Risk and human factor in the “glocal where” (by Marco Emanuele)

Persone In Piedi Sul Marciapiede Durante Il Giorno Di Pioggia

In the twenty years following September 11, the world seems not to have understood the lesson of that event. In fact, there have been no substantial political investments on the central theme of global rules to bring planetary governance towards objectives of sustainability, equity and security. In global forums, discussions and proclamations abound  while, in reality, the world is on fire.

Today everyone has (or should have) an understanding of the complexity of crises, of their interconnectedness. We live in the urgency of climate change, to safeguard global health, to govern mass migration and human mobility, to underline the demographic factor, to overcome inequalities, to “save” liberal democracies: all this, however, becomes possible if the great proclamations of the various G7, G20, etc. descend into the different realities in the evolving worlds.

Today, in addition to the risk in metamorphosis, we introduce two further elements: the importance of the human factor (complex and often unpredictable as it is in the nature of each of us) and the centrality of the glocal where.

In essence, it is a question of placing the where life of each of us takes place at the center of our reflection: if we are citizens of the world, first of all we are citizens in our territories. This is the reason why we believe that cities are the places where a glocal project for humanity can be rethought.

If, as Carlo Ratti said when interviewed by The Science of Where , cities and not states can be seen from space, the interest in cities is geostrategic.

It is in cities, in fact, that technologies evolve to organize and govern (considering risks and opportunities) public services and coexistence (the science of where); it is in the cities that international relations of the third millennium are evolving, relations of glocal proximity that take into account the human factor in an open where.


The symbol and the risk (by Marco Emanuele)

Change, Board, Door, New Beginning, Risk, Sign, Restart

After twenty years, September 11, 2001 (which we have raised as a symbol that traces a new era) still speaks to us.

We look at that date with the fear due to an event that has left us stunned, speechless. That day, in fact, we all thought: how is it possible to attack the heart of America, the most powerful and (we thought) safest in the world? Yet it was possible.

We want to look at September 11 from the point of view of the metamorphosis of risk, starting from these pages a path of reflection and research on the risk we live and how we face it.

We realize that this is a huge theme, with infinite facets but, on closer inspection, it is the theme-of-themes for those who intend to re-find paths of historical judgment in reality, of understanding (in complex and profound terms) of what happens.

Since then, the world has been dangerously ablaze. In these days we read numerous analyzes on the theme of war on terror, infinite also because terror has embodied the metamorphosis of risk. Everything has been digitized or is being digitized. Where do the risks come from? Here is the problem. Here are some points we would like to develop:

  • the risk has become unpredictable, intangible, asymmetrical. And it comes from parts of the world we weren’t used to knowing. Today the risk is from space to Earth and back, cyber has become the watchword: defense and security are reconfigured and concern military activities as much as the structure of our cities;
  • crises have intertwined and we could speak of a complexity of crises. Indeed, it is no longer possible to face one crisis at a time, separate from the rest: climate change, mass migration, democratic and political weakness (here understood in the sense of thinking / acting), inequalities, and so on, are inseparable parts of a single planetary mosaic, wrapped as we are in what Edgar Morin calls planetary destiny;
  • where” acquires more and more importance and, with it, geographic thinking. This is coupled with technological innovation, with emerging technologies that look to the “where” of the human as the place of choice: the science of where
  • geographical thinking is not enough if it is not combined with critical and complex thinking. This is the era in which linear thinking shows all its structural limits, as well as the causal approach that does not take into account the unpredictability that govern historical processes and our own lives.

All this is accompanied by the geostrategic information that, every day, we publish in The Science of Where; there we try, always with complex thinking, to show the close link between technological innovation and the evolution of international relations in evolving worlds, our “where”.


Il simbolo e il rischio (di Marco Emanuele)

Change, Board, Door, New Beginning, Risk, Sign, Restart

Ebbene si, dopo vent’anni l’11 settembre 2001 (che abbiamo elevato a simbolo che traccia una nuova era) ancora ci parla.

Guardiamo a quella data con il timore che si deve a un accadimento che ci ha lasciato basiti, senza parole: quel giorno, infatti, tutti abbiamo pensato: com’è possibile che si possa attaccare il cuore dell’America, il Paese più potente e (pensavamo) più sicuro del mondo ? Eppure è stato possibile.

Vogliamo guardare all’11 settembre dal punto di vista della metamorfosi del rischio, iniziando da queste pagine un percorso di riflessione e di ricerca sul rischio che viviamo e su come lo affrontiamo. Ci rendiamo conto che si tratta di un tema enorme, dalle infinite sfaccettature ma, a ben guardare, è il tema-dei-temi per chi intenda ri-trovare percorsi di giudizio storico nella realtà, di comprensione e di com-prensione di ciò che accade.

Da allora il mondo si è pericolosamente incendiato. In questi giorni si leggono numerose analisi sul tema della war on terror, infinita anche  perché il terrore ha incarnato la metamorfosi del rischio. Tutto si è digitalizzato o si sta digitalizzando. Da dove vengono i rischi ? Qui c’è il problema. Ecco alcuni punti che vorremmo sviluppare:

  • il rischio si è fatto imprevedibile, impalpabile, asimmetrico. E proviene da parti di mondo che non eravamo abituati a conoscere. Oggi il rischio è dallo spazio alla Terra e ritorno, il cyber è diventato la parola d’ordine: la difesa e la sicurezza si riconfigurano e riguardano le attività militari tanto quanto l’assetto delle nostre città;
  • le crisi si sono intrecciate e potremmo parlare di una complessità delle crisi. Non è più possibile, infatti, affrontare una crisi per volta, separata dal resto: il climate change, le migrazioni di massa, la debolezza democratica e della politica (qui intesa nel senso di pensare/agire), le disuguaglianze, e così via, sono parti inseparabili di un unico mosaico planetario, avvolti come siamo in quello che Edgar Morin chiama destino planetario;
  • il dove acquista sempre più importanza e, con esso, il pensiero geografico. Questo fa il paio con l’innovazione tecnologica, con tecnologie emergenti che guardano al dove dell’umano come luogo di elezione: the science of where;
  • il pensiero geografico non basta se non si abbina con il pensiero critico e con il pensiero complesso. Questa è l’era in cui il pensiero lineare mostra tutti i suoi limiti strutturali, così come l’approccio causale che non tiene conto delle imprevedibilità che governano i processi storici e le nostre stesse vite.

Tutto questo si accompagna con l’informazione geostrategica che, ogni giorno, pubblichiamo su The Science of Where; lì cerchiamo, sempre con pensiero complesso, di mostrare lo stretto legame tra l’innovazione tecnologica e l’evoluzione delle relazioni internazionali nei mondi-che-evolvono, il nostro “dove”.





The Science of Where. What’s new in ArcGIS StoryMaps (September 2021) (Owen Evans, Esri)

ArcGIS StoryMaps helps you tell remarkable stories with custom maps that inform and inspire. A story can effect change, influence opinion, and create awareness—and maps are an integral part of storytelling. ArcGIS StoryMaps can give your narrative a stronger sense of place, illustrate spatial relationships, and add visual appeal and credibility to your ideas.

What’s new in ArcGIS StoryMaps (September 2021) (


The Science of Where. ArcGIS Indoors and Facility Management Systems (Silvia Pichler, Esri)

arcgis indoors space planner

Facility data is visualized on an indoor map. The ArcGIS Indoors Space Planner helps plan space utilization and management and facilitates ad-hoc changes to space assignments.

Facilities are transforming. They have been for a while, but the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the process tremendously. The adoption of the working-from-home model over the past 18 months has made many organizations rethink their work culture and utilization of space.

Seeing that their businesses keep running smoothly even with employees working from home, many are planning to take a more flexible approach in the future. In fact, according to a study by Microsoft, 66% of businesses are considering turning their offices into hybrid work environments.

This is even less surprising when we bring to mind that rental space is one of the biggest cost centers for an organization. Reducing rental space to embrace the flexible workplace and cut costs seems like the next logical step.

While space utilization is a driving force for facility transformation, there is more to it than that. Aside from the flexible workplace model, the complete occupant experience and how people inside the facility can interact with it is undergoing change. At the center of it all – data.

ArcGIS Indoors and Facility Management Systems (


The Science of Where. What a Big Data Approach and Geospatial Tools Reveal about Human Mobility (Greg Milner, Esri)

Billions of people move through the landscape every day. For more than a century, geographers have searched for order in this apparent chaos. Now, empirical evidence built on cell phone data adds up to a humanity-scale travelogue.

Big Data and Geospatial Tools Reveal Patterns of Human Mobility (


The Science of Where. Big globe, small world (John Nelson, Esri)

Globe appearing in the UC Central Live kickoff.

This is an 8 foot (aka 2.4 meters or 244 centimeters…why doesn’t anyone use decimeters? decimeters are underused) diameter globe that glows and slowly spins in a building on the campus of Esri. If you want to learn about it’s ideation, creation, inflation, and installation, check out this conflagration of information.

Big globe, small world (


The Science of Where. Steal this ArcGIS Pro sunrise hack, please (John Nelson, Esri)

Wellllll, I shared some examples of this illumination effect almost five years ago but by golly the blog post was really light on specifics. Those who may have wanted to try it out were really up against it trying to reverse engineer it based on some descriptions and a screenshot. What was I thinking? Please forgive me and accept this ArcGIS Pro (v 2.8.2) project package, which is more accommodating. Maybe it will fill you with gumption to tweak the colors and parameters to get all sorts of custom lighting effects?

Pop quiz, hot shot. Can you identify these places?

Steal this ArcGIS Pro sunrise hack, please (


The Science of Where. Work offline with Field Maps (Josh Clifford, D’Maia Curry, Esri)

When using a mobile device, there are few things more frustrating than losing internet connection, being in an area without Wi-Fi, or experiencing slow network speeds. Thankfully, ArcGIS Field Maps provides a few different options for taking maps offline, so your work is never interrupted due to a loss of connection. This means you can take your maps anywhere, be that in rural areas, a wildlife preserve, or even that spot in town notorious for slow internet speeds.

You can prepare maps for offline use by creating map areas or by creating mobile map packages (MMPKs), and you can check the offline status of maps and layers using the Field Maps web app.

Work offline with Field Maps (

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