Tag Archives: government

Informed Justice

Using GIS to Build a More Data-Driven, Rehabilitative Criminal Justice System

Over 150 elected officials, law enforcers, and public health professionals from 67 communities across the country met in Washington, DC, last month to explore ways to keep low-risk offenders out of the criminal justice system and respond to the White House’s call for more informed justice.

The Numbers Speak

The urgency of the call is justified. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ most recent data, more than two-thirds of offenders return to prison after three years, while three quarters return within five years. That rate of recidivism costs society by failing to rehabilitate people in the criminal justice system when it’s possible—and ultimately cost effective—to do so.

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U.S. Federal Government Offers Big Opportunities for Small Business

Esri Program Gives Small Businesses a Competitive Edge 

For small businesses wanting to expand their footprint in the U.S. federal market, the time to grow is now. In fiscal year 2014, the federal government spent a whopping $91.7 billion on small business contracts, exceeding its goal of awarding 23% of contracting dollars to small businesses. Moreover, some federal agencies have adopted a small-business-first policy, vetting requirements with small businesses before going to the open market. Several Government-Wide Acquisition Contract (GWAC) vehicles are set aside for small businesses, including the upcoming GSA Alliant 2 SB GWAC request for proposal expected later this summer. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) just announced the awardees of a $25 billion ceiling contract called the Strategic Partners Acquisition Readiness Contract (SPARC) Program, which will reserve task orders under $29 million for small businesses.

As the small business movement continues to grow and government looks for new ways to support the community, federal agencies are also working to attract non-traditional contractors, such as startups at the forefront of innovation. In fact, some agencies are going to great lengths to work more closely with startups by opening new offices in Silicon Valley.

Why the foray into more small business and startup territory? Agencies are looking for innovation, agile development, and new ways to quickly procure emerging technology and solutions.

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Returning to America’s Green Planning Roots

Esri Green Infrastructure Tools Will Help People, Government, and Planners Design a Better Future

More than a century ago, landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted looked out over Yosemite Valley in California and saw a place worth saving. From that point on, he advocated a revolutionary concept that would benefit generations to come.

Olmsted, who codesigned New York City’s Central Park in 1858, proposed the idea of creating a system of parks and greenways that protect and integrate the most valuable landscapes in the country. He envisioned communities working together to identify, preserve, and connect open spaces before planning development. His idea caught the attention of the California state legislature, which led to US president Abraham Lincoln signing an unprecedented law in 1864 that set aside land for public use. Fifty-two years later, congress established the National Park Service, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.

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This Young Professional Soars with a Golden Ticket to USGIF’s GEOINT 2016 Symposium

By Karen Capria

Travis Dennis is packing his bag and heading to Orlando. He is one of 25 young professionals selected by the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) to attend the GEOINT Foreward and Symposium, May 15-18. Participants will also attend a mentoring luncheon, special exhibit hall briefings, and an invitation to the USGIF Chairman’s Reception.

With such a great opportunity ahead of him, we sat down with Travis to learn more about his work at Esri and his interests in the GEOINT community.

What is your role at Esri?

My role is as Inside Sales support to the Defense team, part of National Government Sales.

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Capitol Spotlight on GIS and Policy

Last week Jack Dangermond joined Esri’s policy team to host the first GIS and Policy event at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center. Nearly 100 policymakers convened to learn firsthand how the growing community is using GIS to inform and disseminate public policy.

Congress and its staff are increasingly relying on digital over print information sources, and naturally that drives demand for interactive data products. Most recently, this has led the Congress’s research institution, the Library of Congress, to expand its web GIS offerings. The Congressional Research Service’s GIS Team provides Congress and its staff with many GIS services, including cartographic maps, geodata, and interactive web maps. This shared geospatial analysis enables policy makers to identify how features intersect with proposed policy, and sometimes how those features intersect with a member’s geography.

Maps Communicate Complex Policy

Many communications, digital directors, and press secretaries use web maps to compliment legislative text. Offices are finding that a compelling, trustworthy map noticeably increases the number of times a story is picked-up and shared. Some are using maps to communicate complex policy ideas in an easy to understand way. Readers can identify with policy on a map, understand its impact at the local level, and decide how to act. For example, Senator Wyden’s Medicare Beneficiaries with Chronic Conditions interactive web map enables readers to understand how the standard of care for Medicare beneficiaries with three chronic conditions varies by local geography.

Visitors to Senator Wyden’s webpage can click on this interactive map and see the number of Medicare beneficiaries suffering from chronic disease in each state.

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Why Hasn’t My GIS Manager Showed Me This?

I had the pleasure of being part of the team representing Esri at the American Planning Association (APA) National Planning Conference in Phoenix, AZ (see a picture of the Phoenix Convention Center below). I really feel at home among planners, as I have a Masters degree in Urban & Regional Planning, attained the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) certification, spent part of my career as a Planner, as well as worked with planners as a GIS practitioner.

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Expanding Opportunity with Open Data

Esri joined the White House, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Census Bureau, eight cities, and more than a dozen developers last month to kick-off the Opportunity Project. The project aims to expand access to opportunity to every American, across every geography, using open government data.

The ArcGIS platform highlighted at the White House Opportunity Project event in March.

In the months leading up to the launch, the Esri team supported the federal agencies and White House to create accessible, highly usable digital tools, and to integrate the opportunity data into existing tools in the ArcGIS Platform.

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Federal Innovation in the Spotlight

More than 4,800 people gathered at the 2016 Esri Federal GIS (FedGIS) Conference to share how government agencies are innovating with GIS. Attendees and speakers talked about making data more accessible and actionable, collecting imagery with drones, and expanding use of cloud technology and mobile apps to more seamlessly execute their missions and better serve their end users.

Keynote speaker and National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) Deputy Director Sue Gordon shared how NGA is opening non-classified data, including making digital elevation models available, to the public for the first time. Like many federal agencies, NGA is increasingly implementing in a cloud environment and using mobile apps to enhance resource sharing. Doing so supports missions and will support safety at events like the upcoming 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Across the more than 125 sessions, users demonstrated how GIS is providing the framework for applying geography to critical decision making. Here are the top four takeaways you should know: 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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Building Better Civil Solutions with Agile Government

Modern technology has dramatically increased the pace of software application development. Within hours a single person can now conceive, create and distribute an app to millions of people. Thanks to the global internet, access and updating of these apps occurs automatically and constantly. Products can be prototyped, measured, improved and updated many times a day. A result of this rapid iteration is the increasing evolution rate and validation of product capabilities that minimizes time to market. Often referred to as “agile development” or lean, this process is a fundamental shift in how businesses achieve market adoption and customer satisfaction. By contrast, waterfall development historically meant long and disconnected cycles of requirements, design, development, testing and delivery that stretch interminably and often discover late in the process new opportunities or missing requirements. The cost of development and delivery time using waterfall processes can mean projects become “too big to fail” yet also fail to meet critical business and customer objectives. Continue reading

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