Category Archives: Vision
By Matt Ball, Esri Writer
The Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities has transitioned from an analog to an entirely digital workflow to manage and maintain its water, storm water, and streetlight operations. While it’s hard for some office personnel to remember working with paper maps, some field personnel clearly recall their experiences.
Try riffling through paper on a cold snowy morning, looking for the right mapbook to locate a meter. If the meter was installed less than six months ago, it likely hasn’t made it into your book. If you do find the location in one book, you’ll need to grab another book for more detail.
The first book gives you the block and the side of the street, while the second measures the distance from the curb. Unfortunately, the meter you need to service isn’t showing up in the second book. Work needs to be done, so days can’t be wasted getting an updated map. It isn’t long before you exit the cozy cab of your truck and start digging.
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.”
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.
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.
By Chris Nickola
For the past four years, Esri has been hosting one of my favorite events to attend each year, the Public Sector CIO Summit. The 2017 summit will take place March 29-30 at Esri’s headquarters in Redlands, CA and as the date approaches, I have been thinking of the reasons why it is one of my favorite events to attend. I can roll them up into three key reasons; focused information for a public sector CIO, shared experiences, and a great group of people to spend two days with.
There are many events every year that try to attract public sector CIOs, so the promise of focused information for this group is always key. The excitement for me is that ArcGIS is used within state agencies today, but in many cases there is much more they can do with the technology they have. Throughout the two days, there are discussions that help explain how CIO’s can maximize their technology to make better decisions, understand and gain efficiencies, and how to empower their state and agencies with a location platform.
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.
By Chris Nowlin, Chief Human Resources Officer, Esri
Esri’s mission of inspiring and enabling people to make a difference in society is what drew me to the company three years ago. I see this as an opportunity to help lead an organization whose employees—regardless of their role—can contribute to this mission. I see it in my daily interactions with teams throughout the company, and it makes me proud to be part of Esri and, even more importantly, proud of our exceptional 3,800 employees around the globe.
Esri has a corporate culture of giving back to the world. Among Esri intitiatives are ConnectED, our commitment to educating and equipping the next generation of GIS professionals by supplying US K–12 classrooms with free online mapping tools and activities; the Nonprofit Organization Program, where qualifying nonprofits—the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, National Geographic Society, and Direct Relief, to name a few—can use free Esri software to empower their missions; and the Disaster Response Program, a unique support service that provides access to rich GIS content, augmented software, and assistance from Esri experts.
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:
Esri Partners Learn about ArcGIS 10.5 and Network with Federal Partner Community
This year, Esri offered something new for our partners working in the federal market. On October 27, we hosted an event designed to keep them abreast of GIS technology and trends and to connect with the federal partner community. Going forward, this will an annual event, to take place between the annual Esri User Conference in San Diego in July and the Esri Federal GIS (FedGIS) Conference, which is held every February.
The evening event, held at the Esri R&D office in Arlington, Virginia, featured geospatial thought leadership, insight into new technology, and collaboration.
Our world faces complex challenges that are global in nature but also are increasingly affecting our everyday lives. These challenges occur at multiple scales, locations, time periods, and cross national boundaries. To grapple with these challenges requires robust tools and data sets, and people who can effectively use them. Every day, people are using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to make decisions that help people live healthier, safer lives on a more sustainable planet. How can someone learn about these tools and data sets, and the people who use them? One way is through GIS Day.
GIS Day (www.gisday.com) provides an international forum for users of GIS technology to demonstrate real-world applications that are making these positive differences in our society. This year, GIS Day falls on Wednesday, 16 November 2016. GIS Day is a fun and engaging way to celebrate the benefits that GIS provides, to learn more about GIS, to showcase the uses of GIS, and to connect with those in your community who are using GIS.