Monday, 12 April 2010

A Tale of two approaches, part III

My previous posts here, here and here are summarised in today' reply to Matt Ball's excellent Spatial Sustain entry, What comes first, model-based design or integrated project workflows?

I think Geodesign is a step in the right direction toward returning creativity and decision-making to the professional: they do the work, not the toolmakers who helps execute the work. Anything spatial has been such a challenge, however, that the technology has driven the business so far, and not the other way around.

Larry Ellison pointed out that in salesforce automation no-one talks about the cloud, as it's been done for a decade - IMHO the cloud only came to the fore in geomatics where it is still a challenge - ergo GIS and neo-geo arguments, which may or may not be useful.

Google put maps on the net as a byproduct of their business model - wittingly or not they told the public that maps are the report or the product, not the database or the engine - and everyone relates to that, centuries after mapping agencies started publishing maps.

Ford Explorer legitimised the SUV market decades after the Jeep Cherokee was introduced... And Ford was apparently not pursuing market dominance, but rather new markets such as recreational and female buyers! In other words who knows where will the 'next big things' be? Who predicted SXSW a music fest would become a high-tech webfest, in which the neo-geo is a strong byproduct?

Back to geodesign, we are all professionals using geomatics as an enabler, and we ignore that at our peril. My business message is to subsume the technology to user needs - they needn't know or care what we offer them, as long as it helps their bottom line. As Jack Dangermond said "I try to be interested, not interesting". Only then can I hope to meet user needs, in what is already a challenging market environment.