Arbor Day

“Every day is Arbor Day in the City of Trees!” – these wise words from Dr. Kasey Yturralde, the Forest Health and Community Outreach Specialist at DDOT’s Urban Forest Division (UFD), are a great indicator of the passion and excitement possessed by the entire UFD team keeping our city green and beautiful.

With that in mind, SymGEO is pleased to announce a brand new interactive Arbor Day at Home resource for communities and individuals who share the same passion for our neighborhood trees. This dynamic website, built with ArcGIS Hub technology, showcases a number of best-practices when planting or caring for trees, as well as fun activities for the whole family in identifying local tree varieties.

Talk to our industry experts today if your agency or organization is interested in community engagement with the power of Esri’s ArcGIS Hub – SymGEO is here to help!

APTA’s New Industry Footprint Platform

Public transportation is a $74 billion industry that employs 435,000 people and supports millions of private-sector jobs. As the public transportation industry advocacy leader, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is dependant on accurate, current data to help inform critical decisions. The all-new Industry Footprint is designed to collect, analyze, and present key statistics at national, state, and local levels. This application, produced in collaboration with our development partners at GeoMarvel, provides insight into APTA membership, public transportation providers, transit service, manufacturing and supply chain, and congressional/legislative contact information.

“We are happy with the results of our partnership with SymGEO. They produced a website that equals our ambition and stature as an association.”

– Darnell Grisby, Director of Policy Research and Development

National-level statistics and APTA membership overview are provided on the homepage of the Footprint platform. Navigation links in the header help direct the audience to the section of interest. The top-level summary narrative for each section explains the importance of that component. Search functionality enables the audience to find a person, state, or legislative district of interest. Upon search, the local infographic “map” section is opened to explore in greater detail.

Search functional is enabled for legislators, states, APTA members, and committees in the upper-left corner. Selecting a search result will update the map with the associated geographic area and associated statistics. Map controls include the ability to turn on or off layers of interest, search for a location, switch the basemap, and zoom controls. Quick layer selection is provided to switch between state, congressional, or legislative geographies.

If a state is selected or the map is clicked upon, legislative information opens in the left-hand panel. This searchable section provides easy access to contact information for policymakers throughout the nation.

Upon selection of a search result or clicking on a map area, statistics and summary infographics are generated to help characterize the geographic selection. This information is compiled in a print-ready format, designed to help inform and energize a policy discussion for that geographic area.

Would a custom mapping application like this be useful to your organization? Talk to our solution experts today about your unique GIS needs, the SymGEO team is here to help!

Hub Specialty Designation

SymGEO is pleased to announce we have been awarded the ArcGIS Hub Specialty designation from Esri! This prestigious honor is bestowed upon partners to recognize their expertise and delivery of solutions and services that help customers build a bridge between government departments and communities using ArcGIS Hub technology.

“ArcGIS Hub is an easy-to-configure cloud platform that organizes people, data, and tools to accomplish Initiatives and goals.” – Esri

SymGEO has been fortunate to work on community engagement projects for municipal and local government clients and has enhanced our partnership with Esri to gain valuable insight into best practices and emerging Hub technologies. We work diligently with our clients to identify their core messaging, digital assets, targeted audience, and corporate branding. We then typically implement a Hub site comprised of pages and initiatives that feature a range of ArcGIS Online solutions, including Survey123, Web AppBuilder, ArcGIS Dashboard, Collector, and 3D WebScenes.

To show a sampling of our ArcGIS Hub work, we offer the following examples:

SymGEO partnered with the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Urban Forestry Division (UFD) to build an ArcGIS Hub site that showcases their work, data, and configurable applications. Upon completion, we then developed an initiative for their group that features Urban Wood Reuse in Washington, DC. The site is designed for schools that are interested in ordering products from DDOT made from urban trees so that school children can appreciate the continued benefits of the urban forest. The site uses Survey123 to capture order information, and ArcGIS Dashboard (on the backend) to track request status as the orders are being processed. Most recently, we have made a page for their group that explores Urban Forest Health issues.

SymGEO worked with guidance from the Kentlands Downtown Working Group to develop Kentlands Downtown: Energize!, an ArcGIS Hub-powered site that aims to connect the community with the economic development team to voice their opinions on what would do well or is needed in the Kentlands. The site leverages Survey123, ArcGIS Dashboard, and a number of unique design elements, including a 3D “virtual” fly-through. The realistic textured 3D environment was developed using a Local Government solution (Local Government 3D Basemaps) that used building footprints, LiDAR data, and CityEngine.

SymGEO was honored to partner with DC’s Ward7 to design and launch a community outreach site designed to present a brief history of the area, a flavor of the neighborhood, the challenges faced due to a changing development landscape, and a call to action for the residents. The site features a history of the development and a map showing the rather sharp economic divide between Ward7 and some of its surrounding neighborhoods.

SymGEO is focused on empowering state and local governments to better use their data and digital assets and to facilitate 2-way engagement with their constituents and communities. We leverage configurable Esri applications to deliver cost-effective solutions to our clients and pride ourselves on delivering a tailored, successful experience during each engagement. Talk to our industry experts today if your neighborhood, department, or organization is interested in community engagement with the power of Esri’s ArcGIS Hub technology – SymGEO is a certified specialist and is here to help!

Ward7 Community Outreach

SymGEO was honored to partner with DC’s Ward7 to design and launch a community outreach site designed to present a brief history of the area, a flavor of the neighborhood, the challenges faced due to a changing development landscape, and a call to action for the residents.

Ward7 header

“The genius of SymGEO was exactly what I needed to help jump-start a discussion on the DC Comprehensive Plan/Element Framework, transforming it from a boring review of data sets into an energizing discussion where people can clearly identify themselves in the data and endeavor to become change agents! SymGEO has taken community engagement and data collection to another level! #OneHappyCustomer”

– Ward7 Outreach Committee Chair

The Ward7 Community Outreach site is built on the Esri’s ArcGIS Hub framework which offers exceptional design flexibility and mobile responsiveness. The site begins by presenting what makes a successful neighborhood and how Ward7 has achieved its own distinct success.

Historic challenges have caused a rather sharp divide between Ward7 and some of its surrounding neighborhoods. This divide was best illustrated with demographic data showing income and education. This mobile-responsive data exploring application was built using Web AppBuilder.

Ward7 data

The site discusses how long term planning and development within Washington DC is guided by the Comprehensive plan, what factors are considered by the plan, and some of the challenges faced by Ward7 during the development process.

Suggestions on how to improve the plan are offered, and community input is solicited using Esri’s Survey123 for ArcGIS,

ward7 survey

Finally, social media is embedded into the site so that the community can stay up to date with the many events happening in and around Ward7.

ward7 social media

Talk to our industry experts today if your neighborhood or organization is interested in community engagement with the power of Esri Hub – SymGEO is here to help!

Urban Forest Health

SymGEO is pleased to announce the launch of a Forest Health website for DDOT’s Urban Forest Division (UFD), designed to educate the community on how DDOT (and DC residents!) help keep the urban canopy vibrant, healthy, and productive. In a natural ecosystem, there are many checks and balances to keep a forest healthy. Urban environments present many challenges to trees, which include the urban heat island effect, degraded soil, limited growing space, and the introduction of exotic pests. This can lead to pest infestations and canopy damage if not caught quickly and mitigated efficiently. Fortunately, at the DDOT Urban Forestry Division, dedicated specialists prevent and respond to urban forest health issues on a daily basis.

“We are excited to share our forest health programs with the public in this new format. The new forest health website is dynamic and easy to use, it allows users to learn about pests and pathogens to look out for, while also giving them the opportunity to report their observations.”

– DDOT Urban Forestry Division

The new Forest Health site discusses a range of preventative measures the UFD takes against pests, including the Early Detection Rapid Response (EDRR) and the Cryptic Wood-Borer Insect (CWBI) programs, as well as how DC residents can identify and report invasive species.

The site leverages Esri’s ArcGIS Hub framework for design and mobile responsiveness and Esri’s Survey123 for ArcGIS for pest reporting. Information is gathered through the website, including pest species, life stage, or signs/symptoms, and is passed to the survey to help the reporting process along.

A Pest Vulnerability Matrix (PVM) is also presented which enables urban foresters to evaluate the overall vulnerability of the urban forest and evaluate the potential impacts of emerging pests and diseases.

Talk to our industry experts today if your agency or organization is interested in community engagement with the power of Esri’s ArcGIS Hub – SymGEO is here to help!

School Recycling: Urban Wood Reuse

Teaching kids the importance of nature, recycling, history, and culture is a lofty goal. Perhaps it’s a lesson that could be taught from the comfort of a bench constructed from recycled urban wood sourced from a local DC neighborhood rich in cultural history? This is now possible thanks to the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Urban Forestry Division (UFD)’s new initiative called “Urban Wood Reuse: for Schools“. This partnership with the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) will provide DC Public Schools and public charter schools with wood products to improve school grounds at no cost.

SymGEO was excited to help the Urban Forestry Division (UFD) develop this initiative by using Esri’s ArcGIS Hub technology to establish two-way communication between the UFD and DC schools interested in “sitting on a piece of DC History”. The site shares knowledge and products from the UFD while gathering the school’s product ideas and requirements.

The site discusses the benefits of wood reuse, where the wood comes from, and the variety of products available including benches, stumps, or woodchips. It also provides a link to an order form as a convenient and easy way to request wood products.

The order form itself is powered by Esri’s Survey 123 for ArcGIS technology and is designed with step-logic where pertinent questions appear based on previous answers.

One of the exciting new aspects of an initiative is the ability for an audience member to sign into a community account and “follow” the initiative. This will grant them access to broadcasts about new events, updates, new product launches, and other useful information. Now, being able to show which schools are as excited as we are about this new initiative has never been easier!

Talk to our digital platform experts today if your agency or organization is interested in community engagement with the power of Esri ArcGIS Hub Initiatives – SymGEO is here to help!

APTA Industry Footprint

The SymGEO team was honored to redesign the flagship custom mapping application for the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) called the Industry Footprint. This application is designed to explore APTA membership, public transportation providers, transit service, manufacturing and supply chain, and congressional / legislative information. There is a wealth of information packed into one application!

The newly modernized Industry Footprint first begins with a look at APTA membership and transportation provider data at the national scale. It’s not easy making intuitive sense of thousands of data points, but fortunately, there are visualization tools designed to help. SymGEO uses a novel cartographic predominance approach that shows the relative number of members and dominant industry category in each congressional district with a firefly symbology effect to give it a pleasing glow.

industry categories

“The SymGEO team worked on a tight schedule to deliver a series of impressive updates and fixes to our existing application, including a whole visual re-imagining. We are excited to work on even more innovations to the tool going forward together.”

– Matthew Dickens, Senior Policy Analyst, APTA

State-wide information is provided upon zoom-in and includes details about the many APTA members, providers, bus and rail service areas, manufacturing supply chain, and legislative representative information. Most of these data sets required updates as part of this project, and several had broken over time as congressional data APIs had changed since the first version of this tool. This required extensive code logic updates and re-writes by our fantastic development partner and included many stylistic and responsive updates to match the new modern design comps from our design partner.

statewide data

There are several search options available to help users find the information they are looking for and create the perfect map for their report or policy advocacy. For the detailed legislative information, users can locate their area of interest and select a congressional district or an upper / lower house state legislative district. Contact information is provided for the appropriate representative as well as a snap-shot of transit facts and membership data pertinent to that area.

congressional data

Print-ready interactive reports are also offered for the convenience of researchers who need to share their findings with others, either as digital pdfs or hard-copy prints.

printed report

Finally, the application was redesigned for a fluid and responsive mobile experience. This allows data access on the go, in a meeting, or wherever needed.

APTA mobile

Talk to our mapping application experts today if you have an aging custom application that needs some modern TLC – the SymGEO team is here to help!

Downtown: Energize! in ArcNews

SymGEO was honored to have our community engagement pilot project Downtown: Energize! Kentlands featured in the 2019 ArcNews Spring edition!  This premier hard-copy and digital publication by Esri has a circulation of 900,000 industry professionals and is a go-to source for all that is new and innovative in the Esri GIS community.

This wonderfully in-depth article examines the purpose and need of the site, the benefits brought to residents and businesses, and of course, the amazing Esri technology that makes it all possible.

Check it out, and let us know if your community would like to experience the positive power of Downtown: Energize!

DDOT Urban Forestry Division Hub

SymGEO is pleased to announce the launch of the DDOT Urban Forestry Division Hub! This new digital platform is designed to engage and interact with the DC community and provide information about the many services and resources offered by the Urban Forestry Division (UFD) of the District Department of Transportation (DDOT). This digital platform was built using Esri’s  ArcGIS Hub technology, in coordination with DC Open Data and OCTO.

With a long history of caring for the extensive forest canopy in DC, the Urban Forestry group has meticulously assembled data sets and applications to help in their forest management mission and to communicate with a variety of audiences. With the introduction of Esri’s ArcGIS Hub technology, there is finally a digital platform perfectly designed to tie all the pieces together into a cohesive story. SymGEO was honored to be approached by the Urban Forestry group to help them design, configure, and deploy this comprehensive digital solution.

 

“SymGEO is a remarkably flexible and responsive company. They listen carefully to requirements and deftly blend customer vision with technological capabilities.”

– Earl Eutsler, DDOT Urban Forestry Division, Associate Director / State Forester

The urban forest story begins with a look to the past and introduces the audience to the long history and important role of trees in DC.

history

The story then turns to the impressive variety of trees available for public enjoyment and leverages several applications and digital stories that the urban forestry group has already developed.

canopy

The flagship data set of the Urban Forest group is the Public Tree Map which elegantly displays a tremendous amount of current information about the urban tree canopy. Links are provided to both the map and the underlying data for the community to use and explore.

public tree map

Work orders, permits, inspections, plantings, removals… there’s a lot going on in Urban Forestry! Fortunately, many data sets and reporting mechanisms have been developed to keep track of it all. These have now been shared with the public under one digital roof for a better understanding of agency scope and status.

urban forestry maps

Of course, what fun are statistics if they can’t be updated on the fly as new information is entered into databases behind the scenes?

stats

Finally, links to tools and resources are provided for partners and stakeholders to begin making their own applications and discoveries with DC government data.

tools

Talk to our industry experts if your agency or organization is interested in leveraging the power of Esri’s ArcGIS Hub – SymGEO is here to help!

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, ArcGIS 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!