Here is the third of my twelve posts as a GovLoop Featured Contributor:
Here is the third of my twelve posts as a GovLoop Featured Contributor:
Here is the second of my twelve posts as a GovLoop Featured Contributor:
For the next twelve weeks, I am a GovLoop featured contributor. Please check out my first post:
For those of you that were not able to join us at this year’s Esri International Users Conference, I would like to take some time to share the excitement we had in San Diego meeting and greeting each other at the GIS Managers Open Summit. Over 300 people were registered for the Summit this year.
We had an exciting agenda, starting at 8:00 am Tuesday morning with registration and networking.
We started our morning with a speed networking session; a chance to meet and greet attendees from every part of the GIS community. Our goal was to meet as many folks as possible to start our day.
Following introductions, Adam Carnow provided a presentation on Executive/Elected Official Sponsorship of GIS. Adam introduced some special Elected Official guests who participated in a panel discussion. These guests included the following:
Following the panel discussion, Adam introduced everyone to the “Lean Coffee” communication methodology that we would use to drive our round table discussions.
Following each presentation, we had round table discussions related to the presentation topics. Each table was free to introduce topics for discussion, which were then voted on by the table members and discussed based on the identified table topic priorities. The “Lean Coffee” process got all table members engaged and promoted some very exciting and meaningful discussions.
Tom Tibbitts provided our second presentation on Managing a Utility; Solving Assets, Operations, Projects & Hurricanes with Mobile-GIS, Cityworks and Insights. Tom’s presentation was followed by our second period of round table discussions.
Our final presentation was provided by Nick O’Day – Punching above your Weight: Maximizing the Impact of your GIS. We followed with our fourth period of round table discussions and closed with a Panel Discussion with Adam, Tom, Paul, and Nick.
Throughout the day we asked attendees to share key topics from their table discussions on our GIS Managers Round Table Take Away board. We had a great time in San Diego. We were introduced to some great technology, met new friends, and had some great conversations for moving GIS forward. Thanks to all who contributed to this successful event. We will see you next year!
Please bear with me as I set the context for this allegory, I promise there is a meaningful connection with GIS…
You have probably never heard of John Reed. He was a Hessian mercenary, then known as Johannes Ried, working for the British during the American Revolutionary War. In 1782, he deserted his post in Savannah, GA, and later settled in Cabarrus County, in Central North Carolina, to make his living as a farmer. In 1799, John’s twelve-year old son, Conrad, found a sixteen-pound, yellow rock in Little Meadow Creek on the family farm. The Reeds used it as a doorstop.
In 1802, a jeweler from Fayetteville, North Carolina, identified the rock as a gold nugget, and offered to buy it from Mr. Reed. John sold it to him for $3.50, or a week’s worth of wages. The value of the nugget at the time was approximately $3,600. This is the first documented commercial gold find in the United States.
Shortly after this event, John started a mining operation. John Reed ended up a wealthy man. The mining operations ceased in 1912. The Reed Gold Mine is designated as a National Historic Landmark and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It makes for a great visit, especially with children, so they can learn this important bit of American History, as well as on a hot day, as the mine provides some welcome, natural air conditioning. You can even pan for gold yourself. I have found gold flakes each time I have visited.
So, what does this have to do with GIS? Too often I see organizations that have implemented GIS and use only a small number of its capabilities:
This is extremely frustrating since there is so much additional potential in the use of a web-enabled location platform powered by GIS. For most of these organizations, they have this powerful tool right there, but do not take advantage of the true value of the platform they own. Most of the time, it is because they are either averse to change, or they do not know how to take advantage of it.
So, what can GIS professionals learn from John Reed? Think of your GIS as John’s golden doorstop. Here is this incredibly valuable resource just sitting there, not being valued to its full potential. Sure it might prop the door open to simple mapping, but think about how it can contribute to making your community a better place, how it can help with real problems we are struggling with, like homelessness, the opioid epidemic, mosquito-borne diseases… As an ArcGIS user, you have access to free, configurable, supported solutions for real problems like these, and many others. These solutions can be deployed, sometimes in minutes, without writing any code. They are open source, supported and will continue to evolve along with ArcGIS.
Now think about how John realized the true value of the doorstop, and not only profited from the gold he found on his property, but how he changed from farmer to miner, to better take advantage of his situation. Today’s next-generation, web-powered GIS requires a different mindset than the traditional mapmaking-centric GIS of the past. Your job as a GIS professional has changed from performing GIS work for others, to enabling others to leverage GIS capabilities with easy-to-use, focused apps, that work on any device. The real power of GIS is in spatial analysis - your job is to share that with others, so that they can understand that GIS is for more than making maps.
Take a look at what may be holding your door open. A golden doorstop? Mine it for all its worth.
Want an example of how easy ArcGIS app deployment can be? Check out this story: Accelerating Small-Town Services on a Small-Town Budget | ArcNews
Want help? Esri and our business partners are here to help you every step of the way. You can also start with this Esri Training course: https://www.esri.com/training/catalog/587573e21b4e4f444c9eb350/get-started-with-configurable-apps/
Thanks to Andy Huntington and Brian Baldwin for peer review of this post.
Wikipedia, Reed Gold Mine: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reed_Gold_Mine
North Carolina Historic Sites, Reed Gold Mine: http://www.nchistoricsites.org/reed/history.htm
If you are headed to the 2018 Esri User Conference, and need some guidance in creating your personal agenda, and you are a current, or future, GIS Manager, check out this flier that lists some recommended activities. They include the GIS Managers' Open Summit and the GIS Manager Track.
If you are headed to the 2018 Esri User Conference, and want to hear from experts and peers on planning strategies for a successful enterprise GIS, please consider attending the GIS Managers' Open Summit on Tuesday, July 10th. Here is a link to a GeoNet blog post that provides more information, and includes a link to the registrations site. Registration is free, but since we have limited space, we require attendees to register. Hope to see you there!