I keep reading and hearing new terms attached to GIS: Internet of things (IoT), WebGIS, location this, that and the other. All interesting to read, but for many ahead of where they want to be. And that is at the beginning!
Take a look at Dawn Siegel’s article Part One – Biggest GIS Challenges for Local Government, notice the frequent occurrence of terms/words like “uncertainty”, “where to start”, “path forward” and “not fully understanding”. My take away:
We need to keep our lenses very much focused at the beginning.
GIS Getting Started and Moving Forward
GIS is undergoing massive changes. As demand has grown, new more approachable forms of the technology have emerged. From the old server based models to platforms, GIS has become ‘lighter’. Publishing a map has never been easier. But understanding the technology and getting answers to your where questions … that has not changed. I still read with a wry smile how GIS experts are worried they are now surplus to need. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Let’s illustrate. You own a commercial real estate company in Salt lake City. You are developing your 10 year investment plan. A part of that plan is answering the question “where are key areas of spread of the population”. If you can understand these trends you will be in a better position to invest in properties in key growth areas. That is a perfect where question for a GIS. Simple to answer?
Answering questions with GIS is a journey. A combination of the right path and understanding will help move you forward. At WebMapSolutions we have mapped out that path. There are 4 fundamental parts:
1) GIS Discovery – Problem or question definition and the story or how might a solution(s) look?
2) GIS Data Discovery – What data do you need to answer the question?
3) GIS Solution Implementation – Applying GIS technology, maps and apps, to answer the question.
4) Refine and Repeat – Was the question answered? Are there next step questions based on the first step results? What other where questions do you have?
GIS is amazing technology. For those challenged to get started and move ahead, a defined path forward and some GIS hand holding can go a very long way.
Have a where question in need of an answer? Contact us on 801-733-0723.