Community Maps recap from the 2014 Esri International User Conference

Blog Post created by SMatthews-esristaff Employee on Aug 20, 2014

Another successful User Conference is behind us. This year conference attendees were introduced to the Living Atlas of the World. The Living Atlas combines reference and thematic maps with topics relating to people, earth, and life. It is a collection of content communities assembled by Esri, the User Community, and our Partners all over the world.

Community basemaps are an integral part of the Living Atlas. Thousands of ArcGIS users have improved the coverage and quality of our basemaps by providing access to their map data. The World Topographic Map remains the “flagship” basemap in the Living Atlas collection and the Community Maps Team continued to encourage participation and explain the many benefits of contributing throughout the conference.

There were several opportunities for conference attendees to learn about Community Maps. Our popular “Getting to Know Community Maps” was presented again this year. This presentation highlighted what Community Maps is, how to participate, and the benefits of contributing to the program. This presentation also included a demonstration of the new and improved Community Maps data prep tools that were released just before the conference in July. A Demo Theater was conducted that showed attendees how to register and upload content through our Community Maps Contributor App. A Community Maps Special Interest Group (SIG) was held during the conference. The SIG included the Community Maps Timeline and a special user story about how Fairfax County, VA has applied the benefits of the program to the county and its residents.

The Community Maps Timeline stepped through the program changes and user-friendly functionality enhancements that have been introduced since ArcGIS Online launched Esri’s suite of basemaps. The timeline included a glimpse of what is to come in 2015 and beyond. The video below walks through the timeline.

Fairfax County’s GIS Applications Manager, Brendan Ford showed us how the county has implemented Community Maps in their daily operations. Fairfax County in the State of Virginia has been a contributor to Esri’s Community Maps since 2010.

Brendan was drawn to the program by the prospect of using ArcGIS Online basemaps instead of building their own basemaps to support applications.  Before Community Maps, Brendan and his team spent a considerable amount of time developing basemap content with their first released web applications.  Due to the subjective nature of the basemap cartography, where they started from scratch on symbols and label fonts, they struggled to develop a consistent basemap usable by multiple applications.  Using the high-quality cartography of the World Topographic Map on ArcGIS Online was an easy choice for the new versions of their web mapping applications. You can learn more about this story be reading the Fairfax County Virginia Community Maps Success Story.

For an overall look at the 2014 Esri User Conference, visit the following Story Map Journal.

You can learn more about Community Maps by visiting our product page and by visiting our resource center. Many answers to your questions can be answered by visiting the Frequently Asked Questions page. You can email the Community Maps Team for additional information.

We look forward to hearing from you!