GISCafe Weekly Review April 17th, 2014

Most organization have two distinct camps; those on the technical side and those driving the deals, and planning the organizations future path. Contact and communication between each group is usually limited. Often each have their own jargon, acronyms, and reference points.

Those who can truly boast technical know-how with business acumen are a rare breed (fakers are a plenty). But make no mistake these are valuable people.

These are the folks who bridge the gap between each camp. Translators. These are the people who grasp good technical suggestions and ideas, and can translate them into successful business implementations.

Push for indoor location technologies in 2014
April 16, 2014  by Susan Smith

In the latest edition of ABI Research’s quarterly Market Data “Location Technologies”, it looks like 2014 could be a breakout year for indoor location technologies in retail environments. Early adopters are shifting from trials to full-scale deployments of the technology, as they are entering the end of the three-year adoption cycle.

Low-cost BLE/iBeacons and Wi-Fi solutions are creating a wave of second generation start-ups to fuel new growth and use cases across all major verticals. This activity is estimated to result in over 30,000 indoor location installations in 2014.

Major grocery and pharmacy chains are really moving towards this technology, and adoption and resulting revenues for all indoor location technologies are available across 11 major verticals. In fast food, for example, a small percentage of improvement in queue lengths can translate to a savings of millions of dollars. Many chain stores are doing trials of the technology just to see if indoor location is right for them.

Showing ROI for your GIS
April 16, 2014  by Matt Sheehan

Return on investment or ROI is a slippery fish.

Think about this. My daughters 6 month old uncomfortable football boots (soccer cleats in US) ripped apart last week. $70 down the drain. No doubt a poor ROI.

My $120 Adidas boots sit gleaming in my closet. Sometimes gracing the field. But chronically underused. A poor ROI?

Here lies our little conundrum. How do we define and measure ROI? If we have an expensive resource and it under-performs, we might suggest a poor ROI (the opposite might also apply in the case of over-performing). But what if we under-use or do not fully utilize a resource?

HxGN Live 2014 Breakout Session: UAV Workflows — From Image to Information
April 16, 2014  by Mladen Stojic, President of Hexagon Geospatial

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) make data capture flexible, fast, easy and attractive for applications throughout the geospatial market – both in the defense and commercial arenas.

The challenge is ensuring that these advantages are fully extended throughout the value chain, and that the secondary steps of data processing and dissemination to end-users are also fast and flexible as well.  From collecting data to sharing it with professionals in the field, it is vital for organizations to leverage this information seamlessly for enhanced decision making.

Getting data into and out of the field
April 15, 2014  by Matt Sheehan


Field data collection has always been challenging. The options have been few: pen and paper or expensive rugged devices loaded with hard to use software. The process was always the same. Send your team out to gather data. At the end of the day pull all the data together (illegible notes, separate shapefiles, collections of digital photos). Collate. Analyse.

The pain Dr Smith!

Today this has been turned on its head. Today we have low cost mobile devices; smartphones and tablets, focused simple to use GIS mobile data collection apps and centrally available (cloud based) data repositories. Teams now collect their data, attach pictures and videos and upload directly to a single shared source or layer. Nothing could be easier. Plus this data is available across the organization in real time.

GIS today is about doing more with less
April 14, 2014  by Matt Sheehan

We live in challenging times. As budgets are cut, expectations are we do more with less. We have two options; work harder or work smarter.

Guess which is our preferred approach?

Working smarter means stepping back from your role and daily tasks. Pushing away barriers, both actual and self imposed. We are surrounded by change in GIS; more than that in technology itself. If you stick with tried and trusted methods of getting your work done, you are living in the past. There are better ways.

We get this question asked often:

“How do we load a shapefile on our smartphone or tablet, allow our team to edit said shapefile on their respective mobiles, then consolidate all edits back into a single shapefile?”

Ours is a three word answer:

“Use the cloud”

If there is any discussion which best illustrates the power of cloud computing it is this one. Today systems like ArcGIS Online and GISCloud make it easy to publish your shapefiles to a single accessible layer. Now your team can load this single source on their mobile device, make their edits, sync and they are done. Nothing could be easier.

Crowd-sourcing search for Flight MH370
April 11, 2014  by Susan Smith

According to an article in The Telegraph, an unprecendented crowd-sourcing effort was launched to scour the internet looking for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

Avoiding the GIS Nerd Trap
April 11, 2014  by Matt Sheehan

Being a GIS nerd used to be cool. We’d all get together and talk layers, projections, spatial queries. Good times. Our own language.

But alas things have changed.

Maybe not alas. Sitting in our own GIS corner was beginning to feel a little isolated. GIS is increasingly being used by a much wider group. Many of us now refer to ‘location technology’ in place of GIS. As my wife said when I first introduced the term:

“Now I understand what you do for a living!”

softmouse 3D

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