I had the honor to be hosted by Mr. James Boxall in a tour of the GIS Centre, at the Killiam Library of DalHousie University, one of the most traditional universities in Halifax, NovaScotia, and also in Canada itself. Founded in 1818, it’s internationally known as one of North America’s most welcoming universities and offers programs with pionerring research on the East Coast. Continue reading Dal Housie GIS Centre Tour with Professor James Boxall
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
Almost everybody’s doing it!
Today everybody’s doing it – well almost! Although an exaggeration, geodemographics and geographical analysis of markets is no longer the leap in the dark that it was in the early 1980s. Many business organizations are now employing the concepts of geodemographics and using GIS in many varying applications – from new site location analysis to merchandising and direct mail. With the increased range of applications to which geodemographics can lend itself, the market has grown considerably with new GIS software and databases to accompany these developments like the following ones.
From a marketing perspective, the principal attraction of spatial analysis is still probably a psychological one. Marketeers seem to feel that geography is important in that they know that there are major geographic variations in the demand for products. Maybe they feel that geographers should be able to help them perform better and that there might be methods that geographers know about that could be beneficial to them. Those in the industry who believe this will probably already be displaying more confidence in the value of geography than do many geographers!
Yet at the same time it is evident that there are mutual benefits to both the marketing industry and to geography from closer collaboration. The geographer might gain access to data not in the public domain, new publishing opportunities may arise and there is at least some prospect for technology transfer and commercialization. The marketing industry might gain access to a largely untapped skill base. The question is, however, which methods, which applications, and which new products might be created through such collaborations? Continue reading Marketing Spatial Analysis: A review of prospects and technologies relevant to marketing – GIS For Business and Service Planning