Generative AI Technology – ChatGPT & more

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“ChatGPT, a version of OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 [family]… gained more than 100m users in its first two months, and is now estimated to produce a volume of text every 14 days that is equivalent to all the printed works of humanity.” — Dr. Thompson, Feb/2023, cited in report by the National Bureau of Economic Research (Scholes, Bernanke, MIT)

Ready or not, the age of an augmented workforce is upon us. Companies are racing to invest in the latest iteration of generative AI technologies such as OpenAI‘s ChatGPT. ChatGPT is the future for technology workers, enabling them to work smarter and more efficiently every day. OpenAI recently made their APIs available for use in your own solutions and applications.

We were asked to do a few training sessions on ChatGPT and how every day workers can leverage this technology in daily work activities. If you are brand new to this topic, here is a primer of what ChatGPT and its underlying large language model works called “GPT-3 – How can it help?”

More recently, we did a live demo of providing prompts to ChatGPT for daily work tasks. The presentation below includes slides notes with the sample prompts for revising text, translating text from English to Spanish, extracting email addresses from a messy text string, MS Excel formula creation and definition description in natural language, as well a “Act As” prompt patterns for the AI to behave as a Technical Documentation Writer for your custom solution as well an Esri Solutions Provider delivering assistance on upcoming upgrade.

Finally, the second presentation includes examples of how to use Python with OpenAI API calls. With remarkably few lines of code, we cover the GPT-4 API Request, with which developers can send requests to the GPT-4 API endpoint using Python and receive text-based responses. We include a sample API call for the Whisper AI for audio translation as well as the DALL-E API for image generation.

Do you have any workflow processes that were previously impossible or uneconomical to automate? Generative AI solutions might be able to solve them. Schedule a call with us to discuss your project.

Esri Energy Resources GIS Conference

Cartodyne exhibited and presented at the Esri Energy Resources GIS Conference at the George R. Brown convention center in Houston, Texas. Being surrounded by colleagues and clients excited about spatial technologies and solutions in-person for the first time in a few years was a welcomed experience. Esri did a great job putting on the event and supporting it.

This year, in collaboration with the excellent technology team at Tellurian Inc., we also shared a presentation discussing some of our work entitled “Leveraging ArcGIS Enterprise as a Solution Ecosystem for a Startup or Small Operator”. From startup to operations within the Upstream team, we were fortunate to build the enterprise system. Shown below is an abstract for our presentation.

Founded in 2016, Tellurian closed an agreement in November 2017 to purchase natural gas-producing assets and undeveloped acreage in Northern Louisiana. As part of that venture, the Tellurian Upstream & IT team invested in a single machine base implementation of ArcGIS Enterprise in Azure. Though initially deployed to provide a unified upstream view of operational data, the web GIS platform continues to be a go-to resource to provide out-of-the-box spatial solutions for emergent business needs across the enterprise. This presentation will cover some of those solutions, what business use cases precipitated the requests, and how readily available ArcGIS Enterprise functionality can be utilized to deliver value to Tellurian and other similarly sized operators.

“Leveraging ArcGIS Enterprise as a Solution Ecosystem for a Startup or Small Operator.” – 2022 Esri Energy Resources GIS Conference Proceedings

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to say hello or who shared their exciting projects. We look forward to seeing everyone again next year!

Mapping the Path to Conservation: How GIS Skills are Shaping the Future of Tufts University’s Conservation Medicine Program

Tufts University’s Master of Science in Conservation Medicine (MCM) program at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine is revolutionizing the way students approach conservation challenges. While preparing veterinarians, physicians, ecologists, and conservation professionals to tackle urgent global issues, the program has incorporated a unique requirement: a GIS (Geographic Information Systems) course.

The MCM program, dedicated to addressing critical planetary issues such as habitat conservation, emerging diseases, biodiversity loss, and climate change, recognizes that these challenges are inherently spatial in nature. Carolyn Talmadge, Data Lab services manager and course director, believes that GIS and spatial analysis skills are essential for understanding the scope of these problems.

Initially, the program offered only workshops and guest lectures on GIS. However, Talmadge, a GIS specialist at Tufts, recognized the need for a comprehensive GIS course tailored to conservation medicine. In 2016, she introduced the semester-long “GIS for Conservation Medicine” course, which has since become one of the program’s most popular and highly-rated offerings.

Empowering Future Conservation Leaders

Talmadge’s teaching philosophy centers on inspiring students to see GIS as a powerful tool for solving real-world conservation problems. “My goal for the class is to first provide the motivation for learning GIS before teaching the skill itself,” she states, emphasizing that GIS can be both accessible and enjoyable. Under her guidance, students have found positions with prestigious organizations such as the Smithsonian Institution, MIT, Harvard University, the World Bank Group, and the United Nations, among others.

Former colleague Madeline Wrable, now a solutions engineer for imagery and remote sensing at Esri, praised Talmadge’s dedication to her students’ success. Wrable attests that Talmadge “teaches GIS like someone who has found their passion in life” and offers unwavering support throughout their learning journeys.

Building a Comprehensive Curriculum

Recognizing that students in the MCM program possess varying levels of technical expertise, Talmadge tailors her course to cater to diverse backgrounds. She uses the One Health approach, emphasizing the interconnectedness of people, animals, plants, and the environment, to demonstrate the broad applications of GIS in environmental and public health.

Talmadge believes in making GIS accessible through hands-on activities that reinforce concepts learned in lectures. These activities cover various scales, addressing challenges from local neighborhoods to global issues. Using real-case scenarios and datasets, students engage in purposeful learning, understanding how GIS can be applied to their research and career interests.

Talmadge’s course also places a strong emphasis on cartography, design, and effective communication of spatial data. Students use tools like ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Pro to create high-quality maps, manage databases, and perform spatial analysis. One standout assignment involves collecting field data using ArcGIS Survey123, enabling students to explore topics like wildlife sightings and habitat degradation.

The culmination of the course is a GIS analysis project where students choose a topic and create informative posters. Many of these posters have garnered recognition at the Esri User Conference Map Gallery competition, further highlighting the practical skills acquired in the course.

Looking to the Future

Talmadge is continuously looking for ways to enhance her course and the integration of GIS in conservation efforts. She believes that incorporating GPS data collection and drone technologies will expand the application of GIS in conservation. As GIS becomes more integrated into the practice of conservation, it holds the promise of making the results of field studies accessible to the public and fostering interdisciplinary collaboration.

In summary, Tufts University’s MCM program is not only shaping the future of conservation medicine but also nurturing a new generation of conservation leaders armed with GIS skills. Carolyn Talmadge’s dedication to inspiring and equipping her students with GIS expertise is creating a ripple effect in the field of conservation, where spatial analysis and data-driven decision-making are becoming increasingly indispensable. As GIS continues to evolve, so does the potential for innovative solutions to the pressing challenges our planet faces.

Global Agreement to Protect the Ocean Signed by 193 Nations

In a historic move, 193 nations came together in March 2023 to sign the United Nations (UN) High Seas Treaty, a landmark agreement that aims to protect the ocean and reverse biodiversity loss. The treaty, the first of its kind, establishes a framework for safeguarding the high seas, which make up two-thirds of the world’s ocean and fall beyond national boundaries and governance. The signing of this treaty signifies a growing recognition of the ocean’s importance and the need for its preservation.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres described the treaty as “crucial for addressing the triple threats of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution.” It is a significant step toward tackling these global challenges and promoting sustainable development. The ocean plays a vital role in mitigating climate change by generating 50 percent of the world’s oxygen, absorbing 25 percent of carbon dioxide emissions, and capturing 90 percent of excess heat caused by those emissions. Furthermore, it supports marine life and provides nearly 10 million tons of fish annually to feed a growing population.

Despite its immense value, the ocean remains largely unexplored and poorly understood. Until recently, only 6 percent of the Earth’s seafloor had been mapped to a comparable degree as the surface of the Earth, moon, or Mars. This lack of knowledge hampers efforts to protect marine ecosystems effectively. Approximately 91 percent of species in the ocean remain unclassified, highlighting the urgent need for comprehensive research and conservation efforts.

The ocean faces numerous threats, including rising temperatures, pollution, overfishing, and seabed mining. Over the past 30 years, ocean temperatures have increased due to rising concentrations of greenhouse gases, leading to sea-level rise, coastal land loss, and coastal flooding. The acidification of the ocean caused by higher carbon dioxide levels adversely affects marine species and ecosystems. Pollution from debris, including microplastics and abandoned fishing gear, continues to plague the ocean. Unsustainable fishing practices and commercial mining of seabed minerals further endanger marine life and the health of the ocean.

Recognizing the escalating threats to the ocean and its crucial role in sustaining the Earth, the UN declared 2021 to 2030 the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (Ocean Decade). This ambitious plan aims to develop a better understanding of marine ecosystems, inform policy decisions, and promote sustainable management of the ocean. Esri, a leading technology company, is actively involved in several Ocean Decade programs and initiatives.

Esri’s participation in the Seabed 2030 project, a global initiative to map the entire ocean floor by 2030, is helping to expand the area of mapped seabed. Through partnerships and collaborations, Esri promotes the collection of bathymetric data and shares solutions for ocean mapping and data management. The company is also part of the Digital Twins of the Ocean (DITTO) program, which aims to create 3D digital ocean models using AI and specialized tools for marine data analysis.

In addition, Esri is involved in the Deep Ocean Observing Strategy (DOOS), an international organization coordinating the observation, exploration, and modeling of the deep ocean. By providing clear and engaging data visualizations through GIS, Esri helps tell the data stories and facilitates collaboration among scientists and policymakers. Esri’s commitment to ocean science and environmental protection extends to its work with the UN and other organizations, building the geospatial infrastructure necessary for addressing global challenges.

With its active involvement in various Ocean Decade programs, Esri demonstrates its dedication to scientific research, preservation of the ocean, and promoting sustainable practices. Through partnerships, technological advancements, and data-driven solutions, Esri continues to contribute to the understanding and protection of the ocean, ensuring a healthier

Harnessing GIS for Transparent Rental Housing in Beirut

The Beirut Urban Lab, a university research lab in Lebanon, has created an online platform called the City of Tenants to address the lack of transparency in the rental housing market in Beirut. The platform utilizes GIS technology to map rental information contributed by tenants, providing access to data on rent prices and neighborhood characteristics. The database, called the Beirut Built Environment, includes detailed information about the city’s infrastructure.

Through ArcGIS Survey123 and ArcGIS Experience Builder, tenants can anonymously contribute data on rental conditions, such as occupancy status and housing costs. The collected data is used by researchers and policymakers to understand urban trends and develop responsive public policies. The platform aims to empower tenants by providing them with readily available rental market data, helping them make informed decisions and negotiate more effectively. The Beirut Urban Lab plans to expand the platform to other cities in Lebanon and automate data updates through ArcGIS Survey123.


A new era in publishing is on the horizon with the launch of GPT-4, the most advanced AI system created by OpenAI. This revolutionary technology is expected to transform various aspects of society, including academic publishing. However, the integration of AI in manuscript preparation and peer review raises ethical concerns that need to be addressed.

In academic publishing, peer review is a crucial process that ensures the quality and credibility of published work. With the advent of AI, the peer review process could become faster and less laborious, but it also raises concerns about the potential for identical reviews and the lack of field-specific critical input. To address this, journals could potentially ask reviewers to declare the extent to which AI generated the review.

The implications of AI for authors and academic institutions are also significant. The availability of software to create figures and text could make manuscript preparation faster and less labor-intensive, but it also raises questions of originality and ownership of creative work generated by AI. It is crucial for authors to remain vigilant and take steps to mitigate any potential bias. Transparency is key to addressing these issues, and it is essential to declare the involvement of AI in manuscript preparation.

The integration of AI-powered image analysis could enhance the process of assessing whether a submitted article is original, while also making the identification of suitable reviewers faster and more effective. These additional features would be a boon to busy academics who serve on editorial boards.

In conclusion, the advent of AI in publishing is a game-changer, but it needs to be balanced with ethical and transparent use. Editorial boards will need to make rapid decisions on how best to respond to ensure they act responsibly for authors, reviewers, and readers. The future of academic publishing is bright, but it will require careful consideration of the implications of AI for all stakeholders.

Esri Has Become A Leader In Understanding Climate Risk

The US Geological Survey (USGS) partnered with Esri and The Nature Conservancy to release the World Terrestrial Ecosystems map, which divides the Earth based on similar climate, landform, and land cover rather than political boundaries.

According to Dr. Roger Sayre, senior scientist for ecosystems at USGS and lead on the project, knowing the location and classification of ecosystems is crucial for their management, as they provide goods and services such as food, water, and fuel.

The map is accessible through ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World and an explorer tool, and it can assist in conservation planning, analyzing ecosystem health and resilience, and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Additionally, in the Forrester New Wave: Climate Risk Analytics, Q4 2022 report, Esri received recognition as a leader in offering advanced data processing and visualization to help decision-makers address climate risks, receiving the highest score possible in 9 out of 10 criteria, including threat modeling, advanced data processing, and visualization.

How will Large Language Models like GPT-4 impact the labor market?

Here are a few quick takes on a recent paper from OpenAI entitled “GPTs are GPTs: An Early Look at the Labor Market Impact Potential of Large Language Models”.

Besides the acronym GPT for Generative Pre-Trained Transformer, this paper also refers separately to GPTs as “General-purpose technologies” such as the Steam Engine or Printing Press

Author-enhanced GPT4 summary = “Generative Pre-trained Transformers (GPTs) generate profound transformations, garnering potential technological growth, permeating tasks, gutting professional management. Gauging possible trajectories? Generate pioneering taxonomies, gather policymakers together, generalize past today.

Page 23 – 7.2 GPT Conclusion (Author-Augmented Version)

Three Key Takeaways from the paper:

  1. LLMs will influence 49% of occupations by affecting half of their tasks – As AI progresses, it will increasingly automate and impact various aspects of your professional life. Jobs that are more white-collar will experience a more significant disruption.
  2. LLMs will impact 10% of tasks in 80% of occupations – In the short term, the majority of individuals will experience AI affecting only a minimal part of their daily work.
  3. The more challenging it is to enter a field, the more susceptible it is to LLMs – Fields like creative work and software engineering demand a certain level of understanding and effort to succeed, and AI is rapidly mimicking these abilities.

Notable quotes (emphasis mine):

“Concurrently, researchers have improved the steerability, reliability, and utility of these models using methods like fine-tuning and reinforcement learning with human feedback (Ouyang et al., 2022; Bai et al., 2022). These advancements enhance the models’ ability to discern user intent, rendering them more user-friendly and practical. Moreover, recent studies reveal the potential of LLMs to program and control other digital tools, such as APIs, search engines, and even other generative AI systems (Schick et al., 2023; Mialon et al., 2023; Chase, 2022). This enables seamless integration of individual components for better utility, performance, and generalization. In the long run, these trends suggest that LLMs may be capable of executing any task typically performed at a computer.”

Page 4 – 2.1 The Advancement of Large Language Models

“For the most part, generative AI models have predominantly been deployed as modular specialists,  carrying out specific tasks, like generating images from captions or transcribing text from speech.  However, we argue that it is essential to adopt a broader perspective, recognizing LLMs as crucial building blocks for additional tools. While constructing these tools and integrating them into comprehensive systems will take time and necessitate significant reconfiguration of existing processes across the economy, we already observe emerging adoption trends. Despite their limitations, LLMs are becoming increasingly integrated into specialized applications in areas such  as writing assistance, coding, and legal research, paving the way for businesses and individuals to adopt GPTs more widely.”

Page 4 – 2.1 The Advancement of Large Language Models

“We emphasize the significance of these complementary technologies, partly because out-of-the-box general-purpose GPTs may continue to be unreliable for various tasks due to issues such as factual inaccuracies, inherent biases, privacy concerns, and disinformation risks (Abid et al., 2021; Schramowski et al., 2022; Goldstein et al., 2023; OpenAI, 2023a). However, specialized workflows—including tooling, software, or human-in-the-loop systems—can help address these shortcomings by incorporating domain-specific expertise.”

Page 4 – 2.1 The Advancement of Large Language Models

“Our findings suggest that, based on their task-level capabilities, GPTs have the potential to significantly affect a diverse range of occupations within the U.S. economy, demonstrating a key attribute of general-purpose technologies.”

Page 11 – 4 Results

“(table below)…As such, occupations listed in this table are those where we estimate that GPTs and GPT-powered software are able to save workers a significant amount of time completing a large share of their tasks, but it does not necessarily suggest that their tasks can be fully automated by these technologies.”

Page 15 – Table 4
Page 15 – Table 4

“Moreover, the adoption of LLMs will vary across different economic sectors due to factors such as data availability, regulatory quality, innovation culture, and the distribution of power and interests. Consequently, a comprehensive understanding of the adoption and of large language models by workers and firms requires a more in-depth exploration of these intricacies.”

Page 21 – 6.1 GPTs as a General-Purpose Technology

As generative AI advances swiftly and attracts significant investments, challenges loom on the horizon for organizations, institutions, and businesses dealing with the repercussions across global workforces. Established organizations with extensive governance, technical, security, regulatory, and other pertinent business documentation appear poised to capitalize on innovative findings derived from Large Language Models’ ability to synthesize seemingly unrelated information. Likewise, organizations with well-documented automated business processes may be able to efficiently integrate the latest capabilities offered by Large Language Models such as GPT-4.

Debris Monitoring in the Town of Mount Vernon, Alabama

The team at Cartodyne is in the Town of Mount Vernon, Alabama this week providing emergency management and monitoring services resulting from Hurricane Zeta (AL-4573-AL).  Trucks have been certified, debris is being collected and removed according to local, state, and federal guidelines, and we have targeted and hired local citizens for subcontracting in our mission to clean up disaster damage in the community.

Cartodyne is a highly skilled Disaster Management and Information Technology services firm that leverages decades of industry practice with modern tools to deliver solutions for business organizations, cities, counties, and non-profits. Our Disaster Management team provides emergency management preparation & planning services as well as disaster response services such as damage assessments and assistance with financial recovery. Please contact us at [email protected] for more information about Cartodyne’s Emergency Services.

The Cartodyne GIS Team is Growing!

Cartodyne is looking to expand our growing team of GIS consultants as we look forward to 2021. We are looking for the two GIS roles described below. Pleases send a cover letter and resume to [email protected] to be considered for the role.

Who we are:

Cartodyne is a highly skilled Disaster Management and Information Technology services firm that leverages decades of industry practice with modern tools to deliver solutions for business organizations, cities, counties, and non-profits.

We believe that location intelligence is industry agnostic and applicable to most business and field operations. Coupled with modern cloud-based spatial solutions, Cartodyne provides world-class, remote-first or on-site operational GIS support with a reputation for quality and timely professional services.

What we seek:

We are looking for a mid-level GIS Consultant and Senior GIS Consultant.

Senior GIS Consultant
An enthusiastic and talented GIS practitioner capable of regular spatial project support activities, but also capable of skillfully creating GIS tools and applications when warranted. With 7 years of experience performing a similar role, you are intimately familiar with the Esri software stack on the desktop and in the cloud allowing you to configure ArcGIS Enterprise and write custom code.

Above all, you are a problem solver adept at deploying Enterprise GIS while designing and developing front-end and back-end application components & integrating with other internal systems and technologies. You can seamlessly coordinate with the team working to deliver interesting & challenging solutions. This role requires familiarity and related project experience within the Esri ecosystem while leveraging best practices in a dynamic environment.

GIS Consultant
An enthusiastic and capable GIS professional that will combine technical knowledge with business intelligence to enable GIS solutions aligned with business strategy. You have at least 3 years of escalating levels of responsibility that enables you to coordinate the analysis, design, deployment, administration, and configuration of complex GIS systems, databases, software, and equipment. You possess advanced knowledge of the Esri ecosystem including ArcGIS products, geodatabases, as well as spatial data processing and analysis.

Required capabilities:

Senior GIS Consultant

  • Develop and architect large scale GIS solutions using ESRI ArcGIS Portal, ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Server, and ArcSDE GIS software to manipulate data in a raster and vector based geospatial environment.
  • Design, build, configure Esri Platform and apps using custom code (e.g. Python, JavaScript) or configurable platform apps.
  • Work closely with other developers and project team.
  • Understanding and working experience with solid application design principles.
  • Excellent communication and documentation skills.

GIS Consultant

  • Designs, develops, and maintains complex internal customer facing GIS Web applications through concept, design, and implementation phases to consume new web enabled GIS functionalities (using the latest relevant techniques and best practices).
  • Works with existing design templates to maintain corporate architecture and implementation standards.
  • Confirms accuracy of spatial data components of the centerline file, parcel polygons, other polygon datasets.
  • Works closely with client for the management, manipulation, and display of a wide variety of graphic and image data.

Required qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree, in GIS , Computer Science, MIS, Business Administration or similar area of study. Three (3) years of previous experience required for GIS Consultant and seven (7) years of previous experience the Senior GIS Consultant role. An equivalent amount of related experience may substitute for the bachelor’s degree.
  • Three (3) or more years of relevant experience with geospatial development and technologies for the GIS Consultant and seven (7) years for the Senior GIS Consultant role.
  • US Citizenship.

You must be able to demonstrate familiarity with following during your technical interview:

Senior GIS Consultant
Esri software including ArcGIS Enterprise, Esri JavaScript API, Portal for ArcGIS, ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Online, and their associated APIs or interfaces.

GIS Consultant
Esri software including ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Pro, ArcCatalog, ModelBuilder, 3D Analyst/Spatial Analyst extensions.

Bonus points if you have:

  • Experience with Esri ArcGIS Enterprise 10.6 or higher.
  • Esri Developer Certification(s).
  • GISP Certification.
  • Hands-on experience with RESTful web services, distributed systems, and cloud computing.
  • Automating the Esri platform (e.g. Python scripting for AGO/Portal administration).
  • Working knowledge of SQL.
  • Hands-on experience with RESTful web services.
  • Understanding and working experience with version control systems (e.g. Git).

Cartodyne is committed to providing veteran employment opportunities to our service men and women.

The Company reserves the right to conduct a background check of its team members, and your employment may be conditioned on satisfactory results.

Pleases send a cover letter and resume to [email protected] to be considered for the role.