The Role of Maps in GIS


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Clint Brown's Technology Keynote presentation at the 2010 ESRI International User Conference on Wednesday, July 14th.

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The Role of Maps in GIS

  1. 1. The Role of Maps in GIS<br />Clint Brown<br />
  2. 2. “Mapping” encompasses a lot<br />Traditional media<br />Paper maps<br />Imagery<br />New media<br />Web maps<br />Mobile maps<br />Geographic information<br />People have learned to use and appreciate the value of “new media” maps, and GIS can exploit this<br />
  3. 3. People use maps for many activities<br />To communicate and convey large amounts of information<br />
  4. 4. To find patterns<br />Crime<br />Median Age<br />
  5. 5. To view information over time<br />
  6. 6. To derive new information using analysis<br />Malaria Predictions<br />Heat map of crime<br />Optimizing routes<br />
  7. 7. To communicate ideas, concepts, designs, …<br />Sarah Ellingson<br />
  8. 8. To get status reportsOperational dashboards<br />Haiti Earthquake response<br />Water utility operational dashboard<br />BP Oil Blowout <br />
  9. 9. To compile geographic information<br />Most GIS organizations compile and maintain information inventories (e.g., Hydrology, Soils, Geology, Transportation, Boundaries, Parcels, etc.)<br />
  10. 10. Maps are made from a series of layers<br /><ul><li>Layers represent logical collections (themes) of information – Roads, Trails, Surface Elevation, Hydro, . . .
  11. 11. The contents of each map are organized as a series of layers</li></ul>A map is a kind of geographic information model . . .<br />. . . GIS is founded on map layer concepts<br />
  12. 12. There are many types of GIS map layers<br />Multi-scale Basemaps<br />Features<br />Imagery<br />Also:<br /><ul><li>3D layers
  13. 13. Surface layers
  14. 14. Etc.</li></ul>Derived Layers (e.g., Model Results)<br />
  15. 15. Multi-scale BasemapsBasemap layers provide a framework and context for working with other map layers<br />Topographic<br />Geology<br />General purpose city<br />Imagery<br />Parcels<br />Utilities<br />
  16. 16. General Purpose City Map: Pasadena, California<br />
  17. 17. Basemaps<br />Basemap Sandwich<br />Fused Base Map<br />Reference Overlay<br />Theme<br />Terrain<br />Geology<br />Topographic Basemap<br />Imagery Hybrid<br />
  18. 18. BasemapsUsing map sandwiches<br />Terrain underlay<br />
  19. 19. Basemaps Using map sandwiches<br />Reference overlay<br />Names, transportation, hydro, . . .<br />
  20. 20. Basemaps Using map sandwiches<br />Slide your theme into the sandwich<br />Population, Hydrology, Geology, Soils, Land use, Ecoregions, . . . <br />Median Age<br />
  21. 21. Basemaps Using map sandwiches<br />Imagery Hybrid<br />Imagery plus Reference Overlay<br />
  22. 22. Types of layersFeature layers<br />. . . Feature shapes plus attributes<br />Portrayed using symbols, colors, and labels — based on attribute values<br />Assign symbols to attribute values (e.g., street class) . . . . . . and labels (e.g., street name)<br />
  23. 23. Feature layers have information popupsLayers as interactive reports<br />Maps tell stories<br />
  24. 24. Feature layers have attachmentsAdd photos and other documents to a feature<br />. . . how features communicate rich information<br />
  25. 25. Feature layersAre used to compile and edit data<br />Example:<br /><ul><li>Geodatabase schema for parcels
  26. 26. Parcel fabric uses specialized topological rules for how elements fit together to form the parcel fabric
  27. 27. A Map Document has Layers
  28. 28. Layers have symbology and labels
  29. 29. Layers have Feature Templates for editing</li></li></ul><li>Some layers are derivedGeocoding layers<br />Feature layer created from an address table<br />
  30. 30. Sensor layersFeature layers can be created for sensor networks<br />Traffic cameras<br />Stream gauges<br />
  31. 31. Image layers (Raster)<br /><ul><li>Individual image files
  32. 32. Mosaics: Collections of imagery used as integrated map layers</li></li></ul><li>Surface layers<br />Contours and Elevation Points<br />DEM Rasters<br />Terrains (Multi-resolution Tins)<br />Composite<br />
  33. 33. Derived layersGeoprocessing Results<br />Analytical Models<br />Optimizing Travel Times<br />Areas within 2-, 4-, and 6-hours by truck<br />Suitability map<br />Polygon overlay of flood plains on parcels<br />Spatial statistics<br />Derived layers for spatial analysis and to automate tasks (e.g., ETL)<br />
  34. 34. ArcMapTo create a map, you create layers and add them to your map<br />The Table of Contents helps you to organize the layers in your map<br />
  35. 35. Layers encapsulate how you work with GIS datasets<br />How datasets are classified, symbolized, and labeled<br />How to view and work with feature attributes<br />How features are edited<br />Attribute table<br />HTML popups<br />New in Version 10<br />Feature editing templates<br />
  36. 36. Layer properties<br />Subsets (Queries)<br />Scale-dependent display properties<br />Joins and relates<br />Attribute field properties<br />Alias names<br />Visible fields<br />Hidden fields<br />Display expressions<br />Time properties <br />Group layers<br />Visible fields, expressions, captions, …<br />Time Slider<br />Editing templates<br />
  37. 37. Your map helps you to<br />Compile and edit shared features<br />Define the visible map scales<br />Derive a new layer by analyzing information in other layers<br />Can be saved and shared as map packages and layer packages <br />ArcMapMap documents and layers encapsulate your knowledge<br />
  38. 38. Users share maps and layersUsing ArcGIS Online<br />Free Online Storage<br />Groups<br />Share<br />Map packages and <br />Layer packages<br />Search / Use<br />Desktop Users<br />
  39. 39. ArcGIS 10<br />ArcGIS is about making, using, and sharing GIS maps and apps for many purposes<br />Desktop Maps (MXD, MPK, MSD, LYR, LPK)<br />Web Maps and Apps<br />Mobile Maps and Apps<br />
  40. 40. ArcGIS is an online system for using geographic information everywhereA range of clients — GIS desktops, Web browsers, and mobile devices<br />Connected to maps and geographic information services from thousands of organizations worldwide.<br />On local computers (and as files on disk)<br />Published as GIS Web services for use within an enterprise<br />Published and shared in the cloud<br />
  41. 41. GIS web mapsA new kind of map that works on the web<br />Shared with everyone<br />Works everywhere<br />In browsers<br />Mobile devices<br />In custom apps <br />And in GIS desktops<br />
  42. 42. Web MapsSharing GIS with everyone<br />There is a new map media called a web map<br />This is one of many map patterns for the web and is already widely used (e.g., by Google, Microsoft Bing, ArcGIS Online, etc.)<br />This pattern involves the use of multi-scale base maps plus operational overlays (mashups)<br />Each map is published as an open map service on the web<br />Published with multiple APIs: REST, SOAP, WMS, WCS, KML<br />A Web Map combines these in a common application <br />Simple HTML and Mobile APIs are used to assemble web applications that reference REST endpoints (URLs). <br />Only a few dozen lines of code are needed to create great web map apps<br />With ArcGIS Online, making a map is even easier (No web programming)<br />Make a Web Map<br />
  43. 43. Web maps can be created and shared Web browser (<br />Create your Web map at and in Explorer Online<br />
  44. 44. Web maps can be sharedArcGIS Explorer Online<br />
  45. 45. Web maps can be sharedAdd notes and build presentations with Explorer Online <br />Using maps to tell stories<br />
  46. 46. Web maps can be sharediPhone, iOS, Android, . . . <br />
  47. 47. Web maps can be shared Using Custom Apps <br />Web APIs for Javascript, Flex, Silverlight, SharePoint, iOS, and Android<br />
  48. 48. Web maps can be sharedArcGIS Explorer Desktop<br />Adding tasks for modeling and analysis<br />
  49. 49. Web maps can be sharedArcMap<br />
  50. 50. Web maps can be sharedArcMap<br />Perform advanced work: <br />Editing, Geoprocessing, Modeling, . . . <br />
  51. 51. How to create great web maps and apps<br />
  52. 52. Web Maps<br />A web map is a set of web map layers.<br />Each layer is based on a web map service.<br />A web map service in ArcGIS is published using a map document.<br />You author your web map layers as map documents in ArcMap and publish them as map services.<br />You combine a set of web map layers from multiple services in your web map application.<br />There is a common pattern for web maps<br />
  53. 53. Creating a GIS Web MapA commonly used pattern<br />Multi-scale Basemap(s)<br />Operational Overlay(s)<br />Tools for working with each layer<br />A GIS app to bring this to life<br />
  54. 54. Building a multi-scale base mapA series of related maps for each map scale<br />Using ArcMap<br />Define map scales<br />Build a map for each map scale<br />Put the set of layers for each map scale in a group layer<br />Set scale-dependent drawing for each group layer<br />Generate a cached map service<br />Optional:<br /><ul><li>Define Interactive feature reports
  55. 55. Locator</li></li></ul><li>Community BasemapsYou don’t have to build it all yourself. Your map can be part of a community map.<br />You need a set of multi-scale base maps to accomplish your work<br />No user can assemble their complete map. You need contributions from other users as well <br />ESRI wants to support your efforts to build and publish your collective information as a series of great base maps <br />A unified, harmonized series of basemaps authored and shared by the ArcGIS community<br />
  56. 56. Operational LayersThe focused set of layers that users work with<br />Editing and data access layers<br />Observations, sensor feeds, incidents<br />Query results<br />Result layers that are derived from analytical models<br />Earthquakes<br />Inundation Areas &Affected Buildings<br />Incidents, Customer Calls, Work Orders<br />
  57. 57. Operational layers<br />Put interesting data behind your maps. Use tools to reach into that data. <br />“What can you do with a single mouse-click?”<br />Maps as interactive reports enable you to simplify the cartography (e.g., fewer and simpler labels)<br />
  58. 58. Operational Layers are used for information accessLayers as interactive, georeferenced reports<br />Operational Overlay<br />Operational Overlay<br />Base Map<br />Basemap Sandwich<br />
  59. 59. Simplest Report is Information PopupThe most common layer report method<br />Avoid use of<br />Feature and Object IDs<br />Abbreviated / technical field names<br />Code values<br />Poorly formatted real numbers<br />Etc.<br />
  60. 60. Operational LayersLayers as interactive reports<br />Interactive reports are controlled by adding information to specific results columns in your geodatabase <br />Add columns with meaningful valuesto your feature tables <br />Populate report attributes for each feature<br />Identify the audience. Focus on delivering information to help them do their work<br />
  61. 61. Operational LayersThe focused set of layers that users work with<br />Include tools for rich operations<br />Examples<br />Calculate population within 100 miles of an earthquake<br />Show current stream flow<br />Project Planning<br />Earthquakes<br />Stream Flow<br />Water Utility Plans<br />
  62. 62. Operational LayersCartographic design is important<br />Good symbology and labels<br />Support for scale-dependent display<br />Not relevant at these map scales<br />
  63. 63. Apps use basemaps plus operational overlaysOut-of-the-box apps and custom apps<br />Operational layers require:<br />Cartographic design (e.g., scale-dependencies)<br />Popup Report Design<br />Tools to work with the layer’s content <br />Maps tell stories<br />Use Presentations in ArcGIS Explorer<br />Associate specific tools with each operational layer<br />
  64. 64. Observations and ImplicationsAnd random thoughts . . . <br />
  65. 65. Better maps are needed<br />
  66. 66. Key points<br />The GIS community builds and maintains important information sets<br />Maps – both 2D and 3D, are the way this geographic information is brought to life<br />However, most GIS professionals are not cartographers<br />But, …There is a GIS mapping “community”<br />The mapping community can provide the designs and build map specifications for the rest of us for web delivery (i.e., templates) <br />The mapping community can share its designs and map templates<br />Users can import their data into these templates and publish maps on the Web<br />
  67. 67. Most GIS maps and apps are too complicatedSimplify and Streamline<br />One-size-fits-all, general Übermaps<br />Applications with (too) many options and toolbars and bells and whistles and the kitchen sink, etc.<br />Designing map and geodatabase together leads to simpler data models that are streamlined<br />
  68. 68. GIS for everyone means your GIS must be relevant and vitalOld ways of GIS are no longer sustainable<br />Current Focus<br />Future<br />Individual organizations have their own maps <br />Independently designed map documents and geodatabases<br />Slow to deploy and adapt<br />Focus is on data formats and dataset sharing<br />Standards efforts are focused on this too. Clunky sharing and standards.<br />Focused interactive maps that are mission-based<br />Transformation to shared web maps for delivery<br />Work together on common designs (Templates)<br />Use of Web maps for information access<br />Use of Web maps to communicate and tell stories<br />Simplify and streamline<br />Maps and templates will play a critical role<br />
  69. 69. The ArcGIS Community will create and share great GIS maps and apps (Content)<br />ESRI is building some core maps<br />Imagery, streets, locators<br />Demographic and business maps<br />ESRI is engaging with our user communities on other strategic maps (collaborative)<br />Topographic map, Image map, Street map, Others<br />Many of you will create and share maps<br />Hosted at ArcGIS Online<br />User-managed<br />Great map and app designs shared as templates<br />
  70. 70. Lessons learned<br />Group layers do a lot for your design (e.g., scale-dependent display, organizing information by theme, . . .) <br />Frequently, you’ll need maps to be more specific at larger map scales<br />
  71. 71. Base maps become more specific at larger map scales<br />
  72. 72. Base maps become more specific at larger map scales<br />
  73. 73. Base maps become more specific at larger map scales<br />
  74. 74. Lessons learned<br /><ul><li>Important to design maps and geodatabases in unison</li></ul>Leads to simpler data models that are streamlined<br />
  75. 75. Lessons learned<br />Leverage map content from other users<br />Use “map sandwiches” for some base maps<br />
  76. 76. Lessons learned<br />Leverage map content from other users<br />Use “map sandwiches” for some base maps<br />
  77. 77. Lessons learned<br />Leverage map content from other users<br />Design your maps to fit with others’<br />
  78. 78. Lessons learned<br />Leverage map content from other users<br />Design your maps to fit with others’<br />
  79. 79. Lessons learned<br />Building the content is the hard work. <br />Creating the map is a fraction of the effort. <br />We all have something valuable (extremely valuable) to contribute<br /><ul><li>12 hours of data processing
  80. 80. 90 minutes to cache
  81. 81. Seven map scales 1:36,000 to 1:1,000</li></ul>Cambridge, MA and Harvard University<br />
  82. 82. Lessons learnedGIS content is almost always better than consumer web maps<br />Up-to-date<br />Trusted & Understood<br />Authoritative<br />Known quality<br />. . . and consumer web maps can improve through the use of GIS content<br />
  83. 83. Summary<br />
  84. 84. GIS is evolving to emphasize the role of maps How we communicate with GIS<br />Maps portray logical collections of geographic information as map layers <br />They are at the heart of how GIS is used <br />They provide an effective metaphor for modeling and organizing geographic information as a series of thematic layers<br />Maps encapsulate everything we do with GIS<br />
  85. 85. The new Web GIS trend will require better maps and information<br />Will drive a resurgence in the need for high quality, up-to-date information<br />The traditional data compilation work of GIS professionals will be needed to meet this need<br />Web GIS deployments will lead to increased professional GIS work and sharing for<br />Data automation<br />Editing<br />Mapping<br />Analysis<br />Automation<br />3D GIS<br />Map use<br />A key goal in ArcGIS 10 is about meeting these needs<br />
  86. 86. Key points<br />Unified map designs are needed<br />Harmonized map views that can be mashed up together<br />Shared data schemas and maps across organizations<br />This leads to shared apps across organizations<br />Shared maps and apps are recognizable. Consumers can learn to use and apply familiar maps <br />Synergy<br />Crowd sourcing by the GIS community<br />
  87. 87. Base Maps plus Operational OverlaysThere are many types of “base maps”<br />Consumer maps provide imagery and streets. These are important but do not provide the context for addressing all problems.<br />Additional web maps are needed to provide the context or framework for addressing a range of problems. <br />The GIS community must provide these base maps. <br />Very few web maps can be built by a single organization. <br />A collaborative effort is needed to bring our content together in a series of unified, harmonized, continuous basemaps.<br />
  88. 88. Thank You<br />
  89. 89. Useful Links<br />Download slides at:<br />Look for BLOG article named “The role of maps in GIS” by Clint Brown<br />Help topics<br />The role of maps:<br />ArcMap documents and Web maps:<br />Web GIS concepts and implementation steps:<br />Map Templates Gallery:<br />Community Basemaps:<br />