Has GIS hit a wall?

For the last 5 years the GIS industry has been moving along nicely. Expanding its reach and evolving into many new and exciting areas. New innovative releases from both the proprietary and open source worlds have opened the door to so many potential applications of the technology.

But something has changed. The expansion has slowed. 

Traditional users (public sector, those focused on infrastructure) appear entrenched. While adoption among new potential users (commercial sector etc) has been slow as they struggle to fully grasp the value GIS brings to their organizations.

Talking across the industry I’m seeing 2 trends:

  1. GIS companies who work with traditional long term users of GIS, and are often well connected to providers, its business as usual.
  2. New GIS companies looking to sell solutions on top of the recent advances in GIS tech are finding expansion more challenging.

For now that flood of interest has slowed.

And I have a suspicion I know the cause. 

How do we open the flood gates: widen the adoption of Web GIS among the traditional, and have the value of GIS better understood by non-users?

That is the million dollar question… and we think we may have just some of the answers!



GIS stuck on the wrong side of the chasm

Un articol foarte interesant… pentru cei interesati, desigur.

Below is the classic 5 Customer Segments of Technology Adoption graph … but with a twist.

In my view the curve has flattened. We have a flow of users coming in and out of the technology.  The early majority phase remains illusive, Web GIS sits squarely on the ‘wrong’ side of the chasm. The adoption of Web GIS by traditional users has been spotty. Lack of time and inertia dominate. And apart from the largest organizations, new users have been indifferent.

That sounds like a gloomy outlook

Not at all. Its an industry kick in the pants!

Web GIS has so much to offer. Yet this flow of users coming in and falling away from the technology is a huge problem. Why is this happening?

We’ve spent time talking to pragmatists (a person who is guided more by practical considerations than by ideals). There are some very obvious reasons why we have still to bridge the chasm. And action not time is what will fix the problem.