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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 – Asking the Why in the Where

September 22nd, 2016 by Matt Sheehan

Anybody who reads this blog or attends my talks, will hear me use the term ‘where’. To me its the best way to describe what we do “answer where questions’. Focusing on the technology, as we have all been guilty of doing, does not work in today’s world. Talking about GIS and mapping is both confusing and misleading.

We are spatial business problem solvers trained to answer where questions

I am in Denver, honoured to be invited to be the keynote speaker at GIS in the Rockies. One of the themes of my talk was staying focused on the problem and not the technology. Stepping back from a client (internal or external) request and finding out first the problem. That means ‘Asking the why in the where’.

“I need you to create an XYZ map for me”.

“We need a quote on a mobile intelligent mapping app which does Y”

Before diving into the details and the technology, we need to understand the why. From here we can chart a solution path. At WebMapSolutions we have developed a systematic process. We use this same approach with all challenges; complex and simple:

1. What is the problem …. the why?
2. Visioning – what might a solution look like?
3. Data – pulling together accurate, complete data to solve the problem
and and satisfy the vision.
4. GIS solution – implementing the best solution based on the problem.
5. Refine and repeat – advancing the immediate solution and following the
same steps to solve other problems.

Having a framework like this in place helps serve as a guide from problem to solution: isolate the problem by asking the why question then move step-by-step from there.

After my keynote on Wednesday, Dave Murray and I were chatting about the cult British show called the Prisoner (if you are at the GIS in the Rockies conference make sure you attend Dave’s session at 8:30 am Thursday in the Malone Theater). There is an episode where …. well watch the short snippet below and that question why?

Thanks Dave.

Contact us on 801-733-0723.

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

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