interested in images, maps, or screenshots on the following topics:

  • Maps that help with decision making
  • Maps that support situational awareness
  • Maps that support collaboration
  • Maps that help understand a complex situation
  • Maps that tell a story—story maps
  • Maps that demonstrate the use of spatial analysis, modeling, and science
  • Real-time maps and operational dashboards
  • High-quality basemaps and cartographic displays
  • Maps that show the use of imagery analytics
  • 3D maps and visualization
  • Images that depict the use of portals, web maps, and apps
  • Screenshots, diagrams, or photos illustrating the people working with GIS, including in the field

Thanks to everyone who has contributed so far. To everyone else who intends to upload images and videos, thank you in advance.

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Digital Transition vs. Digital Transformation

Recently, my wife had heart surgery. It was the most amazing technological procedure imaginable. Talk about digital transformation. Robots, fiber optic cables, micro cameras, and digital imagery made it possible for surgeons to go inside her heart and make the necessary repairs. It was easy for me to imagine that the surgeon could have performed the operation at home, miles away from the hospital.  There was no cutting. She had no scars other than a couple of tiny pin holes.

My wife came through just fine. That was the good news. The bad news was that although the surgery itself was a miracle of modern technology, the work flow and procedures getting her in and out of the hospital were right out of the 20th century.

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Land Reform, Wolf’s Way

Mobile GIS for Enfranchisement and Economic Revival

Economists have a useful term for unregistered property: “dead capital.” Unlike the land registered in a formal legal system, unrecorded “assets” have no access to the wealth they represent. Many countries can expand the foundation of their economies by enfranchising their institutions and citizens using mobile GIS in the cloud. If they modernize their cadastres with apps that are connected to legal systems of record, their economies can ultimately access the capital needed to support business, government, and individuals.

Mobile GIS has the potential to reverse the historic crisis of unrecorded land and property in developing economies. By implementing low-cost, sustainable data collection methods, nations can migrate many tenants into the legal system in a short period of time. This will secure land holders’ basic land-holding rights to mortgage and sell their property. If done right, this can lead to nation-saving economic turnarounds.

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Why Location Strategy Matters for Utilities

We have a burglar who visits our house regularly. Unlike most burglars, he or she only steals small, mostly unimportant items. Aside from an occasional sock, the stolen goods are almost always tools that I use around the house. I know they are being stolen, since I always remember exactly where I have put a tool once I’m done using it. Then, when I go to use that tool again, it’s gone—stolen. It’s not the value of the tool that is important to me; it’s the time I waste looking everywhere in vain for it. The funny part is that the burglar always returns the stolen items (except for the unmatched sock). The interesting part is that he or she puts the items in a completely different location from where I leave them.

This same thing often happened at the utility company where I used to work. Our crews would carefully and precisely document the location of every piece of equipment that they installed. Yet during a power failure or a project, the equipment—like a transformer, a valve, or a switch—would be mysteriously stolen at some point and returned to a different location. And like my experience at home, the crews would waste precious time looking for the equipment that was supposed to be in one location but was somewhere else. This was especially frustrating in the case of underground cables. Someone apparently was digging up the cables and moving them sometimes 10 feet or more. And during a power failure, customers would have to wait longer for their power to be restored because of the utility’s lack of knowledge of where things were. Finally, this lack of precise location information created safety issues. This reminds me of the time that the burglar at my house returned my box knife. He or she placed it, with the blade exposed, into a box reserved for cleaning rags. I stuck my hand into the box and cut myself—all because of a lack of information about where.

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Fact – Maps Run Your Operations

2017 Esri Public Sector CIO Summit

Written by Mike Dyer, Business Development Lead

Where? This is perhaps the most common question in government. Where informs our decision-making. Where improves our operational efficiency and quality of service to citizens. Where also enhances civic engagement.

Governments of all sizes recognize the critical role that spatial data plays in developing smart communities. Most governments have had GIS implementations in place for years, but CIOs today are looking for the practical knowledge they need to modernize those implementations that help enable smarter government.

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Esri Receives Youth Environmental Science Award

At Esri’s 2017 Federal GIS Conference in Washington, D.C., Esri President Jack Dangermond received a small medal for having made a big difference, and two local organizations were very happy.

The Youth Environmental Science (“YES”) Award is given annually by Youth Learning as Citizen Environmental Scientists (“YLACES”), a non-profit organization that supports science education for youth. The award includes a $10,000 grant to an organization engaging youth as active citizen environmental scientists, and Esri chose the Jane Goodall Institute’s “Roots & Shoots” program.

The focus of YLACES is getting students engaged in inquiry-based, experiential science. “For 25 years, Esri has helped K12 students gather, analyze, interpret, and present data about the world, thereby equipping students to better learn science by doing science,” said YLACES president Dr. Dixon Butler. “Esri has made powerful tools available for free for educators around the world, from ArcVoyager to public ArcGIS Online, and provided training so teachers could do this. This commitment has made a difference.”

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Esri Offers Customers On-Demand Deployment and Managed Services in the Cloud at AWS re:Invent 2016

Esri participated in this year’s Amazon Web Services (AWS) re:Invent conference as a sponsor, and announced a new offering in the AWS Marketplace.

A member of the AWS Public Sector Partner (PSP) Program, Esri was recognized by Teresa Carlson VP of WWPS during her breakfast keynote on Wednesday morning and during their evening reception. The AWS Public Sector Partner (PSP) Program recognizes APN partners with solutions and experience in delivering government, education, and nonprofit customer mission around the world.

Esri’s Neil Tomlinson with Teresa Carlson, VP of World Wide Public Sector at Amazon

Esri also announced that customers can now deploy select ArcGIS license from Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace instantly, using a pay-per-use pricing model available through hourly or annual subscriptions. Automated software provisioning allows users to launch new projects, respond to emergency requirements, address spikes in usage, and respond seamlessly to business needs without being tied to restrictive enterprise licensing models.

“Esri is excited to join AWS Marketplace,” said Dean Angelides, head of international alliances and partners at Esri. “Flexible pay-as-you-go deployment models and service options make launching GIS in the cloud simple, unleashing the power of maps, geographic analytics, and comprehensive developer tools to users around the world.”

Developers and starts-ups require innovative, productive technologies to support high-growth businesses with limited capital. Using Esri software on AWS enables developers to share assets and build new applications that take advantage of a range of ready-to-use content with location and mapping services.

AWS re:Invent, 2016 takes place November 28-December 2 at the Venetian and the Mirage in Las Vegas.

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Esri Pledges to Help Boost Digital Skills in Europe

By Michael Gould and Frank Holsmuller

According to the European Commission, 100 million Europeans have never used the Internet, one third of all workers have insufficient digital skills, and there is a possibility that we may be have as many as 750,000 IT jobs that can’t be filled with trained workers by 2020.

To help combat these issues, today the Commission hosted the launch of the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition, a new flagship initiative bringing together multiple stakeholders and EU Member States committed to reducing the digital skills gaps in Europe.

Esri is proud to have formally pledged a GIS School Program to this initiative. The program will offer free access to the ArcGIS Online platform, especially for STEM education, and initially to 300 primary and secondary schools and vocational institutions in 10 EU member states by the end of 2017.

By giving students access to ArcGIS Online, they will be able to acquire digital skills such as:

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