Monthly Archives: May 2014

Esri 30/30: Decoding Insurgent Attacks in Afghanistan

Today’s Story: Building a Model to Predict Surprise Insurgent Attacks

Today we travel to Afghanistan, where it can be daunting to predict insurgent attacks on US and UN troops. Enemy forces strike at random, and they use the rugged terrain and dense cityscapes to their advantage. But what if the frequency and locations of attacks could be analyzed and put into a GIS? Would it tell a story?

GIS helps map areas of potential insurgent attacks. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

At Esri UC, Marcus Carwell and Manoj Jha of Morgan State University will talk about their ongoing work to map insurgency in Afghanistan and Iraq. The team developed mathematical models, and heat maps to help predict the likelihood and location of attacks. With their findings, Marcus and Manoj were able produce maps with safer routes for the movement of US and UN troops. This talk is part of the moderated paper session: Risks Posed in Sharing Data and Using GIS for Crisis Prevention and Public Safety.

Learn about GIS for defense and crisis prevention at Esri UC.

To find sessions for your industry, click here.

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Esri 30/30: Water Main Break! Live the Scenario, Learn How to Respond

Today’s Story: Experience a Water Main Break

Today we imagine ourselves in San Diego—beautiful beaches, fabulous restaurants, temperate weather. Then suddenly, a major water main breaks! Streets flood with water. City officials force evacuations from hotels in the Gaslamp District.

Learn about emergency response for water main breaks and more at Esri UC.

Luckily, in this scenario, emergency responders are using the Esri location platform. Ops Center officers can quickly assess the extent of the flooding, reroute traffic, and establish a perimeter. They alert the public using a public information map and Twitter alerts. They even identify and execute alternative housing options for evacuees.

At Esri UC, you can live through this scenario and see how each step of the emergency response can be enacted using ArcGIS. Find it in the Demo Theater, OPS Center Theater, National Security Showcase Exhibit Hall D.

See this demo and many more at Esri UC.

To find sessions for your industry, click here.

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Esri 30/30: Crowdsourcing for Disaster Relief

Today’s Story: Disaster Relief Teams Use Tweets and Maps to Help People After Typhoon Yolanda

On November 8, 2013 the Philippines was ravaged by Typhoon Yolanda (also called Typhoon Haiyan), the strongest storm to ever make landfall. Over 6,000 people in the Philippines were killed by the storm. Tacloban City and Guiuan were among the areas hit the hardest. Widespread damage throughout the country affected vital services and infrastructure.

Without power, hospitals were unable to treat the wounded, road navigability issues disrupted aid efforts, and lack of access to clean drinking water posed significant health risks. To further complicate matters, aid workers didn’t have a full understanding of all of the locations needing aid and the kinds of aid needed.

Aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. Photo: International Transport Workers’ Federation via Flickr

One solution to this problem came in the form of combining tweets and maps. As a way to effectively communicate the need for aid in these areas, MicroMappers, a disaster response app developer, enlisted the help of digital humanitarian volunteers to sort, rate, and geocode tweets and images from the hurricane using the MicroMappers’ Clicker app.

Geocoded content was published to Esri Story Maps and shared online with humanitarian organizations and the media. Thanks to the digital volunteers, armed with the Clicker app, MicroMaps was able to organize a massive amount of social media data and display it in a visually intuitive story map that showed the severity of damage in any given area.

Learn how to make crowdsourced story maps at Esri UC.

At Esri UC, Ji Lucas from MicroMappers will demonstrate how digital humanitarian volunteers converted raw social media data from disaster events into intelligent maps to help coordinate relief efforts. Ji’s talk, Using Microtasking to Crisis Map Social Media During Disasters, is part of the Public Safety Showcase Demo Theater on Thursday.

Hear from Ji and hundreds of other GIS professionals at Esri UC.

To find sessions for your industry, click here.

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Esri 30/30: Fighting Fire with GIS

Today’s Story: The Jamaica Fire Brigade Identifies Risk

Today we visit Jamaica where the Jamaica Fire Brigade has been putting out blazes since 1871. Like any organization, the brigade’s resources are limited, so finding ways to do more with less is a necessity, especially when it comes to public safety.

Learn how GIS can help fight fires at Esri UC.

At Esri UC, Alvin Clarke from the University of Technology, Jamaica will present how GIS is helping the Jamaica Fire Brigade identify risk so they can better respond to incidents. Alvin will show the geospatial techniques used by the brigade. Alvin’s talk is part of the moderated paper session: Using GIS for Incident Response and Analysis.

Hear from Alvin and hundreds of other GIS professionals at Esri UC.

To find sessions for your industry, click here.

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Esri 30/30: Where the Wild Whales Are

Today’s Story: Tracking Humpback Whales on a Wild (Migration) Rumpus

“There should be a place where only the things you want to happen, happen”
― Maurice Sendak
Perhaps that place is Esri UC.

Today we swim alongside humpback whales—the noisiest and most imaginative ocean crooners. How can marine mammal researchers and ocean conservationists help protect these amazing mammals?

At Esri UC, Esri’s Chief Scientist Dawn Wright and Esri’s ocean GIS product engineer Shaun Walbridge, will show you how to spatially visualize and map the ways that different humpback whale populations mix and move. Studying the resulting spatial patterns of genetic variability could be very important for conservation and associated management strategies, such as high-seas marine protected areas. This presentation is part of the tech demo, “Mapping Tools: Where the Wild Whales Are.”Hear from Dawn and Shaun, and hundreds of other GIS professionals at Esri UC.To find sessions for your industry, click here.

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Esri 30/30: Canyons, Comets, and a New Discovery

Today’s Story: Rethinking Underwater Canyon Formations

Today we head south, way south, to the Southern Ocean of Antarctica where scientists Michael Jaye and Kristen Tsolis of the Naval Postgraduate School are using GIS to study the formation of submarine canyons.

Were underwater canyons really formed above ground? Find out at Esri UC.

At Esri UC, Michael and Kristen will present an alternative theory about the formation of underwater canyons. They believe the canyons were formed above ground by water erosion. How did the canyons become submerged in water? Studies show a comet once struck the earth near Antarctica causing landmasses to sink beneath three kilometers of sea water. “Underwater Canyons: A Cosmic, Novel Explanation of their Formation” is part of the moderated paper session Seafloor Morphology and Coastal Management.

Hear from Michael, Kristen, and hundreds of other GIS professionals at Esri UC.

To find sessions for your industry, click here.

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Lauren Bennett on Pattern Mining Plus Hot Spots—on Maps and in San Diego

Lauren Bennett, an Esri product engineer on the spatial analysis team, will co-present one of the tech keynotes, “How to be Analytically Awesome: The Next Wave in Spatial Problem Solving,” with Clint Brown and Linda Beale.

The talk is designed to give people a practical approach and methods to use to bring analysis to life in everyday GIS work.

Learn more from Lauren Bennett at Esri UC.

Q: Can you tell us more about the keynote talk you’re co-presenting?
A: It’s all about turning data into valuable information using spatial analytics. It’s not just about great analysis. It’s about turning that data into information, and sharing the results as information products—web maps, story maps, interactive experiences that take advantage of pop-ups and time sliders. A PDF report with a picture of a map isn’t going to cut it anymore. And this is our focus in new tools we’re working on, too. We’ve got tools to mine for space-time patterns and perform emerging hot spot analysis. These are ways to let the data help us understand what’s going on, and we focus not only on the analytics, but also on the information products that they create.

Q: Pattern mining seems to be all the rage these days. What’s so cool about it?A: Data is getting bigger and more complex, and pattern mining tools can help us boil all of that data down so that we can focus on what’s important. For example, our users are looking at the spatial and temporal aspects of data to find patterns in areas such as crime, disease outbreaks, and consumer behavior. Esri product engineers are always trying to build tools that help users make sense of their data. Not only are the analysis techniques new, we’re also taking advantage of ArcGIS Pro as a 2D and 3D application to give users new ways of looking at the results of the analysis. We have to think about the analysis, and we also have to think about the best way to communicate that analysis.

Q: What do you love about Esri UC?
A: One of the most important things we do all year is talk to users at Esri UC. We talk to them about the data they’re using, their workflows, and what problems they are trying to solve. Their input is so valuable. The work we do, it really is to help them. I love talking to our users about their work and what they need from Esri’s technology.

Q: What’s your favorite place in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter to relax and talk shop while you’re at Esri UC?
A: That’s a tough one because there are a bunch of places that I really love. I like Tin Fish for a quick lunch between sessions, and a cool place called Neighborhood has delicious food and a great craft beer selection. I end up at both of those places at least a few times while at Esri UC.

Q: Most important question: Are you a San Diego Padres fan?
A: To be honest, I’m not a big sports fan. That said, I grew up in New Jersey, so if I had to pick it would probably be the Yankees, since I grew up going to the ticker-tape parades in New York City whenever the Yankees won the World Series.

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Esri 30/30: 3D to Help Stakeholders Understand

Today’s Story: 3D visualization for Taiga Project Stakeholders

Brrr… Today we travel to the Cold Lake region of Alberta, Canada where Osum Oil Sands Corporation has been approved to begin production on its Taiga Project in 2016. The Taiga Project will support 30 or more years of stable production and support volumes of at least 45,000 barrels per day at peak capacity. This means strong economics, but it also means a minimized environmental impact because the project will not use fresh water for steam generation (and is among the first projects to achieve this).

At Esri UC, Andrew Tomlinson of Osum Oil Sands will explain how he use GIS to produce clear communication of technical information during the consultation period and ultimately gain approval for the Taiga Project. Maps are 2D representations of a 3D world and are easily misinterpreted. Osum utilized a 3D visualization of the existing conditions and planned development based on 3D modelling to help guide stakeholders’ understanding of the project. This talk is part of the moderated user session, Petroleum: Infrastructure

Hear from Andrew, and hundreds of other GIS professionals at Esri UC.

To find sessions for your industry, click here.

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Esri 30/30: Beyond Tracking Numbers–Geofences for Freight Management

Today’s Story: Tracking Trucks at Con-way Freight

Today we hit the open road with Con-way Freight. The global company is using Esri’s Geotrigger Service and ArcGIS Model Builder to improve route optimization and customer pricing.

Con-way Freight uses GPS technology to manage the location of their fleet.

Con-way Freight has more than 32,000 tractors and trailers. Keeping track of those assets presents a huge challenge for managers who are concerned with efficiency, security, and meeting customer satisfaction.

At Esri UC, Con-way systems analyst Aaron Baraff will talk about how Esri’s Geotrigger Service helps Con-Way Freight gather accurate truck arrival and departure times. Aaron will also show off the custom app he and his team created that captures GPS coordinates of fleet vehicles to create geofence events in real-time.

Geofences create virtual boundaries that send location-based messages when users enter or leave the geofence.

Hear from Aaron and hundreds of other GIS professionals at Esri UC.

To find sessions for your industry, click here.

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Esri 30/30: Manholes—Not Just for Ninja Turtles

Today’s Story: Who Counts the Manholes?

You know those holes in the sidewalks and streets that are covered by a heavy lid? These “manholes” are not just for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They are actually for utility crews to get underground for maintenance.

Today we travel the manholes of Northern Illinois with ComEd, the utility that serves electricity to about 3.8 million customers across Northern Illinois. Serving 70 percent of the state’s population means a lot of manholes.

Learn about utility data management at Esri UC.

At Esri UC, Shannon Grimes and Lane Moeller of ComEd will talk about how they are using GIS to assess and repair 27,346 manholes. A major hindrance to their task is the amount of data that needs to be collected from the field, sorted by a back office group, and then stored somewhere that it is accessible to both field and office employees. The team created a web-based GIS that now serves as a user-friendly interface, accessible to hundreds of employees. Planners, for example, use the data to perform network analysis and determine efficient routes for assessments and repairs. This talk is part of the moderated user session: Supporting Utility Operations.

Hear from Shannon, Lane, and hundreds of other GIS professionals at Esri UC.

To find sessions for your industry, click here.

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