Tag Archives: data

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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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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The Role of Web Maps

Web maps are online maps created with ArcGIS that provide a way to work and interact with geographic content organized as layers. They are shared on the web and across smartphones and tablets. Each web map contains a reference basemap along with a set of additional data layers, plus tools that work on these layers. The tools can do simple things like open a pop-up window when you click on the map, or more complex things, like perform a spatial analysis and tell you the relative proximity of healthy food options by neighborhood.

At their heart, web maps are simple. Start with a basemap and mash it up with your own data layers. Then add additional tools that support what you want your users to do with your web map: tell stories; perform analytical studies; collect data in the field; or monitor and manage your operations.

Virtually anything you do with GIS can be shared using web maps. And they can go anywhere. Web maps work online and on any smartphone, and along with your supporting GIS work, are accessible anytime.

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Three Things You Can Do with Real-Time Dashboards

Real-time dashboards provide a way to absorb and make meaning from the torrent of real-time information that is used to drive so many decisions. Dashboards are your secret weapon for visualizing and putting meaning behind all of these real-time feeds.

Acquire Real-Time Data

A utility organization may want to visually represent the live status of its network with information that is captured by sensors in the field. While the sensors on the network are not physically moving, their status and the information they send changes very rapidly. Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is being used in a wide variety of environments to keep track of items of interest. Warehouses and logistics companies use RFID to track and monitor inventory levels. Hospitals use it to track equipment to make sure it has gone through proper cleaning procedures before entering another patient’s room.

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What is Collector for ArcGIS?

Collector for ArcGIS enables organizations to use maps to gather data in the field and to synchronize the results with their enterprise GIS data. With Collector for ArcGIS you can update data in the field, log your location, and put the data you capture back into your central GIS database directly from your phone or mobile device. This increases accuracy and helps eliminate recording errors. Fieldworkers are much more efficient and accurate, reducing error and time. And Collector for ArcGIS increases the speed at which the information you collect in the field can be put to work throughout your organization.

You can download maps to your device to work offline; use GPS to create and update map data, points, lines, and area features; fill out easy-to-use map-driven forms; find places and get directions; track and report areas you visited—all these are functions of Collector for ArcGIS.

Anywhere that you see people doing work in the field there’s a potential for the application of Collector for ArcGIS. Some examples include:

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Now That the Snow Has Thawed, How’d You Do?

The Year in Review for Winter Maintenance Professionals 

We all know it has been a tough year, with record snow.

Esri promoted this as the year GIS meets snow and ice removal, in part due to the hard work that transportation and public works professionals deal with on an annual basis. But now that the snow has begun to thaw, it is time to reflect on where and how we could have improved and, more importantly, if a location strategy could have played a more impactful role in supporting the work you do.

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Your GIS is Mobile

GIS on mobile devices has changed how we interact with geography. With a smartphone you can access maps and data for anywhere on any theme, and because the phone can record where you are, you’re now in position to leverage your full GIS capabilities in the field.

GIS Goes Where You Go

With mobile GIS, your GIS maps and apps go with you wherever you go. That’s a big idea. The integration of the smartphone and GIS carries many implications in addition to the ones described here.

You can use your phone to capture geotagged photos and videos, and then use them to tell and share your stories. You can collect data in the field and update your enterprise information. Your phone can also be used to access enterprise information for your current location so that you have deeper knowledge and awareness.

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What Runs Behind the Scenes at the Boston Marathon

By Jessica Wyland

Runners (and race fans) take your mark. Today is the 2016 Boston Marathon, held every April on the Massachusetts holiday Patriots’ Day, which commemorates the start of the American Revolutionary War. It’s a spirited race, one that attracts about 30,000 runners, half a million spectators, and international media coverage.

Amid all the excitement, and new shoes, lurk safety concerns.

Take yourself back to spring 2013, the 117th running of the Boston Marathon. That day two bombs exploded at the finish line killing three people and wounding 260.

The following year marked record-high participation from runners and spectators under the rally cry: Boston Strong. By 2015, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency had produced the Boston Marathon Dashboard, an online map that tracks every aspect of the event as it happens.

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Updated Map Features Global Ecology in Unprecedented Detail

In 2014, the US Geological Survey (USGS) and Esri announced the publication of the most detailed global ecological land units(ELUs) map in the world. The ELUs are terrestrial ecosystems defined and modeled as unique combinations of bioclimate, landform, geology, and land cover.

In creating the original version, the team learned of the input data’s limitations and created a plan to improve the ELUs with updated input data in 2015. Today, Esri and USGS are pleased to announce the availability of an update to the global ecological land units (ELUs) map.

In particular, Esri created a new global landforms layer to address valid criticisms of the earlier version, which under-represented hills and over represented plains. Additionally, the new landforms dataset gained more classes, including tablelands. The new dataset is also more regionalized, or less fragmented than the earlier dataset, and therefore more intuitive.

Highlighted is a portion of the Kaibab Plateau on the north side of the Grand Canyon in the U.S. New landform classes such as tablelands were incorporated into the 2015 Ecological Land Units dataset. Click on the image to open the EcoExplorer App to learn more about Ecological Land Units where you live.

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