Connected Nation Staff Makes Data Personal at GIS Conference

Louisville, Ky. (July 24, 2018) – Last week, staff from Connected Nation’s GIS Services department attended the Esri User Conference in San Diego, California. Esri is the market leader in GIS (geographic information systems) software, bringing nearly 18,000 people together to learn, connect, innovate, and find solutions for the industry-specific challenges that we face.

This year’s conference theme was GIS – Inspiring What’s Next, tying directly into the work CN does to inspire collaboration to increase broadband access, adoption, and use. Location intelligence and data quality are essential in making more informed decisions.

Connected Nation’s Director of GIS Services, Ashley Hitt, and Senior GIS Analyst, Brian Dudek, at on the Esri User Conference in San Diego.

CN uses GIS to enable more efficient broadband data processing, aggregation, and analysis, creating data visualization solutions that empower a variety of stakeholders with their broadband needs.

  • We work with states and local communities on broadband planning assessments to better understand on a technology level where they are and where they want to be, and to identify solutions to help meet their goals.
  • We work with broadband providers to ease the burden on the resources needed to process and format service area and subscriber data to meet their federal reporting requirements.
  • We work directly with local consumers to identify gaps in broadband service, map inaccuracies, and aggregate demand information.

In order to inspire collaboration between the various stakeholder groups, the mission of CN’s GIS Services team is to make the data personal: How does a map of the Digital Divide show the impact of no internet access on our students, veterans, and senior citizens? How does a lack of broadband impact precision agriculture on our farms and ranchlands?

CN applies the Science of Where every day as we highlight the need for better data quality while working to better understand where broadband is available at a much more accurate and granular level than what’s currently available for the nation. In order to help citizens that do not have any broadband service available at home, it is essential that we collect, create, and analyze better broadband data for better insights into how we can get them connected in the most efficient way possible.

CN envisions a future where everyone is connected – rural and urban alike. GIS creates the foundation for enhanced understanding of the Digital Divide, especially in rural and other seemingly overlooked areas. We use spatial analytics and geospatial solutions learned at the Esri User Conference to increase location intelligence on broadband deployment at the most local level possible to make more data-driven decisions.

GIS makes it possible to convert large amounts of data into actionable strategies to close the Digital Divide, a continued focus of our GIS staff, because we believe that everyone belongs in a Connected Nation.

About the Author: Ashley Hitt is the Director of GIS Services for Connected Nation. She oversees the day-to-day operations of the GIS team. She’s responsible for developing strategies using GIS to provide data visualization solutions that impact policy, economic development, and the Digital Divide.

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