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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The Aha! Moment—Turning Geographic Information into Insights

Geography is the basis of everything that happens, and using Insights for ArcGIS we can turn geography into something much more meaningful.

Geography is the foundation of GIS. It’s the “where” in the chemistry of “where, why, and how.” GIS turns geography into something much more meaningful. It enables us to transform location into geographic understanding. We can learn where things happen, and more importantly, why. By using GIS analysis we can turn “I know where” into “I know why” or “I understand.” In other words, we can turn geographic information into insight.

With that in mind, the announcement of a new application experience called Insights for ArcGIS at the recent Federal GIS Conference just might mark a milestone in the evolution of GIS.

In a similar fashion, Insights for ArcGIS represents not just an evolutionary step, but perhaps a revolutionary one. It empowers anyone to explore location-based data by applying interactive analysis to glean not only understanding, but insight. The proverbial aha! moment in true understanding. Continue reading

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DHS HIFLD Open: Open Data for Economic Resiliency

HIFLD Open Data

Today at the FedGIS conference in Washington, DC, the US Department of Homeland Security announced that Homeland Security Infrastructure Program (HSIP) is now HIFLD Open. Security and Safeguarding In 2001, the United States was attacked in a coordinated effort at … Continue reading

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FedGIS 2016: Innovation that Inspires Change

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In less than one day over 4,000 professionals gather at the 2016 Esri Federal GIS Conference (FedGIS), February 24-25, to explore ground-breaking ways government uses geospatial technology to solve the world’s greatest challenges. Join our community and Esri President, Jack … Continue reading

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Simultaneous Access with the Location Platform

Smashing Information Silos and Connecting People with the Data They Need

When I worked for the power company, I liked to ride around town with my colleague Paul.

Paul was a troubleshooter, an on-call worker who hung out in his bucket truck, waiting for something to go wrong on the grid. While the job may sound like a cakewalk, troubleshooters were almost always busy. Once someone reported a problem, Paul would get a call from the dispatcher and then race to the location of a power failure. He would quickly locate where the failure occurred; radio in an assessment of the damage; and, if possible, fix the problem.

Many of the issues troubleshooters encountered were caused by tree limbs falling on the exposed lines, causing a short circuit and blowing a fuse. Another common problem occurred when unwitting squirrels would use the power lines as a convenient path from one source of nuts to another. (The squirrels usually didn’t make it.) Each time, Paul would uncover the burned tree limb on the ground, or find the fried squirrel, then figure out which fuse blew and replace it. Problem solved in most cases. Continue reading

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What You Need to Know to Prepare for the FCC 600 MHz Auction

The Changes, the Challenges, and the Complexity of Readying Your Spectrum Bid

Mark your calendars. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is gearing up for what promises to be the most exciting and complex spectrum auction ever attempted, beginning March 29.

So what’s all the hype about? For starters, wireless penetration in the United States passed 100 percent in 2012 and demand for high-speed services will continue to grow for the foreseeable future. In addition, about 56 percent of all mobile traffic is data-intensive video, which is expected to grow sixfold by 2018. Continue reading

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Nine things you didn’t know you could do with Story Maps

There’s lots of unique and interesting ways to use Story Maps—some obvious, and some not so obvious

Story Maps let you combine authoritative maps with text, images, and multimedia content, and make it easy to harness the power of maps and geography to tell your story. Story Maps can be used for a wide variety of purposes; for advocacy and outreach, virtual tours, travelogues, delivering public information, and many more. You can browse a large collection of examples by visiting the Story Maps Gallery.

Many of the ways you can use Story Maps are obvious, but others aren’t. Here’s a list of nine things you can do with Story Maps that you might not have thought of before. Click the image to open the Story Map. Continue reading

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Why a Tough, Smart Grid Is Critical to Smart Communities

Pairing Brains and Brawn to Power Tomorrow’s Cities

I attended one of the worst junior high schools in the Greater Boston area. It stood for 100 years, pumping out students who were mostly ill-equipped to handle the rigors of high school. There were two types of kids there: the tough kids and the smart kids.

The tough kids were the sons and daughters of gangsters or future gangsters. Most had lingered at the junior-high level well beyond the minimum of three years. Not only were they tough, they were also pretty old and big for junior high school, which made things that much worse for the rest of us.

I was one of the smart kids. Sadly for me, smart kids bore the brunt of the tough kids’ harassment. Hardly a day went by when someone did not confiscate my lunch money, knock my books out of my arms, or push me onto the weedy school yard blacktop. On particularly bad days, a tough kid would threaten to burn me with a cigarette. Summer vacation was like a reprieve from prison. Of course, the smart kids got their revenge later in life with good jobs, nice families, and houses in the suburbs. Most of the tough kids ended up spending their remaining days in the Cedar Junction or Norfolk prison. At least, that was my wish. Continue reading

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Real-Time Dashboards: How Are They Used?

A vast amount of data is created every day from sensors and devices: GPS devices on vehicles, objects, and people; sensors monitoring the environment; live video feeds; speed sensors in roadways; social media feeds. What it means is that we have an emerging source of valuable data. It’s called “real-time” data. Only recently has the technology emerged to enable this real-time data to be incorporated into GIS applications.

The real-time GIS capabilities of the ArcGIS platform have transformed how information is utilized during any given situation. Real-time dashboards provide actionable views into the daily operations of organizations, empowering decision makers and stakeholders with the latest information they need to drive current and future ideas and strategies.

Dashboards answer questions like:

  • What’s happening right now?
  • Where is it happening?
  • Who is affected?
  • What assets are available?
  • Where are my people? Continue reading
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The Success and Acquisition of GeoMetri: From Startup to Enterprise IT

Michael Healander, founder of GeoMetri and now vice president of business development at Acuity Brands.

Alabama-based indoor mapping solution provider GeoMetri has a big announcement: it’s being acquired by Acuity Brands, a North American company and one of the world’s leading providers of indoor and outdoor lighting and energy management solutions. GeoMetri was part of the … Continue reading

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