Tag Archives: data

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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Updated Population Dataset Sharpens Focus on the Human Footprint

We are pleased to announce a new edition of the World Population Estimated layer on ArcGIS Online. Like the 2013 edition, this layer estimates the global footprint of where people live, but with an improved methodology.

In addition, the 2015 edition includes a population density estimate in units of persons per square kilometer. This gives demographers and statisticians the same data expressed in units they use every day. Mapmakers can transform the density layer into other projected coordinate systems with minimal loss of data because the units are independent of the varying area of cells that result when not using an equal area projected coordinate system.

Population Density in around Zurich showing how geography affects where people can live such as alpine valleys, river valleys, and broad plains. Click the image to open an interactive map to explore the data.

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New Map Sets Framework for Describing Ocean Ecology in Unprecedented Detail

As a follow on to a comprehensive global Ecological Land Units map that Esri and the USGS released in December 2014, a new global Ecological Marine Units (EMU) map will be available in the coming months. To better understand the significance of the new global EMU map and the data behind it, I recently met with Dr. Dawn Wright, Esri’s chief scientist, to find out more about why this map was created and how it will be used.


What is the
Ecological Marine Units map?

The Ecological Marine Units (EMU) map seeks to portray a systematic division and classification of physiographic and ecological information about features in the ocean. The project is a new undertaking of Esri in collaboration with Dr. Roger Sayre of the USGS, the Marine Conservation Institute, NatureServe, the University of Auckland, GRID-Arendal, NOAA, Duke University, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and many other partners.

EMUs rendered at the bottom of the water column.

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America’s Changing Population: Diversity Index Shows Growing Trend

In 2012, the US population was 313 million. Growing diversity continues to produce striking changes in the population. To provide an accurate way to track these changes, Esri created a proprietary Diversity Index that measures diversity on a scale from 0 to 100. The Diversity Index is defined as the likelihood that two persons, selected at random from the same area, would belong to a different race or ethnic group. For example, if an area’s entire population belongs to the same race or ethnic group, the Index is zero and the area has no diversity. Conversely, if the population can be evenly divided among two or more race or ethnic groups, the area’s Diversity Index increases to 100. The Diversity Index measures only the degree of diversity in an area, not its racial composition. Esri’s Diversity Index for the US has risen from 60.6 in 2010 to 61.4 in 2012, with a forecast to increase to 63.8 within five years. Continue reading

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What’s the Big Deal about Big Data?

The technology tides have shifted again and, as the notion of cloud computing is becoming mainstream across most industries, a new buzzword is emerging: Big Data.  Never heard of it? Simply put, the term refers to the ever-growing mountain of data, generated from myriad sources, that organizations must effectively address.

Big Data Caricature

Courtesy: Keith Mann, Esri

For instance, according to a recent MeriTalk survey, 96% of Federal IT professionals expect their agency’s stored data to grow in the next two years by an average of 64 percent.

Big Data is often described using the Three “V”s:  Velocity, Volume, and Variety.  By example, let’s take a few of the real world case studies gathered by IBM and provided by Mike Rhodin, Senior Vice President at IBM Software Solutions:

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