One of the most rewarding parts of our work is seeing how the tools we build are used in new and unexpected ways. While we frequently work with customers and users to solve particular problems, we always look at the broader potential for these features to be used by a different type of user.
Because GeoCommons is a open web platform every day we discover new uses that we didn’t expect or weren’t involved in creating. They’re constant sources of delight, interest, and a generate new ideas for how we can improve the tools we make for you to answer your questions and share your stories.
A few weeks ago the Washington Post’s Mike Debonis made maps of the DC Ward 5 special election using GeoCommons. And there are a lot more election maps that user have made. In other journalism the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia built various maps that display commuting, health and crash data.
Even our partners see unexpected benefits. We shared the launch of UNEP/GRID-Arendal using GeoIQ to share ocean data and climate information. Using the common platform the World Wildlife Fund built an atlas to to compare sea ice levels over time with today’s industrial uses and protected areas, and see where WWF is working.
Similarly, the World Bank uses the GeoIQ platform to host their project location data and analysis. Within the Bank another group used the same World Bank GeoIQ platform to build an interactive benchmarking tool to help countries identify the challenges and opportunities they face in their performance on trade logistics and what they can do to improve their performance.
Schools and universities have independently started developing their own curricula and changing the concept of what GIS and mapping mean to students. University of Virginia, Harvard, Rowan Univeristy, Duke, and even the University of Redlands are just a few of many schools that have been using GeoCommons in the classroom.
Fortunately because GeoIQ is an entirely web based platform we don’t require users to download or install anything. You just need a web browser and you’re able to access a suite of online and easy to use tools for whatever visualization and analysis you can dream up. Then you can embed these into your newspaper, site, blog, or web application to effectively share important stories.
You can track additional sites where GeoCommons has been used on my pinboard bookmarks. And let us know where else you are using the GeoIQ platform or GeoCommons.
Also, if you are around DC I’ll also be presenting tonight at GeoDC about these and even some new upcoming features and uses of GeoCommons.
Welcome to the Esri DC Development Center blog. We write about features of our work on big data analytics, open platforms, and open data, what is new and exciting in the Esri and community, and general industry thought leadership and discussions of geospatial data visualization and analysis.
Please explore what we're working on and let us know if you have any questions or ideas!