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Connected Nation Staff Puts Data to Work at GIS Conference
Posted July 17, 2017
By Connected Nation

This week, staff from Connected Nation’s (CN) GIS Services department attended the Esri User Conference in San Diego, CA. Esri is the market leader in GIS (Geographic Information Systems) software. The event brought together 18,000 people during the week of July 10 to learn, connect, innovate, and find solutions for the industry-specific challenges that we face. (Ashley Hitt, Director of GIS, and Brian Dudek, Senior GIS Analyst, are pictured left) 

This year’s conference theme was The Science of Where which tied directly into the work CN does to increase broadband access, adoption, and use. We believe that location intelligence and data quality are essential in making more informed decisions.

Connected Nation 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, where they want to be, and identify solutions to help meet their goals.
  • We work with broadband providers to ease the burden on their resources needed to process and format service area and subscriber data to meet federal reporting requirements.
  • We work directly with local consumers to identify gaps in broadband service, map inaccuracies, and aggregate demand information.

During the conference, Ashley Hitt, CN’s Director of GIS Services (pictured right), presented on Broadband Mapping for Economic Development and Planning, as part of Esri’s Telecommunications User Group Sessions. Her presentation highlighted the need for better data quality as we work with states, broadband providers, and local communities to understand where broadband is available at a much more accurate and granular level than is currently available for the nation.

In order to help families, businesses, farmers, and others who do not have any broadband service available, it’s essential that we collect, create, and analyze better broadband data for better insights into how we can get them connected.

Using spatial analytics and solutions learned at this year’s conference, Connected Nation’s GIS staff will be integrating more web GIS platforms to help our stakeholders 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.

Click here to learn more about our broadband mapping and data solutions programs. If you’d like to contact Ashley Hitt or another member of our GIS team to discuss better data collection for your community, e-mail us at

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