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An adventurous woman wearing a backpack sits on a fallen tree in a forest, writing in a notebook as she gazes into the distance. An Esri “Science of Where” square overlayed.

Mapping the Nation

Creating the World We Want to See

Discover inspiring stories of professionals using GIS to make the world better.

Get a digital copy of Mapping the Nation

Explore stories from the latest volume of Mapping the Nation, published by Esri Press, that illustrate how a geographic approach guides important decisions around the globe. Discover why our future depends on more coordinated and concentrated action to create a world that is healthy, prosperous, equitable, peaceful, secure, and in balance with nature. These stories, originally from Esri Blog, explain how GIS provides a means to examine and explore the dimensions of every challenge, prioritizing actions based on evidence and analysis.

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Foreword and introduction
A family of five hiking up a hill, gazing at electric wire towers; a person with hiking sticks looking into the distance; four colleagues gathered around a computer screen, examining a map; two colleagues building a city model; and a macaw flying through the jungle.

Climate Action

GIS tracks the impacts of climate change and provides solutions to combat it to better protect our communities and our planet.

Equity and Social Justice

GIS provides insight into patterns of inequality and can provide common understanding across communities to effect positive change.


Using GIS, professionals enhance environmental health and eliminate harmful contaminants to help communities maintain balance between humans and nature.


Conservationists use GIS to gain insights into complex environmental challenges to better understand the interdependencies of native species and human activity and mitigate threats from climate change.

Humanitarian assistance

Humanitarian organizations around the world apply GIS to analyze and plan missions, mobilize field teams quickly, and monitor and evaluate their effectiveness and sustainability, and they do it in real time.

Public Safety

Agencies around the world manage public safety, emergency response, fire, wildland fires, and public events from beginning to end, using location intelligence derived from GIS software.

Smart planning

Urban and community planners are achieving effective and efficient smart planning, using a location-based, data-driven approach that prioritizes the human element in community design.


Organizations use GIS for infrastructure management to model, connect, and enable relationships of the built, social, and natural worlds with advanced visualizations and analytics across the entire infrastructure life cycle.


GIS plays a central role in sustainability efforts by providing a comprehensive ecosystem for integrating and visualizing diverse environmental data. It enables stakeholders to make informed decisions by mapping and analyzing various sustainability factors.