How Esri's Mapping Unlocks the Full Potential of Data

Whether you use digital maps for travel, to explore area-specific trends, or to monitor devices in real time, you are using software that collects and applies data to perform certain functions. Esri, an international supplier of geographic information system (GIS) software, empowers users to leverage mapping analytics by providing accurate, digestible information to benefit businesses and communities. Many small pieces of data are compiled to provide a broad picture of what the data show collectively to inform strategies and take on wide-ranging issues.

If you want to learn how software and systems designed to optimize human performance can produce positive impacts across industries and around the world, consider how companies like Esri handle location data. Here are four examples of how Esri taps into the power of data to solve societal problems:

1. Fight the Opioid Epidemic

Using Esri’s geographic information system, the nonprofit Direct Relief identified hundreds of community health centers where the distribution of drugs used to bring someone back from an overdose would be most effective. Direct Relief utilized Esri’s desktop analytics platform, ArcGIS Pro, to examine neighborhood demographic profiles linked to opioid prescription rates, overdoses, and deaths. Armed with this data, Direct Relief created maps locating areas nationwide with high opioid prescription and overdose rates and numerous overdose-related deaths. Esri’s GIS technology enabled Direct Relief to provide 30,000 doses of the drug naloxone to 126 centers across the country. The information from this first round distribution is now available for other clinics if they want to follow Direct Relief’s lead in saving lives.

2. Identify Cybersecurity Threats

Much of your personal information is stored, used and transferred digitally. Through online banking and credit reporting, shopping and ecommerce, and social network platforms, your most intimate data may be vulnerable to cyber threats. On higher levels, this vulnerability has dire implications for communities across the country; government intelligence; healthcare services, and power and energy systems. Esri teamed up with the Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory to map and understand the potential impact of cyber-attacks. GIS technology integrated data science and visualizations so that in the event of a cyber-attack, response teams can securely collect, organize and distribute critical information.

3. Recover After National Disasters

In 2016, wildfires around Gatlinburg, Tenn. killed at least 14 people, injured more than 100, and more than 1,500 homes or businesses were damaged. Many evacuated the area, but Esri’s GIS tools allowed evacuees to determine remotely which structures survived the blaze. Teaming up with Sevier County and the Tennessee State Forestry Service, Esri created an interactive map which emergency teams and the public could use to share property information and damage estimates. As it did for Tennesseans, Esri’s use of spatial analysis, geodatabase design, and intelligent map applications can assist during and after natural and manmade disasters. It can help save lives and property whiling bringing peace of mind to victims and their families.

4. Develop Location-Based Services

Esri’s technology promotes cross-industry solutions that can reveal new insights on various markets. Whether you’re a retailer, a restauranteur, or a real estate company, these market insights can help you better understand your customer or community so you can better anticipate or respond to their needs. For example, job growth measurements can illuminate a competitive edge or industry shift; area influence analysis can predict annual sales numbers, and location profile generation can improve network planning. With a location-based strategy, you can explore patterns, trends and relationships that enable actionable intelligence.

Esri is able to unlock the full potential of data by creating technology that, when in the hands of someone with the right concepts, skills, and applications, can produce positive changes in the community at large. Claremont Graduate University (CGU) offers an MS program in Information Systems & Technology (IS&T) with areas of concentration that teach students how to conceive data-driven solutions. Students can take advantage of a comprehensive partnership between CGU and Esri, the benefits of which include scholarships for Esri employees, access to The Esri Development Center in CGU’s GIS Lab, and specialized GIS training. This allows for continual collaboration and student achievement. CGU alumni have gone on to work for tech giants like Google and Microsoft.

For more information on whether CGU is right for you, and how our MS in IS&T program can instill in you the ability to harness data and re-deploy it in beneficial ways across multiple disciplines, visit

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