About the Mapping Center Blog

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What is the Mapping Center blog?
The Mapping Center blog was started in spring 2007 to facilitate communication among GIS users about how the software can be used to make better maps. Users can share information, offer instructions, provide links to other resources (such as articles, Web sites, and other blogs), and ask questions related to mapping with GIS. The blog also allows us to respond to current events by providing guidance and solutions to meet immediate mapping needs. For example, during election time, we can provide solutions for election prediction or result maps. We can also respond with mapping solutions for events such as floods, tsunamis, earthquakes, and fires.
What is the procedure for submitting entries?
First, you send us your entry via the form on Mapping Center -- to do this you have to be logged in with your Esri global account. Click on the Login button at the upper right to log in. If you do not have Global Account, you can create a new account now. We will then review the content and correspond with you about any ambiguities. After we have the clarification we need, we will test the suggestion (if it is a software procedure) to make sure that it is generally applicable to a larger audience your solution will work with other data to produce similar maps. We will copy edit the entry for common grammatical and typographical errors or ambiguities and to ensure that the format conforms to other entries on the blog. We will also consult with you on the production of supporting graphics to illustrate the content. When your entry is ready for posting on the blog, you will need to create an "empty" blog entry that we will then populate with the content and the graphics. The entry will then undergo a final review before posting.
How does it relate to Mapping Center?
Mapping Center has a front end and a back end, so to speak. The front end is a blog – an active, dynamic, responsive environment for people to share information. The back end is a place where content generated largely, but not solely, through the blog is organized and archived for users to access at any time. The blog is intended to drive content of the archive so that our users can dictate the support and resources they want.
Why did we decide to offer it?
After many years of GIS development dedicated to data management and analysis, GIS users and developers are realizing that the maps are required to visualize and communicate the data inventory and analysis results. At the same time, GIS software is more capable now than ever of supporting high quality cartography. What is still missing, however, is a community that can share experiences and knowledge on how to take advantage of the power of a database-driven approach to making and publishing maps in multiple media formats. That's why we're offering you this opportunity to create and contribute to that community.
Who is it for?
The Mapping Center blog is for anyone interested in making maps with GIS software, from novice mapmakers to expert cartographers. We encourage all users and potential users to share their thoughts, ideas, and concerns with their colleagues in the GIS mapping world.
How do you use it?
The blog allows users to contribute either as authors or commenters. Blog authors provide basic contact information, so that we can maintain a level of quality in the submissions. Commenters need not identify themselves, but they can if they wish. Blog authors submit their entries via an entry form and they can categorize their content as indicated in the icons next to each entry so that related topics can be found more easily. Each entry is also assigned a rating, and the number of comments is recorded. Users can e-mail, bookmark, and print entries or view similar entries.
What are the guidelines for its use?
The guidelines for use are outlined in the Esri Blog Terms of Use.

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