City Website Empowers Citizens and Businesses with Open Data and Apps
Long Beach, California, just launched a comprehensive data hub called DataLB, which makes the city’s data available to the public online. Using Esri’s geographic information system (GIS) platform, DataLB enables citizens, businesses, and academic institutions to use civic data to improve decision-making.
Since 2014, Long Beach mayor Robert Garcia has been committed to implementing Esri technology within the city to display data in maps and make information easily discoverable and shareable between departments over the web. DataLB extends these capabilities to the public with an easily accessible website that connects people with the civic initiatives that benefit them. For instance, in the case of Measure A, which invested $150 million in Long Beach infrastructure, parks, and public safety, the hub has made all the data on the initiative available via a public story map. This visual tool includes interactive maps showing where funds will be used for specific improvements. And BizMap, a new application, allows the public to look up and export business license information in Long Beach’s business improvement districts and areas.
“DataLB will make huge amounts of city data accessible to the public, staff, and anyone who is interested in learning about or improving our community,” said Garcia. “Long Beach is doing more than just making data public. We are actually making it easy for people to see data in maps and use the site and apps to track public works, open new businesses, and find other resources.”
The Public-Facing DataLB
As a public engagement tool, DataLB reveals city data that was previously only accessible to internal staff. The hub also contains apps specifically designed to enable citizen engagement. For instance, Long Beach is working on an initiative to gather data using Esri’s Survey123 for ArcGIS that may be used in a future information product in order for the hub to visualize the impact of homelessness in Long Beach. This will help public safety and welfare agencies better allocate resources.
Florida presents unique challenges for the water industry. The groundwater is so close to the surface that I have often heard the phrase “Surface water is groundwater that you can see.” The karst geology adds to this problem. Everything is connected. This has caused great concern regarding water quality and the health of Florida’s rich ecosystems. You’ve probably guessed by now that these water quality concerns have created a diverse regulatory environment.
Image of downtown Orlando. Explore more in this storymap
In addition, water resources and water utilities face challenges surrounding construction, sea level rise, and data collection. Groundwater and tide conditions have to be considered before construction projects can begin. Sea level rise is causing flood inundation and salt water intrusion leading to corrosion. Remote locations, wetlands, sinkholes, and wildlife can make data collection difficult.
By Frits van der Schaaf – Head of Business Development, Automotive
The National Safety Council estimated that in 2015, approximately 38,300 people were killed on U.S. roads and 4.4 million sustained injuries. These tragic statistics are compelling car makers to add connectivity to their safety designs. Their cars will connect to an ecosystem of cloud-based networks that share information to make drivers more aware of their environment and avoid accidents.
Equipped with sensors that create a 360 degree awareness field, a connected vehicle gathers road hazard data. A geographic information system (GIS) processes the real-time data and transforms it into useful information. Using live weather data and historical incident data, for instance, GIS can predict the risk of an accident occurring on a specific section of road when it is raining or when fog will make the road hard to see.
GIS will also play an important role in vehicle and infrastructure sensor systems that share real-time data with each other. While drivers are traveling down the road, their vehicles are “talking” with various roadside structures. A geofence around a school and elderly housing can alert a car’s system to tell the driver to slow down inside the zone. Car sensors detect treacherous potholes and report the locations to other drivers and the city. Roadside sensor systems can capture real-time data about highway traffic conditions in the lane ahead and automatically relay it to the car’s dashboard to forewarn the driver.
By Frits van der Schaaf – Head of Business Development, Automotive
Today is the beginning of CES (Consumer Electronics Show). The event in Las Vegas draws close to 177,000 atendees and is the world’s largest gathering focused on the business of consumer technologies.
At CES, Esri will join Microsoft’s connected car showcase also including NXP, IAV, Cubic Telecom and Swiss Re to demonstrate the concept of the connected car where cloud, artificial intelligence, mapping and wireless communications provide a personalized in-car driving experience.
While manufacturers continue to add more sophisticated sensors to cars, data platform providers are extending their web platform services. On-board sensors will stream data back and forth between car and platform via the Internet of Things to create some pretty interesting capabilities that will make driving more convenient.
An Esri Story Map for the Holidays
In the United States, Santa Claus, the jolly bearer of gifts with a long white beard, has been around in the familiar form we know today since roughly the 1823 publication of the poem A Visit From St. Nicholas. Many others have contributed to Santa’s enduring myth in the U.S., including illustrator Thomas Nast, and writer L. Frank Baum of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz fame. By the mid-century, the popular image of Santa Claus was solidified enough in the American consciousness that even Coca-Cola® was using him for Christmas advertising campaigns.
St. Nicholas, the 4th century Greek patron saint of children who eventually took on the Anglo Saxon guise of Father Christmas, has evolved in a myriad of ways in different parts of the world. Even countries as far removed from Western cultural tradition as Japan have adopted and recreated their own versions of Jolly old Saint Nick. On this special Esri Story Map for the holiday season, see the different forms Santa Claus takes in various cultures mapped around the world.
Santas Around the World Story Map
In the United Kingdom, “Father Christmas,” who is very similar to the modern American Santa Claus, rides a white horse, or sometimes even a goat, instead of reindeer.
Working with the Petroleum User Group (PUG) community over the years, we have been privileged to meet many talented individuals who realize that there is no end to learning. They are always open to embracing new ideas, technologies, workflows, and relationships. And it doesn’t seem to matter where or when they discovered the value of spatial technologies, how technical these people are, or how high they may rise within their organizations—they have simply decided to be lifelong learners.
In recent conversations with several of these individuals, we collectively commented that there are now many opportunities to get more involved with the community but recognized that some of them are not as well-known as we may like to believe, nor are they corralled under a single unifying program—hence this blog post. Here we describe several community outreach and education programs available to PUG members.
PUG Membership and Involvement
Twenty-six years ago, a few people gathered in a room at Exxon to discuss how best to leverage a fledgling new technology that the company had started to apply to petroleum-based workflows. Today, the PUG community is thousands strong and spread around the globe through regional PUG chapters. Membership is loosely managed, with an open-door policy to all who are interested. Members can simply observe online or ask questions and share knowledge through the PUG website, or they can take a more active role by attending the various PUG meetings, participating in a working group on a subject area of specific interest, or serving on a regional committee. Activities of the main PUG Steering Committee and regional chapters can be found at the PUG website. We encourage you to register online through LinkedIn, join appropriate regional chapters, and become involved as much as you would like.
Educational Connections and Opportunities
Today, December 18, the world celebrates International Migrants Day, an observance initiated by the General Assembly of United Nations to raise awareness of the large and increasing number of migrants in the world, and the unique issues they face. It is also an opportunity to recognize the contributions made by these millions of migrants to the economies of their host and home countries, and to promote respect for their basic human rights.
To mark this year’s International Migrants Day, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is calling on the international community to come together and remember the refugees and migrants who have lost their lives or have disappeared while trying to reach safe harbor after arduous journeys across seas and deserts.
IOM, in collaboration with Esri, has created Migration Flows – Europe Story Map, to give a comprehensive view of migrants’ paths and their unique struggles.
Migration Flows Story Map
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 Mark Cygan – Industry Manager, Mapping, Statistics and Imagery at Esri, and David Watkins – ArcGIS Desktop Product Manager
At the International Map Industry Association (IMIA) Americas Conference this year, Esri took home three awards for its entry ArcGIS Apps for the Field. These apps included Workforce for ArcGIS, Operations Dashboard for ArcGIS, Collector for ArcGIS, Navigator for ArcGIS, and Survey123 for ArcGIS. All these apps work in conjunction to form a unified workflow and eliminate paper-based processes, enabling everyone in the field or office to work from the same data, in real time.
“It was a great honor for Esri to take home these awards,” said David Watkins, Esri ArcGIS Desktop product manager, who provided demonstrations of the apps to the judges and was present at the conference to accept the awards.
The awards Esri’s field apps won include the following:
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.