In the third part of our series spotlighting the increasing importance of geospatial data and solutions as a key technology enabler, Getmapping CEO Dave Horner identifies some key criteria that organisations can use to help ensure they get the right geospatial solution for their needs.
The move to personalised geospatial solutions
Getmapping believes a personalised approach is required to deliver the right solution to every customer and is the reason why we are seeing more collaborative platform ecosystems, such as Getmapping’s GSaaS platform, coming to the fore.
The geospatial industry is not immune to this trend and as more and more new users turn to geospatial data and solutions to help them develop their digital transformation strategies, here at Getmapping we are finding that no 'one size' solution suits everyone; every organisation’s need is unique.
As a result, no single geospatial platform can hope to deliver the right solution to every customer. A number of organisations have developed geospatial platforms that offer up their own content, delivered through a proprietary hosting and viewing solution. The problem with this is that it tends to force customers to modify their own problem/challenge/ opportunity to fit the solution on offer. At Getmapping, we believe this is the wrong approach. Isn’t the correct approach to fit the solution to the problem?
Yes is the short answer, but to do this, you need to create a personalised solution for each and every customer. This is why we are seeing more collaborative platform ecosystems, such as Getmapping’s GSaaS platform, coming to the fore.
GSaaS provides clients with access to a range of on-demand content and/or bespoke survey data, delivered as a hosted data management solution with a powerful set of visualisation tools that can be customised to meet the specific needs of each and every user. In short, a personalised geospatial solution for your organisation.
3D mesh, Southwark
Personalisation in practice
So what does the savvy business manager need to take into account when searching for the optimal geospatial solution for their organisation? In essence, there are two key components to a good personalised solution:The right data…. delivered the right way for you!
Sounds simple, and in essence it is. But let’s split the concept up and look at its two key constituents:
The right data
If you don’t start with the right data, your project is on to a loser from the start. But what is the right geospatial data for your organisation? Here are some things to get you thinking:
Currency: how vital is it to you that the source data is up to date? Bearing in mind that currency costs, do you need a bespoke survey to create data that is right up to date, or can you work with off the shelf data that may be one or two years old?
Real time data: do you need a constant flow of information or a single snapshot of a moment in time? Or perhaps something between the two – regular repeat surveys at fixed intervals? Again, frequency costs.
Level of detail: the higher the resolution of imagery or level of information provided, the more it costs, so what do you really need? What could you get away with?
3cm aerial oblique image, Southwark
Raw data vs extracted results: This is actually a competency question – how much geospatial expertise do you have in your organisation, and therefore how much of the heavy lifting to convert raw geospatial data into insight and intelligence do you want to do yourself?
2D vs 3D solutions: in a previous post we talk about the emergence of 3D data as a valuable tool in supporting better decision making; however, 3D is still very much in its infancy, so availability is still limited, and it comes at a price!
3D mesh, Southwark
These are some of the key factors to consider, but of course there are others that may be more specific to your industry or challenge. In all of the above though, there is one recurring theme. The higher the resolution, the more frequent the currency, the more you move towards derived results over raw data, the higher the cost. So as with anything in business, you cannot overlook the role that cost plays in designing the right solution.
Time is also an important factor. For example, content on demand has a clear benefit in delivering instant information, whereas a bespoke survey inevitably takes longer to execute. So, in identifying the right data for your project, it inevitably becomes a trade off between technological excellence, time and cost.
At Getmapping we understand these limitations and provide a completely unbiased consultation process that helps organisation explore the relative benefits, timescales and costs of different data solutions, so that we can help them find the right balance for them – in other words, the right data for their needs.
…Delivered the Right Way for You
Identifying the right data for your needs is only half the battle though. You also need to think about how you access and share that data. Making the data accessible to as many stakeholders as possible, both inside and outside your organisation, ensures that you make the most of your investment, and ultimately that you have much better chance of getting the best outcomes from it.
There are a few simple questions you can use to help identify the right delivery and visualisation solution for your organisation:
Who needs to know? For some projects, data only needs to be shared amongst a small team; but for larger projects, often involving multiple stakeholders across an organisation and/or external partners, an enterprise solution may be preferable; the challenge with most geospatial platforms today is that they tend to offer a “one size fits all” approach to managing, streaming and visualising data; whilst this can work well for smaller projects, it can end up frustrating a more disparate group of users, as the solution is either too simplistic for some, or too complicated for others; inevitably, this then impacts on performance, data sharing and ultimately the quality of the outcomes.
What are the geospatial competencies of different stakeholders? This question could also be presented as “what do different stakeholders need to do with the data?”
Do we have the infrastructure and skills in-house to host the data? Most Geospatial platforms offer a data management/hosting solution that takes away all of the angst of managing disparate datasets; but of course, it comes at a cost
Based on the answers to the above questions, a tailored geospatial solution can be designed and implemented that delivers the right data in the right way for each and every stakeholder in your organisation – from raw data to insight and analytics, delivered via everything from a simple viewer to a powerful set of online Geospatial tools, or a hybrid of both across a range of different user groups.
Collaborative solutions such as Getmapping’s GSaaS platform can deliver a uniquely personalised solution that optimises the benefits of geospatial data for your organisation. To learn more about how we can help you, email firstname.lastname@example.org for a free, no obligation consultation.
Dave Horner, Group CEO, Getmapping
Dave heads up the Getmapping Group and is focused on building sustainable growth through long term strategic partnerships that deliver value to our clients, our partners and our supply chain globally.
He has worked in the geomatics industry for over twenty five years and has a wealth of practical experience, having worked as a technical specialist, before stepping up into various management positions and becoming the Group CEO 10 years ago. He has seen at first hand the huge change of focus in the sector from being a niche industry to becoming recognised as a key enabler across most market sectors.