Last week, I had the honor to be hosted at HARTerra Spatial Solutions by Mr. Jason Hart, the GIS specialist who owns the company, which has more than 20 years of experience delivering enterprise GIS solutions for the Natural Resources, Hydropower and Utility sectors as well as for the municipal and provincial government of British Columbia. We had a nice talk about HARTerra, his career and about challenges and opportunities in the GIS public and private demands, as well as in the GIS job market.
Geographic information systems have been described as a set of technologies that help us to see our small blue planet in better ways (Longley et al., 1999). More commonly referred to by the acronym GIS, applications include: local governance; business and service planning; logistics; and environmental management and modelling. In both public and private sector research, GIS are used to manage geographic information, help identify geographical trends and patterns and to model spatial processes.
However, GIS have been described as a “nearly” technology for marketers (McLuhan, 2003). Beyond the hype, the actual use of GIS presently is limited to the larger retailers and suppliers, with little expansion into marketing applications. This, despite widespread agreement that the true value of geographical information is only revealed once that information is analysed geographically! McLuhan (2003) cites a survey by GeoBusiness Solutions revealing that only 28% of company boards fully understand the operation and marketing benefits of GIS, with the perceived (and often, actual) high cost of investing in GI software and data products being one of the barriers to GIS reaching its potential. Continue reading Geodemographics and GIS – Richard Harris, Peter Sleight, Richard Webber
GEOGRAPHY AS THE BASIS OF GIS
In the rush to create bigger and better technical solutions, many in the GIS industry tend to forget that the discipline known as “geography” is the basis of GIS. GIS provides nothing more than the opportunity to manipulate and analyse geographical phenomena using automated systems. In fact, Michael Goodchild, director of the US National Center for Geographic Information Analysis (NCGIA) quite “recently” suggested (Goodchild 1992) that the acronym GIS should be understood to stand for “geographic information science”. This new definition would place more emphasis on analysis of “geographic information” and less on “system”.
Maps are the traditional output from GIS, but not everyone is well-versed in reading maps. The ultimate goal of GIS is to communicate results. GIS has many ways to communicate results that are not purely cartographic. Check out a few of these methods so that you’re ready to deliver your GIS output to meet the needs of diverse audiences.
Networks are collections of connected linear objects such as roads, railroads, or rivers that branch from place to place. They come in different sizes, numbers of branchings, and angular configurations.
Esri has a 43% share in the geographic information system (GIS) market, compared to just an 11% share from the second-largest supplier. The business model relies in constantly improved industry-specific solutions. Continue reading ESRI LEADERSHIP IN GIS GLOBAL MARKET