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Implementing ArcGIS

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Here are my thoughts on GIS Day.  Happy GIS Day!

 

Every Day Should Be GIS Day 

Are you wondering if drones can help your agency?  Check out this success story on how North Central Texas Emergency Communications District (NCT9-1-1) updates its maps by using drone imagery and GIS.

 

  • A fast-growing region in Texas uses satellite and drone imagery to update maps and addresses.
  • Fresh imagery helps 9-1-1 telecommunicators quickly locate emergency callers and route first responders.
  • Imagery informs addressing authorities accurately, essential to quickly reaching people in crisis.

 

Texas 9-1-1 Agency Uses Imagery to Stay Current with Booming Growth 

 

In an effort to connect with executives and increase awareness, Esri has launched a campaign called See What Others Can't.  It was formally launched at the 2019 Esri International User Conference in July.  It will continue into 2020.  Executive sponsorship is one of the largest contributions to building a successful enterprise GIS, so use this microsite as a way to communicate with your executives and help them See What Other Can't.

 

See What Others Can’t | Understand Data to Make Better Decisions - Esri 

Really interesting article that shows the value of location as a way to get more value from the ever increasing amount of data.

 

Every day, a mind-boggling 2.5 quintillion* bytes of data are created - data that should improve our ability to understand the world in which we live, yet could all too easily overwhelm and prevent us from making timely decisions. Amazingly, we’re not even at the peak yet; the volume, variety and velocity will continue to increase at a phenomenal rate. In 2018, the world created 33 zettabytes of data (one zettabyte is a trillion gigabytes); by 2025, IDC predicts this will increase to 175 zettabytes. Whilst it may seem an almost impossible task to be able to make sense of this ever-increasing tsunami of data to make timely decisions, we can. However, the answer doesn't come from just breaking down data silos, which will simply result in information silos and create different challenges, it comes from a really rather refreshingly simple source. The answer lies in the concept of location.

 

How to Break Down Information Silos and Harness Disruptive Technology 

Many local governments administered elections yesterday.  For many of them, they execute this critical function with little or no support from GIS.  It's time to change that and reach out to expand your GIS to include elections.  There's a national election coming next year in the U.S. which provides a great opportunity.

 

Check out this success story on how Orange Co., California is using GIS to support their election operations:

 

Optimizing Elections⏤GIS Improves Preparation and Execution for County 

 

And be sure to check out our free, open source, supported Elections solutions as part of our ArcGIS Solutions collection here:

 

Elections | ArcGIS Solutions for Local Government 

 

Also, here is a recent post on the NSGIC Geo-Enabled Elections Project: 

NSGIC - Geo-Enabled Elections 

 

 

Good information here for GIS Managers.  You should be paying attention to these as they present opportunities to integrate with GIS and raise the importance of GIS in your organization.

 

Gartner Identifies Top Trends for Public Sector Tech – MeriTalk 

Here are two great examples of how cities are using ArcGIS to power open data sites.

 

The first one is from Arlington, TX and allows the public to interactively explore the city's performance management dashboards to see how they are doing in relation to their key performance indicators (KPIs).

City of Arlington, TX Performance Management 

 

The second one is from Topeka, KS and allows the public to interactively explore the city's budget using ArcGIS Insights.  You can choose between the Operating Budget, Capital Budget, or Projected Budget Revenues.  Just click any of the three EXPLORE buttons.

City of Topeka Open Budget 

 

These are innovative examples of public engagement and transparency applications powered by ArcGIS.  Let them inspire you to be more innovative.

Executive sponsorship is a key ingredient to a successful enterprise GIS.  If you work in government, then there's a new book that can help you gain some executive sponsorship for your GIS program.  It is Smarter Government: How To Govern for Results in the Information Age by former Maryland Governor and Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley.  Give it a read, and since the holidays are coming, this is the perfect time to give this as a gift to the leaders in your government agency.  I have attached the Table of Contents and a Sample Chapter.  Also be sure to check out the companion web site below.

 

Companion Web Site

Smarter Government | Smarter Government  

 

Book Review

https://www.geospatialworld.net/article/the-secret-smart-governance/ 

Support of elections is a great opportunity to expand your GIS footprint in local government.  Check out these resources from the National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) on their Geo-Enabled Elections project and pass this site along to your election officials.

 

NSGIC Geo-Enabled Elections | A Part of the National States Geographical Information Council 

 

Esri provides access to free, open source, supported Elections solutions as part of our ArcGIS Solutions collection.  Check them out here: Elections | ArcGIS Solutions for Local Government 

A reminder that even though the 2020 Esri International User Conference is more than eight months away, the call for presentations is open.  The Esri User Conference presents a unique opportunity to share your GIS success story with your peers from the global user community.  The deadline is November 8, 2019.  Our committee will evaluate your abstract and make selections based on topic, content, and time available.  All authors will be notified after the selection process.  Your presentation should tell an inspiring story that illustrate how you are using Esri GIS technology to positively impact your community and/or industry.

 

Eligibility and requirements:

  • All submissions must be in English and include the following:
    • Author/Presenter name(s)
    • Presentation title (10 words or fewer)
    • Company name
    • Complete address, phone, and email information
    • Brief presenter biography (25 words or fewer)
    • Abstract (500 characters or fewer, including spaces): Do not include information in your abstract that will not be in your presentation.
    • Keyword set (list only 3–5 keywords): Keywords are used to organize presentations into appropriate sessions, so choose words that clearly describe the main ideas of your work.

 

The information you enter will be published on the website and on the agenda.  Eliminate bullet points and numbering. Avoid using words in all capital letters.  All papers and presentations must be noncommercial.  At no time is it permissible for presenters to use their time slot to advertise or promote a product, service, or company.

 

Here are some of the topics we are interested in this year:

  • Operations
    • Field/Mobile
    • Imagery/Drones
    • Emergency response
  • Data
    • Analytics/Big Data
    • Real time/Internet of Things
    • Artificial intelligence
  • Utilities
    • Water quality
    • Water reuse/Recycling
    • Drought/Conservation
    • Wastewater/CCV/Maintenance
  • Water resources
    • Watershed management
    • Hydrologic/Hydraulic modeling
    • Regulatory compliance

 

Call for Presentations | Esri User Conference 

If you are not aware of GovLoop, check it out.  It's the "Knowledge Network for Government" and allows you to "join more than 300,000 of your federal, state and local government peers in innovating and problem-solving with free resources and training."

 

I recently ran across this good post on their site about five practical resources for new managers.  Personally, I think these are good resources for any manager, so I am passing them on to any GIS Managers out there looking for help.

 

https://www.govloop.com/5-practical-resources-for-new-managers/ 

Introduction

ArcGIS Monitor is designed to help you analyze and optimize the health of your ArcGIS implementation throughout the life cycle of your enterprise GIS. ArcGIS Monitor maximizes your GIS investment by providing timely and insightful system metrics on the status, availability, usage, system performance, and resource usage of your enterprise GIS. Alerts and analysis tools provide system administrators with real-time notifications to facilitate rapid resolution when measurements are outside defined system thresholds. Reports with statistics can be used to visualize historical data and enhance communications among GIS, IT, business owners, and senior management.

 

The ArcGIS Monitor Server application allows you to configure and export reports for your collections as Microsoft Excel (.xlsx) files. The ArcGIS Monitor Excel Report provides overall, dashboard-like view of your monitored GIS deployment, all in a single Excel file with the ease to navigate, sort and filter the data in a simple way.

 

 

For information about configuring and running the tool, please refer to ArcGIS Monitor documentation.

 

The Report Summary provides a view of all configured categories, e.g. Web, ArcGIS, Infrastructure and Site, Counter Type and Name, e.g. Web Requests Response Time, ArcGIS Services Summary, etc. You can navigate from this page to view counter details page by clicking on the desired link under the Name column.

 

Glossary of Report Summary page indications:

■  Indicates to investigate high utilization/load.

Indicates to investigate sporadic utilization spikes.

●  Indicates low utilization.

 

Configure and export reports

When you configure how to export the report, it is important to filter the report time span so it will include only busy time days and hours, for example, if the system is used mainly during business hours you should exclude Saturday and Sunday in Set Working Days and choose only business hours (e.g. 9 AM to 5 PM) in Set Working Days. For the purpose of system design, peak time usage and utilization is much more important than total usage.

 

Information Objectives for System Design

The Esri system design practice focuses on planning the hardware, software, and network characteristics for the future state of systems based on new or changing requirements.

The current health of an existing system will not necessarily have a strong relationship to a future system that has different requirements.  However, depending on the design objectives, information about the current system can be relevant.

 

For example, in the case of a planned migration from an on-premises system to a cloud platform, it would be quite useful to describe the current system such that it can be faithfully rendered on a cloud platform.  Or, capacity requirements driving a design may be derived from current system state, e.g. current services inventory, current system throughput, current resources utilization, plus the anticipated services and user growth over a defined term, e.g. two years.

 

Machine Resources and Utilization

It can be useful for system design to understand the current machine resources that support the system.  For example, if you are migrating a system to a cloud platform, the number of processor cores that the system has on premises has some relevance to the number you might deploy on the cloud.

 

Machines

Clicking on the Infrastructure Summary link in the Report Overview will lead you to the Infrastructure Summary details page. The page will list all monitored machines, with the following details:

  • Logical cores count
  • Physical cores count
  • Processor type
  • Total RAM
  • Virtual memory

 

 

Machines Utilization

The characteristics of the machines, and the configuration of the instances, offers incomplete insight into the degree to which machines resources are utilized and what resources are truly needed for the current workload, as a baseline for your system design.

 

Statistics Fields in Machines Utilization

Field

Definition

Min

Minimum percent utilization

Avg 

Average percent utilization

P5, P25, P50, P75

The percentile grouping of resource utilization

P95

The ninety-fifth percentile. Ninety-five percent of the time resource utilization value is lower than this value

P99

The ninety-ninth percentile. Ninety-nine percent of the time resource utilization value is lower than this value

Max

Maximum percent utilization

  

CPU

Clicking on the Infrastructure CPU Utilization link in the Report Overview will lead you to the CPU utilization details page. The page will list all monitored machines, with CPU utilization statistics.

 

 

We're going to focus on the P95 percentile. As we learned above, P95 signifies the CPU utilization for the top 5% busiest time. When P95 CPU utilization exceeds 90% it suggests that the machine is overloaded. In this case you should plan how to reduce the load on the machine by distributing the load or by adding more resources. This page will also help you to identify candidate machines with high CPU utilization, even if it’s below 90%, that might require additional resources or load distribution due to the anticipated user growth in your system design.

 

Current machines CPU utilization can also help you in validating your capacity calculations by comparing capacity calculation results for current usage with actual CPU utilization statistics in order to validate your capacity models before calculating capacity for the anticipated user growth.

 

Memory

Clicking on the Infrastructure Memory Physical Utilization link in the Report Overview will lead you to the physical memory utilization details page. The page will list all monitored machines, with memory utilization statistics.

 

 

For ArcGIS Enterprise system with default services configuration we would usually expect to see small changes in memory utilization, with some exceptions, e.g. geoprocessing services, services configured with higher number of max instances, etc. As with CPU utilization, we're going to focus on the P95 percentile. When P95 memory utilization exceeds 80% it suggests that the machine requires more memory. In this case you should plan how to reduce memory pressure on the machine. There are different ways to do that depending on the machine role, for example:

  • Portal – add more memory to the machine
  • Hosting Server - add more memory to the machine or add more machines to the site
  • Federated Server – use shared instances for less used map/feature services, add more memory to the machine, add more machines to the site, distribute services between sites (workload separation)


This page will also help you to identify candidate machines with high memory utilization, even if it’s below 80%, that might require you to plan for memory pressure alleviation due to the anticipated growth in usage or in the number of services in your system design.

 

Disk

Disk Utilization can help you identify current machines with potentially slow I/O and if storage upgrades are required.

Disk Space can give you the baseline for disk size requirements for the machines (i.e. not including shared storage) in your system design and identify if disk size has to be increased on existing machines if available disk space is low.

 

Network

Network Utilization can give you the baseline of current network usage for your system design.

 

Process

I recommend configuring Process counters in ArcGIS Monitor to monitor ArcSOC processes in federated ArcGIS Server machines.

 

 

Infrastructure Process Count page provides number of total ArcSOC process running on the machine, i.e. the number of service instances. This will help to identify ArcGIS Server usage patterns – is number of service instances steady or volatile? Does the number of service instances during peak time exceed 200? If so, it can threaten the stability of the site, and action must be taken:


1. Tune services and reduce number max instances per service. ArcGIS Services Requests/sec and Instances information (details below) can help with tuning services with the right number of instances.


2. Configure less used map and feature services to use shared instances. ArcGIS Services Count and Requests/sec (details below) can help with identifying candidate services for shared instances configuration.


3. Configure Windows registry to allow more service instances (See this technical article for more information and specific steps: https://support.esri.com/technical-article/000001218)

 

Process count can also provide baseline for number of services in your system design, to prepare for anticipated growth in number of services and plan services configuration.

 

ArcGIS Services

It can be useful for system design to understand the current ArcGIS Server services inventory, usage and performance. 

 

ArcGIS Services Summary

ArcGIS Services Summary provides ArcGIS Server services inventory including services configuration, e.g. started/stopped, types of services, etc., as a baseline for services configuration in your system design.

 


ArcGIS Services Count and Requests per Second

ArcGIS Services Count and Requests per Second provides baseline of current system throughput for your system design, as well as ArcGIS Server services usage information, e.g. most used services, less used services and unused services, for designing services configuration and help tuning services.

 

 

ArcGIS Services Instances

ArcGIS Services Instances information is not important for system design but can help with tuning services, e.g. number of min and max service instances for federated services.

 

 

ArcGIS Services Response Time

ArcGIS Services Response Time information can be used for capacity planning in your system design, if you are creating custom workflows in the capacity planner.

 

 

This information can also be used for optimizing current system by identifying slow-performing services. In the example above, I’ve sorted P95 elapsed time from largest to smallest, and highlighted any elapsed time over 1/2 second in orange. These are the services and layers I'd focus on optimizing, getting the P95 value below 1/2 second if possible.

 

 Note: The contents presented above are recommendations that will typically improve performance for many scenarios. However, in some cases, these recommendations may not produce better performance results, in which case, additional performance testing and system configuration modifications may be needed.

 

I hope you find this helpful, do not hesitate to post your questions here: ArcGIS Architecture Series: Tools of an Architect

A common request I get from people in the GIS industry that are current, or future, managers/leaders is: where can I go to find some resources to help me with the business/culture/people/management side of GIS? I have found no single place that contains the most useful information I know of, so I thought I would share a list of resources I have collected over the years, in no particular order. Please feel free to join the discussion and add your own resources to share.

 

  • Follow, and participate in, the Implementing ArcGIS community on GeoNet. Implementing ArcGIS is a public community group to gain tips and advice on implementation best practices, discuss challenging topics, learn from the innovative minds of GIS professionals, share your experiences and stay connected. It covers six categories:
    • Strategy & Planning
    • Architecture & Security
    • Geodata Engineering
    • Configuration & Integration
    • Workforce Development
    • Operational Support
  • One of the most important documents Esri has produced is Architecting the ArcGIS Platform: Best Practices - this document is updated at least once a year, so be sure to keep up with the latest version.  Reach out to your Esri Account Team for additional guidance on how to implement these.
  • Every organization that uses GIS needs a Geospatial Strategy in order to maximize the impact the technology can have on the organization. Check out this Introduction to Geospatial Strategy presentation from the 2019 Esri International User Conference, to learn more on the best practices Esri has learned from our work with customers across the globe over the years.  Reach out to your Esri Account Team if you'd like to learn more about this.
  • Consider some assistance with Change Management, it is "people-focused planning that drives technology adoption."
  • Join, and participate in, the Managers in GIS group on LinkedIn.
  • The GIS Success program provides a lot of great content. It is "a blog where together, we’ll leverage Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Strategies, Technologies, and Techniques to stimulate opportunities to advance GIS in the local government." It includes webcasts, training and free guides.
  • URISA runs a GIS Leadership Academy (GLA) that provides "five days of targeted GIS leadership training taught by GIS leaders."
  • Here are eight videos from the GIS Manager Track from the 2018 Esri International User Conference covering:
    • Enterprise GIS: Strategic Planning for Success
    • Communicating the Value of GIS
    • Architecting the ArcGIS Platform: Best Practices
    • Increase Adoption by Integrating Change Management
    • Governance for GIS
    • Moving Beyond Anecdotal GIS Success: An ROI Conversation
    • Workforce Development Planning: A People Strategy for Organizations
    • Supporting Government Transformation and Innovation
  • This is a great article: GIS should be about digital transformation
  • This is an excellent report from Esri Canada, Winning with Location Intelligence: The Essential Practices.
  • Read the articles from these people, and follow them on social media:
  • GIS maturity models can be helpful with identifying ways to improve. Here are three to investigate:
  • Keep your eyes open for:
    • A GIS Manager/Leadership Workshop near you,
    • GIS Manager/Leadership sessions at GIS events,
    • And if you're headed to the Esri International User Conference, consider attending the GIS Managers' Open Summit (GISMOS).
  • My own resources include:

Interesting discussion in this recent report from the US DOT regarding Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) vs. Custom mobile app development in section 3.3.2, page 6:

 

"Those interviewees from agencies that have put forth the effort to build custom mobile applications all concluded that, had they known then what they know now, they would have foregone application development altogether, and used a COTS product from the beginning."

Case Studies | GIS in Transportation | Planning, Environment & Realty | FHWA 

Really interesting report from Esri Canada on Winning with Location Intelligence - it identifies the commonalities & best practices from organizations that are successful with the tech.  Definitely worth a read.

 

Winning with Location Intelligence | Esri Canada