What can GIS (Geographic Information System) do for your business?

Over the past 10 plus years, I have been blessed to learn a skill that has a multitude of uses from oil and gas exploration (where I first learned and used GIS) to archaeology  and environmental (my current GIS consulting area).  But GIS has a wide range of uses that can be used cross-platform and cross-industries.  Take, for example, health care and business.  Walgreens is a heavy GIS user that has integrated the use and practice of GIS to be able to predict within a day or two where influenza outbreaks are occurring.  The CDC is usually a week or more in detecting the outbreaks and occurrences of influenza.

Why Walgreens uses interactive maps plus analytics to evaluate store locations

 

Also another great article:   WalMap: The App By Walgreens That Maps Out Community Trends in Real Time

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Bike share mapping creates beautiful portraits of London, NYC and Berlin (this is very cool)

Bike sharing isn’t very popular around the Northwest Florida area but it is in larger cities across the globe.  There is a very neat project that shows the real-time bike sharing use across major cities in North America and Europe.  Now, I love riding my bike but for me to be able to get to the office from my home would mean that I would leave the house at 3 in the morning.  But, if I were located in a larger city with an adequate cycling lanes, I would probably be one who commutes by bike.

Follow the link in the quote and see how this project started and what the visuals reveal about the programs.

Thanks to http://metrocosm.com/ for the post on facebook about the article.

Bike sharing programmes have grown from just 24 cities worldwide a decade ago to more than 800 cities today, but how has a 200-year-old device suddenly become the next big thing in urban transport? The key is digital information, the real-time GPS technology that allows the bikes to be tracked and secured, and lets cities monitor how and where they are being used.

Pure Michigan redo (Retro Style)

Trying to learn more about cartography and utilizing Illustrator for final touches has been very educational (really).  Last week’s map was a first version and I wanted to improve it because I knew that I had created a decent map but it was too busy with labels.  After I took my professor’s advice and made some minor changes (using ArcGis), I then exported the map as a .AI file for use in Illustrator.  Making changes in Illustrator allowed me to pump up the effects that I wanted to create but could not in ArcGIS.  It was frustrating at first but I finally was able to achieve the look and feel that I was looking for that I couldn’t do on the 1st map.  Allowing my brain to grasp the program as well as being very patient in manipulating the desired labels and symbols.   The rustic look was obtained and it felt as if I had moved a mountain.  The same mountain that is set in ArcGIS that makes the final rendering of a map so hard to be satisfied with.

The flexibility of exporting from ArcGIS and making changes in Illustrator really gives you a more “readable” map.  Glad I pushed through the program and made headway.  I have added both maps, version one and version two for you to see the difference between the two.  If you get to a point of frustration, hold on and push through, it isn’t the easy things that allow us to learn and grow, it is the hard and difficult things that stretch our mind and allow us to learn.  So, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

Here is a link to the pdf versions:

Lab5_TonyCross       Lab6_TonyCross2 

 

Australia to shift 1.8 meters on New Years day

On New Years day Australia will “shift”, what wait?  No, really it will shift digitally because it has been slowly shifting 7 cm per year because of tectonic plate movement.   The last update was in 1994 and can/does create errors with GPS units and data.   Here are a couple of great articles about the shift and why.

Maps of Australia are all five feet off. Would you be brave enough to use a self-driving car there?

Australia Will Suddenly Move 1.8 Meters North On New Year’s Day

 

What? The UK’s prime minister is a geographer?

What is geography? It is a simple yet misleading question. Literally, it is derived from the Greek words “Geo” (Earth) and “graphy” (to write). Many people would probably answer that question with something related to maps or state capitals. Those answers do not even scratch the surface in describing the discipline of geography. The question was inspired by recent news reports that the next prime minster of the United Kingdom, Theresa May, is a geographer trained at Oxford University. Wait, but does a geographer have the “gravitas” and perspective to be a world leader?

Read more about Theresa May’s background in this Forbes article here