Category Archives: Uncategorized
The mission of every GIS organization is to perform specific functions within its jurisdiction. Each of these departments, groups, or agencies is committed to building key authoritative data layers to support its work. This work includes the compilation of foundational data layers as well as standard basemap layers for their geographies and applications.
For such organizations—and they are myriad in local, regional, state, and national levels around the globe—this information has served as the basis for all of their comprehensive GIS applications. During the early days of GIS, the compilation of these data layers was one of the primary tasks of each organization. As this data was developed, GIS data developers were able to leverage their information resources in various kinds of GIS applications that extend their own work and help their constituents. Continue reading
Creating and Using Authoritative Geographic Data
ArcGIS Online is rapidly emerging as the platform of choice for the creation and dissemination of authoritative geographic data content. This post explains how this unique data ecosystem works, how to access that data, and how to contribute your own piece to the puzzle.
The Living Atlas
The Living Atlas of the World is a treasure trove of information, a dynamic collection of thousands of maps, data, imagery, tools, and apps produced by ArcGIS users worldwide (and by Esri and its partners). Think of it as the curated subset of ArcGIS Online as a whole, organized by the ArcGIS community. This deep and definitive catalog of information awaits you. And that’s the big idea of this chapter, that you can combine content from this repository with your own data to create powerful new maps and applications.
Have you ever wondered how to explain what GIS is all about to your family and friends? Are you wondering what in the world to give these same family and friends as gifts this Christmas? Well, here is one idea for your consideration.
The ArcGIS Book: 10 Big Ideas about Applying Geography to Your World is a publication from Esri Press that lets GIS professionals like you help loved ones understand the amazing work you do every day (and even lets them experience it firsthand!).
Available at your favorite online or brick-and-mortar bookseller, the full-color, handsome print edition looks great on a coffee table and invites interest and questions. Pick it up and browse, then go to a computer or tablet device and link to the free companion website to see the interactive examples come alive. For those who catch the GIS bug, there are even free ArcGIS trial software and real world tutorials to complete the ultimate GIS holiday immersion.
This year, give the gift of GIS.
Because imagery sees the earth in unique ways, this enables us to both view and analyze our world using multiple perspectives.
At the most basic level, imagery is simply pictures of the earth. Imagery can be immediate or taken across multiple time spans enabling us to measure and monitor change. Every image contains massive amounts of information and can be one of the most immediate ways to collect data.
When it’s integrated with GIS, imagery encompasses a broad collection of data about our world in the form of pictures from above—taken by satellites from space, aircraft flying over our cities, and collected by other sensors. Imagery represents the earth in digital pictures composed of millions of pixels. Satellite and aerial images are geo-referenced pictures that overlay focused areas of our planet. Continue reading
Beyond transparency and accountability, the ultimate goal of open government is to empower citizens by providing them with data in a meaningful context.
The principles of open government and transparency suggest public access to information and, subsequently, scrutiny. Public scrutiny ultimately leads to accountability. Transparency and accountability together empower a public audience to weigh in on issues that matter to them, and provide an opportunity to influence decisions and hold the people making those decisions accountable.
When it comes to opening up GIS data, transparency is often cited as being a key driving factor in making that data available. But simply providing downloads for data is not enough, and in the grand scope of openness is somewhat meaningless. Continue reading
An electricity manhole is a little room buried in the street or sidewalk and is where utility workers access electric cables, switches, and other dangerous stuff. (In the old days, the majority of workers were men, so the term “manhole” stuck.) When a cable fails, workers splice together new and old sections—inside these manholes. Workers enter the manhole through a round entry, usually covered by—you guessed it—a heavy manhole cover. Inside, manholes are hot, dangerous, and creepy. If a cable fails, it generates a lot of heat and sometimes fire. Any debris caught in the manhole will worsen the fire. And if things explode, those heavy manhole covers go flying.
To keep operations running smoothly, manholes should be inspected and cleaned of all debris. Continue reading
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
Over the past 25 years, the annual Esri Electric and Gas GIS Conference (EGGC) has become the largest annual geospatial event for utility professionals in the world. This year’s conference focuses on how utilities can employ the latest GIS technology … Continue reading
See Where People Spend the Most on Beer
Beer lovers from around the world are gathering in Munich, Germany to celebrate Oktoberfest. In 2014, close to six and a half million people attended the festival and consumed 6.9 million liters of beer–that’s a lot of lifted steins!
For those who can’t celebrate in Munich, there are plenty of opportunities to lift a stein in the US. Among the most popular festivals are Oktoberfest Zinzinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio that attracts more than 500,000 people, followed by the Denver Oktoberfest that attracts more than 350,000 people.
Thousands of German-Americans probably brought the traditions of Oktoberfest with them when they moved to the US. Germans have been immigrating in significant numbers to the U.S. since the 1680s, when they settled in New York and Pennsylvania. The US Census notes that Pennsylvania has the largest population of German-Americans; 3.5 million people claim German ancestry — more than in Berlin. Allegheny County, which includes Pittsburgh, has 348,979 German-Americans. Even though a large percentage of the Pennsylvania population is of German ancestry, beer preferences tend to vary by cities. For example, Pittsburgh residents drink regular and premium domestic beer more often than Philadelphia residents – probably because of the slightly higher median income in Pittsburgh; $38k compared to Philadelphia’s $35k. Philly residents buy beer in full-service restaurants four times more often than Pittsburgh residents; probably because Philly is a larger metro area with have more options to go out and 1.5 million people, compared to a little over 300,000 people in Pittsburgh. Philly residents spent $50,141,458 (total annual spending by all households) on beer away from home, compared to $12,823,149 spent by Pittsburgh folks. Continue reading
Anticipation and Anxiety for Students and Retailers
As summer vacations end, students eagerly or anxiously anticipate a new school year, new teachers, and new friends. Retailers also anticipate the Back to School (BTS) season, hoping that fickle consumers will buy their merchandise. The BTS category includes clothes, electronics, and school supplies for elementary, high school, and college ages.
When does BTS shopping begin? Traditionally, the BTS season began in late July and finished soon after school opened. This timeframe is longer now because some consumers prefer to replenish supplies throughout the year, or wait until the holidays to buy electronics and clothing.
Google Trends says that searches for back-to-school supplies and apparel are consistent across the country. It’s when consumers search that varies a lot, especially by region. For example, Google notes that searches for “bags and packs” tend to start in late June in the Deep South, expand westward, and then head to the Midwest and the Northeast. By mid-July, the whole country is in the market. Continue reading