Esri’s Open Vision

Esri has built ArcGIS as an open platform because we believe that our users should be able to innovate using reliable technology that keeps up with the needs of modern organizations. As a result of our commitment to creating an open and interoperable platform, anyone can use ArcGIS to discover, share, and integrate data.

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What Will Your Drone Do For You?

Drone2Map Turns Your Drone Into an Enterprise Productivity Tool

A new desktop app from Esri turns raw still imagery captured by drones into professional 2D and 3D imagery products. Drone2Map for ArcGIS means that affordable imagery is available on demand for land analysis, infrastructure inspection, and monitoring events such as natural disasters and environmental changes.

“Drones are an emerging technology with the potential to revolutionize how we work across many industries,” said Esri president Jack Dangermond, who announced the beta release of Drone2Map for ArcGIS at the Esri Federal GIS Conference earlier this month in Washington, DC. “We built Drone2Map for ArcGIS to give people the ability to process, use, and share imagery — all within ArcGIS.” Continue reading

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Federal Innovation in the Spotlight

More than 4,800 people gathered at the 2016 Esri Federal GIS (FedGIS) Conference to share how government agencies are innovating with GIS. Attendees and speakers talked about making data more accessible and actionable, collecting imagery with drones, and expanding use of cloud technology and mobile apps to more seamlessly execute their missions and better serve their end users.

Keynote speaker and National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) Deputy Director Sue Gordon shared how NGA is opening non-classified data, including making digital elevation models available, to the public for the first time. Like many federal agencies, NGA is increasingly implementing in a cloud environment and using mobile apps to enhance resource sharing. Doing so supports missions and will support safety at events like the upcoming 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Across the more than 125 sessions, users demonstrated how GIS is providing the framework for applying geography to critical decision making. Here are the top four takeaways you should know: Continue reading

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New Map Sets Framework for Describing Ocean Ecology in Unprecedented Detail

As a follow on to a comprehensive global Ecological Land Units map that Esri and the USGS released in December 2014, a new global Ecological Marine Units (EMU) map will be available in the coming months. To better understand the significance of the new global EMU map and the data behind it, I recently met with Dr. Dawn Wright, Esri’s chief scientist, to find out more about why this map was created and how it will be used.

What is the
Ecological Marine Units map?

The Ecological Marine Units (EMU) map seeks to portray a systematic division and classification of physiographic and ecological information about features in the ocean. The project is a new undertaking of Esri in collaboration with Dr. Roger Sayre of the USGS, the Marine Conservation Institute, NatureServe, the University of Auckland, GRID-Arendal, NOAA, Duke University, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and many other partners.

EMUs rendered at the bottom of the water column.

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Women at the Forefront of Innovation at Esri

Lots of companies talk about changing the world. At Esri, we’re certainly one of them. But when we talk about changing the world, it’s usually in the context of the technology we create. In recognition of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day on March 8, we wanted to share one of the other ways we’re changing the world.

Esri has had the good fortune and persistence to foster, maintain, and grow a diverse workforce. We enjoy a rich diversity in gender, in race, and even in age. This diversity is intentional, but it’s not an end in itself. Just as our core technology brings together disparate information in a common context to make better decisions, we’ve taken the same approach with our staff. We strongly believe that different perspectives and varied backgrounds can help us build a more competitive, more knowledgeable, and more successful organization. Continue reading

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Program Computers, or Save the World?

It’s a decision many students are faced with as they prepare themselves for the working world: Do you pursue a career in technology (and get paid accordingly)? Or do you travel a more altruistic path, helping people and the environment?

It’s a tough decision. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way.

Northern Illinois University recently published a story titled Under-the-radar careers that lists “six careers that you might not be familiar with—but you might want to consider.”

So what’s the #1 “under-the-radar” career?

GIS Analyst/Technician. Continue reading

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Jefferson’s Quilt

Stitching Together the Fabric of the American West

Flying over the western US, you can’t help but notice the vast patchwork of square parcels of land. Perhaps the largest subdivision in the world, these six-mile square townships, each containing 36 sections, have a storied history and colorful cast of characters who braved the Wild West to survey millions of acres.

That riot of rectangles we see from the stratosphere is Thomas Jefferson’s vision realized. How we manage that patchwork isn’t common knowledge, but it’s pretty cool.

The Quilt Keepers

In addition to being the stewards of the country’s natural resources, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) also manages these shifting squares. Specifically, it collects, records, and shares the data on all of the corner locations that make up the Public Land Survey System (PLSS). Continue reading

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Why Don’t More People Vote?

I can remember turning eighteen and being so anxious to vote for the first time in the presidential election.  It never occurred to me that others did not feel the same way.

It wasn’t until I was an employee of a southern California city, heading up a GIS team, that the notion that people did not vote came to light.  In a meeting with the City Clerk, she explained that many times, people simply did not know where to go vote.  She told me that on election night, city staff would field hundreds of phone calls asking where to vote.  I later learned people even contacted the local library to find an answer to this question.

As a city employee, I felt the need to do something about this.  My team and I developed a polling place look-up tool and proudly placed it in the hands of the city clerk, elections volunteers, and library staff.  The tool allowed themselves and the public to search for polling stations on maps, on a computer. Using this tool, they were able to handle  hundreds of calls at lightening speed, getting voters to their polling place.

This all took place a while ago.  But even with the advancements in web applications and smart devices, the problem of not knowing where to go vote still persists nationwide.  Continue reading

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Whereabouts and the Elections

In looking back on the last month, two items have occupied my thoughts, our whereabouts, and the upcoming elections.  These two items may seem unconnected, dissimilar, or even odd, but I’ve come to the conclusion that we don’t think about them enough, together.

Whereabouts to Placemaking

Whereabouts: There is much talk today about getting people interested in and, in general, persuading people to consider and think about their whereabouts.  Their whereabouts at home, at work, and as they are out-and-about in their community, living their lives.

The term placemaking is an overarching idea for improving one’s neighborhood, community, or city.  To be heavy-handed, it is trying to reinvent how people can make their place in the community.  Placemaking compels us to consider, in our civic interactions, our whereabouts; our places occupied by, our home, our neighborhood, and our community where we live with our fellow citizens.

Collin County, Texas is helping voters find polling stations with the shortest wait times using Esri’s Polling Locator template applications with updates from Esri partner GISi. Part of the ArcGIS for Local Government solution, this application allows voting citizens in the County to locate the most convenient polling place in their area.

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Seven Apps to Help Build Healthier Communities

A healthy community starts with a modern approach to curating health and human services information, improving collaboration, streamlining processes, analyzing trends or issues, and communicating and engaging with the public. Geographic information system (GIS) technology leads the way, giving you the location-based intelligence and spatial analysis capabilities you need to build and maintain a healthy community.

There are endless opportunities to apply GIS across the broad spectrum of health and human services. Here are seven apps you can easily deploy to leverage the power of GIS to help make your community healthier today.

1. My Health Services

My Health Services is an app that helps residents locate a health facility and obtain information about services provided within their community from a smartphone, tablet, and desktop computer. The app is typically used by residents in a community, but it can be used by others to locate a health facility near them. Continue reading

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