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Esri News for Federal Government -- Summer 2012

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Esri News for Federal Government keeps you informed with software news, events, and user stories showing how GIS brings the geographic advantage to federal agencies.

Stories in this issue showcase how GIS helps federal agencies manage and share recovery spending and highlights the accuracy of Esri's demographic data in a recent study.

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Esri News for Federal Government -- Summer 2012

  1. 1. Esri Newsfor Federal Government Summer 2012Mobile Application Shows US Recovery ProjectsBeyond Illustrating Spending, the Application Enables Reporting of Fraud and WasteCitizens can now use their smartphones to see just how the United Statesgovernment is spending stimulus funds from the American Recovery andReinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). Shortly after the act passed, the RecoveryAccountability and Transparency Board launched a web application basedon Esri technology that enables the public to track the $276 billion beingspent on contracts, grants, and loans throughout the country. In late 2011,the board released a mobile version of the application for iPhone and iPadthat offers the same functionality on the go. “We felt that in order to do what we do, which is ensure transparencyand accountability, we have to stay current and keep up with the wayspeople are accessing information and communicating,” says EdwardPound, director of communications for the Recovery Accountability andTransparency Board. “You can really get to a lot of information from theapp. It’s very easy for anyone to use.” The mobile application launches using the user’s GPS location to im-mediately provide a view of projects in the area. Users can also search forprojects by entering a specific location. Bytouching a color-coded dot on the map—green for contracts, blue for grants, or pinkfor loans—users can access project details,including the amount of the award and thejobs funded. They can also send feedbackon projects, along with an image, or usethe application to report fraud or wasterelated to recovery funds. The application was named the 2011Government Mobile App of the Year byGovernment Technology Research Allianceat its GOVTek Awards gala in Washington,DC. The awards recognize government andindustry IT leaders whose work improves  Award details are provided for each selectedthe way government delivers services, project location, and citizens can send feedbackinteracts with citizens, shares information, or report misuse of funds directly from theand protects national assets. application. “While all the nominees were worthy ofthe recognition,” says Parham Eftekhari,director of research at GovernmentTechnology Research Alliance, “we felt  continued on page 7
  2. 2. Contents Summer 20121 Mobile Application Shows US Recovery Projects3 Optimizing Your Federal Facilities3 Special Thanks to Sponsors3 New Book Documents Federal GIS Work4 Study Ranks Esri US Demographic Data Most Accurate5 Esri Online6 Data-Rich Maps for Safer Farming Practices Esri News for Federal Government is a publication of the Esri Federal Marketing Group. To contact the Esri Desktop Order Center, call 1-800-447-9778 within the United States or 909-793-2853, extension 1-1235, outside the United States. Visit the Esri website at esri.com. View Esri News for Federal Government at esri.com/federal or scan the code below with your smartphone. Advertise with Us E-mail ads@esri.com. Submit Content To submit articles for publication in Esri News for Federal Government, contact Emily Pierce at epierce@esri.com. Manage Your Subscription To update your mailing address or subscribe or unsubscribe to Esri publications, visit esri.com/manageyoursubscription. International customers should contact an Esri distributor to manage their subscriptions. For a directory of distributors, visit esri.com/distributors. Circulation Services For back issues, missed issues, and other circulation services, e-mail requests@esri.com; call 909-793-2853, extension 2778; or fax 909-798-0560. Copyright © 2012 Esri. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. The information contained in this work is the exclusive property of Esri or its licensors. This work is protected under United States copyright law and other international copyright treaties and conventions. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system, except as expressly permitted in writing by Esri. All requests should be sent to Attention: Contracts and Legal Services Manager, Esri, 380 New York Street, Redlands, CA 92373-8100  usa. The information contained in this work is subject to change without notice. Esri, the Esri globe logo, ArcGIS, arcgis.com, Business Analyst Online, esri.com. and @esri.com are trademarks, registered marks, or service marks of Esri in the United States, the European Community, or certain other jurisdictions. Other companies and products or services mentioned herein may be trademarks, service marks, or registered marks of their respective mark owners.2 Esri News for Federal Government  Summer 2012
  3. 3. Optimizing Your Special Thanks toFederal Facilities Sponsors Special thanks go to sponsors of the Federal Civilian and Sciences User Reception at the Esri International User Conference: Shelli Stockton, Esri Facility Management Visual Information Solutions Industry ManagerDo you know what you don’t know about your building, campus, orbase? You don’t if you’re looking at your building or campus as agroup of disparate objects as opposed to seeing it as an integrated,functional system of interdependent parts. Building information modeling (BIM) and specific facilitiesmanagement (FM) technologies provide detailed data on a myriadof items, from the smallest screw to the largest HVAC system.However, these technologies cannot show you the items’ proximityto each other so maintenance workers can address several repairsat once. They also can’t tell you whether incidences of crime havespiked in an area where outdoor lighting fixture illumination isblocked by overgrown bushes, or that your CPR-certified employeeshave all ended up on one floor, leaving three others without accessto that resource. Smarter facilities—those that are safe, secure, energy efficient, New Book Documentsand optimally operated and utilized—result from the convergenceand interoperability of BIM, these specific FM technologies, and Federal GIS WorkGIS. We need to take many different pieces of past, present, andfuture data from a variety of sources and merge them into a single Mapping the Nation:system. GIS is uniquely positioned to do this. Already widely used M apping Government and Technologyby planners, engineers, and facility managers, GIS helps you cap- the Nation Government and Technology Making a Difference Making a Difference is the latestture, store, analyze, and use all forms of location-referenced data in Esri’s series of map booksabout where people live and work. This helps you improve decision- Mapping the that illustrate the many waysmaking capabilities, shorten the time it takes to make these federal agencies rely on GIS Nationdecisions, and enhance the reliability of the results, translating into Government and Technology Making a Difference analysis to help make the worldrecognizable and often dramatic increases in cost efficiency, reduc- a better place. Pulled from ation of risk, and greater facility sustainability. broad range of agencies, maps To make it even easier, the ArcGIS for Facilities system includes a included in the book demon- ISBN 978-1-58948-315-6series of templates and a data model for facilities. 126722 DUALXXM1/12jl Printed in the USA strate how GIS can be used to evaluate and respond to social, economic, and environmental concernsFor more information on how GIS helps at local, regional, national, and global levels. These examples—onfacility managers, visit esri.com/FM. topics such as green government, economic recovery and sustain- ability, and climate protection—show how government agencies use GIS to facilitate initiatives, improve transparency, and deliver strong business models. This book is available through Esri Press at esripress.esri.com. Summer 2012  esri.com/federal 3
  4. 4. Study Ranks Esri US Demographic DataMost AccurateSome people assume that using accurate data is not a particularly The research team conducting the study consisted of GIS, demo-important element of an overall project; however, incorrect data can graphic, and forecasting experts from academia and the private sectornegatively impact the results of any analysis and have dramatic con- who have written about and made presentations extensively on thesesequences for affected populations. Data inaccuracies may occur by subjects. The data was provided to the research team without identify-either overestimating or underestimating populations or households. ing the individual vendors, enabling a blind study. The researchers Faulty population data could cause health care providers to had no idea which vendor data was included or which methodologiesunderestimate the population and miss vaccinating vulnerable people, were used by the respective vendors. Esri’s motivation for the studyor overestimate it and waste vaccination doses. Government officials was twofold: to test the accuracy of Esri’s demographic data to identifycould lose grant funds if poor data is used to calculate the area popula- areas for improvement in its update methodologies, and to ensure thattion. Public safety and risk management agencies could overlook Esri is providing the most accurate data to its users.special-needs populations before, during, and after a disaster. Doesdata accuracy matter? Indeed it does—in terms of dollars, health, How the Study Was Conductedgrants, services—or even life itself. The researchers compared the total population and total households data variables from Esri and four other major data vendors. The teamHow Do Data Providers Verify Accuracy? conducted the study for the entire United States at the state, county,The release of each US decennial census enables data vendors to census tract, and block group levels. All the vendors, including Esri,evaluate the accuracy of their annual demographic estimates, because had created their forecasts using 2000 Census geography. To analyzethese estimates are benchmarked against census results. Data vendors the accuracy of the vendor forecasts without modifying their data orcan also learn how their data compares to those of other providers. In compromising the original results, the 2010 Census counts were as-2011, Esri took advantage of this once-a-decade opportunity and com- signed to 2000 Census geography.missioned an independent study to obtain an unbiased answer to the The research team investigated and evaluated a range of directquestion of its data accuracy. and supporting measures to assess vendor accuracy and reported The researchers conducted the study for all 50 states. This map inset of data from vendor 2 (Esri) shows a less than 2.5 percentage error for most counties in Michigan and Wisconsin.4 Esri News for Federal Government  Summer 2012
  5. 5. Esri Online Watch Videos from the Esri Federal GIS Conference If you missed this year’s conference, catch highlights from the Plenary Session at esri.com/video. Videos feature deputy secretary of the US Department of the Interior David J. Hayes; chief information officer of the USDA Christopher L. Smith; and our stories from the road, showcasing individuals at a variety of agencies who are changing the world with the help of GIS. Ñ US Department of the Interior Deputy Secretary David J. Hayes at Data from a leading competitor was significantly less accurate than the Esri Federal GISEsri’s (shown on page 4). This map inset of data from that vendor Conferenceillustrates the percentage of error for the same areas of Michigan andWisconsin.the results as a scorecard. The scorecard was then used to measureforecast accuracy across three dimensions of accuracy—Precision, Bias,and Allocation—to obtain a total (unweighted) score. The lowest scoredenoted the highest accuracy. Get Facilities Tools and TemplatesEsri Ranked First for Precision GIS works with facilities management systems to bring aThe results are in: Esri ranked first for Precision among the five vendors new level of efficiency and sustainability to your federalat each geography level. Esri’s estimates were also the closest to the facilities. The ArcGIS for Facilities system includes a series ofCensus 2010 results. Precision measures the percentage difference templates and a data model so managers can integrate theirbetween a forecast and a census count and is particularly accurate at facilities data into one standard format, apply cartographicmeasuring small-area forecasts. Therefore, because Precision is the rules to the data so it is easy to view and understand, andbest single measurement of accuracy, it is discussed in the excerpted make the data easily accessible to others in their organiza-study report located at esri.com/accuracy. tions. Learn more at resources.arcgis.com/en/communities/ facilities.What Does This Mean to Data Users?This study proves that Esri’s demographic update methodologies Follow Us on Twitteproduce the industry’s most accurate demographic data. Users can be Esri Twitter ID: esriconfident that Esri’s Updated Demographics data will provide themwith the best possible analysis results. Esri Federal Government Twitter ID: EsriFederalGovtHow to Access Updated Demographics Data Christopher ThomasEsri’s Updated Demographics data is available as a database in a Government Industry Solutions Managervariety of formats, including shapefile, file geodatabase, and Microsoft Twitter ID: gis_advocateExcel. Updated Demographics is also available in Esri Business John SteffensonAnalyst Online, Business Analyst for Desktop, and Business Analyst forServer; Esri Community Analyst; and the Business Analyst Online and Federal Civilian and Global AffairsCommunity Analyst APIs. Twitter ID: jsteffensonTo learn more about Esri’s Updated  The Campus Place Finder is one of many facilities templates available to ArcGIS users.Demographics data, visit esri.com/demographicdata. Summer 2012 esri.com/federal 5
  6. 6. Data-Rich Maps for Safer Farming PracticesGeoPDFs Reveal When and Where to Fertilize“It really functions as Fertilizers and nutrients help farmers create and local governments to make sure that ideal environments for their crops and live- doesn’t happen. Communication is key. a GIS but in a widely stock to maximize revenue and ensure a suf- Thousands of agriculture businesses, from the accepted and accessible ficient food supply for the nation. Unchecked smallest organic farm to the largest commer- use, however, can have dire consequences. cial operation, need quick access to precise PDF format.” When applied at the wrong time or in the information on when, where, and how theyKent Peña, State GIS Coordinator for wrong place, both natural and synthetic treat- can apply nutrients that ensure successfulUSDA-NRCS ments can contaminate drinking water and yields while maintaining a safe and sustainable disrupt river and stream wildlife. environment. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) The answers to those questions involve Natural Resources Conservation Service careful analysis of a variety of geospatial data (NRCS) collaborates with farmers and state related to soil and crop types, hydrography, Each GeoPDF provides a quick visual display of the nutrient spreading restrictions currently in place. Determinations are based on slope, bodiesof water, infrastructure, and many other factors.6 Esri News for Federal Government  Summer 2012
  7. 7. Ñ By installing Mobile Application Shows US the TerraGo toolbar for Recovery Projects  Adobe Reader, continued from page 1 users can show and hide data layers to create a custom view,  that the Recovery app was one of the best zoom to specific examples of how mobile technology can be locations, used by the government to provide transpar- and add new features and ency and communicate with citizens—shar- notes to the ing data in an app that is easy to use and map. understand.” The custom application is available free through the Apple App Store at store.apple .com. Search for Recovery.gov to find the application. To view the board’s mapping application online, visit www.recovery.gov and select Where is the money going? Anyone can download the free application from the Apple App Store and use it on an iPhone or iPad toand the boundaries of watersheds and a custom set of “geo stamps” to the TerraGo see how ARRA funds are being spent.surface water such as streams and lakes. GIS toolbar so anyone could add commontechnology makes it easier to synthesize this features such as wells, fractured bedrock,data and produce maps that illustrate cur- and tile inlets.rent conditions and regulations all the way The GeoPDFs are the result of a col-down to the farm plot level. laborative effort between NRCS; DATCP; “We felt that in order to In Wisconsin, farmers get this critical and the University of Wisconsin, Madison,information via easy-to-use interactive PDF Department of Soil Science. As a com- do what we do, which ismaps created with GeoPDF technology panion to the GeoPDFs, DATCP provides ensure transparency andfrom TerraGo Technologies. Wisconsin a statewide online map that uses real-Department of Agriculture, Trade and time National Oceanic and Atmospheric accountability, we haveConsumer Protection (DATCP) website users Administration (NOAA) data to combine to stay current and keepselect their county, and a GeoPDF opens as weather forecasts for the next several daysa standard PDF. The fully interactive features with soil and watershed maps so farm- up with the ways peopleare enabled once the user downloads the ers can assess the risk of contaminating are accessing informationfree TerraGo toolbar, which integrates groundwater.directly with Adobe Reader. Ease of use has turned out to be the and communicating.” “It really functions as a GIS but in a widely key to this project’s success and has made Edward Pound, Director ofaccepted and accessible PDF format,” the GeoPDF a popular product for farm- Communications for the Recoverysays Kent Peña, state GIS coordinator for ers, state and local governments, and Accountability and Transparency BoardUSDA-NRCS. “The toolbar gives you great others who collaborate on issues related tofunctionality. Being able to turn layers on environmental safety. NRCS staff report thatand off is key. It allows us to create just one there is virtually no learning curve to usingmap from which users can view whatever the GeoPDFs, since PDF is a format withthey need. One of our criteria was to keep which most people are already familiar. Thefile sizes as small as possible so the maps staff members are considering other wayscould be e-mailed easily. GeoPDFs allow you to use GeoPDFs to communicate with theto create nice maps with good resolution public, and for internal use, they now createand many layers in a small file size.” GeoPDFs for biologists who are monitoring The GeoPDF maps also enable users to wetland easements.measure distance and area, perform queries “We can cram a lot of information ontoof specific attributes, and add their own the map,” says Peña. “The GeoPDFs pack-features and shapefiles to the map. For age all the possible interpretations of theexample, an agriculture consultant advising data into one file that’s easy to read.”a dairy farm on a nutrient management planmay know of a drinking water wellhead that’snot indicated on the PDF map. NRCS added Summer 2012  esri.com/federal 7
  8. 8. Presorted 380 New York Street Standard Redlands, California 92373-8100  usa US Postage Paid Esri132088  460.6M9/12tk Better Decisions Make Better Communities Esri® Community Analyst provides you with all the data and tools you need to prioritize your critical policy projects. Access thousands of economic, health, business, and education data variables through instant reports and maps so you can make informed decisions for your community. Start your free trial at esri.com/communityanalyst VALLEJO HIGH SCHOOL ELLIOT LEARNING CENTER TENDER DAY CARE