Tag Archives: data

Data Driven Citizenship

No one cares about a neighborhood more than the people who live there. People spend their days and evenings along the street, raise children, foster connections with neighbors, build businesses, grow gardens, bike, walk, and live. A few choose to engage with their civil organizations, advocating for positive change, or against negative impacts; they participate in civic meetings, and some even run for office in order to have a professional responsibility to their community. Our fundamental goal of democracy is to expand the engagement and active participation to every person.

Contemporaneously, the internet has provided a platform for immediate and global access to information and people. An increasing majority of people carry a web integrated, sensor laden, geolocated mobile computer that makes this access ubiquitous and pervasive. Whether merely reading or actively publishing information, we have an unprecedented ability to interact with both our physical and digital worlds in coordination – essentially integrating our neighborhoods with realtime and historical data about us and our communities.

One of the primary roles of government historically has been to gather resources in order to build physical infrastructure such as roads, parks, and buildings such that communities and commerce can grow and flourish. Increasingly, a new role is for government to provide a digital public infrastructure, one which supports access to information, in order to improve the efficiency of government operations as well as enable more meaningful decisions by constituents. More than just websites, new digital services are more responsive, scalable, and optimistically more effective in serving people’s needs. Combined with open data, information analysis tools, and online forums.

Cub Scout Joshua Perry prepares to collect sales information using Collector for ArcGIS.

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Multispectral Imagery in Action

Putting remotely sensed image data to work

Imagery provides more than just plain pictures. Some sensors detect energy beyond what is humanly visible, allowing us to “see” across broad swaths of the electromagnetic spectrum. This enables scientists, geologists, farmers, botanists, and other specialists to examine conditions, events, and activities that would otherwise be hidden. The implications are profound and the applications are seemingly endless.

Expanding your point of view

Every day, the earth is directly imaged from scores of sensors in the sky and from orbit in space. Almost everything that happens is measured, monitored, photographed, and explored by thousands of imaging devices mounted on satellites, aircraft, drones, and robots. Much of this information ends up as imagery that is integrated into a large living, virtual GIS of the world, deployed on the web.

Some of these sensors see beyond what our eyes see, enabling us to view what’s not apparent. Multispectral imagery measures and captures this information about a world that has many more dimensions than just the colors of the rainbow—it sees past the limits of what our eyes perceive.

Nicaragua’s Momotombo Volcano awoke with an explosive eruption in December 2015. This false color image highlights hot areas, primarily the lava flow that extends to the northeast.

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Esri Encourages its Community to Enter the AAPI Data Challenge

Showcase Your Work and Win a Trip to Washington, DC

Esri is getting the word out about an exciting opportunity to create dynamic data solutions for the Department of Education’s Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Data Challenge.

We are challenging people to unleash the power of data by way of their own geographic analyses, visualizations, predictive models and more – to tell a compelling story. We believe new ways of exploring and boosting the visibility and utilization of data on AAPIs – helping to make it more meaningful – will inspire better understanding, insight, and action.

The challenge was announced by the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI), and AAPIData.com, a research project sponsored by the University of California, Riverside. The initiative’s aim is to improve the quality of life for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders across the nation through increased access to, and participation in, federal programs.

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GIS is Collaborative

Your own GIS is simply your view into the larger system. It’s a two-way street. You consume information that you need from others, and in turn, you feed your information back into the larger ecosystem.

Geography is key for integrating work across communities

Modern GIS is about participation, sharing, and collaboration. As a Web GIS user, you require helpful, ready-to-use information that can be put to work quickly and easily. The GIS user community fulfills that need—that’s the big idea. GIS was actually about open data long before the term gained fashion because the people who were doing it were always looking for ways to deepen and broaden their own GIS data holdings. No one agency, team, or individual user could possibly hope to compile all the themes and geographic extents of data required, so people networked about this to get what they needed.

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Jack Dangermond Shares a GIS Vision for all U.S. Counties

To remain healthy, vibrant, safe, and resilient, America’s counties must anticipate and adapt to all types of challenges and changes. This is the canon of the National Association of Counties (NACo), an organization that unites more than 3,000 American county governments. Many of these counties are moving their IT out of an age of legacy stovepipe systems into the digital age of enterprise IT systems.

Jack Dangermond, whose company Esri leads the world in GIS technology, was a featured speaker at the NACo eighty-first annual conference and exposition in July 2016. He shared his vision about the future of smart communities in which government is more responsive, productive, efficient, transparent, and engaged with its citizens. The overarching theme of the Esri president’s presentation was that GIS enables a smarter world.

Among the company’s lofty goals is its initiative to create a greener infrastructure for America. Esri has created a planning and development solution for analyzing ways to accommodate community growth without adversely impacting the environment. Counties can see what’s at stake—inside and outside their borders—and take action to preserve valuable cultural, scenic, ecological, and agricultural landscapes.

Somerset County, New Jersey used GIS to determine where best to restore and fund green infrastructure.

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Using Satellite Archaeology to Protect Ancient Sites

There may be hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of undiscovered ancient sites across the globe, and Sarah Parcak wants to locate them. As a satellite archaeologist, she analyzes infrared imagery collected from far above the earth’s surface and identify subtle changes that signal a man-made presence hidden from view. Doing so, she and her colleagues aim to make invisible history visible once again—and to offer a new understanding of the past.

Sarah Parcak is a leading expert on space archaeology. She is from Bangor, Maine, and is a National Geographic Society Archaeology Fellow, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and a 2013 TED Senior Fellow. Sarah serves as the founding director of the Laboratory for Global Observation at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she is a professor.

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Esri Nominates County’s Smart Community Technology for GCN Award

Pinellas County, Florida, has implemented a successful, innovative smart community governance model. Thanks to technological initiatives and innovations to deliver smart sustainable services, the county is better supporting its staff, municipalities, and the public. Because of its successful implementation, Esri nominated Pinellas County for the GCN dig IT 2016 Cloud and Infrastructure award.

GCN supports the public sector IT managers by providing technology assessments, recommendations, and case studies. For 28 years, the organization has showcased general excellence in government information technology by presenting the GCN dig IT (Discovery and Innovation in Government IT) awards. This year GCN is recognizing transformative technology that is truly reinventing government.

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Esri AgTech is Big at InfoAg 2016

By: Charlie Magruder, Esri Agriculture Group

Advancements in agriculture technology will be a hot topic at InfoAg August 2–4, 2016, in St. Louis, Missouri. This year InfoAg sponsor Esri will showcase its AgTech Program, which offers the latest geospatial tools for agribusiness.

Stop by booths #79–82 and see many ways the Esri ArcGIS platform could help you map, visualize, and share data, such as monitoring crop health, managing farm and field, and tracking assets. People who build technology solutions are also welcome to come and explore Esri tools that can differentiate solutions and shorten development cycles. Esri’s open platform has powerful and flexible APIs, data, and ready-to-use templates that help you build intelligent apps quickly.

Throughout the conference, Esri partners will be at the booth to share important information such as drone data analysis, runoff management ideas, and real-time weather analytics.

InfoAg HackerLab

Esri will host a HackerLab on Thursday, August 4, immediately following InfoAg, for developers looking to really dig in and get their hands on some code. This free interactive lab will walk participants step-by-step through exercises to create map apps. Any and all developers are welcome to register.

Learn more about Esri at InfoAg.

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Mapping the Third Dimension

A Change in Perspective

3D is how we see the world. With 3D Web GIS, you bring an extra dimension into the picture. See your data in its true perspective in remarkable photorealistic detail, or use 3D symbols to communicate quantitative data in imaginative ways, creating better understanding and bringing visual insight to tricky problems.

The Evolution of 3D Mapping

Throughout history, geographic information has been authored and presented in the form of two-dimensional maps on the best available flat surface of the era—scrawled in the dirt, on animal skins and cave walls, hand-drawn on parchment, then onto mechanically printed paper, and finally onto computer screens in all their current shapes and sizes. Regardless of the delivery system, the result has been a consistently flat representation of the world. These 2D maps were (and still are) quite useful for many purposes, such as finding your way in an unfamiliar city or determining legal boundaries, but they’re restricted by their top-down view of the world.

Some stories lend themselves very well to 3D storytelling. The Mountains of Fire story map is composed of a number of 3D web scenes.

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What are mosaic datasets?

Collections of images

The recommended data structure within ArcGIS to manage and process imagery is the mosaic dataset. A mosaic structure enables significant big data capabilities for large, even massive, image collections. Each mosaic is composed of a number of related raster datasets, enabling you to keep your original individual image files on disk and to access them as part of a larger, integrated single collection. Mosaics are used to create a continuous image surface across large areas. For example, among other scenarios, you can use mosaics to handle coverage of very high-resolution image files for an entire continent. Or you can manage an entire historical map series for a nation for every year and every map scale. You can even manage huge multidimensional collections of time series information for earth observations and climate forecast modeling (often referred to as 4D). Creating mosaics is straightforward. You can point to a series of source georeferenced image files and automatically assemble a mosaic in minutes where each image acts as a tile within the collection.

Managing extremely large collections

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