GISCafe Weekly Review January 5th, 2017

Getting Rich with GIS
January 5, 2017  by Matt Sheehan

Getting Rich with GIS? That is just what Uber have done. They are one great example of an organization using the ability to answer a core ‘where’ question to build an incredible business.

Getting Rich with GIS

Let’s look at Uber. They have transformed the taxi industry. How?

By using the power of ‘where’ and maps.

Its hard sometimes to step out of our GIS-centric world and think more widely about the opportunities to solve non asset focused problems. Traditional applications of geospatial technology has centred on managing ‘stuff’: water valves, gas pipelines, roads etc. Obvious. But questions which revolve around ‘where’ are far wider than assets and infrastructure. On the surface these are less obvious. But scratch beneath the surface and you find innovators like Uber.

How much does ArcGIS Online REALLY Cost?
December 29, 2016  by Matt Sheehan

Let me ask you a question. I’ll whisper it in your ear so others cannot hear. How much does ArcGIS Online cost?

You might answer:

“My 5 named user annual subscription is $2500 plus additional credits above and beyond my base allocation.”

A good start. But let me ask you again. How much does ArcGIS Online REALLY cost?

I see you scratching your head. Same question. But I’ve added REALLY to the sentence.  What could that possibly mean?

How much does ArcGIS Online REALLY cost?

If I told you one of our clients just spent $25,000 on a 5 named user ArcGIS Online account would you be shocked? Would you scream ‘gouging’? What if I further told you that client could not be happier and were looking to spend a good deal more in 2017, would you call me a liar?

Building your ArcGIS runway. Huh?
December 28, 2016  by Matt Sheehan

Looks like I’ve been overdoing the Christmas eggnog. ArcGIS runway’s …. whatever next?

Stick with me here. Somewhere inside of today’s blog might be that Christmas present you forgot to open until now. Onward.

Runway? What could we mean here .. see our post An ArcGIS Jumpstart is like trying to fly without a parachute for an introduction. From our work with clients, and what we have discovered, we have moved away from quick introductions to ArcGIS Online. So called Jumpstarts. Success with ArcGIS is based on two key elements:

  1. Data, data, data – No data, inaccurate data, data which does not tell the story. Like your fancy new car .. you’ll get nowhere without fuel. Everything with ArcGIS starts with data.
  2. Web GIS expertise – GIS has become cheaper. Basic GIS tasks have become easier. Easier, not easy. In our ArcGIS Solutions Pyramid these tasks would fall into tiers 1 and 2. For those with no experience with ArcGIS or a background in desktop ArcGIS, Web GIS is a new paradigm.

The rapid evolution of geospatial technologies brings to mind a Yogi Berra quote: “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Berra made the remark while giving directions to his home—either choice would take you to Berra’s home in the same amount of time. Like many “Yogi-isms” that blended wisdom and counterintuitive logic, this quote carried a deeper message: Seemingly divergent paths can lead to the same result.

Berra’s advice especially strikes a chord with geospatial data collection, where GIS and other positioning professionals can choose from a pair of approaches to gathering data in the field. Purpose-built data collection devices, which have been the norm for a decade or more, are now sharing the stage with Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) solutions such as consumer-grade smartphones and tablets.

Both are good options. The happy dilemma lies in determining which approach provides the best route to the objective: efficiently gathering accurate information that can be quickly provided to the people who need and use it.

There are convincing arguments both for BYOD and commercial data collection solutions. On the commercial side, specialized field hardware such as the Trimble® Geo7 series GNSS handheld is rugged and well suited for operation in challenging environments. The displays and keyboards provide good visibility in sunlight and perform well under difficult conditions. The devices can run task-specific software provided by manufacturers such as Trimble and Esri. Alternatively, software development kits (SDKs) and application programming interfaces (APIs) enable third-party developers to create their own specialized applications for the rugged units.

4 ArcGIS Hits and Misses (and what we learned)
December 19, 2016  by Matt Sheehan

At years end I always like to reflect. Looking back what have we learned?

I believe 2016 was a year of growing pains for geospatial. So how did those growing pains express themselves in our business, and our work with ArcGIS. That’s what we will discuss in this blog post.

ArcGIS Hits and Misses (and what we learned)

Let’s present some short case studies. I’ll use our GIS Solutions Pyramid shown below to help colour the picture so to speak of each project.

arcgis-solutions-pyramid1. ArcGIS for Investment Company
Problem/Vision: The client wanted to map the location of power plants in a number of Asian countries. Initially the goal was to use web maps to help with client presentations. So visualization or the lower 2 tiers of our solutions pyramid. The client wanted help getting started.

Client GIS Expertise and Data: The client had no in-house GIS expertise. Public data was to be used as the source to build maps.

Teledyne Optech
University of Denver GIS Masters Degree Online


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