Hurricane Tracker

With Hurricane Florence rapidly approaching the Carolinas, the scale and power of the storm was truly terrifying. From eye of the hurricane video, provided by the NOAA Hurricane Hunter (9 second mark below), to overhead imagery from NOAA showing the churning vortex, it was only a matter of time before the devastating effects of the hurricane would be felt.

 

 

Armed with Esri technology and the thirst for knowledge, SymGEO explored the Living Atlas of the World data sets until we found The National Digital Forecast Database (NDFD).

“The NDFD was designed to provide access to weather forecasts in digital form from a central location. The NDFD produces gridded forecasts of sensible weather elements. NDFD contains a seamless mosaic of digital forecasts from National Weather Service (NWS) field offices working in collaboration with the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP). All of these organizations are under the administration of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Wind Gust is the maximum 3-second wind speed (in knots) forecast to occur within a 2-minute interval at a height of 10 meters. Wind gust forecasts are valid at the top of the indicated hour. This feed consumes NDFD’s files and calculates the amount of forecast wind gust for the next 72 hours.”

– from NDFD metadata

This information was explored in ArcGIS Online and showed the scale and timing of the expected hurricane landfall.

animated hurricane data

Finally, this data was wrapped in a time-aware, mobile responsive template in ArcGIS Online and tested to make sure it was pulling current data.

hurricane tracker phone

Check out the Hurricane Tracker today and let us know if you have an idea that SymGEO can help you with!

August News 2018

August was an exciting month at SymGEO, including commercial real estate management, Enterprise Server configuration, and even a little data processing thrown in. Read on for details!

commercial property management

Keeping track of who is where, what’s coming soon, and when leases are ending can be quite a challenge when hundreds (or thousands!) of properties are involved. Fortunately, GIS is perfectly suited to this task.

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Publishing, organizing, and making data accessible on the web can be tricky business in an ever-changing technical landscape. If you’re ready to set up EnterpriseServer, or Portal, let us know as our highly trained technical staff is here to help.

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Ever wonder how much land area there is in DC by zoning type? Well, wonder no more, as we sliced and diced the data, and created the DC Land Area Explorer by Zoning Type.

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Have an idea for a project? Contact SymGEO with project requirements as we’re here to help, and enjoy back-to-school season!

Land Area by Zoning

Ever wonder how much land area there is in DC by zoning district or specific zone? Well, wonder no more, as we sliced and diced the data, and created the DC Land Area Explorer by Zoning Type. This application leverages Esri‘s new select by chart category functionality in operations dashboard. Data is kindly provided by our friends at DC Office of Zoning (DCOZ),  the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), and a fabulous basemap by OCTO’s DCGIS team.

Users can select zoning categories or specific zones by clicking on the bars in the charts. This will update the total recorded land area calculation to just the selected zone(s). Alternatively, for really detailed analysis, zooming into the map and using the “select” tool in the map window allows the selection by zoning district, specific zone, or even property boundaries.

Take a look at the DC Land Area Explorer by Zoning Type, and if you have data you’d like sliced, diced, sauteed or… you know who to contact!

Server, Portal and Enterprise

Publishing, organizing, and making data accessible on the web can be tricky business in an ever-changing technical landscape. Not surprisingly, there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” solution due to the number of infrastructure variables involved in setting up your own data server.

ArcGIS Enterprise, a relatively new product offering from Esri, is designed to help streamline the process and provide maximum flexibility on deployment scenarios. Enterprise is a full-featured mapping and analytics platform that includes a powerful GIS server, plus dedicated web-based GIS infrastructure to organize and share your work.

enterprise

Enterprise includes:

  • An enterprise GIS portal for organizing and sharing GIS assets.
  • A data store for secure storage and fast access to maps and data.
  • Optional GIS capabilities for real-time imagery and large data processing.
  • Even more capabilities when you opt for GIS server extensions.
  • An enterprise geodatabase, the ultimate in geodata storage and management.

Esri offers a number of solution components that are ready to be implemented; both in the cloud through Amazon Web Service (AWS) or Microsoft Azure, or on premise using your own server.

AWS enterprise AMI

Based on our testing, the most easily accessible implementation is achieved using the Builder solution. However, even that implementation has a few tricky steps that involved manually configuring web adapters, setting bindings, web context URLs, and static public IP addresses.

enterprise builder

Fortunately, when it does error out, the error messages are usually quite specific and pointed us in the right direction.

portal registration error

There is also a very active internet community ready to jump in and help on this topic. When all else fails, Esri tech support is the most patient, educational crew around based on our experience of several hours of configuration trouble-shooting.

Once Enterprise is successfully installed, user groups, permissions, logins and account set up is relatively easy. This allows each user the required level of access, and complete control over the branding and visibility of your data.

If you’re ready to set up Enterprise, Server, or Portal, let SymGEO know as our highly trained technical staff are here to help.

Commercial Property Management

Keeping track of who is where, what’s coming soon, square footage available, and when leases are ending can be quite a challenge when hundreds (or thousands!) of properties are involved. Fortunately, GIS is perfectly suited to this task of commercial property management, as it combines space, time, attributes and symbology into one cohesive picture.

For the Kentlands community in Gaithersburg, MD, ArcGIS Online data was used to power an initiative called Downtown: Energize!, that has garnered critical acclaim from residents and business owners alike. This Hub site designed to explore existing retail, gather community ideas, and identify opportunities for commercial business. With almost a hundred commercial properties involved, including several large commercial parcels, the data came in the usual assortment of formats (pdf, GIS, field collection). However, the end result was a cohesive framework designed to be updated and informed by the community it serves through a crowd-sourced GeoForm application.

data updater

geoform

Searching by business name was enabled through a configurable application that is embedded into the Hub site. There is also active development and building reconfiguration occurring in this area, as shown below with the current buildings overlaid on last year’s imagery. This solution provides a one-stop shop for information about current commercial businesses in the area, and a common platform for the community to use.

If your community is ready to get started with a Downtown: Energize! initiative or your business would like to use GIS as a property management tool, let us know as SymGEO is here to help!

July News 2018

Time flies when you’re having fun! From sledding to traffic to wetlands, SymGEO was all over the map in July – read on for details.

sledding locator

This month our thoughts turned to sledding (nobody knows why, and we’re not supposed to ask), resulting in a first-of-its-kind optimal sledding locator application. Harnessing the power of suitability modeling and Web AppBuilder, we are now ready for winter.

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From there, we were excited by the new expanded partnership announced between Waze and Esri, so we immediately jumped on the bandwagon and built the DC Traffic Dashboard. Plan your route, ready the audio-books, and get to your happy place!

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wetland remote sensing

Then, in a nod to experts out-standing in their field, we wanted to give wetland delineators something to think about – the remote sensing of wetlands as a cost-effective solution to a traditionally labor-intensive process. Lots of promise, and lots of fun with our friends at the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).

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Have an idea for a project? Contact SymGEO with project requirements as we’re here to help, and enjoy the rest of summer!

Remote Sensing of Wetlands

SymGEO is proud to announce a new project with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), designed to explore the use of remote sensing techniques in the identification of wetlands. Traditional wetland delineation requires expert field work, which includes many hours of travel, sampling, and precise survey measurement to delineate what can actually be quite a variable environmental boundary. The best indicators of wetlands tend to be the vegetative species, ground elevation, and hydrology connectivity. Soil sampling and other methods are used to further validate findings, but in today’s data-rich environment, a pretty good indication of wetlands can be gathered through remote sensing.

For this project, LiDAR elevation information was combined with multi-spectral imagery to produce a 6-band composite image using ArcGIS Pro. This composite image was then used in conjunction with National Wetland Inventory (NWI) data to establish training sites for a supervised classification algorithm.

Once a suitable number of training sites were established, the supervised classification algorithm was run on the pilot study area. The results were compared with the National Wetland Inventory data, and a substantial improvement in boundary alignment was noted. This is critical in the accurate measurement of potential impacts to wetlands during road construction or property development, so that an equivalent, mitigating wetland area can be created elsewhere.

It was noted that upland forested areas were sometimes identified as wetland forested areas, indicating that elevation relative to nearest water needs to be included in the classification algorithm. The classification results are currently used as a guide for semi-automated wetland area delineation, but we believe the model could mature to include all required factors and accurately, automatically delineate the wetlands.

If you have supporting data and a need for efficient wetland delineation, SymGEO would love to talk!

Sledding Locator

Sledding and July don’t usually go together, but what better time to plan out the winter’s adventures? This is the quintessential example of an idea that took 6 months to mature and then a few hours to accomplish, thanks to the power of Web AppBuilder and Landscape Modeler.

Like all great solutions, I was trying to do something else (boring technical details redacted), but happened on the Landscape Modeler which had most of the needed architecture already in place. By wrapping the model into an application configured using Web AppBuilder, the Sledding Locator was created in a matter of hours.

Sledding Locator

This application leverages a weighted raster overlay (WRO) model that specifically targets northern-facing sloped areas with roads in the general vicinity. When combined with some of the other basemap layers, particularly imagery to see if it’s relatively open lands, users will be able to tell if it’s worth scouting out for sledding potential following a snow-storm!

Landscape Modeler

From the technical Esri documentation: Weighted overlay has three conceptual steps. First, each raster layer is assigned a weight, as a percentage, in the analysis. This allows you to emphasize the relative importance of each layer in the analysis. Second, values within each raster layer are mapped to a common suitability scale. This allows you to compare the different types of information in each raster layer. Third, all raster layers in the analysis are overlaid. Each raster cell’s suitability value is multiplied by its layer weight and totaled with the values of other raster cells it overlays. The result is a suitability value that is used for symbology in the output raster layer.

Two input rasters have been reclassified

A number of other handy tools are included in this mobile responsive application so users can add their own data, add map annotations (drawings and text), or share the application with their friends.

Check it out today and let us know if you have an idea that SymGEO can help you with, or send us pictures of awesome hills you’ve found with the app!

Waze Traffic in DC

Waze and Esri recently announced an expanded partnership, giving cities easier access to traffic conditions data and incident reports. Esri also has a traffic layer updated every 5 minutes, with road closure notices and other important information included. By combining these near real-time data sources with the marvels of modern technology, SymGEO is pleased to unveil the DC Traffic Dashboard.

Use the DC Traffic Dashboard to plan your commute, see what’s in store, or enjoy your day of telework that much more! Contact SymGEO for more info or for your own handy-dandy dashboard.

Downtown: Energize!

Picture this: a vibrant community, a bustling retail environment, actively engaged citizens – sounds pretty amazing, and a neighborhood you would like to live in, am I right? Studies have shown that community engagement and business development are key ingredients for a successful neighborhood. Rapid advancements in technology have made it easier than ever to engage with your citizens and neighbors, and to create a real sense of ownership and responsibility for the direction of the community. To illustrate this point, SymGEO has put together a Downtown: Energize! initiative using ArcGIS Hub technology.

The site has garnered critical acclaim from residents and business owners, and has been featured in several newspaper publications. It also show-cases a commercial real-estate management system that is perfect for keeping track of who is located where and what is coming soon.

Downtown: Energize! literally has something for everyone, including:

  • An idea section for the community to voice what type of retail they would like to see, powered by Survey123.

  • Word-clouds generated from community surveys into the types of retail that are needed

  • An opportunity locator section to highlight available commercial properties, powered by GeoForms and Web AppBuilder 

  • A look at existing retail in the neighborhood

cornerstone retail

  • Lots of great neighborhood data from DataUSA

Data USA

3d energize

  • Links to upcoming neighborhood events to give that hyper-local flavor

community events

Of course, everything is fully mobile responsive using modern Esri web architecture, so you can be sure that your community can access and interactive with the site – wherever and whenever.

If your community is ready to get started with Downtown: Energize!, let us know as SymGEO is here to help!