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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.

GIS Answers the Where Question

February 1st, 2016 by Matt Sheehan

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.

WHERE should we build our new store?

WHERE should we locate our dealers to best serve our customers?

Given State rules WHERE can I fish today?

WHERE is our greatest insurance exposure?

WHERE are the issues I need to fix today (and WHAT are the problems)?

WHERE should we be marketing our products?

The list goes on. Sure Google Maps answers the WHERE question. But at a simple level. GIS provides answers to all WHERE questions from the simplest to the most complex.

We often get asked, should our business use Google or Esri? Our answer: BOTH. Use Google Maps to help guide customers, but Esri to help manage and drive your business.

As a GIS company that is truly what we do:

Provide business answers to the WHERE question

Contact us for more information on 801-733-0723.

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

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