00:01So why would I consider this notion of reshaping the face of government GIS?
00:07Well, the answer to that question came crystal clear to me, during an ordinary life experience.
00:11You probably could guess; I had twins.
00:16My family of three went to a family of five, and we completely outstripped what I would call our family infrastructure...
00:23...and had to find a new home.
00:25It was an exciting time, one that all of us have been through, and we set our priorities just like everybody would.
00:33It was price, location, schools, and for us it was number of bedrooms.
00:39But this time things were different. We were looking for a home in the middle of the real estate collapse.
00:45And our priorities completely shifted.
00:47We now had to consider this idea that we needed to retain our property value, more so than ever in the past.
00:55We also knew that this decision had to count. We probably wouldn't move any time soon, at least not without ramification.
01:04So to make this decision required a different set of data. We needed authoritative foreclosure information...
01:11...so that we could understand the health of the neighborhoods that we were considering.
01:14We also needed to have information about recent sales activity...
01:19...so that we could see in the slowdown what others thought was a valuable place to live or interesting place to live.
01:25Where were things moving, so to speak? And this whole idea of school district, this might be unique to where I live...
01:34...but the school district that we would be in was less important, or was totally important...
01:39...but we needed to know where within the school district we would be located.
01:43Where I live, they change the school district boundaries all the time.
01:47And if we were going to pay a premium for a home in a good school district, we did not want to be on the edge.
01:54It was challenging to find this information.
01:57The standard property lookup tools that are made available did exactly what they were designed to do.
02:02I could use them for their exact intended purpose.
02:06But they didn't provide me with the information that was germane to this experience...
02:10...and the set of circumstances that we were faced with at the time.
02:13And ultimately, I didn't have access to the information where I wanted, which was in the field.
02:18So I could see a home, check out, learn about my community around it.
02:22This impacted me. I was a citizen using a public access system, for a very specific purpose...
02:30...that I felt that was probably common for people all over our community and all over the United States.
02:36What I realized was that my expectations for information products had changed.
02:42And they changed for the exact reason that Chris Cappelli mentioned earlier today.
02:46They changed because of the way I interact in my relationship with technology in the rest of my life.
02:52That's what changed my expectation. It also made me think really hard about our experience with GIS...
02:59...public-facing GIS and systems design, to spread the value of GIS within government organizations to non-GIS users.
03:07So to understand this scenario a little bit more clearly, let's think about our common experience with GIS...
03:15...for public-facing GIS, for example. Number one, GIS applications to the public aren't always easy to find.
03:22They're rarely prominently displayed on the front page of the city or county website, and they required search.
03:28You and I know how to search for them--interactive mapping, city of you-name-it GIS, GIS. But what about the layperson?
03:39They just want to know about crime in their community, where to vote, where the parks are.
03:44Once we do find the application, there's a common experience we have with them, a common design pattern.
03:51So let me ask you, has anybody seen this? I know you have; it's the typical user interface for a public access system.
04:03You've got the toolbar with the hand, magnifying glass, and binoculars.
04:08We've got the list of layers down the side. These started as very focused applications, many of them, like a property lookup application.
04:17But over time, as they added users to their community, they added layers and functionality.
04:22And I call this, shoving raisins in the muffin, until eventually the intent of the application became blurred and the value diminished.
04:32So I'm offering this as a critique of these applications, not a criticism.
04:35We implemented them, and we designed the pattern, and when we first did this...
04:37...they matched exactly the requirements of the user community.
04:42It was to expose geographic content to a broader group of people--to share applications with non-GIS users.
04:50The reason why there're so many of these is because of our success in implementing GIS in government.
04:55Together we have implemented GIS in literally thousands of local governments...
05:00...and state governments and city governments around the world.
05:03We were successful in this effort because we listened to our customer, we had great technology...
05:09...and we applied it to the workflows of their organization.
05:13It's been an evolution. We started by implementing departmental workflows.
05:16They then went to the web-based GIS systems like I just described.
05:21And then integration with other enterprise systems, CRM, ERP, permitting.
05:27This evolution will continue, but today, I don't really see the challenge being technology...
05:32...or the significance that GIS plays in government.
05:35I see the challenge being our ability to adjust to the new expectations of today's information user.
05:42And by the way, that's me, and that's you.
05:46When we look at our traditional GIS implementations, there is a gap between that experience, the one that I just showed...
05:54...and what we are comfortable and desire to use.
05:58And that gap is being filled on one side by consumer mapping products, and on the other side through work of really creative developers...
06:07...who are taking advantage of access to data, like the City of Riverside provides through their open data initiative...
06:14...to create really interesting and compelling applications.
06:17I am confident that our ability to effectively adjust to this new information user is going to dictate the face of GIS going forward.
06:27So if you guys are with me on this, and you agree, then we need to get straight on what today's information user wants and expects.
06:35First and foremost they want a destination...
06:38...they want to be able to go someplace where they find applications that they want to use and provide value to their life.
06:45This destination needs to be innovative, it needs to be fresh, it needs to be constantly updated with content.
06:52The applications that they want to use need to be both relevant and usable.
06:57So by relevant I mean not just standard viewers. They want a polling place locator, a park finder. They want to see community crime.
07:07And that focus lends a simplicity to the user interface and design...
07:12...that really drives the customers through the application to the answer that it provides, without them having to learn it.
07:20You experience this all the time with the applications that you use.
07:23I would also say that maps are ubiquitous for today's information user.
07:29They're in everything. Facebook, your photos, everything that you use on your phone is location.
07:36That's why I believe that this self-service capability is a game changer.
07:41The ability to light up entire organizations.
07:45The knowledge workers in the entire organization to be able to produce geographic content...
07:49...and interesting maps without the support of a GIS specialist.
07:54And then extend that to citizens. Imagine what I could've done producing a map to really focus my home search when I needed it.
08:04And by the way, it would have been available on the devices that I use 23 hours a day.
08:11So if we embrace these concepts, we can change the face of GIS in government. But we need to do three things to do it.
08:19Number one, we all need to be aware, aware of the opportunity and how to recognize it.
08:25You don't have to have twins and outgrow your home to do this.
08:29You can absolutely just pick 15 cities around the county that you...just pick them at random. Try to learn about that community.
08:39Where you can't, where it's challenging, there's opportunity.
08:42Number two, be relevant. The technology you're seeing today and the rest of the week directly applies to the trends that I'm outlining.
08:51Embrace it. Be an early adopter.
08:53And then three, be the change. Incorporate all this into your solutions and interactions with your customer.
09:01If we do this, we will change the face of GIS in government.
Reshaping the Face of Government GIS
Christian Carlson shares his thoughts and trends in GIS for government.
- Recorded: Mar 24th, 2012
- Runtime: 09:08
- Views: 610
- Published: May 14th, 2012
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