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Archive for December 8th, 2014

Location Strategy .. Huh?

Monday, December 8th, 2014


The geotechnology industry has always used interesting terminology …. geospatial, GIS, geomatics, Géomatique.

As we discussed in a recent blog post called GIS is Changing, we seem to have have developed our own language.

Location strategy is somewhat easier to understand. Well maybe.

Location Strategy .. Huh?

What exactly is a location strategy?

A plan of action whose aim is to provide answers to the where question: “where are our assets, where are our customers, where are our sales”

Historically where has not been important outside of the geotechnology or GIS industry. But increasingly business executives are realizing that thinking geographically can improve their business and organization: saving money, and helping in the decision making process. Much of this awareness has come from the popularity of cloud and mobile computing.

Why you might ask?

The cloud has made a plethora of services available 24×7. Geographic or geospatial services, which answer the where question, are among these many services. ArcGIS Online from Esri is a good example of such a service.

We are seeing a clear split in how these various service are being used. The consumer and advertising location-based search kind of experience is a key part of the Apple, Google and Bing offering. GIS in contrast is focused on managing authoritative data sources. Thus supporting geocentric workflows like fixing roads, making cities more livable through better planning, environmental management, forest management, drilling in the right location for oil, managing utilities, assets and people.

What do we mean by authoritative data source?

Another term used here is the system of record, and defined as:

It provides the most complete, most accurate and most timely data, it has the best structural conformance to the data model, it is nearest to the point of operational entry and it can be used to feed other systems.

Traditionally heavily used in the public sector, GIS is now seeing dramatic growth in the commercial sector. This will accelerate over the next few years, with greater access to maps across organizations and the increasing use of GIS to manage the business.

The increasing popularity in GIS, and changes in the traditional user base, has created much disruption in the GIS industry. It would be an overstatement to use the term chaos, but considerable change and self examination is underway. More on this in a future post.

At WebMapSolutions we have geared ourselves up to help a new set of industries and users. We have GIS jumpstart processes in place to help organizations implement and use GIS. Contact us for more information 801-733-0723.


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