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Highlights from 2014

And Speaking of 2015...

  • Three new science books from Esri Press: Mapping and Modeling Weather and Climate with GIS, already out, features leading climatologists, meteorologists, and other experts sharing approaches to advance atmospheric and ocean science through GIS. Ocean Solutions, Earth Solutions, due out in the summer, is an externally peer-reviewed research monograph based on papers presented at the inaugural Esri Ocean GIS Forum. It is about use-inspired science and realistic solutions for mapping, monitoring and protecting the ocean, hence the entire Earth. It will be the first Esri Press book to employ Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) for citation of both chapter text and supplementary datasets (further reading on citations). In addition, GIS Research Methods: Incorporating Spatial Perspectives shows researchers how to incorporate spatial thinking and GIS technology into research design and analysis. It should also be incredibly useful in the classroom.
  • Citizen science taking more center stage, including Esri participation at the inaugural Citizen Science Association Conference, a range of apps to support citizen science projects, and exciting implementations, including at the White House Science Fair. Apps include Collector for ArcGIS, Geoform Web App Template, Survey123, Crowdsource Reporter for Citizen Science, Water Quality Status, My Hazard, and for your own customized apps from scratch, Web App Builder for ArcGIS. The Story Map Crowdsource Builder for citizen science is due for release in December 2015.
  • Continued progress with SciPy and multidimensional scientific datasets including the new Scientific Data Workflows package and the Dimension Explorer.
  • New Python Raster Functions, a curated set of lightweight but powerful tools for on-the-fly image processing and raster analysis in ArcGIS. Available from Esri's open-source community on GitHub.
  • Improvements to both the Ecological Land Units map, as we are currently seeking improved and higher-resolution land cover layers, and to our Global Population Map. See info on Esri's new World Population Estimate layer.
  • To complement the Ecological Land Units, we have begun scoping a new Ecological Marine Units (EMUs) map. An initial advisory includes scientists from the USGS, Duke University, GRID-Arendal, the Marine Conservation Institute, NatureServe, and NOAA. The environmental stratification approach will involve creating an empty, volumetric column-based mesh as a global, spatial reference standard and analytical framework, populating the spatial framework with relevant marine physical environment data including water column variables and seafloor geomorphological features, and clustering the abiotic data into ecologically meaningful, 3D regions represented as volumetric polygons. The EMUs will subsequently be analyzed against species distribution data to assess strength of relationship between distinct abiotic environments and species biogeography. Initial results expected at the end of 2015.
  • Closer integration with R: Stay tuned for more information an open source bridge library on GitHub that will facilitate the passing of data between ArcGIS and R, with an aim toward build a community of people who develop R-based geoprocessing tools that are shared freely and openly, along with sample data. See also this comprehensive video on integrating open source statistical packages with ArcGIS. In addition, see Python: Working with Scientific Data.
  • The open source Esri Geoportal Server continues to be a popular and valuable contribution. The latest version, 1.2.6, includes increased support for the Project Open Data catalog format, various search and publication enhancements, and further integration options with ArcGIS Online/Portal for ArcGIS. You can access the release at
  • A new site license (also known as the science kit) for standalone research organizations in the US.
  • Many are still unaware of our Visiting Faculty/Sabbatical Program. If considering an extensive time in residence at Esri headquarters, please see these guidelines.


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