Tag Archives: ArcGIS

Paving a Path to Smart Communities

By Matt Ball, Esri Writer

The Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities has transitioned from an analog to an entirely digital workflow to manage and maintain its water, storm water, and streetlight operations. While it’s hard for some office personnel to remember working with paper maps, some field personnel clearly recall their experiences.

Try riffling through paper on a cold snowy morning, looking for the right mapbook to locate a meter. If the meter was installed less than six months ago, it likely hasn’t made it into your book. If you do find the location in one book, you’ll need to grab another book for more detail.

The first book gives you the block and the side of the street, while the second measures the distance from the curb. Unfortunately, the meter you need to service isn’t showing up in the second book. Work needs to be done, so days can’t be wasted getting an updated map. It isn’t long before you exit the cozy cab of your truck and start digging.

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Unlock Big Insights from Big Data with a Location Strategy

As retailers in 2017 continue to face headwinds, the competition is more challenging than ever. Customers are empowered by 24/7 access to the global marketplace. For many retailers, new store growth has slowed, so sales and margin growth are increasingly being driven more by incremental growth from existing stores. To continue to excel in this environment, every business should be mindful of three trends in retail big data:

  • Sustainable growth – To grow sales in their existing stores, retailers must find innovative ways to reach customers and drive loyalty.
  • Connected consumers – As consumers have become accustomed to growing transparency around the prices and quality of what they buy, retailers must find new ways to engage with and earn the loyalty of their customers.
  • Explosion of big data – With the Internet of Things (IoT) maturing, retailers must leverage the vast amounts of useful data available within the network of devices and sensors that are connected online.

Retailers already have access to myriad data from sources like point of sale (POS), mobile devices, inventory management systems, and in-store sensors. As useful as this data is on its own, real insights happen when retailers can connect disparate data to see the conditions that bring success. And one powerful way to do this is by viewing data through the lens of location. Maps enable people to instantly spot and explore patterns and relationships in data.

Location is the common thread of data and enables decisions to be made about matters such as where to position existing merchandise and where to site new stores. Spatial analysis also allows retailers to more efficiently drive traffic through stores by effectively using the data typically only used in the online shopping environment. By tapping into insights derived from in-store sensors and customer mobile devices, retailers can make better decisions about where to allocate goods and employees in a strategic way that is targeted to consumer behavior. Forming a business strategy that leverages integrated location data helps retailers match the in-store customer experience with what consumers experience when shopping online. This is made possible by analyzing demographics, buying patterns, and customer movement in the context of space and time.

Spatial analysis is the key to understanding where, when, and why things happen. With this insight, retailers can engage existing and potential customers and spur in-store sales.

Learn more about how a location strategy can optimize retail operations.

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Esri Receives Youth Environmental Science Award

At Esri’s 2017 Federal GIS Conference in Washington, D.C., Esri President Jack Dangermond received a small medal for having made a big difference, and two local organizations were very happy.

The Youth Environmental Science (“YES”) Award is given annually by Youth Learning as Citizen Environmental Scientists (“YLACES”), a non-profit organization that supports science education for youth. The award includes a $10,000 grant to an organization engaging youth as active citizen environmental scientists, and Esri chose the Jane Goodall Institute’s “Roots & Shoots” program.

The focus of YLACES is getting students engaged in inquiry-based, experiential science. “For 25 years, Esri has helped K12 students gather, analyze, interpret, and present data about the world, thereby equipping students to better learn science by doing science,” said YLACES president Dr. Dixon Butler. “Esri has made powerful tools available for free for educators around the world, from ArcVoyager to public ArcGIS Online, and provided training so teachers could do this. This commitment has made a difference.”

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Gaining Local Insight for Business

Many businesses have gleaned great returns by looking at operations through the lens of geographic science. The largest wins take on mythical status, as the impacts can be so profound that users want to keep the secret behind these rewards from competitors.

A few eye-opening anecdotes have come to light, including ones about the following:

  • A global parcel delivery company that eliminated left-hand turns and implemented other distance- and time-saving measures for better routing that saved thousands of miles across the company’s fleet and hundreds of millions of dollars annually
  • A national home repair service that improved its efficiency to the point that it could consolidate the number of call centers by two-thirds with an initial cost savings of $9 million and ongoing yearly savings of close to $50 million
  • The chain of coffee shops that scrutinizes the link between store location and performance and finds per-store improvements with effects that are compounded across the chain’s network, including such results as how moving one store just one mile would gain a $10 million increase in yearly sales

At the heart of these wins, and many more, is an enterprise location strategy with Esri’s geographic information system (GIS) mapping software at the hub. GIS integrates with existing customer and enterprise systems, bringing location data, proven algorithms for analysis, and tailored applications to extend insightful information to the front lines of decision-making. Businesses use this powerful platform to reveal deeper understanding of their data.

The recently launched Esri Location Strategy for Business web pages contain information and tools to give every business user a taste of the kinds of spatial analysis available. The new Discover Local Insights application gives visitors a free ZIP code search for some of the key local psychographic variables that help reveal the values, opinions, interests, and lifestyles of customers.

The Discover Local Insights application provides an interactive tool to help businesses understand how to use the power of geographic science to better understand their customers.

“The application falls into our strategy of providing actionable information for business,” says Robby Deming, Esri marketing program manager. “It helps to show how Esri’s vast business and demographic data can provide even greater insight when combined with data that businesses already hold.”

Esri Tapestry Segmentation provides the power behind this application. Tapestry data contains the classification of all US residential neighborhoods, broken down into 67 unique segments based on demographic and socioeconomic characteristics. This data, along with more than 10,000 added Esri data variables, conveys a wealth of local insight.

This short description of the Exurbanites segment can be explored further. Click image to see full four-page report of this segment.

In addition to presenting the psychographic segments, both the 15-minute drive-time area and five-mile-ring buffer area around the ZIP code can be overlaid on the map. These geoenriched polygons give users a greater sense of place while illustrating the intuitive and interactive nature of geospatial business analysis.

This free tool is available as a web application to any interested business. Work is under way to create a mobile-friendly version as well as to enable this application to be embedded in any website. Some of the functions being planned for development include the ability to compare ZIP codes side by side and generate drive times or buffers from any point on a map.

Many businesses have used these kinds of tools for decades to better understand their customers. The early adopters are now combining what they already know with new data feeds from in-store sensors, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and other sources. Live information, such as weather conditions or social media mentions, can also be visualized to get up-to-date insight into factors that impact local business decisions.

“We’re using the Discover Local Insights application to give businesses a practical example of the powerful knowledge they can access through a location strategy,” says Deming. “Any commercial business that wants to know more can sign up for a free location strategy assessment, which includes a half-hour conversation with our technical and commercial business experts. We want to help people understand how their peers are driving business benefits from location technology. In addition, we’ll also provide them with a potential road map for developing their own location strategy that matches their business objectives and needs.”

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Where’s the New Revenue?

How to Grow Property Tax Revenue Fairly and Equitably

By Brent Jones, Esri Land and Cadastre Global Industry Manager

In many parts of the country, the death knell for tax hikes has sounded. While wages and other costs rise, no new revenue from raising property tax rates is likely to come as local governments work to keep those rates fixed. The good news is that new revenue can be generated with up-to-date property data and modernized GIS technology.

New mandates, requirements, and efficiency tasks often require governments to add new software and capabilities in an attempt to stay current. Compounding this, the technology that citizens use daily has raised their expectations of how local governments deliver services. At minimum, they expect to access maps and data fast on all their devices. These expectations put us at odds with budgetary realities.

Increasing revenue without raising taxes isn’t a pie-in-the-sky idea. Consider today’s assessors. Many of them use external data to ensure property data is accurate and current. They’re bringing in more money by discovering untaxed improvements. Using affordable new data services like NearMap and DigitalGlobe, assessors can get a current bird’s eye view of what’s actually on the ground and compare it with their existing property data. New change detection services streamline this process.

With new apps like Esri Photo Survey, assessors can rapidly collect up-to-date street level photographs with low-cost, consumer-grade cameras. By combining field force management and routing tools in Workforce for ArcGIS with field appraisal management practices, local governments are increasing revenues and decreasing operating costs with minimal investments in software and data services.  Many assessors don’t realize that they already own these tools and capabilities as part of the ArcGIS platform.

Valuation appeals are costly to defend. Current, accurate data coupled with advanced analytics enables assessors to gather and present the evidence to support defensible values. Insights for ArcGIS delivers new capabilities to see undiscovered trends and patterns delivering better communication with taxpayers to maintain trust of the assessment process.  Today’s GIS marries spatial data with advanced analysis on all devices, eliminating the expense of long-term support cost and the need to create custom applications.

There are practical and systematic ways to improve revenue from real property.  If you’re not using all of your GIS capabilities, perhaps it’s time you do. Follow the lead of many assessors who use maps, data, and analysis for discovery. It’s the fair and equitable thing to do.

For more information, see the ArcGIS for Land Records white paper.

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Connecting the Where and the Why at NRF 2017

By Gary Sankary – Head of Industry Marketing, Retail

Every year, more than 30,000 retail analysts, executives, and professionals meet for three days in New York City’s Javitz Center for the National Retail Federation’s annual Big Show. As a retail veteran, believe me when I say there’s nothing in our industry quite like it. It is the largest and most important trade show of the year for retail and retail technology. Retail professionals from every aspect of the industry come to the show to connect, meet with technology partners, and see what’s new in the industry.

The Esri Retail team is excited to showcase many of the ways ArcGIS can help retailers bring precision to their enterprise and extend their capabilities in merchandising, marketing, operations and business intelligence. With the release of ArcGIS 10.5 and Insights for ArcGIS, it’s never been easier for retailers to understand why things happen where they do.

ArcGIS brings precision to retail by enabling retailers to leverage the power of geography in their decision making and execution. Every retail transaction happens in a location for a reason. By connecting data, events, and transactions, retailers can discover the insights they need to find target customers, drive sales, reduce expenses, and engage with their customers. As retailers continue to develop and execute their strategies to support unified commerce, a location data management strategy enabled by ArcGIS is critical.

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GIS Provides an Open Platform for Global Engagement on the Sustainable Development Goals

By Clint Brown – Director, Product Engineering, Esri

At Esri, we believe that geographic information system (GIS) technology provides a critical framework for understanding, communicating, and organizing information about our world. Underpinning our work at Esri is the belief that applied geographic science provides a powerful medium for understanding complex challenges and that, through the application of GIS, we can explore possible solutions. In light of this, we have been closely tracking the process of establishing the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), creating capabilities that will help create and monitor the SDG data indicators. We believe that Esri’s ArcGIS platform is highly relevant as an applied toolset to achieve the goals set forth in the 2030 Agenda.

This story map is about the use of GIS to support SDGs. Visit sdgs.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapJournal/index.html?appid=c921e7d2cfef4c8ab98b839e27eda74a

A primary goal of GIS is to provide a framework for organizing and communicating the collective global knowledge about our world and the impact of human activities. GIS and maps are used in all fields across every nation, providing a universal language for communicating and sharing ideas and insight. They offer the unique capability of integrating many different kinds of data. GIS uses spatial location and digital map overlays to organize the content of our world. And overlays can be used to integrate information and analyze relationships among and between all SDG initiatives.

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PUG Lifelong Learning Program

Working with the Petroleum User Group (PUG) community over the years, we have been privileged to meet many talented individuals who realize that there is no end to learning. They are always open to embracing new ideas, technologies, workflows, and relationships. And it doesn’t seem to matter where or when they discovered the value of spatial technologies, how technical these people are, or how high they may rise within their organizations—they have simply decided to be lifelong learners.

In recent conversations with several of these individuals, we collectively commented that there are now many opportunities to get more involved with the community but recognized that some of them are not as well-known as we may like to believe, nor are they corralled under a single unifying program—hence this blog post. Here we describe several community outreach and education programs available to PUG members.

PUG Membership and Involvement

Twenty-six years ago, a few people gathered in a room at Exxon to discuss how best to leverage a fledgling new technology that the company had started to apply to petroleum-based workflows. Today, the PUG community is thousands strong and spread around the globe through regional PUG chapters. Membership is loosely managed, with an open-door policy to all who are interested. Members can simply observe online or ask questions and share knowledge through the PUG website, or they can take a more active role by attending the various PUG meetings, participating in a working group on a subject area of specific interest, or serving on a regional committee. Activities of the main PUG Steering Committee and regional chapters can be found at the PUG website. We encourage you to register online through LinkedIn, join appropriate regional chapters, and become involved as much as you would like.

Educational Connections and Opportunities

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Esri Wins Big at IMIA Americas Conference Map Awards

By Mark Cygan – Industry Manager, Mapping, Statistics and Imagery at Esri, and David Watkins – ArcGIS Desktop Product Manager

At the International Map Industry Association (IMIA) Americas Conference this year, Esri took home three awards for its entry ArcGIS Apps for the Field. These apps included Workforce for ArcGIS, Operations Dashboard for ArcGIS, Collector for ArcGIS, Navigator for ArcGIS, and Survey123 for ArcGIS. All these apps work in conjunction to form a unified workflow and eliminate paper-based processes, enabling everyone in the field or office to work from the same data, in real time.

“It was a great honor for Esri to take home these awards,” said David Watkins, Esri ArcGIS Desktop product manager, who provided demonstrations of the apps to the judges and was present at the conference to accept the awards.

The awards Esri’s field apps won include the following:

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The Public Sector CIO Summit

By Chris Nickola

For the past four years, Esri has been hosting one of my favorite events to attend each year, the Public Sector CIO Summit.  The 2017 summit will take place March 29-30 at Esri’s headquarters in Redlands, CA and as the date approaches, I have been thinking of the reasons why it is one of my favorite events to attend. I can roll them up into three key reasons; focused information for a public sector CIO, shared experiences, and a great group of people to spend two days with.

There are many events every year that try to attract public sector CIOs, so the promise of focused information for this group is always key.  The excitement for me is that ArcGIS is used within state agencies today, but in many cases there is much more they can do with the technology they have.  Throughout the two days, there are discussions that help explain how CIO’s can maximize their technology to make better decisions, understand and gain efficiencies, and how to empower their state and agencies with a location platform.

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