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Matt Sheehan
Matt Sheehan
Matt holds an MSc in Geography and GIS. He has been working with clients solving problems with GIS for over 17 years. Matt founded WebMapSolutions whose mission is to put innovative, intuitive GIS driven applications into the hands of new and existing users.

Fitting the solution to the problem: changing our GIS mindset

 
April 25th, 2014 by Matt Sheehan

My wife asked me to put up a shelf over the weekend. To the garage i went to find my tools; drill, screwdriver, level ….. I’m no handyman, but when presented with this problem (new shelf), I had all the pieces (tools) ready to provide a solution.

How often do we grab our tools and wander around the house looking for problems to solve?

Problems require solutions. But without a clearly defined problem, proposing solutions is wasted effort. And yet we are all guilty of throwing around (GIS) solutions without first defining the problem.

GIS and location technology is confusing. You can explain to your clients, your boss the technology until you are blue in the face and what it CAN do. See the glazed look in their eyes. Too often we start at the bottom, and not the top. Forget the technology. Define the problem, then how the technology will provide a solution.

More than that demonstrate.

Field crews are tired of the inefficiency of pen and paper. Show your boss Esri’s Collector app. Your retail client wants to track better their international operations, show them a map viewer which includes performance metrics.

Sure it will take a little more time to discover problems. But far more successful outcomes will be achieved by starting conversations with a problem, then fitting a (GIS) solution to this problem.

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Categories: ArcGIS Online, cloud GIS, Mobile ArcGIS, Web and mobile GIS

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