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Archive for February, 2016

What do you you need to know before starting with ArcGIS?

Monday, February 29th, 2016

 

WHERE questions are becoming more and more common. This new interest is increasing demand for GIS and mapping technology. ArcGIS is the most popular WHERE focused platform. But if you are new to this technology it can at first be a little intimidating. In this blog post our goal is to set you on the right track for success with ArcGIS.

Worry about the Technology Last

Too often we overhear conversations which start with the technology. Somebody interested in GIS (this might be you), and with little or no experience, is led down a technical path by a GIS expert. GIS can be confusing even to the most technically savvy. As you start your journey with maps and GIS, in your reading and initial conversations, avoid focus on the technology leave that until last. Sounds an odd suggestion? Keep reading.

Define the Problem

Start with the problem. Do you understand in detail your (or your organizations) challenge or problem which needs a solution? Can you clearly define that problem? For example:

– We need to understand better our insurance risk. Where for example are the homes we are insure which are in high risk areas?
– We are putting in place our disaster management plan, and need a software solution to help manage, analyse and display our data.
– We need to replace our map books with a centralised mapping system.

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Best Real Estate Sites on the Web

Friday, February 26th, 2016

 

As a technology company focused on real estate we always like to applaud others work. Case in point is the Web site we show in the video below:

As we show, these guys have done a great job providing a one stop shop for prospective buyers looking, in this case, for properties in Manhattan. We love how they use the map to help orient prospective buyers, providing the location context that so many real estate sites lack.

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Did you know you have a problem GIS can solve?

Wednesday, February 24th, 2016

 

Though I find baseball a somewhat bizarre sport (as slow as cricket with players in uniforms resembling pyjamas), I have always liked the Kevin Cosner film Field of Dreams. Its a wonderful idea “If you build it they will come”, but alas with little place in reality. It’s Hollywood after all. Cosner’s problem in the film was solved by building the baseball field. In GIS we are also focused on problems. The early part of any customer engagement for us is problem discovery. But what if an organization does not recognise it has a problem?

Did you know you have a problem GIS can solve?

Let’s step back. For GIS the world is split into 3 segments:

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Solving Business Problems with GIS: Location Strategy

Monday, February 8th, 2016

 

This is our fourth and last blog post in our series discussing how organizations can answer their WHERE questions:

WHERE should we focus our policing efforts?

WHERE are our assets – pipes, valves, culverts, insured households, stores, dealers, parks?

WHERE are our listed properties for sale?

WHERE does it make the most sense, given demographics, for us to focus our marketing efforts?

In our first post we discussed data and building/maintaining an accurate, complete and easily accessible System of Record. Our second post discussed GIS servers and platforms. The third post considered the GIS System of Engagement. Here we will underline the importance of a location strategy.

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GIS Answers the Where Question

Monday, February 1st, 2016

 

I’ve been wrestling with this one for some time: confusing terminology. And GIS is filled with it.

Those of us looking to drive GIS forward are still struggling to communicate the value GIS and location technology in general bring to solving business problems. Take for example my conversation over the weekend with a friend who has a senior position with an international retailer: “We use maps for our business”, he mentioned, “Google maps to help potential customers find their nearest dealer”. Location technology and maps are still seen as products for consumers: routing, pins marking a location, weather etc. As a consumer product, that is why Google Maps is so popular.

GIS Answers the Where Question

What we have to communicate is how location technology, which often outputs results as a map, can be used to help solve business problems. A good starting point might be to drop that term ‘location’. True, we do work with technology which is focused on providing location intelligence or location analysis, but few outside our (GIS) circles understand these terms. In contrast ‘where’ is universally understood.

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