Ok, I admit it I’m European. You’ll see sometimes in this blog spelling like centre, enquiries, aeroplane. I’ll make no apologies to my American friends (we invented the language after all .. you mucked it up eg. dove is a bird not the past tense of diving into water!)
Anyway I digress. What indeed do Speedos have to do with ArcGIS? Tomorrow I fly with my family to the sunny Cayman Islands in the Caribbean. Sun, sand and diving. A chance to relax, sit back and reflect on an exciting year for my company WebMapSolutions and GIS.
Regular readers of this blog will have noticed that the term map has been a recent theme. Less criticism, more observation. GIS is expanding its reach, and as we (as a company) work with new clients terminology has been front and centre. Overcoming the “We are good we already have maps” misconception. Earlier this week I came across two slogans/headings which caught my eye.
Placelogic are a California based Esri partner who have built a product called LocationScore. When I saw this slogan on the Placelogic web site, I picked up the phone and called Randy Friedman, CEO and President. He told me a little about their flagship product and company philosophy. Simple answers to complex location based questions is how I would summarize Placelogic’s approach. Based on these key criteria show me the most ideal potential locations and score each location. So the classic site location conundrum. Traditional site location tools require users to first pull up a map and select possible locations on the map for a new store individually, asking the question: “What is the demographic structure around this point”. Almost a hunt and peck strategy. Placelogic don’t start with a map they start with the question. “Given these key criteria, where in this area are my best potential locations?”. A map is one way their platform outputs the results.
Very cool and very aligned with business objectives. LocationScore is about answering business questions, a map is merely an intuitive way of presenting the results.
Business professionals understand well business intelligence (BI) tools and platforms, but are new to location intelligence (LI). They have difficulty linking location and maps to solving business problems. I liked the title and content of this, now old, article by Wayne Eckerson. Let me reprint a couple of key sentences:
“To BI professionals, maps are now an integral charting component of any BI portfolio. But location intelligence is more than just a map with dots on it.
Brilliant. But herein lies the challenge. Just because a BI platform has maps, that does not mean it can provide the deeper insight provided by a GIS. Many in the business community still are stuck on the map and do not understand the importance of having the ability to analyse the data which underlies a map. To improve their insight and ultimately their business.
Education, education, education. As GIS practitioners as we spread the word about the powerful technology we know so well, we are all now in the education game.
Ok, lets finish with speedos … the perfect video (not to be watched if you have a fragile disposition). The Speedos are on .. back in a week.
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