Another year, another ESRI User Conference. This years was one of the more memorable. In 2005 Google maps left ESRI needing to move into reactive mode. In 2012 the picture is a little different. Not to be caught out again, their development and promotion of ArcGIS Online has been very proactive. The conference was an ArcGIS online fest. The message:
“Easy spatial data publishing, and access to this data from anywhere using any device”
Explosion of Location Technology
We’ve been working with ESRI technology since 1997. We’ve moved our development efforts from desktop to Internet, and from static to rich Internet apps (RIA’s). But these are very exciting times. As mobile slowly replace PC’s, new platforms are being released which will make our work – as location technology developers – available to a much wider audience, or as ESRI put it:
“We expect there will be an explosion of map-related information”
This explosion in the availability of GIS and location technology offers a wealth of new opportunities. Our focus is mobile. Now the hype at present in the mobile (location) space is on so called geo-marketing apps. Foursquare being one of the darlings of the so called SoLoMo revolution. This mirrors the Internet boom, as consumers adopted Web technology quickly and VC money poured into consumer focused new Internet companies. We see conferences like Where 2.0, with so many copy cat consumer focused apps, and wonder about business models and sustainability. Too many companies promote themselves as “thought leaders” and “innovators”, but too often are in reality simply followers.
Location Emerging Technologies
Our reflections on the Internet boom, have led us to focus our efforts on the enterprise. The maturity of the Internet came with widespread enterprise adoption. Consumer fads came and went; so did so many so called leaders and innovators in the early Internet space. Business will be transformed by the use of mobile devices and location technology.
Historically, GIS was a public sector technology. ESRI always were challenged to promote the technology to the private sector. Mobiles and cloud computing are about to change how businesses think about location data. We’ve slowly moved our terminology away from GIS to location technology; we’ve noticed others in the GIS space doing similarly.
Mobile location technology focused on the enterprise will be huge. Today we put our energies into building our core technical skills and promoting our efforts, mostly through SEO (blogs, videos, presentations, articles). Not just talking about being thought leaders; proving that’s what we are. Its interesting and exciting. We have taken a wide view of solutions; not just limiting ourselves to ESRI technology. Currently we are working on ArcGIS, ArcGIS Online, MapQuest and open source mobile projects. We are looking to soon add Google to this list. We feel we can offer the best and most appropriate solutions for our clients by understanding and being able to apply a wide array of location technology services, from multiple solution providers.
If you are an enterprise looking to add mobile and location technology we’d be happy to share our thoughts and experience. Feel free to contact us