Geographic information is no longer the preserve of the specialists, and is now being put into the hands of many more people thanks to the web, the cloud and proliferation of mobile devices. Businesses and organisations are using the power of location data to drive improved operational efficiency and new business insight.
This was the resounding conclusion of the FT Connected Business podcast on the increasing importance of location information. The podcast featured three Esri UK customers, all talking about how GIS has evolved in their organisation and is growing in value.
Atkins discuss how the plethora of data sets it now works from has improved the ability of GIS to answer complex questions. How the increasing availability of unstructured data, that they can mine and map, is helping to make GIS a more prominent part of their business.
West Coast Energy reveal how mobile surveying applications have revolutionised their business, increasing efficiency by 20%. Workers in the field can update data from home, they no longer need to return to the office; and the office can clearly and quickly see where the work is and when it needs to be targeted, so people can be allocated to projects more quickly.
The Ministry of Defence talk about how the challenge of multiple separate systems, often with locally held data, has been overcome. They can now push out web map services so all deployed parties can see one common operational picture, and they no longer have to worry about out-of-date mapping from separate systems.
Finally Esri’s Euan Cameron concludes with his own observations on the increasing prevalence of location information, and the potential for businesses to tap into this for a better understanding of their customers, to gain competitive advantage.
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