World Diabetes Day: How GIS Can Enhance Awareness and Action

World Diabetes Day, launched in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation, is observed every November 14 to raise global awareness of diabetes and the issues surrounding its treatment and prevention.

Geography can play an important role in diabetes awareness, prevention, and care coordination. In fact, geography is uniquely able to address the complexity of environmental and behavioral factors impacting the management of this chronic disease. In raising awareness of the issues surrounding diabetes and ways to combat it on World Diabetes Day, it is only natural to begin with understanding the geographic burden of this disease. Given the patterns and trends that a GIS can illuminate, the next steps involve assisting in identifying root causes, planning geographically targeted interventions, and engaging with patients and stakeholders.

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Celebrate the Use of GIS in Society on GIS Day!

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.

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Mapping Stories of Service

Esri is honoring Veterans Day this year with two Story Maps that both show the unique lives of the brave men and women who have defended the United States.

The Mary Edwards Walker Story Map tells the amazing story of the first and only female Medal of Honor recipient. Born in Oswego, New York in 1832 to a family of iconoclastic egalitarians, Walker was the second woman to graduate from medical school in the United States, and founded her own medical practice shortly upon graduating. Soon after however, the Civil War started, and Walker—a staunch abolitionist—volunteered for the Union Army as a nurse, eventually becoming the US Army’s first female surgeon. After four years of battlefront service, Dr. Mary Walker was awarded the Medal of Honor, the United States of America’s highest military honor.

“Mary Edwards Walker Story Map”

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Annual Reporting with Story Maps

By John Steffenson

I’ve written about our work with the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Program previously, and perhaps you’ve seen the plenary presentation FIA staff gave at this year’s Esri User Conference. One of FIA’s newer efforts is to update and modernize one of its traditional and perhaps more mundane tasks, producing annual reports. The FIA Program collects extensive information on the nation’s forests and is mandated by the farm bill to produce five-year reports on the status and trends of our forest resources. In the east, FIA has historically also produced an annual report that provides insight into the incremental changes and trends observed in the data collected since the last detailed report. State foresters and industry experts can utilize that information to make policy or investment decisions.

Fifteen years ago, annual reports began as resource bulletins. These previously printed documents are now delivered as PDFs. At the 2016 Society of American Foresters National Convention in Madison, Wisconsin, the FIA Program unveiled 10 FIA annual reports as story maps with interactive maps, charts, and graphs. ”We’ve been producing  annual reports for a long time, but how do we make them more meaningful, not just rote documents? How can we reach new audiences and explore new ideas?” asks Charles “Hobie” Perry, research soil scientist with the U.S. Forest Service Northern Research Station.

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Off the Fence, Into the Polls

Esri Story Map Shows the Potentially Huge Influence of Millennials in the Swing States

By Kyle R. Cassal, Esri Demographer

If you graduated high school when Matchbox 20 topped the charts, you’re a Millennial, and pundits think your age group could decide who the next leader of the free world will be—no pressure or anything. Whether you support Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, you should be interested to know that demographers have taken account of the entire US Millennial population. Two interactive maps embedded in the Esri Story Map Can Millennials Sway the Presidential Election? expose the election-deciding potential of one of America’s largest voting blocs.

Millennials per State

Unless Millennials stay home in apathetic droves on Election Day, the millions who comprise this generation will help swing the fence-sitting states one way or the other. Both Clinton and Trump know this and, unsurprisingly, have spent considerable money courting this age group for support. With 14 politically agnostic states to sway before November, it doesn’t take a mathematician to see why both parties covet Millennial votes.

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One Last Look at the 2016 Election

By Christian Carlson

The presidential election is happening tomorrow and government workers are preparing for what is expected to be one of the biggest voter turnouts in history.  To support large numbers of voters and increased scrutiny of voting operations, governments are turning to technology more than ever before.   Advances in mobile, web, cloud infrastructure and mobility have combined to deliver new capabilities, new deployment patterns and, indirectly, the increased expectations today’s citizens have for government resources.  When it comes to this year’s election, increased reliance on technology is evident in both social media outreach and applications designed to provide election-day voter support.

Location for Election Support and Transparency

The use of location as a fundamental element of elections support and transparency has been top of mind for me since the 2016 election season kicked into high gear – which now seems like forever ago.  Fortunately, there is good news for governments taking advantage of GIS as they hustle to prepare for November 8.

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The Purchasing Power of FITARA

The U.S. Federal Government is well underway to benefiting from the discounts that have been negotiated by GSA under FITARA by utilizing Esri.  USDA, DOI, DHS, EPA, National Guard Bureau, DOT, and USAF have combined their purchasing power to reach the next threshold for FITARA discounts – level 1. This translates to a savings of 2% beginning in 2017 for any and all agencies who license Esri software under FITARA for an Enterprise License Agreement (ELA).

This may mean nothing to many of you – but it is significant to the tens of thousands of clients who license Esri software in the Federal government space. What is FITARA? It is the Federal Information Technology Reform Act (FITARA) which came into effect at the beginning of 2015 to help federal government agencies optimize the cost of IT ownership through better management.  Since that time, Esri has been proud to participate and offer our customers government-wide savings based on the aggregate purchase for all Federal agencies.

The Federal agencies are also taking advantage of FITARA discounts beyond ELAs… on software and maintenance as well.

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Building Innovation in LA

City of Los Angeles GeoHub

Last week Esri attended #LATechSummit. The summit brings together over 900 LA technology companies, investors, incubators and startups. Los Angeles is the third-largest technology startup ecosystem in the US and is home to “Silicon Beach” on the west side of … Continue reading

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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.

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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:

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