Federal agencies’ use of geographic information systems is on display in 133 maps featured in a new book from Esri. The full-color maps demonstrate how the agencies and Congress, among others, employ Esri’s ArcGIS to tackle matters such as national security, transportation and the census.

The book, “Mapping the Nation: Pioneering a New Platform for Government,” aims to illustrate how the government and public frequently put ArcGIS to use for everyday matters along with major health and environmental issues, humanitarian aid, emergency management and more. The maps are used to help engage the public, reconcile a variety of viewpoints and share information among citizens and government employees, Esri said.

“In a previous version of this book, I spoke about the development of a GIS platform that would promote more efficient and transparent governance through a new framework, including cloud computing. This platform is now in place, and the U.S. federal government is taking advantage of its powerful capabilities,” Esri President Jack Dangermond said in a statement. (read more…)

More than 3.8 million additional square miles of aerial imagery have been incorporated into the ArcGIS World Imagery Map, a service provided by Esri and DigitalGlobe. The update was announced this week during the Esri Federal GIS Conference in Washington, D.C.

“This is a breakthrough improvement thanks to our partnership with DigitalGlobe that allows our customers access [to] up-to-date and powerful global imagery,” Christophe Charpentier, Esri’s group product manager for ArcGIS content, said in a statement.

The expanded map features 30-centimeter imagery down to 1:1,000 scale for the continental U.S. For many areas of Western Europe, the map provides 60-centimeter imagery down to 1:2,000 scale.

The high-resolution imagery in the basemap is accessible for free for users of Esri’s ArcGIS Online service. Other updates this year are expected to further increase the map’s coverage by more than 38.6 million square miles, Esri said. (read more…)

Sequestration is a front-and-center issue for everyone these days. While many people may not know exactly what the term means, they know to be worried on March 1 if no agreement is in place and $109 billion in annual spending cuts go into effect across all departments of the U.S. government.

Sequestration is the plan to reduce the federal deficit by $1.2 trillion from the federal budget over the next 10 years. To encourage Congress to pass legislation to reduce the deficit, this plan was enacted by the Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-155).

In 2012, the Office of Management and Budget issued a preliminary report that detailed the breakdown of exempt and nonexempt budget accounts and estimated reductions required across nonexempt accounts to meet the required budgetary reductions. Cuts in the budget will be split evenly between defense and non-defense functions. Many people are particularly worried about the defense budget cuts. (read more…)

The demographics of the U.S. population are changing dramatically. We are becoming a much more diverse society due to the growth of minority populations and immigration. Illegal immigration is a hot topic, generating strong feelings on both sides of the issue. The Office of Immigration estimates that 11 million illegal immigrants are living in the U.S. today; 3 million arrived in the past 10 years. Congress and President Barack Obama plan to introduce legislation to change the status of immigrants who are currently in the U.S. illegally. It is clear that immigration — regardless of status — is changing the demographic makeup of the U.S. population.

Where do the minority populations live? Do their locations vary by the minority racial or ethnic type?

According to Esri, a geographic information systems company, in 2012, 115.8 million people in the U.S. identify themselves as a minority race or ethnicity. This includes 52.8 million Hispanics, 39.5 million blacks, and 15.2 million Asians as well as other races which includes American Indian and Pacific Islanders. (read more…)