Tuesday, December 2, 2014

An interactive perspective on Comet 67P and Auckland

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko could have been just another unknown hunk of galactic stuff traveling through the enormity of space. According to Wikipedia it was discovered in 1969 by Klim Ivanovych Churyumov who identified it by working off of photographs taken by Svetlana Ivanovna Gerasimenko, who was shooting for a different comet. Even so, were it not for the fact that the 2.5-mile diameter comet became the target for the European Space Agency Rosetta mission, it would still have remained in obscurity. The historic mission, launched in 2004 and making its rendezvous with the comment earlier this year, became the first to ever land a space probe on a comet, subsequently creating a fascinated global audience. I ran into a blog post about how the comet is being compared to cities worldwide using digital wizardry. But even more interesting is this Esri City Engine Web Scene authored by Zorko Sostaric of Eagle Technology in Auckland, New Zealand.

For a few more details, including links to the actual web scene, see the related GeoNet blog post.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The geography of our favorite pollinators

A new Esri Story Map released today now ranks as one of my all-time favorites, perhaps because I love macro photography, my Dad was a beekeeper, and I'm a biologist at heart (and by degree). Geography Bee: A Global Gallery of Pollinators uses the context of geography to introduce us to the fascinating world of bees using the incredible photographs of USGS naturalist Sam Droege (whose images can also be enjoyed at his Flickr gallery).

The Story Map is also a preview of a new configuration that will soon be available for the Story Map Tour, currently the most popular Story Map template. Browse the Story Maps Gallery to find more interesting map-based stories.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Esri Storytelling With Maps Contest Winners

Story maps combine interactive maps and multimedia content into elegant user experiences. They make it easy for you to harness the power of maps to tell your stories.

At the recent Esri User Conference, the Storytelling with Maps Contest winners were announced and posted on the Story Maps website. You'll get some great ideas and learn from these excellent examples that use a variety of different story map templates.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Few Clicks to Understanding California's Drought

Unless you've been on vacation and off the grid the last few days, you've likely seen the coverage of the massive 30-inch water main break on Sunset Boulevard near the UCLA campus in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles. The break has spewed over 20 million gallons of water, flooding UCLA buildings, creating a massive sinkhole in the street, and heightening awareness of the fact that California is suffering through a drought of epic proportions.

As this map from the U.S Drought Monitor shows, most of the state is currently under extreme or exceptional drought conditions.

I discovered this Story Map a few weeks ago, and it drives home in just a few clicks - one actually - how low this year's water levels are compared to three years ago - click once to advance the tour and see for yourself.

You can view the entire Story Map Tour, authored by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD), to learn and see more. Zoom in to see where the photos were captured. This very simple, yet effective application tells the story in just a few clicks.