Archive for the ‘ArcGIS Online’ Category
Monday, February 1st, 2016
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.
Monday, January 25th, 2016
Now there is a scary title for a blog post. But really, when you look at your company, products and business plan are you preparing for the new world of GIS?
The cloud and mobile have changed the game. If you are relying on old methods and approaches your business may well hit the rocks over the next few years. Competitors will be looking to steal your crown: start ups run by young, hungry technically savvy folk. We are truly in a time of the new. I’m always hesitant about business books, too many are self promoting and backward looking, but Built to Last provides an interesting analysis on how successful companies adjust to change.
Tuesday, January 19th, 2016
I asked Joe this question just the other day” “If I said location intelligence to you what would i be talking about?”.
Joe has an MBA and has been in sales all his life. New to GIS, Joe responded “No idea, I’m thinking it has something to do with business intelligence maybe”. Joe’s response to me brought home a nagging doubt i have had about our “new” GIS terminology: terms like ‘location intelligence’ and ‘location analytics’ only mean something to GIS folk.
We’ve spoken before many times in this blog about our GIS vernacular. That we need to speak in terms understood by a wider audience. Buffering, spatial joins etc are just not gonna cut it. Finally I am hearing more voices in our community talking about focusing on the problem, and avoiding talk about the technology.
That’s a huge step forward.
Wednesday, January 13th, 2016
Narrow, closed, resistant, intransigent.
If I said “I’m somewhat narrow minded, and change my thinking as fast as a super tanker can turn”. What would you think about me, and is that positive or negative?
I can guess don’t worry (I’m not if you wondered .. at least I very much hope not).
Entrenched thinkers have many of these ‘closed’ characteristics. Caused one suspects in part by personality and in part by the aging process. But whatever the cause, entrenched thinking is a huge barrier to change. And GIS is in the midst of dramatic changes.
Is Entrenched Thinking the Biggest Challenge to GIS?
Let’s look in more detail at what we mean by entrenched thinking. I remember in early 2000’s talking to a large company about this new thing called the World Wide Web. Their thoughts “We really cannot justify financially developing a company Web site”. I nearly fell out of my chair.
Monday, January 4th, 2016
When you are in conversation and somebody asks what you do for a living, how do you respond?
“I make maps”
“I provide location intelligence to businesses”
“I solve real world problems using geography”
“I work with a technology called GIS”
Over the years I have tried all of the above. And am usually met with the same blank stare or a polite “very nice” response. I find the answer which provides at least a glimmer of understanding is:
“I work with a technology which is like Google Maps on steroids”.
I still cringe every time I say this, but everybody knows Google Maps and by including steroids in this sentence we add the (mental) image of muscle or power.
Is GIS really Google Maps on Steroids?
This is our 2016 reality (see our 2016 predictions). Less the competitive challenge of Google, more perception. We owe thanks to Google for making maps ubiquitous, but now need to overcoming the barrier which has become Google Maps. Googles ending of its march into the enterprise GIS sector – with Google Maps Engine – has drawn a line between a pretty map product (Google) and business solution (GIS). Both have their own unique strengths.
Monday, December 28th, 2015
Predictions, predictions. I’m not one to go off into la-la land when it comes to looking ahead at this new year for GIS. Drones, 3D, sensors etc I’ll leave to others. I like to go for a more grounded approach, look at what we saw in 2015 and extrapolate into 2016. But I do believe this is a time of huge opportunity for our industry.
GIS in 2016 = Opportunity, Opportunity, Opportunity
1. Integration of GIS into Business Intelligence (BI) platforms
GIS really forms part of the much bigger world of business intelligence. We can tout location intelligence (LI) until the cows come home. Alone that is a hard sell. But built into BI it becomes another business tool. We have already seen this process begin with the MapBox Tableau integration. We will see more of these integration’s in 2016.
2. New players entering the market
The location technology market is rife with innovation. We will see new players coming into the market in 2016. Many will not use the GIS tag. These companies will be building both new solutions, and better solutions than already exist: that means competition. Traditional GIS solution providers will see new, nimble upstarts enter the market. Lean and mean, these companies will begin to shake up the location technology market. Companies like Novotx who provide asset & work management software.
Friday, December 18th, 2015
Its quiz time. Try out the following, what do these statements mean?
For my American friends: “I’m peckish. I could murder a spotted dick!”
For my British friends: “I’ve been feeling ornery all day.”
For my American friends: “That girl has a fantastic boat race”
For my British friends: “Fred keeps complaining his suspenders are killing him”.
And the translation:
For my American friends: “I’m hungry. I’d love some dessert!” (spotted dick is a delicious dessert)
For my British friends: “I’ve been feeling grumpy all day” (ornery is a real word, which when spoken sounds like horny)
For my American friends: “That girl has a beautiful face” (boat race is rhyming cockney slang for face .. race=face)
For my British friends: “Fred keeps complaining his braces are killing him”. (suspenders are garters in Britain)
Friday, December 11th, 2015
This blog post could also have had the title:
Why Waste your Money on ArcGIS?
Yikes! Why would I write a blog post using “waste” and “ArcGIS” in the same sentence?
Its ok relax, i’m not expecting Jack to turn up at our offices any time soon with a big stick!
Why are you wasting money on ArcGIS?
I love swiss army knives. Such useful items. More than just a simple knife you get a saw, screw driver, scissors, pliers. On and on. Sure they are more expensive than a simple knife, but you get so much. With such a variety of tools, all of which I use, for me a swiss army knife provides a great return on investment (ROI).
Sunday, December 6th, 2015
When you have time this holiday season pop into Best Buy. Wander into their laptop section and be prepared for a surprise: 80% of all laptops on sale are 2 in 1 hybrids.
What is a 2-in-1 hybrid? They combine the features of a laptop and tablet into a single device. So one device which provides the best of both worlds. Hybrid laptops are having a huge impact on the computer market. The the 2-in-1 segment will see shipments worldwide jump 86.5% in 2015. These new devices will dramatically affect mobile GIS in 2016 and beyond.
The Evolution of Mobile GIS
Let’s step back for a second. Laptop and PC sales have been in decline for a number of years, as mobile devices have become increasingly more popular. Consumers were the first to jump in, replacing their (clunky) home computers with new, portable, easy to use smartphones and tablets. Society is being transformed by mobile; always connected is today’s mantra.
Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015
Sales I hear you say. Yikes!
But its true: today we need to all be GIS salespeople. Why?
GIS is still our technology. Our little secret. The in-crowd get the value and power of a GIS. The multitude of questions GIS can answer. Business questions: saving money, making money.
Want your boss and colleagues to know your true value: sell GIS.
Want your GIS company to grow (exponentially): stop fishing in the same pool, go after the 90% who know nothing about GIS but (without knowing) need it desperately: sell GIS.