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Archive for 2013

Documenting life in small towns project announced by The Atlantic and APM’s Marketplace

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

This week The Atlantic and APM’s Marketplace announce a new joint reporting project, “American Futures,” documenting life in small towns and cities across the country, spearheaded by James Fallows, national correspondent for The Atlantic and a pilot, and his wife, the linguist and author Deborah Fallows. The couple has traveled extensively both abroad and in the U.S. with particular interest in small towns and areas that are not necessarily tourist destinations. Fallows spoke about the project at the Esri User Conference 2013 in San Diego in July.

James Fallows, national correspondent for The Atlantic

For this project, they will travel from one small-town airport to the next in their propeller-driven Cirrus SR-22 airplane, spending time in towns and cities that are off the beaten path of most people. Kai Ryssdal, host and senior editor of Marketplace, and his team will report from various legs of the trip.

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Geoenabling Telecom New Zealand’s field sales team

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

Stephen Usmar, Telecom New Zealand, with a background in marketing business intelligence systems, introduced GIS in 1998 to Telecom New Zealand and reactivated it about 18 months ago. One of its uses is to support their sales teams.

Telecom NZ provides fixed mobile and IT products and services to consumer, small and medium sized enterprise corporate and wholesale customer segments.

A door-to-door team goes door-to-door to sell broadband. They log 4-6 hours shifts, have 450,000 conversations, and travel 20,000 miles. They knock on 1 million doors.

“This began for me in one evening in July when a Telecom NZ sales rep came to my door. Since I was a customer why was he there?” said Usmar. “It got me thinking there’s a better way, somebody in the office photocopies a map, draws a boundary, sends people out to knock on every door in five hours and then we pick up you up. The problem is every other household is a Telecom customer, so the calls on those become service calls. The goal is to exit as soon as possible from these calls and move on to a genuine prospect.”

There was an existing Telecom NZ GIS capability.

“I knew where every customer was. I took their paper maps, married it with our GIS app, digital maps and customer data, “said Usmar. “There were three types of households identified: contact prospects with no telecom, customer – no telecom and broadband but access and/or mobile, and skip customers.”

For prospects they usually only have their address, and when they last marketed to them. “With the use of the GIS, we went from little sales data to rich sales data that could be analyzed.”

 

Bentley Map Mobile Debuts

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

The first version of Bentley Map Mobile, a Bentley app that empowers infrastructure professionals to share Bentley Map geospatial information with field technicians via Android-based mobile devices, was released recently.

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British royals Esri map tracks Twitter reactions to royal birth

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

For those who follow the British royals, an Esri map is available for the media to embed or share. See where the last 12 heirs to throne were born and track real-time Twitter reactions to the birth of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge’s child.

Esri’s Royal Births Map>

Big data and services were hot topics at Esri UC

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

 

Big data and services to manage big data were among the hot topics of Esri UC 2013. Companies that provided these opportunities were in large part Esri partners.

As a result of the cloud and mobile/location intelligence, we can now ingest data that previously required an enormous amount of effort to be made usable. The question still remains as to who is qualified to access the data, but data now breaks out of its previous stagnancy with the growth of technology potential.

Who can use GIS now? Just about everyone.

Although the federal government was not well represented at the conference because of steep cutbacks, the products and services showcased catered to the federal, state and local governments, with disaster response, emergency preparedness, intelligence and other related fields. There is not a geospatial company out there that doesn’t tailor their application/server platform to that market.

Some of the companies visited that fall within these categories include:

DigitalGlobe FirstLook Premium Services

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Esri User Conference Plenary Session 2013

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

 

The  Esri User Conference 2013 Plenary Session kicked off yesterday morning with CEO Jack Dangermond recounting the various ways in which GIS is permeating the lives of people across the globe, and commending those GIS professionals in the audience who are instrumental in spreading that message.

According to Jack, there is more citizen involvement in the areas of disaster reporting, voting, and utility concerns. Story maps have proliferated in the past year and there is a new narrative for the Tour de France this week. Organizational portals, citizen data access, open data, government infrastructure, internal are just some of the areas that are growing in their use of GIS.

This year the “Making A Difference Award” was awarded to Jack (John) Wennberg, MD for looking at healthcare practices in terms of cost, outcomes, etc. based on location, in his book, “The Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care.”

The Enterprise GIS Award was presented to the Lands Department of the government of Hong Kong, accepted by Dominic Wai Ching Su,JP

The President’s Award was presented to Direct Relief, with Dorothy Largay, Board Member and Andrew Schroeder, Director of Research and Analysis. They invested in GIS four years ago and have impacted “millions of people” since. Direct Relief International used Esri technology to create an interactive online mapping application for Haiti relief efforts.

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Geodesign web-based app shown at Esri UC

Friday, July 5th, 2013

A web-based app to support the Geodesign workflow is in development and will take awhile before it is ready for release.

Geodesign Services Director at Esri Bill Miller sent the following message

“If you are interested in learning more about what we are doing, I will be demo-ing our app at the Esri User Conference in San Diego next week on Wednesday, Noon to 1:00pm, in Room 30E at the SDCC. This will be a limited “showing” to our users interested in geodesign. Here is a preview of the demo:

http://www.screencast.com/t/MjKBQeesbo”

For those not familiar with Geodesign, the following blog post links to some videos from the 2013 Geodesign Summit and coverage for that event:

Esri Geodesign Summit 2013

 

Fighting fires with GIS

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Predicting where a dangerous wildfire is going to start can be very difficult, but geographic information systems (GIS) can quickly analyze geographic data about fire-contributing conditions to aid in effective wildfire planning and prevention.

“GIS is an ideal technology to predict the characteristics of a wildfire because it excels at analyzing multiple data layers,” says Gabe Schmidbauer, GIS professor at American Sentinel University. “The complex nature of wildfire dynamics requires the analysis of multiple disparate datasets such as housing, vegetation and weather for wildfire planning and prevention and can help predict when the current conditions are right for a wildfire,” says Schmidbauer.

That’s been the situation recently in Colorado as more than a dozen large fires burn in four national forests and eight other areas.

GIS Impacts Communities
Recently, a major online GIS mapping system was created to show the precise extent of the burning by GIS software vendor Esri to help residents, firefighters, emergency response workers, officials and others interested in the situation on the ground. It demonstrates how GIS experts can have a major impact on their communities.

“As GIS analysts model their prediction of wildfire behavior, they simulate changes in fire direction, intensity and geographical extent of a burned area over time to help predict where a potential fire will occur, as well as where a current fire will spread. This gives officials a leg up in fire prevention prediction analysis,” says Schmidbauer.

Esri’s map system scrolls in or out to cover the area the user wants to see. Pull back and you notice that not only are there the well-publicized problems in Colorado, but large fires in California, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Idaho. Esri wildland fire map

Social network hotspots are also included on the map. There are also other helpful annotations. For example, the map shows current wind patterns, color-coded to show strength. Wind is an important factor in how fires develop. The information can help predict how they might spread, which will affect firefighting efforts and the decisions made by officials and residents of the potentially affected areas.

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Indoor location applications in place by 2016

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

According to a report by ABI Research entitled, “Indoor Location Smartphone Applications,” the ecosystem necessary to drive mass adoption of indoor location applications will be in place by 2016.

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Fighting fire with maps, weather data and fire behavior analysis

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

The Jaroso Fire in the Pecos Wilderness of New Mexico burned 3,000 acres in the past 24 hours. This fire has been burning since June 10th. Although so far it has burned only just over 9,000 acres and so far there are no structures or power lines  in jeopardy yet, it is uncontained. It will remain uncontained until conditions change, because it is too dangerous to send ground crews in.

The Jaroso Fire at 11,000 feet elevation is burning in the rugged, steep, deep canyons of the Pecos Wilderness. It is burning in mixed-conifer, heavy dead and down, woody material with pockets of bug-killed trees, and has burnt through the 1300-acres of blowdown trees from a windstorm in 2007. The fire is seven miles from the nearest trailhead and there are no roads.

Almost all of the firefighting has taken place from the air but the few firefighters who have been rappelled in have had to be pulled out less than two hours later because of the altitude and the ruggedness of the terrain.

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