Should we retire the term GIS? Let’s take it a step further

5 April 2012

Rory Biggadike asked a really interesting question in an article on GISCafe: Should we retire the term GIS? (View the full article)

As the demand for location-related data and services grows, Rory suggests that we need to think about how we talk about what we do.

We’d go a step further and suggest that the change needs to be bigger than just terminology – we need to change our entire approach!

As Rory correctly points out, the geospatial industry are about to enter a boom period. We haven’t driven the boom ourselves – the credit has to be given to the Big Data movement, and organisations’ hunger for both data analysis and location-related services.

While we may not have driven the boom, we stand to gain so much from it – if we can respond appropriately to the demand.

You may have the technical capabilities. You may use terminology that appeals to the market. But if the tools you have and the data you provide aren’t suitable for these new users, you’ll be left in the dust.

Having worked with this new market since we launched our SaaS-based mapping software, eSpatial OnDemand GIS™, we’ve learned two important things:

  1. The majority of this new market aren’t looking for complex geospatial analysis, expensive tools, or every last function.
  2. They are looking for cost-effective, user-friendly tools that work with their data, and provide quick, clear results.

Our experience over the last 18 months has driven us far beyond wondering what we should call our software. Instead, we’ve listened, learned, and adapted our approach at a more fundamental level.

We’re still GIS experts – and our customers from the new markets appreciate our expertise. But what they appreciate even more is that we’re ready willing and able to both speak their language, and provide mapping software that meets their needs.

Using the right terminology is the first step to attracting new users – but being able to deliver an appropriate solution or service will ultimately determine your success in these markets.

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