I’m not much of a foodie I have to admit. As a vegetarian, I would be happy eating black bean burritos each night. That said, Mr L and I extended our conversation around our ArcGIS Solutions Pyramid. Our focus question: “How can we express the 5 levels of the pyramid in a more understandable way?”
I am sometimes asked “In which area of ArcGIS do you see the biggest skill shortage?” My answer: ArcGIS business solution experts!
A follow up question from this response is often “What is an ArcGIS business solution expert?”
Looking into the future this role will be hugely important to any and all GIS and intelligent map implementations.
Hmm, that term persona. I keep reading about the need to ‘define a persona’ for clients or those you interact with internally or externally. But what are these pesky personas, and do they have any relevance to our world of GIS and intelligent maps?
I’ve begun to realise they are very important.
I’ll admit to loving brain-storming sessions. I’m a big picture person, so stepping back, pulling together and linking ‘pieces’ is an exercise I love doing. We had one of those sessions this week. Our ‘big hairy’ question: “What questions does ArcGIS help answer?”
Yep, there are a million answers to this question. And ‘the where’ is at the heart of everything. But, taking a big picture perspective, we started throwing ideas on the white board … hazard maps, reporting on pot hole apps, offline editing, routing, listing land for sale in a story map .. the white board became covered with thoughts and ideas.
With no more space left on the white board we attempted to group each of the ideas. What emerged was fascinating.
Let me be brutally honest. I did not like the first set of Esri story map templates released. They were far too GIS-ey. When I shared them with my non-GIS, non-mappy friends there were a few raised eyebrows: “How do I use this bloody thing” I heard often. In my mind, story maps were a good idea, but the early releases missed the mark. That said, the new generation of Esri story maps have really caught my attention.
The new ArcGIS platform has helped broaden the spectrum of ‘where’ questions which subscribers can answer. Publishing data and generating maps has never been easier. Configuring simple map based web applications which provide focused functionality (editing, public engagement etc) is simple. But we see 3 common mistakes being made when using the platform to answer ‘where’ questions.
Mr L and I were chatting the other day about the problem to story path. It was in the back of my mind as I wrote yesterday’s blog post: Location Intelligence: What is your best Solution?. Some of the challenges the GIS industry is facing in widening the use of the technology to answer business ‘where’ questions stem from this problem/story starting point. Let me explain.
The title of this blog post is the combination of titles from 2 interesting articles I recently read: GIS for Everyone? and What’s next for GIS?. Both very thought provoking, oh and somewhat controversial. Worth digging into deeper, and that’s what we will do in this article.
I use the term location intelligence (LI) with great caution. Why?
I always feel it is still a term which is poorly understood. It really sits under the more general ‘business intelligence’ umbrella. One common definition:
Location intelligence (LI) is a business intelligence (BI) tool capability that relates geographic contexts to business data. Like BI, location intelligence software is designed to turn data into insight for a host of business purposes.
We often provide a simpler definition:
LI is focused on answering business ‘where’ questions.
In this blog post we will discuss location intelligence and focus on available solutions.
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”