“Money, money, money must be funny in a rich man’s world.”

Whose song?

I actually remember watching live the Eurovision Song Contest in 1973 (then a must watch for all in Europe. Just for the joy of hearing “Nul points” for the many horrible songs on offer). But ABBA were different. Truly brilliant.

Incredible, wonderful, utterly fantastic (you think I am joking).

Are we in an ABBA decade for GIS?

ABBA became a world wide sensation. Their formula: simple, catchy tunes.Between 1974 and 1982, ABBA earned nearly twice the GNP of Sweden. Amazing.

Ok, so this is a money focused blog post. GIS has entered a rare period in its history. Mainstream acceptance and demand. We aren’t there yet. But changes are afoot. Location intelligence (a term on its own for now I dislike) is becoming part of the wider business intelligence universe. We at WebMapSolutions describe this as “Answering your WHERE questions”. Think about that for a second. At the core of GIS is not maps or location, or any of our other overused (poorly understood) terminology. Its about WHERE.

Using GIS to answer WHERE questions is in demand. Today that means a far wider audience than the traditional, GIS familiar crowd. It means non-GIS users. Those who want to get WHERE questions answered quickly, and with a minimum of effort. Is the GIS industry in a place today to provide assistance to this new, wider (enormous) user base? In a word NO. We’ve become too comfortable in our little niche. Talking our nerdy, tech focused talk.

I was recently chatting with Ryan Goodman, CEO at Centigon Solutions Inc. Ryan is a rare breed, he comes from the business intelligence (BI) world but understands the power of GIS. A key focus of Ryan’s company is to “Combine business data and geography from different sources to create new insights.” Music to my ears.

Hide the technology. Focus on the problem. Its a simple formula. Putting this is place is the challenge. In our organization we have put in place a 4 step GIS process: guiding organizations or individuals from nothing to something.

So what is the money angle here? There is a huge opportunity for GIS to solve WHERE based questions across all sectors and industries. The traditional GIS industry is challenged to throw off its old ways. But those who can crack the nut of bringing GIS to the new, vast audience crying out for answers to their WHERE questions ……… will have a very successful future.

Let’s finish as we began: with ABBA.

Contact us on 801-733-0723.


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