GEOG 865
Cloud and Server GIS

Assignment: Making a decision based on your analysis

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For this week's assignment, please create a single document containing all of the following:

1.  Unfortunately there is no button on any GIS, cloud-based or otherwise, that says “Give me the answer”. All the same, you were able to use ArcGIS Online services to learn quite a bit more about the potential customers of your stores. Given what you learned, make a decision about which store should be cut that would minimize the overall financial impact on the franchise.

Write a justification for your manager of about 500 words detailing your decision. This should contain evidence using the enriched variables you derived and any maps you want to make with ArcGIS Online. Discuss the impact and usefulness (or lack thereof) of each variable. If you’re at a loss about what else to include in your report, try adding a map of what the service areas would look like with your selected store cut out.

There is no “right” answer to this question (although there may be questionable or unsupported answers). I am mainly looking for evidence that you’ve thought about the data and the analysis performed in the walkthroughs, and that you can use the output to address a spatial problem.

As you perform any additional analysis and make your maps, keep an eye on your credit usage. You want to leave enough ArcGIS Online credits in your account for your final project (if you are going to use ArcGIS Online in that project).

2. In this lesson you observed how Esri has tried to put a very user-friendly face on some complex analysis tools in order to make them approachable to people without formal GIS training. What is gained and/or lost under this approach? Are there dangers that the tools might be misused if they are overly "dumbed down", or is the simplification of the tools helpful for everyone?

Study at least two (2) of the ArcGIS Online analysis operations and find their corresponding tools in ArcToolbox. Paste screenshots of both in your report here, and provide some commentary on (1) how the user interfaces have been changed for an ArcGIS Online audience, and (2) how their user interfaces are helped or hindered through this simplification.

3. Last week we learned about CARTO, but we principally used their thematic mapping tools. CARTO has recently tried to recast itself as a location intelligence company offering very similar tools to the ones we just exercised in ArcGIS Online.

Take a look at the CARTO marketing pages for Location Data Services and Data Observatory, then write a thoughtful paragraph comparing these CARTO services to the ones you've seen on ArcGIS Online. Which ones look the most mature, user-friendly, and useful? Why? Use the ArcGIS Online Perform Analysis help book to supplement your research.