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Archive for February, 2015

The Democratization of GIS

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

 

Henry Ford famously wrote in the early 1900’s:

“I’m going to democratize the automobile, and when I’m through, everybody will have one.”

It was a bold statement. And though Ford did not invent the automobile, he was one of the pioneers of mass production providing low cost, reliable automobiles.

Similar to the automobile 100 years ago, are we now at the explosive growth phase of GIS?

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Expanding the Reach of GIS

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

Let us in the post revisit the notion of emerging GIS. We have in other posts discussed what emerging is not: wearable’s, virtual reality and the like. We see emerging GIS as expanding the user base beyond GIS trained staff. Traditional GIS still serves a narrow user base. A huge untapped audience is crying out for the services provided by GIS. A user base so far largely excluded from this technology.

Widening the use of GIS Internally

Look across your organization. Think about your staff. Who today uses the output and services from your GIS? My guess is in many organizations this is a small group. Now consider who COULD benefit from maps and GIS services: maintenance workers, attorneys, engineers, surveyors, inspectors, installers, auditors, sales staff, site managers the list goes on. So the question is how to provide access to the benefits of GIS to these staff?

The question the is how do we widen the reach of GIS within organizations? We see the key is providing new intuitive, user friendly GIS tools. Take as an example the Web based offline ArcGIS editing application we have just released. This provides the ability to view and edit ArcGIS maps when in or out of wi-fi range. We’ve designed it so no training is required. The diagram below shows the application interface:

Easy to use GIS applications which provide focused functionality (editing, redline, custom forms etc) and improve on how users currently get their jobs done, is crucial for wider adoption of GIS technology

New GIS User Base

Many organizations simply do not use location technology. Visualizing organizational data on maps, and searching or analyzing this data spatially is hugely powerful.

Spreadsheets are common in many organizations to track assets, analyse and chart other business components. Pen and paper remain popular with many field based staff; recording work done, completing forms, and more.

GIS brings the power of maps and location intelligence to organizations. It brings new tools to users which can be made available across devices (PC, tablet and smartphone).

It has never been easier nor cheaper to implement and use GIS. ArcGIS Online from Esri is one of a number of cloud based GIS solutions which make publishing and providing access to maps and mapping services very easy. Historically we have helped our customers configure ArcGIS Server, which had its challenges. Now much of our focus is getting organizations quickly set up with ArcGIS Online and Portal for ArcGIS. A super easy process.

Business GIS the New Frontier

The use of GIS to help run businesses remains limited. Business systems such as ERP’s historically have lacked spatial components. This is being recognised as a huge gap. Geo-enablement has become increasingly more important. This is the application of location or geospatial information as part of business processes or using ‘location intelligence’ to augment non-spatial information systems and/or Business Intelligence (BI). This leverages location information in processes and workflows of a business system without the need to fully integrate with a geographic information system (GIS).

Geo-enablement provides the best of both worlds – location intelligence combined with business intelligence – without the expense and complexity of full integration. We’ve taken a data driven geo-enable approach with a web based framework called Geo-EnableJS for ArcGIS. This is one of a number of powerful new geo-enabling frameworks.

Emerging GIS is focused on widening the reach of GIS. To provide new spatial tools to non-GIS users to improve both insight and workflows.

Google Esri and the Huge GeoSpatial for Business Opportunities

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

 

Announcements this week from Google and Esri surprised everybody. Esri have now posted a ‘Common Questions’ web page providing answers around the transition from Google Earth Enterprise and Google Maps Engine (GME) to ArcGIS. We find the fact that Esri and Google have started working together very refreshing. Our speculation here is that we are seeing an admission by Google that with Enterprise and GME they have strayed beyond their core base which has always been consumers. Lines have been drawn in the sand. This is a win for us all as both Esri and Google turn their attention back to what they do best.

But is that the end of the story?

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Google and Esri Surprise

Sunday, February 1st, 2015

 

So there I was sitting comfortably happily writing a blog post post entitled Enabling Jack Dangermond’s GIS Vision commenting on Jacks excellent ArcNews lead article when bam the following stops me in my tracks:

What is the Esri/Google relationship?

Google and Esri are working closely together to provide replacement software and training to all of Google’s enterprise customers and partners who have implemented Google Earth Enterprise and Google Map Engine technology. Esri will be providing the new 10.3 version of ArcGIS for Server and related client/app technology to all Google Enterprise customers and partners.

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