Tag Archives: Esri

Esri Teams up with XPRIZE to Advance Sea Floor Mapping

by Jyotika I. Virmani, Senior Director of Energy and Environment for XPRIZE and Dawn Wright, Esri Chief Scientist

Over 60% of the Earth’s surface has not yet been mapped. The ocean covers 70% of our planet’s landmass, and of that, less than 15% of the sea floor has been mapped at a resolution greater than 5 km. In fact, we have higher resolution maps of the entire surface of the Moon, Venus, and Mars than we do of our own Earth. But this situation can be changed. We are in the midst of a Technological Revolution and with the advent of exponential technologies such as 3D printing, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and Virtual Reality, we now have smaller and cheaper tools and greater access to information.

Mapping the sea floor has, historically, been a challenge. Seawater is obviously opaque, which prevents us from using visible, remote surveying techniques to get maps of the sea floor. Seawater is a harsh and corrosive medium and, with a viscosity greater than air, it has additional engineering challenges such as high friction resulting in rapid power drain for any device that is used to map the bathymetry underwater. It is also expensive to access because the technology of today requires ships to sail to the area being mapped before the mapping technology is deployed. At an average cost of $60,000 a day, it can easily cost a few hundred thousand dollars before mapping can even begin.

The Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE, a 3-year competition launched last December, is incentivizing innovators to develop the autonomous underwater robots we need to map the sea floor at 5m or higher resolution and take high-definition images of the deep sea. Within this is a $1 million National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Bonus Prize, for teams who can develop an underwater tracking device that can autonomously track a biological or chemical to its source. The devices will be shore-based or aerial deployments, removing the massive costs associated with ships.  The competition will conclude in December 2018 and, like all other XPRIZE competitions, there will be a number of technical solutions that emerge to provide underwater cartographers the tools they need to survey the sea floor.

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Where’s the “G” in IS?

Visitors to Esri often pause for pictures beside an ivy-covered wall emblazoned with the word GEOGRAPHY in raised metal letters. The inscription speaks to an ingrained belief that geography offers a unique framework for organizing the world’s knowledge in a way that fosters better decision-making and a more sustainable future. Consistent with this belief, the education outreach team I lead at Esri does what we can to nurture geographic thinking and methods across the spectrum of academic disciplines.

That’s a big job. Disciplines have proliferated since the advent of the modern university in the 19th and 20th centuries. Consider this concept map of contemporary academic disciplines.  Few disciplines depicted explicitly recognize geography, let alone GIS, as an integral way of understanding the world. Given the longstanding claim that a science of geographic information undergirds GIS (Goodchild 1992), you might suppose that Information Science is one of the disciplines that’s likely to appreciate the special properties of spatial data. If so, you’d be surprised to find that there’s precious little “G” is IS.

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The World’s Largest Lesson

by Adam Pfister

The World’s Largest Lesson

World leaders from all nations, developed and developing, have committed to the Global Goals for Sustainable Development. Seventeen truly ambitious goals, and at Esri, we are committed to achieving each one.

In partnership with Project Everyone, we are incredibly excited to collaborate on the World’s Largest Lesson and their Focus on Goal 5, Gender Equality. Using the content in these lesson plans, teachers around the world are able to reach out to a new generation and help them stand up and embrace their part.

Achieving Gender Equality is ambitious, to be sure, and perhaps the first step is to know where you stand. Get to know those who are in important roles, starting in your own community and all the way up to your national representatives.

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The US Forest Service Receives the Esri 3D Excellence Award

By Barbara Shields, Esri

Esri honored the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service (USFS) with its 3D Excellence Award. The Forest Service uses 3D GIS to communicate wildfire information to a very large group of wildfire fighting teams. James Hubbard, deputy chief of the Forest Service, accepted the award during the Esri 3D Imaging and Mapping Forum, June 26, 2016.

“We are paying a lot of attention to reducing fire fighters’ unnecessary exposure to risk,” Hubbard said. “We don’t want to put firefighters into situations where they can’t succeed or have a low probability of succeeding. 3D mapping gives us a better idea of where they should go or not go. It also helps them be more effective firefighters.”

The Forest Service received the award because Esri considers it as a major contributor to the advancement of 3D GIS technology.  Its user requirements have helped Esri’s 3D development team set its priorities. The Forest Service uses 3D GIS to substantially communicate wildfire information to a very large group of its users. In one week, it trained 2,000 people to use a 3D wildfire management web application.

Staff easily accesses essential data provided by the National Interagency Fire Center, layers it onto a 3D base map, and has a multidimensional perspective of a wildfire’s progress.

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The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire and Esri Host Exhibit

The Ai Esri Connection is a joint exhibit between The Art Institute of California—Inland Empire and Esri. It celebrates the unique relationship that has developed over the years between the two organizations. Together, they have focused on cultivating student success and educating them on career opportunities that are available, particularly in the fields of GIS, technology, and design.

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Collaboration When It Counts: Esri Partner Technology Addressing Domestic Terrorism

Smart City Tech Summit Social

Since 2013, more than 160 active shooter situations have taken place in the United States. Imagine for a moment if those incidents could have been prevented through the use of modern technologies such as mapping software, drones, social media analysis … Continue reading

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FedGIS 2016: Innovation that Inspires Change

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In less than one day over 4,000 professionals gather at the 2016 Esri Federal GIS Conference (FedGIS), February 24-25, to explore ground-breaking ways government uses geospatial technology to solve the world’s greatest challenges. Join our community and Esri President, Jack … Continue reading

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Live from EGGC 2015: Startups Showcase – How Esri’s Startup Program Drives Change

EGGC

Over the past 25 years, the annual Esri Electric and Gas GIS Conference (EGGC) has become the largest annual geospatial event for utility professionals in the world. This year’s conference focuses on how utilities can employ the latest GIS technology … Continue reading

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Esri and the Scientific Community: Year in Review/The Year Ahead

Updated December 10, 2015

Science at Esri continues to be an exciting initiative where we are concerned with supporting both basic and applied science, while also recognizing that there are many major themes of compelling interest to society that will drive scientific research for the next two decades. Thus we view science as helping us to understand not only how the Earth works, but also how the Earth should look (e.g., by way of geodesign), and how we should look at the Earth (i.e., by way of Earth observation in varying forms and the accompanying data science issues of analysis, modeling, developing and documenting useful datasets for science, interoperating between these datasets and between various approaches). In addition to supporting the science community, we seek to do good science at Esri ourselves, as it underpins much of what we do as an organization. This is helping us to evolve ArcGIS into a comprehensive geospatial platform for science; a platform that supports research project management and collaboration, spatial analysis, visualization, open data, and communication of science, all at multiple scales (i.e., from individual researcher to lab workgroup, to multi-department, multi-university, university-to-agency collaboration, to citizen engagement).

You can always track the totality of the Esri science initiative at esriurl.com/scicomm,Hot! but in this post I’ll share some highlights from 2014, and as we near the end of 2015′s first quarter, talk about the immediate road ahead. Continue reading

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The Face of Our Earth: Esri’s New Partnership with GEO/GEOSS

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Last Update: December 10, 2015 In early January of 2014, we heard quite a bit about the polar vortex (not a new term, by the way) as North America struggled with some of the most frigid and dangerous temperatures seen … Continue reading

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