ArcWatch: GIS News, Views, and Insights

December 2014

Keen Observations

By Carla Wheeler
Esri Writer

Urban Observatory at is getting bigger and better. The project, launched by Esri, Richard Saul Wurman, and RadicalMedia, lets you compare and contrast cities using mapped data on everything from housing development to traffic flow and population density to open space. Contributions of map data from GIS professionals like Lauri Sohl of South Dakota and Tom Sellsted of Washington State make exploring cities even more exciting and informative.

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Start contributing data for your city today.

Keen Observations
The Urban Observatory contains a growing number of maps about cities, including industrial and commercial land use, youth population, and flood zones.

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The Tip

Learn to Find Colors on Maps Using the Eye Dropper Tool

Have you ever seen a color you liked that you wanted to use on your own map, perhaps in symbols or charts? You can use the Eye Dropper tool to easily find any color on a page. This tool shows the red, green, and blue (RGB) definition of the colors that you click on the map. Read the tip.

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    Tech Time

    Where Did That Eclipse Go?

    Where Did That Eclipse Go?

    Won’t be able to catch that total solar eclipse of the sun in 2187? Missed the annular solar eclipse of 1621? No problem. Solar Eclipse Finder is a JavaScript-based web app that displays the path of past and future solar eclipses that pass through the location you define. Source data is published as a hosted service on ArcGIS Online. Try the Solar Eclipse Finder. Read the blog.

  • Esri Data Update

    Download the 2014 US Esri Data update for Esri Business Analyst Desktop and Esri Business Analyst for Server at Updates include block level demographic changes following the 2013 tornado in Moore, Oklahoma. Read the blog.

  • ArcGIS Meets SciPy

    How will integrating ArcGIS with SciPy, a software library for custom scientific and technical computing, help scientists and other professionals? Esri’s Kevin Butler answers this question. Read the blog.

  • ArcGIS 10.3 is Here

    Along with ArcGIS Pro’s 3D capabilities, the new ArcGIS 10.3 release will include some great new ArcMap tools for analysis, automation, and managing your data more efficiently. Read the blog →

  • Maps & More

    Go Dark Gray
  • Go Dark Gray

    Your data will shine more brightly when you use the new dark gray canvas basemap from Esri. The basemap will soon be added to the ArcGIS Online basemap gallery. Read the blog.

    Conservation Maps
  • Here’s Looking at You

    Talk about GIS crowdsourcing! Tweeted selfies poured in for GIS Day, populating the GISDaySelfie Story Map with selfies stretching from Accra, Ghana, to Zoetermeer, the Netherlands. See the GISDaySelfie Story Map.

    Hardware Offer
  • Hardware Offer

    Complement or upgrade your existing GIS infrastructure. Get Esri ArcGIS for Desktop software with a Dell Precision Workstation or Notebook. Order today.


    The Last Word

  • Geography Bee

    The buzz about bees: They come in all colors, shapes, and sizes depending on where they live. Meet the Polysocial Hairy-tongued Bee from France, the Sawtooth Sputnik Bee from Kenya, and more, in Geography Bee: A Global Gallery of Pollinators, an Esri Story Map Tour. View the map without getting stung.

  • Finding Livable Cities with Esri Data

    Matt Carmichael, editor of, counts on Esri data in researching the best places to live, work, and play in the United States. Listen to the podcast.