Ever wondered how to get the most out of ArcGIS? To maximize ROI? In this video we lay the ground work for success with ArcGIS. What are the key elements you need to have in place to be able to use ArcGIS to solve your business problems. And yes, going on vacation is part of how we explore the topic.
What are your thoughts? Do you carefully construct your runway? Do you pilot ArcGIS or look for outside help?
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.
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?
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:
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.
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.
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.
1. 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.
Have you ever come across an ArcGIS Jumpstart? Sounds quick, easy and cheap. Right?
Generally that’s the point. Some quick guidance and you are on your own. So let me ask this. Have you ever watched people with home made planes jumping off piers? Watch below:
No parachute but a nice soft landing! To my mind this is an ArcGIS Jumpstart. Why?
ArcGIS Online has made GIS more affordable that is true. Has it made GIS simpler. Certain tasks yes. Using our GIS Solutions Pyramid, the lower 2 tiers: basic map publishing and build a map have been simplified.
Simpler yes. Easy. No.
Thinking spatially and applying geospatial technologies like ArcGIS takes training and expertise. Rather like flying.
Helen and I agree. Clients looking to use ArcGIS need a runway built. Data preparation, data management, flexible applications : a path from problem to solution. Your ‘where’ questions are likely many and varied. ArcGIS is the perfect technology to answer all these questions. Definitely look for help when you step into the technology. But make sure that help is focused on a runway and not a short, wet landing!
As 2016 nears its end, this is a good time to reflect. The rapid evolution of the geospatial industry has continued this year. The technology is advancing at a breathtaking pace. Platforms and SaaS have become part of the vernacular. New terms have emerged like Web GIS. Rapid change is upon us.
The geospatial industry has traditionally served the public and infrastructure sectors respectively. So local and state government, oil and gas, utilities etc. Organizations which manage assets: pipelines, water valves, roads, oil wells, parks etc. These assets have a location. The where questions, in relation to their management and upkeep, are obvious. These organizations have GIS departments; people trained to think spatially and use geospatial tools to answer where questions. In 2016 it became apparent that there is a growing awareness within the wider world, organizations new to geospatial, that there has been a focus on the Who, What, Why, and When but the Where has remained largely unanswered. These organizations are showing increasing interest in geospatial technology.
So, given this context, what high level (big picture) trends did we see in 2016?
Think about your Thanksgiving dinner. Hours of preparation, pots and pans galore, chopping here, sampling there. Finally the dinner table is covered with dishes heaped with food. Turkey, mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts, rolls, carrots on and on. All sit down to the feast. So how are you going to eat the meal? What combination of food will you eat? How will you assemble what you choose – cover all with gravy, make sure the potatoes don’t touch the carrots (my kids), avoid the turkey (vegetarians like myself)?
You have all the pieces you need to assemble that delicious meal. So how does this relate to ArcGIS and intelligent maps?
You cannot beat a home cooked meal. To me little tastes better than a meal cooked by my wife. Carefully assembled, beautifully put together. I watch with awe as my wife goes back and forth from the fridge and food cupboard. Cutting, combining, mixing. One pan here, another there, steaming, bubbling. The air filled with such wonderful smells.
My job? To sample and give feedback. Love it. Maybe a little more spice here, more thickening there. But please don’t ask me to do the same: cook a wonderful, tasty meal!