Let’s keep this mobile and cloud GIS theme moving forward. We’ve spoken in this blog about the realities, as we see them, of GIS in 2014. Chris Cappelli at Esri talks about muscle memory. Its a good analogy. Mobile and cloud GIS remain a tough sell. Do they provide anything new? In many ways no: if you have deep pockets anything is possible. But that is the point, few of us have deep pockets, and all of us are looking to do things better, quicker and cheaper. And that is what we get with mobile and cloud GIS.
You want proof?
Its time for demos I think. Let’s show what is now possible. From data collection, to focused customised, cloud based GIS Web apps to location analytics for business users. (more…)
Mobile GIS can be used in so many different ways. In combination with the cloud, this is a powerful new way to view, analyse and gather location based data.
And yet we remain in a world where paper and pen are still the main tools used in the field. In many organizations there is a reluctance to move to new mobile GIS technology. Many factors are behind this resistance:
1) Data security concerns.
2) Concerns over budget.
3) Worries over integration with existing business systems.
4) Lack of understanding of what is now possible.
5) Resistance to change.
Cloud, mobile, platform, location analytics, security, location strategy, indoor … GIS is in a state of flux. That’s a challenge. Am i still useful? What’s our best future path? Confusion and uncertainty.
Disruption can be tough.
The technology is moving so fast. Its hard to keep pace. Flex is out HTML5 in. Responsive design. Cross-platform. Multi-device. ArcGIS Online. Storymaps. Templates. Dashboards. Integration.
Esri are moving their messaging to platform.
So many Esri partners and GIS companies in general are still focused on how they have always worked with GIS; their solutions in isolation. Is cloud GIS a threat? ArcGIS platform?
Paper maps remain at the core of what many commercial real estate GIS departments produce. In this fast paced sales environment often these maps are needed yesterday. But this maybe about to change. The popularity of mobile devices: smartphones and tablets, and advances in mobile GIS technology could mean the dominance of paper maps in commercial real estate is ending.
What are the biggest challenges today faced by pipeline companies when it comes to data collection and management?
Cost is maybe number one. Many of the current PODS systems are very expensive. Inefficiency and inaccuracy is a close second. Still paper and pen are an important part of how data is collected in the field. This then has to be collated and input into the central company system when back in the office. Often this can take weeks or even months.
Today using cloud and mobile technology, there are far better and cheaper ways to collect and manage field data. Imagine a real scenario faced by pipeline companies; tracking encroachments. The video below shows an iPad application which dramatically improves on old methods:
If we all look in the same place we will never find those elusive nuggets of gold.
I read that sentence years ago, and it always stuck in my mind. To me it meant set your own path, don’t follow the herd. The most discussed and publicized opportunities are no longer opportunities. Discover the yet to be discovered.
As GIS comes out of the shadows, opportunities abound. The audience for, and applications of the technology has dramatically increased. But like gold the opportunities are not sitting on the surface, they are there to be discovered. Go where everybody else is looking and success may well be elusive. Read what the GIS community is discussing; hot topics and trends. New, focused conferences are popping up left and right. All very interesting, and no doubt valid, but …..
We often hear that GIS is moving beyond its traditional user base. Business applications of the technology are a new and exciting area; integration with SAP and Cognos, location analytics and Esri Maps for Office …..
Increasingly more of my time is now spent discussing business location intelligence. These are not your standard GIS conversations. Firstly the term GIS is never used; location technology, location platform, location strategy are all preferred. Second, these are often discussions on what is missing in current business intelligence systems (BI). The short video below steps through a business case for location technology in the outdoor advertising space:
I like the word simple. Easy is another favourite.
We live in an increasingly complex world. Its confusing. But think about it; complexity is really only simple pieces combined. Like a car engine; a combination of parts which together form a complex system. Working within complexity demands understanding or focusing on the individual pieces which make up the whole.
GIS is complex. Lots of pieces to the pie. With cloud GIS, more pieces have just been added.
How often do you have client conversations which make your head spin? Detailed descriptions of requirements.
My wife asked me to put up a shelf over the weekend. To the garage i went to find my tools; drill, screwdriver, level ….. I’m no handyman, but when presented with this problem (new shelf), I had all the pieces (tools) ready to provide a solution.
How often do we grab our tools and wander around the house looking for problems to solve?
Problems require solutions. But without a clearly defined problem, proposing solutions is wasted effort. And yet we are all guilty of throwing around (GIS) solutions without first defining the problem. (more…)