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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 

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. 

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


GIS ROI StoryMap

Posted by acarnow-esristaff Employee Jul 18, 2019

Return on Investment, commonly abbreviated as ROI, is an important goal for any GIS project that should be calculated, documented, and shared.  I put this StoryMap together to share information and examples of GIS ROI.  It includes many real world examples, articles, videos and additional resources to help you find the ROI in your GIS work.

If you're headed to the 2019 Esri International User Conference and would like to connect, on Tuesday I will be at the GIS Managers' Open Summit (GISMOS), for most of Wednesday and Thursday, you can find me in the “Guiding your Geospatial Journey” area in the Expo.

Return on Investment, commonly abbreviated as ROI, is an important goal for any GIS project that should be calculated, documented, and shared.  Check out this Story Map to learn more about GIS ROI and view many real-world examples. 

If you're headed to the 2019 Esri International User Conference and are interested in sessions for GIS Managers, here is a link to the GIS Manager Track:

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