With GIS today we are all learning together. That is a statement not a question. And in making that statement, I want to make my suggestions on how we make this learning process easier.
With GIS today we are all to some degree groping in the dark
1. Lets all working harder at asking questions
Its time to step back and ask questions. Lots of questions. Too often we make presumptions. We believe what we read. Challenge your pre-conceived notions by asking questions. I’ll give you an example. I presumed, because ArcGIS Online had made it so much simpler to publish maps and apps, that many barriers to adoption had come down. So I went to some local cities and asked the question of their GIS folks. And what did I find: time, money, data, education and intransigence were still key barriers.
2. Really talk to users and clients ……. and listen
I hate to use a car dealers billboard to illustrate, but I believe the above rings true. We need to be better listeners. What are the problems and challenges? Too often we are trying put a square peg into a round hole. Thierry Gregorius GeoHipsters interview is well worth reading, in it he states:
“Much of my job involves talking to stakeholders across an organisation to find out what they’re really trying to achieve, what data they need to achieve it”
Or put differently, at the core of Thierry’s job is listening. How good are you at discovery through listening?
Listening to clients, managers, field staff: both to the organization and across the organization