Storytelling with Maps Contest Winners Announced at Esri UC

Two New Formats Recently Added to Popular Story Map Apps

Winners of the Esri 2016 Storytelling with Maps Contest were announced at the Esri User Conference in San Diego. The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society took grand prize for its Story Maps of the organization’s 2015 annual report. The annual contest, which had a record-breaking 965 submissions, invites individuals and organizations to create narratives using Story Map apps that combine interactive maps with multimedia content.

Contestants employed a variety of Story Map formats, including Story Map Tour, which presents a series of geo-tagged photos, and Story Map Journal, combining long-form text with rich multimedia content.

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New Orleans at Esri UC – a Behind the Scenes Look and Repeatable Solutions

This year the City of New Orleans showcased their great work at the Esri User Conference Plenary. A major theme of their presentation was citizen engagement and creating a real two-way engagement enabling citizens to take in civic responsibility. New Orleans is doing outstanding work, and all of the solutions are configurations that can be repeated for any local government.

The first demonstration was the Property Survey solution in which we have enlisted User Conference attendees to help survey their properties for blight at https://propertysurvey.nola.gov/photosurvey/ This solution can be useful for a variety of applications such as code enforcement, emergency management assessment or tax appraisers. The Photo Survey Solution from the Esri Solutions gallery will allow you to process geo-tagged photos and an application to set up randomized surveys as New Orleans has done. Since 16,000 UC attendees were enlisted to help assess properties and shared on social media, Esri Managed Services was used to make sure the underlying infrastructure was ready for reliability and scalability.

New Orleans Property Survey

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Don’t Miss the Technical Keynotes at Esri UC

By Mark Coast and Dave Grenley

Approaches to Spatial Analysis

It’s an incredibly exciting time to be a GIS user. People around the world are applying GIS as a framework to gain real insight, drive innovative solutions to complex problems, work more efficiently, make better decisions, collaborate and communicate more effectively, and make a real difference—intelligently effecting meaningful change.

Spatial analysis is at the very heart of GIS technology. It enables us to better understand our place in the world, and the impact we can make — mapping where things are, how they relate, what it all means, and what actions to take, for the best results. Analysis of geographic patterns and relationships uncover new insights — for actionable intelligence, such as optimum routes, site selection, asset location, supply chain and advanced predictive modeling.

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2016 Esri UC Plenary Videos Now Live

Did you miss any UC plenary presentations this year? We’ve got good news for you.

Videos from Monday’s plenary session are now available online. Experience first-hand how GIS is enabling a smarter planet and witness the next generation of geospatial technology, today.

Feel free to share these resources with your colleagues. And don’t forget to share your favorites on social media with the #EsriUC tag.

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So You are Inspired by the Plenary…

10 Useful Tips Following an Amazing Day

Who doesn’t like a motivating and informative plenary session? It’s the appetizer that tantalizes your palate for more information on how to use GIS in ways that enable a smarter world. With so much information in such a short time, you may be wondering how you can learn more about what you saw on stage. So let us take you behind the scenes and tell you a little more.

Tip 1 – Explore The Plenary Session Illustrated Quick Guide.

Explore a compact guide of the key messages from users and the product teams and look at the behind the scenes designs. Discover the interconnections between our work and yours so that you can relive the entire day in a simple illustrated guide. If you need to remember what you saw, take notes back home, share information with your boss, or plan your road ahead, then this is a great way to get started.

UC 2016 Plenary Quick Guide

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UC Reflections from a Veteran Geogeek

See You in San Diego, Esri Users!

Every so often, you can get lonely at the Esri User Conference (UC).

Now in my 27th year of attending UC (my 17th as an Esri employee), it’s sometimes difficult to remember what it’s like to be a user at the conference. As I sit at my desk today preparing my slides and reviewing the agenda for all the interesting sessions (that I probably won’t make it to) while trying to confirm last minute meetings, I had a memory of my first UC.

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U.S. Federal Government Offers Big Opportunities for Small Business

Esri Program Gives Small Businesses a Competitive Edge 

For small businesses wanting to expand their footprint in the U.S. federal market, the time to grow is now. In fiscal year 2014, the federal government spent a whopping $91.7 billion on small business contracts, exceeding its goal of awarding 23% of contracting dollars to small businesses. Moreover, some federal agencies have adopted a small-business-first policy, vetting requirements with small businesses before going to the open market. Several Government-Wide Acquisition Contract (GWAC) vehicles are set aside for small businesses, including the upcoming GSA Alliant 2 SB GWAC request for proposal expected later this summer. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) just announced the awardees of a $25 billion ceiling contract called the Strategic Partners Acquisition Readiness Contract (SPARC) Program, which will reserve task orders under $29 million for small businesses.

As the small business movement continues to grow and government looks for new ways to support the community, federal agencies are also working to attract non-traditional contractors, such as startups at the forefront of innovation. In fact, some agencies are going to great lengths to work more closely with startups by opening new offices in Silicon Valley.

Why the foray into more small business and startup territory? Agencies are looking for innovation, agile development, and new ways to quickly procure emerging technology and solutions.

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The Wise GIS

ArcGIS Makes It Simple to Answer the Why

My wife’s Auntie Sadie was born old. I’ve seen pictures of her when she was in her late thirties and, even then, she looked old. One of her most endearing qualities was her wisdom. Maybe that’s why she looked old, because she was so wise. When our kids misbehaved, Sadie would be able to look at things from a number of different angles, take apparently unrelated information, and craft her wise analysis of the reasons for the misbehavior. Her special gift was analysis.

In my last two posts, I described three things that the ArcGIS platform does that can transform the way an electric company does its business. They each begin with the letter A. The first is access—the simple ability to give everyone in the company (as well as others such as customers, first responders, and the media) the ability to see its important information on a map, regardless of which device they use, where they are, or what time it is.

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What Makes an Enterprise GIS Successful?

As the 2016 Esri User Conference approaches, I have been thinking about the essence of what makes an enterprise GIS successful and offer these thoughts…

A successful GIS implementation requires more than just technology. Whether or not a GIS is successful, largely depends upon motivated people that are committed to managing change, and effectively applying the technology in a sustainable manner, while following best practices. An assistant City Manager once told me, “…whether or not our GIS implementation is successful is not a technology problem, it’s a people problem…”

Two of the key elements of a successful GIS are vision and leadership – if you are a GIS Manager, you need to be more than just a manager, you need to be a leader in your organization. You need to awaken your organization, and the public, to the capabilities and benefits of the use of GIS. This means you need to market the benefits of GIS to colleagues and the public. Let them know that GIS can do more than make maps, that it can be used easily by anyone, and that spatial analysis can provide insight that is not accessible with any other technology. This critical insight can help anyone make better decisions, be more efficient, and therefore, save money and time.

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The Expansive Reach of Web GIS

Across organizations and beyond

The geographic organizing aspect of GIS has been part of GIS thinking from the beginning, but now factor in the impact of the web. The new Web GIS provides an online infrastructure for making maps and geographic information available throughout an organization, across a community, and openly on the web. This new vision for Web GIS fully complements, integrates, and extends the work of existing GIS professionals.

Web access to data layers is straightforward: every layer has a web address (a URL) making it easy to locate and share online. And since every layer is geo-referenced, Web GIS becomes an engine of integration that facilitates the access and recombination of layers from multiple providers into your own apps.

This is significant. Millions of professionals in the GIS community worldwide are building layers that serve their individual purposes. By simply building and then sharing these layers back into the GIS ecosystem, they are adding to a comprehensive and growing GIS of the world. Each day, this resource grows richer and is tapped by ArcGIS users and shared on the web. Web GIS truly has become “the nervous system of the planet.”

Web GIS extends the reach of the work of GIS professionals to others inside of their organization and to their constituents and beyond.

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