Monthly Archives: March 2012
Integrating enterprise data
For many Departments of Transportation (DOTs) and roadway agencies, the days of rapid highway construction have passed. DOTs now primarily focus on preserving existing investments and maximizing the performance of built infrastructure. Effective decision making with respect to the mix of operational improvements, investments to advance safety, and maintenance spending requires access to a wealth of information to help drive these decisions. And while almost all of this data is available within these larger organizations, few have been successful at bringing that information together in ways that could help foster more intelligent decision making. Continue reading
Technology and the great recession have changed retailing forever. Gone is “Clonetown USA” with its repetitive retail landscape replaced and redesigned to engage the customer on their own terms. Today, it’s all about doing business locally, bringing your store to the customer rather than thinking the customer is inclined to seek you and your products out at your store. AppFire caused a major media buzz when they announced in January 2011 that the average Smartphone user spends just over three quarters of their 84 minutes a day using maps, social networking, and other activities immersed in the Web. The least important thing we now do with our phones is talk!
Smartphones have empowered the tech-savvy consumer and as a result stores are porous. According to the Mobile Movement Study, 95 percent of smartphone users have looked for local information and 70 percent use smartphones while shopping in-store to price compare or find the best place to purchase a product. For the retailer the most important statistic is that about the same number visit the business they search and 53 percent actually purchase.
Since the dawn of humankind, people have sketched maps on cave walls and rocks. These maps documented and communicated important geographic knowledge, and helped our ancestors make better decisions about the critical choices that determined their survival or demise.
Fast-forward to the 1960s. Computers had arrived on the scene and were beginning to be used to help us solve increasingly complex problems. “It was not until the IT revolution brought new hardware and software, removing earlier constraints, that hopes could begin to be realized and modern GIS could take shape,” Prof. Brian J. L. Berry of the University of Texas, Dallas says in an article titled “Quo Vadimus?” in the upcoming Spring 2012 issue of ArcNews. “And take shape it has, creating the extraordinary new interdisciplinary area of geospatial information science.”