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Posts Tagged ‘GIS’

Curious about GIS?

Friday, March 11th, 2016

There is that word curious again. Used in other blog posts I’ve recently written. Its one of my favorite words. Curiosity often leads to discovery. I remember being at university in London when young and finding tides fascinating. My curiosity got the better of me and I spent chunks of a semester learning the intricate details of tides. The discovery process was wonderful.

I first discovered GIS when I came to live in America. It confused the bejesus out of me. But with perseverance (and countless classes) it began to make sense. Though GIS has become my career, my curiosity around GIS continues.

Curious about GIS?
It would seem more and more people are curious about GIS. Many used to (still do) mistake GIS for simple mapping technology. I notice more questions around “What is GIS mapping?” and “What is GIS used for?”. Increasingly there is realisation that much lies behind this technology. New ways to answer both simple and complex WHERE questions; as I like to say.


Please GIS Expert Shut up and Listen!

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

Will you be offended if I tell you to shut up and listen? Good then prepare to be offended (you’ll be better off for the experience believe me). If there is one thing we are all good at, and that is talking about ourselves, and our products. As soon as a potential customer comes knocking at our door .. off we go… blabbing on and on.

Did you know it does this … and that …. and oh we are quicker and slicker and 3″ longer than our competition.


Please GIS Expert Shut up and Listen!

What does a potential customer (this is for both internal and external customers) care about? Ask yourself that question. They care about solving a problem. Now if your product provides a potential solution to that problem .. a potential customer might just be curious. And how do you know if you have piqued their interest?

Somebody is curious when they start asking you questions

Let me tell you a story. I attended recently a tech conference. I was on a learning mission. Part of that mission was listening to sales and tech folk as they spoke to attendees. What did I find as I walked around … a sales word puke fest!

Truly. Potential customers being drowned in words. Admittedly this was not a GIS only conference but we GIS experts can be tech blabbers.

Start with the Problem end with the Solution

Let’s start by understanding the problem and end with the solution. Let me share one recent conversation I overheard:

Caller: We need an ArcGIS CRM integration

Responder: Why?

Caller: To map our data.

Responder: For what purpose?

Caller: To help our agents.

Responder: What is the benefit to your agents?

Caller: To help them assess and sell properties.

Responder: How do your agents work today?

Caller: They use paper, spreadsheets, charts.

Responder: How will this help your agents?

Caller: They will have data and visuals at hand quickly which means more deals and more money

I think you get the idea. Ask questions. Don’t launch into a product onslaught. Start with understanding their world today, their challenges and goals. If we as GIS experts don’t understand the problem fully how can we build out a solution for our customers?

During initial conversations around GIS implementations, keep the current problem front and centre. In the back of our minds we might have thoughts about wider use of the technology. Other organizational problems which GIS could solve. With this first problem solved that may then move us to discussion around a location strategy.

There that was not so bad. No bad words used. Its true we are all guilty at times of talking at others. We all need to tell ourselves at times to shut up. As Adam Carnow says “these are golden times for GIS”. Success is based on listening and understanding.

Interest in our approach? Contact us on 801-733-0723.

Best Real Estate Sites on the Web

Friday, February 26th, 2016


As a technology company focused on real estate we always like to applaud others work. Case in point is the Web site we show in the video below:

As we show, these guys have done a great job providing a one stop shop for prospective buyers looking, in this case, for properties in Manhattan. We love how they use the map to help orient prospective buyers, providing the location context that so many real estate sites lack.


GIS Answers the Where Question

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.


GIS Failure or Success?

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.


GIS in 2016 = Opportunity, Opportunity, Opportunity

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.


Why are you wasting money on ArcGIS?

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!

Read on.

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).


What are my Mobile GIS Options?

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015


In this post we will provide a quick overview of the 4 options currently available for developing a mobile GIS applications. The most appropriate approach should be determined by your project requirements.

Mobile Web GIS Apps

Web technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace. HTML5/Javascript is today the most popular client application technology. Helped by advances in browser technology, HTML5/Javascript now dominates the Web development space, sweeping away technologies like Flash/Flex and Silverlight. With a worldwide development community, 3D and offline are now part of the HTML5/Javascript landscape.

There are today many Javascript frameworks available for building mobile applications. Responsive design allows one mobile web app to automatically style itself based on the device being used.


Water Utilities: GIS has Changed Have You?

Monday, October 26th, 2015


Water utilities both big and small are faced with a range of different challenges. A recent American Water Works Association (AWWA) report listed but a few:

1. Condition of water/wastewater infrastructure
2. Water scarcity/supply
3. Drought potential
4. Customer/community relations
5. Emergency planning and response
6. Government regulations
7. Managing assets

New technology is today helping to provide solutions to these challenges. Key among these technologies is GIS.

Water Utilities: GIS has Changed Have You?

GIS is not new. It is a technology which today is undergoing dramatic changes. Changes which are making it easier to afford, access and use. So what are these changes?


GIS and Commercial Real Estate Disruption In 2015

Monday, October 12th, 2015


GIS and Commercial Real Estate Disruption In 2015

Commercial real estate (CRE) has been slow in adopting new technology. The expense involved, and the time required to learn how to use the technology as well as incorporate it into daily operations are common reasons. But in an ever more competitive environment, those not looking to improve their workflows are rapidly being left behind.

Commercial real estate is about closing deals. The smoother the process the better. New technology is helping to provide dramatic improvements in process. There are signs that 2015 will be a watershed year in terms of new technology and CRM.

Digital mapping is becoming increasingly more popular across the real estate industry. The technology itself has been experiencing rapid evolution, and is now more user-friendly, accessible and affordable. With the popularity of mobile devices, new apps are becoming available which provide access to both digital maps and location based analysis to CRM agents, brokers and clients.

In this article we will discuss some of the applications of digital mapping technology in CRM.


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