Saving Water, and Milk, in New Zealand

Farmers Protect Waterways Using Mapping App

By Jessica Wyland

A mapping app is helping New Zealand face an “economy versus environment” dilemma. The island nation, home to nearly 5 million people, relies heavily on dairy exports, yet needs to mitigate the potential effect of dairy farms on the waterways.

Fences around rivers and streams prevent cows from accessing waterways and potentially impacting water quality. Strategic plant buffers near waterways, known as riparian zones, can capture run-off from dairy farms before it drains into waterways.

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The Importance of Where

How Spatial Analysis Leads to Insight

Spatial analysis allows you to solve complex problems and better understand where and what is occurring in your world. It goes beyond mapping alone to let you study the characteristics of places and the relationships between them. If the spatial component is important to the problem, spatial analysis lends perspective to your decision-making.

Spatial Problem Solving

Have you ever looked at a map of crime in your city and tried to figure out what areas have high crime rates? Have you explored other types of information, like school locations, parks, and demographics to try to determine the best location to buy a new home? Whenever we look at a map, we inherently start turning that map into information by analyzing its contents—finding patterns, assessing trends, or making decisions. This process is called “spatial analysis,” and it’s what our eyes and minds do naturally whenever we look at a map.

Spatial analysis is the most intriguing and remarkable aspect of GIS. Using spatial analysis, you can combine information from many independent sources and derive new sets of information (results) by applying a sophisticated set of spatial operators. This comprehensive collection of spatial analysis tools extends your reach toward answers to your questions. Statistical analysis can determine if the patterns that you see are significant. You can analyze various layers to calculate the suitability of a place for a particular activity. By employing image analysis, you can detect change over time. These tools and many others, which are part of ArcGIS, enable you to address critically important questions and decisions that are beyond the scope of simple visual analysis. Here are some of the foundational spatial analyses and the ArcGIS tools that get them done.

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Esri Supports Lifelong Learners

“Change is the only constant in life.” That age-old saying is truer than ever. In today’s world, rapid technological change demands that we rethink the role of education in our lives. Rather than a prelude to adulthood and careers, learning has become a way of life. User Conference participants of all ages and all stages of professional development are actively involved in learning, teaching and mentoring. In fact, lifelong learning is one thing that the diverse community of GIS users has in common.

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Returning to America’s Green Planning Roots

Esri Green Infrastructure Tools Will Help People, Government, and Planners Design a Better Future

More than a century ago, landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted looked out over Yosemite Valley in California and saw a place worth saving. From that point on, he advocated a revolutionary concept that would benefit generations to come.

Olmsted, who codesigned New York City’s Central Park in 1858, proposed the idea of creating a system of parks and greenways that protect and integrate the most valuable landscapes in the country. He envisioned communities working together to identify, preserve, and connect open spaces before planning development. His idea caught the attention of the California state legislature, which led to US president Abraham Lincoln signing an unprecedented law in 1864 that set aside land for public use. Fifty-two years later, congress established the National Park Service, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.

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6 Maps Fighting the Buzz

This year, National Mosquito Control Awareness Week is June 26, 2016 – July 2, 2016. Mosquito Awareness week highlights the importance of mosquito control to further bring awareness about efforts to prevent and protect residents from mosquito borne diseases. According to the American Mosquito Control Association, over one million people worldwide die from mosquito-borne diseases every year. Mosquito vectored diseases include, malaria, and viruses such as yellow fever, dengue, chikungunya, West Nile virus and Zika virus. Below you will find six examples of organizations keeping their communities informed about vector aid and vector control efforts.

1.  Direct Relief

Recently, Zika virus is exploding across the Americas. Direct Relief is reaching out to their partner network in affected regions to offer resources. In this map, one can click on the partner network icon and see the partner name and location to get resources such as painkillers, insect repellent, and birth control.

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The Online Mapping Revolution

Maps are important. Everyone understands and appreciates good maps. GIS people work with maps every day. Maps provide the basic experience and practical interface for the application of GIS. Maps are also the primary way that GIS users deliver their work.

Maps provide a critical context because they are both analytical and artistic. Maps carry a universal appeal and offer clarity and shape to the world. They enable you to discover and interpret patterns and share your data.

Online maps can be created by virtually anyone using Web GIS—and can be shared with virtually everyone. These maps bring GIS to life and can go with all of us everywhere on our smartphones and tablets.

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The Power of Apps

Focused Tools that Solve Problems

With billions of users worldwide, apps are a technology trend that has captured the world’s attention. Online maps provide the information that powers the use of GIS. And every map has an interface—a user experience for putting that map to use. These experiences are apps, and they bring GIS to life for users.

The Rise of Spatially Intelligent Apps

Apps are lightweight computer programs designed to run on the web and on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. GIS apps are a special breed; they’re map-centric and spatially aware. Seemingly overnight, apps are ubiquitous. Billions of people worldwide run them in their web browsers, on computers and, of course, on their mobile devices. Creating interesting geographically aware apps is now within your reach. From the intuitive Story Map app and Web AppBuilder to the app collection for your smartphone and tablet, the technology required to deploy highly effective apps that can really engage an audience is accessible.

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Who’s Buying Your Products?

By Jessica Wyland

To identify customers, many product manufacturers are turning to location-based data. A recent Harvard Business Review article reported the use of “increasingly granular data, from detailed demographics and psychographics” including age, gender, address, income, and lifestyle.

“You’d be surprised how often a product manufacturer discovers that unexpected consumer groups are accounting for more purchases,” says James Hibbard, an expert in location intelligence and GIS manager for MarketSource.

MarketSource, a proven alternative to sales outsourcing, provides comprehensive solutions for the entire sales ecosystem. Hibbard uses data and maps to help MarketSource’s Fortune 500 clients determine who is actually buying at the retail level. One of the tools Hibbard relies on is ArcGIS Maps for Office.

GeoEnrichment in ArcGIS Maps for Office lets Marketsource compare consumer spending and store sales and quickly identify underperforming and overperforming stores.

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Visualization: What can my map show me?

In many cases, just by making a map you are doing analysis. That’s because you’re making the map for a reason. You have a question you want the map to help answer: Where has disease ravaged trees? Which communities are in the path of a wildfire? Where are areas of high crime? It’s also because when you make a map, as with any analysis, you’re making decisions about which information to include and how to present that information. Effective visualization is valuable for communicating results and messages clearly in an engaging way. Here are three key decisions that affect the information a map presents and the story it tells.

Choose Scale

The scale of the map itself (the area you’re showing) and the scale of the data you use both affect what your map will show. A classic example of how your choice determines the question answered is whether to show presidential election results by state or by county. While the state-level data does show a distinct national pattern, the county-level map reveals much more nuanced local and regional patterns. Map A answers the question, What is the pattern of states (and electoral votes) won by each candidate? Map B, about voting by county, better answers the question, What is the distribution of Republican and Democratic voters in this election?

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Bundle Up for Next Winter

Esri to Showcase Dedicated Snow Solutions at the APWA North American Snow Conference

By Donny Sosa

I appreciate the strategic timing of the upcoming APWA North American Snow Conference: it takes place as the snow thaws—when state and local governments across the country are assessing their performances in post-mortem meetings and grading their overall winter preparedness. I’d wager that the departments who received respectable marks have a GIS-based approach to snow fighting in common. This is a great time of year to ensure the unprepared are triumphant in 2017.

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