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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Commercial Real Estate and Big Data

During CCIM Thrive, the annual commercial real estate event from the CCIM Institute, Helen Thompson from Esri and senior executives from CCIM’s top data providers will discuss emerging applications for data in the commercial real estate industry.  Helen Thompson is responsible for global marketing strategies in the commercial business development team at Esri. She believes that we are entering a phase of business platforms and geographic understanding supported by Location as a Service (LaaS) which will change the way we think about Big Data and a whole lot more.

In anticipation for CCIM’s big data panel discussion on October 25th in Atlanta, we caught up with Helen to collect her thoughts on Esri’s role in big data, as it specifically relates to commercial real estate.

1.     What’s one problem that your business solves for commercial real estate professionals?

Smart real estate investment relies on a combination of local and national market knowledge. Understanding market cycle and opportunity is critical and today the quality of decision making is directly related to the quality of your data and insights. Market data is everywhere and Esri make it easy to find it, blend indicators and understand the implications at national, regional and local levels.

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GIS Technology Enables Many Uses for Open Data

The tremendous support for open data demonstrated by this President has brought innovation and engagement to government and has been so impactful on citizen engagement.  Esri, the global smart-mapping leader, has been in lock-step with the Administration on all of their Open Data initiatives.  The ease of use of GIS technology has enabled our users to harness the power of open data in such creative ways.  From the City of Fayetteville, North Carolina whose police department opened more than a 100 data sets to their community as a result of the Police Data Initiative,  to DHS announcing HIFLD Open, which provided public access to over 250 datsets to help better prepare for upcoming disasters, to NOAA publishing their National Water Model to answer a call put forth by the White House Water Summit, we are blown away each and every day when we see what our users in the GIS community are able to do with this data.

FEMA and POTUS with HIFLD Mobile Home Park Data on the Esri Map

Photo credit: Pete Souza, White House Photographer

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Esri Brings Smart Mapping to IBM World of Watson 2016

Esri’s gold sponsorship at the 2016 IBM World of Watson kicks off Monday, October 24 with a new chapter in the 30+ year partnership. Esri’s collaborative offerings with IBM’s analytics solutions and services will be unveiled during booth demonstrations and presentations throughout the week.

Esri and IBM customers and developers can now take advantage of Esri data and geographic information systems (GIS) technology in the IBM SoftLayer cloud and from IBM Marketplace and Bluemix. To speed startup and productivity, oganizations of all kinds can also leverage Esri managed cloud services in SoftLayer ranging from jumpstart to fully managed support.

Esri also integrates Watson Analytics and Weather Company data with its leading geospatial technology, as well as its global data library of demographic and business data, resulting in an integrated services approach that drives customer success.

“This expansion of our three-decade long partnership with IBM creates solutions that further accelerate scalability and performance,” said SJ Camarata, director of corporate strategies at Esri. “Now, Esri’s global data library and innovative technology in areas such as spatial analytics, big data mapping, and 3D visualization support increased levels of understanding in cognitive IoT applications and workflows.”

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