That got your attention. It’s hard to beat a controversial article title. I will certainly be non-conforming in this article. Controversial .. maybe. My hope is I provide you with a few nuggets to take away and mull over.

My plan is to write two article. This first one is on Geospatial 1.0. The second in the series: Is Geospatial 2.0 the future of the industry? is on Geospatial 2.0. Geospatial 1.0 and 2.0 are parallel universes. One dominated by GIS technology, the other an exciting rapidly expanding new world. Both have location data at their foundation.

The underlying article theme is: having the right conversations with the right audience.

Let’s begin.

Geospatial 1.0 .. locked in the mapping department

Let’s start with the title of this piece: Do I believe that this is the end of the road for GIS? Not on your nelly. I believe we are merely at the beginning. A new beginning maybe.

Let me explain.

GIS was designed by experts for experts. Nothing controversial there. Students of GIS were taught the technology and applied it at work. The sales and marketing efforts of the GIS industry targeted these folks. GIS experts built GIS software for GIS experts and sold that software to … you guessed it .. GIS experts.

And that is exactly why GIS has remained stuck in the GIS and mapping department.

Now we must credit GIS platform providers for “Making GIS easier”. But easier for whom? Easier for GIS experts .. no doubt. But easier for non-experts? I often cajole one of my colleagues. He frequently uses that word easy. I always caution him: “You mean easy for you. Maybe, just maybe, not easy for others”.

The realty of Geospatial 1.0 today is that it remains locked in the GIS/mapping department. And no end of work making it easier or pushing GIS managers to ‘spread the word across the organization’ have worked.

But big changes are underway in the 1.0 world.

The value of big (location) data is being widely realised. GovTech has become a buzzword. That has caught the attention of private equity (PE). Suddenly the word geospatial has emerged from the shadows, and the investment community is taking notice. More than that they are taking action. Key geospatial solution providers including Latitude Geographics, Cityworks, SSP Innovation, and recently 3-GIS are being purchased by PE firms. We are living through a period of consolidation. That is exciting.

But the problem remains. How do we expand the reach of Geospatial 1.0 or how do we have the right conversations with the right audience?

Helping geospatial solution providers answer to this question was why we set up WhyofThere. Geospatial experts are good at talking to other experts. But the Geospatial 1.0 community struggles to engage in conversations which focus on the (non-expert) customer, their challenges and the value you bring to help overcome those challenges.

CEO’s and CFO’s are focused on business outcomes. Not the technology, or the data. You face two significant barriers: Breaking through the ‘we’ve always done it this way’ and the intimidation factor of the technology. WhyofThere have built a Geospatial Business Roadmap to help navigate these waters. To help you have the right conversations with the right audience.

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