Croatian Rail Network

SymGEO is pleased to announce the completion of a project with The World Bank Group that enables valuable interactive insight into the rail transportation system in Croatia. This project started with a series of excel files that detailed rail segment speed, passenger numbers, freight volumes, age of track, and other characteristics.

croatia excel file

SymGEO then used a schematic diagram of the network to build and calibrate a spatially accurate network based on OpenStreetMap rail data and linear referencing of station locations.

croatia network diagram

This newly created spatial data was then hosted in ArcGIS Online and used to configure an Operations Dashboard application. This application was specifically designed to filter and query the data interactively on demand and present summary statistics based on complex queries. This combination of attribute queries, summary statistics, and visual representation now enables report graphics and key decision data to be created on-the-fly by the client.

“This is superb and exactly what the client needed and what I was imagining.”

– World Bank client

If you have complex transportation network data that you’d like to leverage with an intuitive, user-friendly, configurable application, then SymGEO would love to hear from you!

SymGEO Hub in the News

This month we were honored to have Downtown: Energize! featured in two local papers. There has been tremendous energy and enthusiasm swirling around this flagship project from SymGEO, and the technology continues to improve with every update.

lakelands newspaper

Downtown: Energize! features many different components of the ArcGIS technology suite, including Survey123, GeoForm / Collector, Operations Dashboard, Web AppBuilder for the retail locator, and a web scene that uses CityEngine textured models derived from building footprints and Lidar information processed in ArcGIS Pro. These components are then hosted in ArcGIS Online and leveraged using ArcGIS Hub technology.

downtown energize banner

Two local development boards, the Kentlands Downtown Working Group (KDWG) and the One Main Street Initiative (OMSI), took an excited interest in Downtown: Energize! and have commissioned complimentary sites to be built using Hub technology. The commercial real-estate management of the site is especially useful in a fast-paced environment!

kentlands newspaper

“The KDWG was commissioned by the Kentlands board to provide accurate and timely information on the various development efforts going on with our downtown so residents can be better informed and take a more active role in improving our community. We chose the Downtown: Energize! platform developed by SymGEO with its innovative digital mapping because it helps do exactly that.”

– John Ingrassia, Chair, Kentlands Downtown Working Group

“A great commercial district is a huge amenity for our community. Downtown: Energize! is a great digital tool for helping the community achieve the vision for our commercial district. Not only will it help us engage the community to provide flexible two-way dialogue, but it will help us by mapping opportunities where businesses can expand and thrive. This innovative platform will allow us to easily update data, access data and provide data well beyond our community, which provides outreach to businesses looking to expand. Additionally, it is a fun way to empower consumers looking for a place to spend their precious free time to engage with this easy to use tool whether at home or mobile. Working with Kevin at SymGEO has been an amazing experience. He and his team are bringing tremendous innovations and ideas to our team at The One Mainstreet Initiative.”

– Neil Burka, Chair, One Main Street Initiative

“I was so excited when SymGEO came to us with this idea. As a local real estate agent and resident who is deeply engaged in the community, I understand on a personal level how important this spatial data is to get the community engaged and onboard with what’s happening. This platform will make it easy to access the data – especially for folks who, like me, are more visual.”

– Sheena Saydam, Realtor, Keller Williams Capital Properties, Member, Kentlands Downtown Working Group

“Downtown: Energize! as created by Kevin McMaster using the SymGEO platform, is an innovative digital tool that provides mapping of business locations to potential and existing customers in a format that is fun, easy to use, and flexible enough to accept updates and even track current events. It’s a win-win for our community by empowering residents to engage with our local businesses and to energize our downtown!”

– Ingrid L. Fraley, Local Business Owner – Design Services, Inc.

kentlands 3d

If you’d like to join the party with a Downtown: Energize! initiative, let us know as SymGEO is here to help!

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!

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!

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!

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!

ArcGIS Hub-Ready

The world is awash with data and mapping applications, so how does one go about organizing them into meaningful, searchable components? Esri’s new ArcGIS Hub initiative is designed to organize people, processes, and technology to meet those needs. This technology gives context and purpose to data, and provides an excellent two-way engagement platform to connect departments and stakeholders.

Using this mobile-responsive framework, SymGEO has built our own SymGEO Hub, and populated it with examples and branding from our main website.

ArcGIS Hub

If your organization is ready to get started with ArcGIS Hub, SymGEO is here to help!

Data Collection

Specialized data sets that answer a focused need can be difficult or impossible to find, and sometimes the data set you need simply doesn’t exist. Maybe you need locations showing the availability of fresh food in your neighborhood, or want to know the location and condition of utility boxes, or the occurrence of garage sales. Fortunately, a number of configurable data collection products are available from Esri to help.

The first question to answer is: will you be able to tap into crowd-sourced power to populate the data set? If so, a publicly accessible web link is the way to go. Esri has introduced GeoForms and Survey 123, which allow any user to enter in the attribute information and location of the data when set to public. Alternatively, the permissions can be set so that just a specific group or user within your organization can access the forms.

These configurable applications are mobile responsive, so fit very well onto a phone, where you can leverage the on-board camera to collect pictures at the same time.

Another branch of data collection technology is Collector, which allows both connected and disconnected editing by named users. This may be useful in environments without access to mobile data or wi-fi, such as those following a disaster or storm event. These native applications are available for Android, iOS and Windows, and sync to data stored in ArcGIS Online or within an enterprise GIS when back in a connected environment.

If you’d like some help getting set up for mobile data collection, SymGEO is here to find you the perfect fit!