James Carpenter, Associate Director, Gis, Newmark Knight Frank
The recent advancements in location technology have enlightened the general public on geographic information. People are comfortable using maps every day on their mobile devices and in front of them at their desk. Data driven decisions are becoming imperative in commercial real estate. It is import for GIS professionals to put spatial technology in the hands of decision makers. For this reason, we continue to push web applications at Newmark as they provide a wealth ofinformation. We have professionals.using map applications built from ESRI’s Web App Builder and drawing their own insights. As the real estate industry changes, so dothe types of geographic data we use. ESRI has kept up with these changes well through their products. For example, it is important to have different sharing options like web publishing at your disposal.
The GIS Group at Newmark has built a series of analyses around four major extensions in ESRI: Business Analyst, Network Analyst, Spatial Analyst, and 3D Analyst. Each one of these extensions plays a conceptual role in what we are achieving in that area. Our GIS department is doing 3D visualization, complex network routing, data analytics, and web development. ESRI’s advancements in those areas have dictated our road map.
From a visualization basis, Newmark is using a combination of ArcGIS Pro, Desktop, and Illustrator for most visual products. Maps continue to dominate our production line, and most efforts outside of map creation goes into improving them. There is now better access to certain mediums like the web and graphic design programs that best communicate different types. of spatial information. A few key web publishing advancements from ESRI have been game changers. Vector tile publishing has enabled us to get national suitability layers out quickly in front of brokers and clients. Publishing custom symbology through ArcGIS Pro to ArcGIS Online has also been a valuable resource. Finally,the AIXfile Illustrator export makes ArcGIS Pro an everyday program for GIS departments across all industries that generate a lot of polished static maps.
ArcGIS Maps for Adobe Creative Cloud extension has enabled graphics and marketing professionals to access spatial data in Adobe. Newmark is publishing web layers that can be directly accessed by multiple individuals to create static content. Adobe’s rich creative environment is at the heart of our design department. The extension has enabled collaboration with the GIS group through a common technical language.
The ESRI Business Analyst database is built into the core of our GIS Group’s strategy. During site selection and location analysis, Business Analyst data is directly contributing to location decisions. There is also valuable data continuously coming out from other private and public sources, which we consume through ESRI products.
Open data is driving GIS technology providers like ESRI to develop products that can harness its power. As public access to spatial data improves, so must the Business Analyst extension. The newly revamped data. census. gov is a good example of how a freely available resource enables everyone to access and map demographic data of the United States. Business Analyst supplements government data, and the ability to bring in these assets into the ESRI environment has enabled our department at Newmark to be confident working on any real estate project across the United States. We have belief that there will be decent local data to supplement and utilize if needed.
For example, you can bring in a full 3D building footprint model of Toronto or San Francisco from government web sites and display their contents on an ESRI platform. That’s touching on many disciplines, ones GIS Analysts were not typically doing before at Newmark. Our in-house 3D Building layers come from open data resources and are managed in ArcGIS Pro. Newmark has been an avid user of other public datasets provided openly like PLUTO in New York City. Parcel based information provides users with a breadth of information about real estate and help drive deals.
Newmark is also using ESRI to visualize its own data and statistical insights. Our Research Department maintains the Newmark Data Exchange (NDX), which is a proprietary web-based property database maintained by the Newmark Research Team. It includes details on transactions, availabilities, and other market statistics. We apply this research data to visuals on Newmark’s submarket geographies as well as traditional Census geographies. Enriching these submarket polygons with the numerous variables in the ESRI Business Analyst data model provides insights into market trends.
Most of our GIS Group’s new Python developments are being built on Notebooks in ArcGIS Pro. The Jupyter Notebook integration has made applying scripts in the same ESRI session easy. There is large community developing ESRI scripts and code now being hosted on sites like Github. This movement is enabling GIS Analysts to bring in many types of spatial data and perform new operations on it in one environment.
As ESRI continues to develop their products GIS departments in real estate will follow suit. The integration of ArcGIS Pro and ArcGIS Online should be at the center of Newmark GIS strategy in the near term. There are some exciting new crossover possibilities like the ESRI Statistical Analyst extension used with Business Analyst data that will drive data driven decisions in our industry