PB Software DIgital Insights
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Out in front of the GIS wave
November 17th, 2009 by Pitney Bowes
By Jon Winslow
When MapInfo began knocking on doors with the world’s first desktop GIS in 1986, few business managers understood the concept of geo-spatial analysis or the power of LI (location intelligence).
Today, GIS technology is pervasive in society. Thirty-one percent of Americans own a portable navigation device. iPhone apps use GPS coordinates to find nearby restaurants. You can hardly find a business website that doesn’t provide a link to an online map and driving directions. And four years since its release, Google Earth has been installed on over 500 million machines.
As for the future, industry experts predict that the GIS market will grow 50% within the next five years.
For business analysts, IT heads and developers who have relied on sophisticated location intelligent solutions for years, this sudden burst of GIS activity in the consumer market has its pros and cons.
Professionals understand that location intelligent technology does not necessarily equate to business intelligence. So in a world where a bit of information can be dangerous, GIS experts must in some cases work harder to demonstrate the value of their work.
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of speaking with many such professionals at the AGI GeoCommunity conference in the United Kingdom. When you are around people who understand that the hot, new “find the nearest” app making headlines today is really ho-hum ten-year-old technology, it gets you that much more energized about the leading-edge innovations that are making spatial analysis so much more valuable to business today.
These experts, who are out in front of the current GIS wave, have their eye on emerging technologies and incremental improvements that provide significant advantages. Depending on their role and responsibilities, business users are excited about what today’s advanced technology can deliver: more power, greater simplicity, increased flexibility and greater control.
While these emerging technologies and incremental improvements mean little to the soccer mom who simply needs directions to the next away game, the value of true location intelligence has never been more appreciated than today. For organizations dealing with complex challenges, this additional power, simplicity, flexibility and control translates into lower costs, improved customer satisfaction and profitable growth.
Are you out in front of the GIS wave? Learn more about the latest solutions – and be sure to let us know what trends, technologies and applications interest you most.
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