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By GeoBlogger on 8/11/2014 12:05 PM

By: Brian J. Smith, Vice President, Commercial Sales and Delivery

There have been many blogs written about the technical aspect of the Esri® International User Conference (UC). If you are looking for that type of blog, I need to forewarn you… this is not it!

By GeoBlogger on 7/14/2014 3:06 PM

By: David Gilbert, GISP, Senior Project Manager/GIS Manager

With boots on the ground, our GeoDecisions team is in full swing at the Esri® User Conference (UC) this week in San Diego, California. Below are the top 10 items that I am looking for during the UC.

By GeoBlogger on 6/16/2014 3:07 PM

By: Roger Boissonnas, Technical Architect

As part of the 2nd Annual GeoD ecisions Hack-a-thon competition, I worked with my Madison, Wisconsin, coworkers to create “EasyAsset,” a mobile GIS data collection application with Optical Character Recognition (OCR). This tool would enable field workers to more easily collect GIS data points by taking a picture of a nameplate, model number, or asset tag on a hydrant, pump, sign, or signal.

By GeoBlogger on 5/29/2014 8:20 PM

By: Hany Hassaballa, E.I.T., Senior GIS Analyst

As a new U.S. immigrant, I did not know much about American sports, especially baseball. GeoDecisions’ 2014 Map-A-Thon contest (a spin-off from our annual Hack-A-Thon innovation event), seemed like a great chance for me to become more familiar with different American baseball teams and fan demographics. Although I am still learning the finer details of how the sport is played, compiling baseball map information helped me to better understand each team’s location and sphere of influence.

By GeoBlogger on 5/20/2014 8:45 AM

By: Mark C. Lecher, Senior Project Manager

GeoDecisions staff traveled well in May, when a cluster of GIS conferences ran concurrently up and down the East Coast. Several of us (on the transportation side, of course) covered the greatest distance to Burlington, Vermont, to experience the annual GIS in Transportation (GIS-T) conference. And it was well worth the trip!

By GeoBlogger on 5/7/2014 3:24 PM

By: Bob Scaer, P.E., Gannett Fleming President & COO and Former GeoDecisions President

This April, I traveled to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, a city that always amazes me. It is so well planned out with spectacular architecture and a beautiful Corniche, a waterfront filled with restaurants, fountains, and a beach park. While there, I visited one of our business partners, Naeema Al Zarouni, CEO of GeoLinks, a geospatial technology company.

By GeoBlogger on 4/30/2014 5:08 PM

Published on Fishidy Blog

As reported, Fishidy, a leading provider of map-based, on-the-water fishing information and a social networking hub for anglers based in Madison, Wisconsin, will get a face-to-face meeting with Silicon Valley venture capitalists this summer, thanks to its winning pitch at a Madison business conference. 

By GeoBlogger on 3/24/2014 3:20 PM

By: Patrick Empey, Senior GIS Analyst; and Ricardo Duarte, Marketing Manager

How are your NCAA men’s basketball brackets shaping up? To see who’s in and who’s out, view this March Madness tournament map:

http://geodecisions.maps.arcgis.com/apps/OnePane/basicviewer/index.html?appid=c096f92622eb4eca932df17a0a21a0e1

By GeoBlogger on 2/24/2014 2:07 PM

By: Mark C. Lecher, Senior Project Manager

Esri® annual Federal GIS Users Conference (FedUC) recently occurred in Washington, DC. For those not familiar with the FedUC, the majority of participants either work in, or work with, the federal government. An Esri Gold-tier Business Partner, GeoDecisions was well-represented at the event with several attendees and an exhibitor booth. The conference is considered the primer that starts Esri’s new conference year.

By GeoBlogger on 2/20/2014 3:50 PM

By: Patrick Empey, Senior GIS Analyst            

From A to Z the United States has a strong presence at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Featuring 230 athletes sporting our red, white, and blue, the U.S. is represented in nearly every Olympic event. With so many chasing the gold, we wanted to know where these athletes called home. 

By GeoBlogger on 1/6/2014 2:45 PM

By: Kevin Yount, Senior Project Manager

It’s good to have choices. Too many options, however, can be a lot of work. When it comes to where your GIS and geospatial applications run, organizations have a myriad of possibilities. Recognizing that it can take a lot of time and energy to change existing setups, cloud computing platforms add a whole new dimension to hosting choices.

By GeoBlogger on 12/24/2013 11:15 AM

By: Brendan Wesdock, M.C.P., GISP

As we look forward to a fantastic 2013 finish and ringing in the new year, I am reinvigorated by our common goal – to serve our communities to the best of our abilities each and every day.

Please take a moment to watch and enjoy our holiday video postcard tidings, and have a safe and enjoyable holiday season!

By GeoBlogger on 11/22/2013 10:29 AM

By: Dave Gilbert, GISP, Senior Project Manager and Ricardo Duarte, Marketing Manager

As we know, Thanksgiving is not the only annual tradition for geospatial professionals this time of year. In the November spirit, GeoDecisions was out in full force to celebrate Central Pennsylvania (PA) GIS Day at the Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) Midtown Campus on Nov. 20.  

By GeoBlogger on 11/4/2013 1:55 PM

By: Kayla J. Kiphart Briggs, CFM, GIS Analyst

As highlighted in our Part One Overview, the Esri® ArcGIS Online platform is revolutionizing the geospatial industry by improving data flow. A new and evolving technology, ArcGIS Online has been gaining traction with GIS users in business communities around the world during the past several years.

By GeoBlogger on 10/24/2013 12:38 PM

By: Kevin Switala, GISP, Vice President

The Esri® ArcGIS Online platform is transforming the GIS professionals’ daily workflow by changing the way data is maintained, accessed, and shared. The ArcGIS Online Platform also greatly increases the accessibility of spatial data and functionality beyond the GIS professional.

By GeoBlogger on 10/10/2013 1:50 PM
By: Jonathan Greiner, Project Manager

The term “Social Media” evokes different reactions in different people, often based on personal experience of the individual. Wikipedia defines social media as “means of interactions among people in which they create, share, and exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks.”  For some, social media represents a tool for staying connected to a geographically diverse group of friends and loved ones. 
By GeoBlogger on 9/17/2013 6:43 AM

By: Dave Thieme, MCSD, MCDBA, FCP, JCP, Solutions Architect

The software industry is well versed with acronyms. We use them to shorten multi-word component names like AJAX, product names like ASP, and even methodologies like OOPS, ETL, and CRUD. Many times, these acronyms include buzz words like electronic, enterprise, extended, integrated, intelligent, interactive, and cloud. They are created to differentiate one product, component, or methodology from another. 

By GeoBlogger on 7/15/2013 10:52 AM

By: David Gilbert, GISP, Senior Project Manager/GIS Manager

This year’s Esri International User Conference theme was "Vision."

Okay, this year’s conference came with its own software release (10.2 and the upcoming 10.2.1), in addition to the standard showcase of the new technical capabilities and tools. But, underneath all the software improvements was the vision of what GIS will become in the near future. Or should I say already has - in some cases. 

And that vision is (drum roll, please): a complete cloud-based system.

By GeoBlogger on 6/18/2013 10:18 AM

By Shankar Lakshmanan, GIS Software Developer

The Snow*Mobile conference was held earlier this year in Madison, Wis. There were interesting presentations on how various web and mobile technologies are helping and empowering people. Here are outlines of a few talks that stood out to me as interesting and informative.

 

By GeoBlogger on 5/31/2013 3:47 PM

By Kelly Fisher, Senior Development Manager

If you have an interest in GIS, gardening, and sustaining the environment, then permaculture may be for you. Permaculture is designing a self-sufficient environment for a network of people, from a community or city down to a single family. The practice of permaculture results in using natural resources in a sustainable way to produce a surplus and not introducing anything that will negatively impact/harm the environment, such as pesticides, invasive/non-native plants, etc.

According to author Toby Hemenway of Gaia’s Garden, the five main steps in designing an ecological garden is to observe, visualize, plan, develop, and then implement. GIS can be used as a helpful tool in completing these steps, particularly the first three.  

By GeoBlogger on 5/24/2013 7:59 AM

By: Jonathan Pollack, Senior Vice President

I recently returned from GIS-T in Boise, Idaho. In addition to a great conference, I discovered that Boise is a wonderful city. The conference was very well attended with representation from more than 40 states. I find this conference refreshing, as nearly all attendees are focused on learning from each other, sharing their ideas and, solving the mutual challenges they face in the transportation arena. The GIS-T staff did a great job this year and having the ASIS conference run concurrently was an added bonus; these are exciting times in the GIS-T space.

By GeoBlogger on 5/14/2013 8:28 AM

By: Dave Thieme, MCSD, MCDBA, FCP, JCP, Solutions Architect

Unified Modeling Language (UML) is commonly used to document system requirements in order to describe as-is and to-be business activities. In UML, a use case describes actors and the activities they perform. An actor can be a specific user role within an organization, a customer or business partner, or even a system.

By GeoBlogger on 4/30/2013 10:49 AM

By: Doug Argall, GISP, OCA, Senior Database Administrator

Late last fall, I was contacted by friend and former colleague, Albert Sarvis, who now heads the Spatial Technology program at The Harrisburg University of Science and Technology based in downtown Harrisburg, Pa. He asked if I’d meet with one of his students to give an overview of spatial databases, and I gladly accepted. Following this meeting, Albert and I continued discussions to possibly expand this into a full spatial database development course. Just a few weeks later, I found myself back in a classroom for the first time in almost 23 years fulfilling one of my life’s ambitions… to teach.

By GeoBlogger on 4/18/2013 8:50 AM

By: Thomas G. Ries, Senior Project Manager

A Look at the Remaining Three Key Enterprise Integration Needs

In my previous post, I concluded that I thought Esri® Roads and Highways (R&H) was on the right path for addressing two of five key enterprise integration needs: (1) services-based architectures and (2) data integration during data maintenance. In this post, I will cover Esri R&H and the remaining three key enterprise integration needs: linear location integration, temporal integration, and resolution integration.

By GeoBlogger on 4/9/2013 9:15 AM

By: Nohyun Myung, Technical Architect

In part one I discussed understanding the differences among disaster recovery, high availability, and failover. If you missed part one, you can read it here.

In this post, I will address the in-depth challenges organizations face and possible solutions to overcome these challenges when developing a disaster recovery (DR) plan. Some of these challenges include lack of metrics and analytics, cost, and relating the impact.

By GeoBlogger on 4/2/2013 12:33 PM

By: Adam Conner, Senior Developer

If you’ve been following along, you’ve seen the previous three posts about the 2013 Esri® Developer Summit. Days three and four consisted of many different types of presentations, from users and Esri staff alike. Here are my highlights from those last two days and a final summary from the event.

By GeoBlogger on 3/27/2013 9:38 AM

By: Adam Conner, Senior Developer

Day two of the 2013 Esri® International Developer Summit is now on the books, and it began with the Plenary. I watched the plenary while reviewing the #devsummit hashtag on Twitter to see what everyone was saying. It was easy to notice, and the Twitter crowd confirmed my feelings, that the presenters were saying the word “platform” about two times per minute. At one point, one of the presenters even said it mockingly, acknowledging the fact that it was getting comical. That being said there were a lot of great topics covered during the session. Here are a few that I was most excited about.

By GeoBlogger on 3/26/2013 7:12 AM

By: Adam Conner, Senior Developer

The 2013 Esri® International Developer Summit is officially underway, but the 2013 Esri Partner Conference is still winding down. The evidence of this strange crossover conference day can be found on Twitter. It also means that the Developer Summit Plenary Session is on the morning of day two. That will be the plenary session when all of the new features of ArcGIS 10.2 will be discussed and how all of the APIs and SDKs have been simplified and enhanced to take advantage of 10.2 features. Today, we heard all about those features and changes, and how they will be released in June 2013. We don’t get to see it all at once until tomorrow in the plenary. It seemed like day one was a warm up, and Esri didn’t expect everyone to arrive in Palm Springs until tomorrow. So what did we see and hear on day one?

By GeoBlogger on 3/21/2013 11:49 AM

By: Adam Conner, Senior Developer

Throughout the next week, three team members from GeoDecisions will be visiting the Esri® Developer Summit in Palm Springs, Calif. In between our time lounging at the pool and exploring the desert, we might even attend a few sessions at the conference. I will be blogging all week from the conference, providing summaries of the sessions I attend, and attempting to provide insight and information about what is happening at the conference. A few of the topics I am most interested in for the coming week include the new updates to ArcGIS Online and all of the interesting ways people are including location and maps in mobile applications.

By GeoBlogger on 3/15/2013 8:09 AM

By: Brian J. Smith, Director of Commercial Solutions

Esri® has released the next evolution of its impressive software suite, ArcGIS.com. As most of you know, Arcgis.com is a web-based solution that allows for simple map sharing and spatial data consumption using automated uploading tools, including geocoding and shapefiles. Arcgis.com primarily allows expert GIS users to disseminate GIS data to all corners of their companies and provide (even the most novice) users the ability to create, view, and share maps and data.

By GeoBlogger on 3/7/2013 11:52 AM

By: Nohyun Myung, Senior Technical Architect

It always amazes me how often I’m brought in to help design an organization’s enterprise architecture, and how well-defined business continuity and, more specifically, disaster recovery plans seem to fall by the wayside. Typically it’s an afterthought. There are three key notions that are most commonly brought into the discussion when talking about business continuity in the technology realm: (1) Disaster Recovery, (2) High Availability, and (3) Failover. Often times, these terms are used interchangeably, but they each hold their own unique, significant characteristics.

By GeoBlogger on 3/1/2013 1:58 PM

By: Kevin J. Switala, GISP, Vice President

“I can’t believe she doesn’t understand projections yet,” laments Ben. Jenn retorts, He doesn’t even know the difference in public, protected, or private classes!” And thus, another Battle Royal begins anew in the never ending saga that is - Who makes the best GIS developer?

Unlike its relatively specialized origins, throughout the past 20 years, the GIS industry grew to penetrate a multitude of industries, and the democratization of GIS development tools from software vendors made rapid prototyping and web-enabled application development more accessible.

By GeoBlogger on 2/20/2013 8:55 AM

By: Mark C. Lecher, Senior Project Manager

Research and development is often times a hard task to manage in service-oriented organizations. Project responsibilities and remaining current on core technology changes can take priority over exploring new ideas. How organizations remain fresh and innovative – and keep their employees motivated – becomes a tricky juggling act. At GeoDecisions, we decided to meet this challenge head-on and conducted a Hack-A-Thon event to, explore new innovations.

By GeoBlogger on 2/14/2013 8:49 AM

By: Eric Rensel, TIM Project Manager and Nate Reck, Director of Technology

Traveler safety and convenience highlight an important relationship between GIS and traffic incident management (TIM). The mission of TIM can be divided into three phases: (1) strategic: activities done to plan for TIM; (2) tactical: activities that are completed while a crash is occurring; and (3) support: technology that is implemented to support strategic and tactical activities. This overall mission helps to more clearly define how important the relationship is between GIS and TIM.

By GeoBlogger on 1/31/2013 10:43 AM

By: James Frank, Project Manager/GIS Analyst

GIS is becoming a mature technology with regards to the typical 2D data created to make maps and perform GIS analysis. For cartographers and analysts, 3D GIS is quickly becoming the next frontier. As demand increases for 3D visualization based on GIS data and analysis tools in industries like emergency services, facility management, augmented reality, and even entertainment – I am envisioning a future with 3D GIS on the web, without a plugin. Hopefully. I know I’m not alone in this thought.

By GeoBlogger on 1/23/2013 8:41 AM

By: Sam Brenize, Configuration Manager

One inevitable outcome of configuration management is standardization. Configuration management, in general, seeks to control change and manage artifacts and releases to ensure the highest level of quality. Standardization of processes and procedures, as well as tool sets, makes that task much easier. Although, too many processes and too much standardization can have the opposite effect on quality and a project timeline.

So, what is the correct balance for configuration management?

By GeoBlogger on 1/14/2013 10:37 AM

By: Jonathan Greiner, Project Manager

On Jan. 3, 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a memorandum approving electronic delivery of annual Consumer Confidence Reports (CCRs). This memorandum sets forth acceptable delivery methods for CCRs and paves the way for water utilities to consider the potential cost-savings associated with electronic delivery.

By GeoBlogger on 1/7/2013 9:06 AM

By: Judy Weir, Senior Web Designer

 

prototype is an early model or design built to test a concept or process. In web development, as with many things, design is an integral part of a product’s success. Most people measure success of a web application by their experience of it. Is it easy to use? Can I accomplish what I need to do in a minimal amount of time? Do I like using this application? At the very least, does this website not make me want to scream at the screen?

By GeoBlogger on 12/20/2012 9:04 AM

By: Kevin Yount, Senior Project Manager

Superstorm Sandy might be a unique, once-in-a-lifetime event for residents of the mid-Atlantic coastline. But for emergency management officials, the challenges remain the same regardless of the event: define priorities and mobilize the right resources toward the right place, at the right time. However, public expectations and the tools available for responders to meet those expectations are changing.

By GeoBlogger on 12/13/2012 8:59 AM

By: Justin Blunk, Senior Developer

Companies that don’t understand their users are in danger of developing products that are difficult to use and understand. The products may not meet real-world requirements or provide relevant functionality.

As a newcomer to the world of GIS who has encountered the challenges of navigating a non-intuitive GIS interface, I believe that understanding and simplifying the user’s learning curve should be one of the most important concerns in GIS design.

By GeoBlogger on 12/5/2012 8:10 AM

By: Brian L. Jensen, GISP, Director of Midwest Operations

Many people are aware of GeoDecisions’ involvement and development of the Fishidy.com website and mobile application. However, what most may not know is that Fishidy is much more than just a cool website for anglers.

Fishidy.com is a platform that uses some of the most innovative and forward-thinking geographic information system (GIS) technologies and concepts.

By GeoBlogger on 11/27/2012 2:08 PM

By: Jonathan Greiner, Project Manager

Numerous utilities that have previously relied upon the institutional knowledge of key staff are beginning to realize the importance of building a geographic information system (GIS) for capturing assets in electronic form. Oftentimes these “key” individuals are solely able to pinpoint asset locations based on their acquired system knowledge. As these staff members near retirement, reality often begins to set in regarding the level of information they maintain that is not easily accessible anywhere else. As utilities shift toward initiating a GIS, there are many factors that need to be considered.

By GeoBlogger on 11/15/2012 9:48 AM

By: Mark C. Lecher, Senior Project Manager

I have always loved printed maps. I would stare at them for hours, imagining what a faraway place would be like. Those printed maps were used to take family trips for many generations. They helped you get from point A to point B, and trip planning meant hours hunched over an atlas. When I graduated college in 1996 with my geography degree, I wanted to make printed maps. And I did. But a lot has changed since then. We have entered a new era in technology.
By GeoBlogger on 11/7/2012 11:38 AM

By: Nick Hutton, Senior Project Manager

For more than 20 years, many consultants, including myself, have primarily thought of asset management in the context of data collection, such as asset inventories and condition assessments.

This is still true, but only to an extent; because things have changed…for the better.

By GeoBlogger on 11/2/2012 7:26 AM

By: Scott Mencer, GIS Development Manager

I read a lot of blog posts and listen to many lectures at conferences about Agile development where the arguments for adopting Agile practices center around developer productivity. If you are Agile, your developers will be happy and productive and ship a lot of bug-free code. That sounds well and good, but a business will want some sort of metric to measure that success. So, how can we bridge this gap between what developers think will help the business run better and what management can measure to ensure that the business is actually running better?

By GeoBlogger on 10/24/2012 9:30 AM

By: Greg Ulp, Project Manager

Some people view GIS as “eye candy.” It is pretty maps and crazy 3D fly-overs that we throw at the users to catch their attention. But in the case of safety analysis, I think we’re on to something. For many DOT’s, just being able to see a graphical representation of the crash locations has made a world of difference in improving traffic safety. However, with all the advances in GIS technology, analysis of the data has become an art form.

By GeoBlogger on 10/16/2012 9:57 AM

By: Roger P. Boissonnas, Technical Architect

The options for developing mobile GIS applications with Esri®-based software are numerous. There are so many options out there that it can sometimes be overwhelming to know what’s best for you. Take a look at what I consider when sorting through my options for developing a mobile application.

By GeoBlogger on 10/9/2012 7:33 AM

By: Nate Reck, Director of Application Development - Transportation

History loves paper. The proof is in every department of transportation (DOT) office throughout the country. Document management is a broad term and has a wide spectrum of uses and meanings. The focus of this post deals not with pure “document” management, but with data management.

By GeoBlogger on 10/2/2012 7:43 AM

By: Brendan Wesdock, M.C.P., GISP, President

Welcome to the first post on GeoDestinations, GeoDecisions’ new blog. My motivation to start a blog for GeoDecisions is – in its most simplistic form – to provide our clients with a unique insight into our firm. I want to introduce you to our technologists, the heart and soul that drive the innovation at our firm. And, I want to provide you with a foundation of enterprise geospatial knowledge that will help drive your business processes.