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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.

Now my GIS Manager has showed me .. what should I do next?

April 11th, 2016 by Matt Sheehan

I thought Adam Carnow’s recent LinkedIn post was terrific: Why hasn’t my GIS Manager showed me this?. Adam and I share similar thoughts when it comes to spreading the word about GIS. We should all now be actively involved in outreach; showing colleagues and customers the power of cloud based GIS (WebGIS).

I’m going to advance Adam’s discussion a little more here. There is a theme in the comments on his article: “Lack of understanding (platform components, concepts, benefits)”. To put this a different way: now you have discovered you have more tools in your toolbox than you knew, what should you do next?

I’ve found the only way to understand and share benefits, is by doing. Finding a problem to solve with WebGIS. Narrow your focus. Forget the complexity. Is there an organizational problem you can solve using GIS? A project which will help pull the pieces together for you? A solution which would get the attention of management? Start there.

We’ve found from experience GIS success requires 4 key elements:

1) Defining and understanding a problem which can be solved by GIS.
2) Evolving the story or what might a solution look like?
3) Applying the technology
4) Evangelizing, advancing, evolving the solution.

Too often we have seen the focus remain on the technology. Begin with the problem, worry about the technology later.

When you do finally get to the technology don’t be scared to reach out for help. Time is money. Poor use of your time, or less than optimum use of GIS will not provide the best launchpad for wider enterprise adoption of GIS technology.

Contact us on 801-733-0723.

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

2 Responses to “Now my GIS Manager has showed me .. what should I do next?”

  1. Louis Schoolkate says:

    Matt – As someone actually running a decent sized GIS program, I suggest your statement regarding ‘solve a problem using GIS’ and being an evangelist for GIS needs rethinking. None of us GIS managers in large organizations can afford to only think about GIS. I find that the more successful approach is to think “how do we solve the problem”. If we only come at it from the GIS perspective we pigeonhole ourselves. Senior management is just interested in a solution. Not everything is about GIS. If we come up with the ideas, whether they are GIS or not, then when we do suggest a GIS solution we’re taken more seriously. Otherwise we are just seen as the “GIS guy” pushing something that makes us look good or expands our operation.

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