Community Analyst Helps City of Fullerton Win $270,000 Grant

Esri logoCloud-Based GIS Quickly Generated Reports and Supplied Answers for Caltrans Grant

Using Esri Community Analyst, the City of Fullerton, California, won a State of California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Planning Grant. The grant will be used to explore opportunities for a transit loop extension, including a fixed-route trolley, in the downtown area. City staff used Community Analyst to gather information on the number of households and local employment statistics required to complete the grant application.

“Community Analyst provided answers to questions we couldn’t have easily found otherwise,” said Diana McCarthy, GIS specialist, Community Development Department, City of Fullerton. “We were able to access data across several census block groups, nailing down information to a very specific area.”

Fullerton's proposed transit loop serves a variety of schools.

Fullerton's proposed transit loop serves a variety of schools.

To accomplish this, staff created a custom quarter-mile sphere of the proposed study area to accurately identify information such as the types of population potentially served and the number of single-occupant vehicles passing through the area. Using Community Analyst, city staff were also able to obtain information about existing businesses, find out what types were missing, and create a plan to draw new establishments into the area.

Fullerton boasts an active educational environment, with six colleges and universities and eight high schools. The proposed transit loop would give students, as well as local residents, access to the trolley from the existing transit center, which provides convenient access to the Metrolink and Amtrak trains and Orange County transit buses. “Community Analyst created a vehicle for collaboration society officials could actively engage citizens, including those actively involved in local high schools and universities, and help them encourage students to use alternative modes of transportation,” said Chris Thomas, Esri director of government markets.

Using Community Analyst, a hosted cloud solution, Fullerton staff were able to

  • View the latest American Community Survey variables on a thematic map.
  • Use comparison reports to determine which improvements should be funded and the impact of these decisions on populations and households.
  • Find optimal locations for the improvements to serve the most people.

For more information on Community Analyst, visit

[Source: Esri press release]

GIS Cloud to be Featured at Eye on Earth Summit

Esri logoEsri Platform Supports Collaborative Environmental Problem Solving

At the Eye on Earth Summit Esri will describe how cloud GIS is positioned to create an international geospatial platform for sharing environmental data and designing solutions. Also former US president Bill Clinton, Esri president Jack Dangermond, and European Environment Agency (EEA) director Jacquelyn McGlade will join other renowned speakers to present the value of accessible data for international collaboration and decision making.

The Eye on Earth network will be featured at the summit in Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates, on December 12–15, 2011. Esri, Microsoft, and EEA have pooled their expertise to retool EEA’s Eye on Earth with a cloud-based geospatial content management system modeled after ArcGIS Online. The Eye on Earth network now provides tools for creating maps, accessing thousands of readily available maps and datasets, and managing geospatial content. People can use the network to share content with the public and among groups or to use privately. Governments, research organizations, nongovernmental organizations, and the public can use the network to work together to understand problems, develop policy, design plans, and take action. Furthermore, the cloud-configured network provides the foundation for other regions to create similar environmental platforms.

“People truly care about their environment, but they can be at a loss as to how to participate in policy and make a difference,” said Dangermond. “By putting environmental and social information into the hands of many people, the Eye on Earth network will become a catalyst for conversation. We think this is going to bring people to their feet by empowering them to understand problems and be part of the solutions.”

Esri’s ArcGIS Online technology, coupled with Windows Azure and Microsoft SQL Azure, allows EEA to host and maintain the platform, create database and business process management systems, and integrate security constraints. GIS web apps help user groups create and share map-based services, perform analysis, and publish geospatial products.

In the summit’s pavilion, experts will demonstrate the Eye on Earth network’s capabilities such as citizen engagement and collaborative environmental problem solving.

[Source: Esri press release]

Landscape Dynamics from LiDAR Data

Geomorphometry 2011Geomorphometry 2011, 07-09 September 2011, Esri, Redlands, California

Helena Mitasova, Eric Hardin, Michael J. Starek, Russell S. Harmon, and Margery F. Overton

“We propose a multidimensional framework for characterization of land surface dynamics based on time series of elevation data acquired by LiDAR technology. The proposed methods integrate line feature, surface and volume analysis. A novel, least cost path approach for coastal dune ridge and dune toe extraction is presented to support automated feature evolution analysis. Per-cell statistics is applied to DEM time series to extract the stable landscape core and map the extent of land surface dynamics. Voxel representation of terrain evolution within spacetime cube is explored and used to visualize contour evolution.

Change in the dune ridge, dune toe and shore line between the years 1998 and 2008

Change in the dune ridge, dune toe and shore line between the years 1998 and 2008: (a) respective evolution bands, (b) 3D ridge evolution space.

“The framework is applied to analysis of barrier island dynamics using time series of airborne LiDAR data acquired over the past decade. Field-scale elevation change is studied based on terrestrial LiDAR surveys and flow patterns. Impact of terrain modification on flow pattern is investigated using Tangible Geospatial Modeling System.”

All presentation materials and reviewed papers from Geomorphometry 2011 are available at

The Effect of Altitude and Slope on the Spatial Patterning of Burglary

Applied Geography

Applied Geography, Volume 34, May 2012

Gregory Dennis Breetzke


  • I investigate the effect of broader features of physical geography on burglary rates.
  • The greater the altitude the lower your risk of burglary victimization.
  • Slope has no effect on the spatial patterning of burglary.
  • Physical geography should be considered as a central organizing feature of burglary and its absence or presence.

“Physical geography is significant for crime, and its presence or absence, yet no studies have investigated the relationship between crime and certain broader features of physical geography such as altitude, and slope. In this study I attempt to fill this gap by using OLS and geographically weighted regression to gauge the effect of altitude and slope on burglary patterns in Tshwane, South Africa. In the analysis I found considerable evidence that residing at a greater altitude reduces your risk of burglary victimization, although residing on steeper slopes had no effect. In the discussion I argue that the underlying relief and terrain on which neighborhoods are built should form an essential ‘physical’ component of the environmental backcloth that surrounds offenders and influences their spatial decision making processes.”