As much as we may try, we can't all be GIS professionals or expert mappers. But that doesn't mean GIS technology should be ignored by the non-GIS professionals. Maps can and should play an integral role in helping us do our job better. One of the most significant benefits of GIS technology is improved communication internally between different teams and departments, and externally with the public. GIS-based maps and visualizations help tell an interactive story and provide context to information that is often difficult to understand. For many organizations, it is a way to reduce costs, increase efficiency and most importantly, share their message and information with the largest audience possible.
Whether they are an entry level researcher or a senior level executive, staff with any background can add the power of maps to their analysis just by learning the basics. One great example of an organization doing exactly this is the City of Fullerton, California. Since 2000, Fullerton used Esri software for many applications, ranging from creating maps for property owner notification about conditional use permits and new projects to managing addresses for the police and fire departments' computer-aided dispatch. However, one thing the city couldn't do was easily determine demographics and population counts for specific areas at certain times. Using the cloud-based Community Analyst GIS software, which helps organizations plan for growth and and allocate critical resources, they were able to create reports that mapped sociodemographic data and pinpointed the types of businesses that might find new opportunities there. According to Diana McCarthy, a GIS specialist in the city's community development department, the program has an intuitive user interface, so anyone can create reports or retrieve specific data to give customers exactly what they need. It also helps staff make better decisions because they can access more current and reliable data in under 10 minutes.
The power of maps to make sense of endless amounts of data shouldn't be limited to only GIS specialists. For this reason, Esri is hosting a session at their annual Federal User Conference for the Non-GIS Staff in your agency. This is your opportunity to learn how GIS technology and mapping can benefit your employees at every level of your organization. In the session, they will highlight mapping in Excel and show how to take your PowerPoint presentations to a new level with dynamic maps. Plus, they will present several scenarios of how agencies can take advantage of GIS technology to evaluate the impact of agencies' programs and policies on citizens.
The Esri Federal GIS Conference is the place to learn valuable skills and expertise to leverage GIS technology in your agency. The best part? Federal employees attend for free. It's taking place February 25-27 in Washington, D.C. Check out more information below:
You can learn more and register here.
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