Brooks E. Kelley, IGI
I’m reading this wonderful book titled “When in French: Love in a Second Language” by Lauren Collins. The autobiographical backstory is an American woman marries a Frenchman and the humor associated with language barriers. The real story is an exploration of language and concepts that don’t translate at all. There’s a great story about the author shopping for flank steak for fajitas in Geneva. Not only do the Swiss not know what fajitas or flank steaks are, they simply don’t cut beef that way over there so there’s simply no one-to-one translation. Such things happen when concepts involving language, cuisine, and abattoirs collide outside the ISO. But similar things happen in IT too.
There are the perennial IT language frustrations (make up your mind! is a long integer 4 bytes or 8 bytes?) as well those particular to GIS (why can’t layers be layers and tables tables?) but more frustrating is when – like translating between languages – the concepts behind the lingo are entirely different. We’ve all faced this when learning new software. We become so proficient/efficient in our native app that learning a new one becomes a frustrating chore we learn to dread. Like translating sentences from one language to another, replicating simple workflows in the new app requires much thought and reference work.
About the time I started this book, I became a Certified FME Desktop Professional – thank you, thank you very much. FME is a fantastic Spatial ETL tool! It’s both flexible and performant. It also compliments the myriad other spatial/non-spatial data movement tools I regularly use such as Alteryx, Python (ArcPy), and SQL*Loader among others. Like all these other tools, FME has its own unique lingo.
FME has two central concepts: feature types and transformers. Features types are any source/target data structure, RDBMS table, shapefile, AutoCAD drawing, CSV file, you name it. And though they’re accessed differently, all behave the same inside FME. That’s simultaneously weird and refreshing! Transformers, on the other hand, are widgets used to perform some action on a data stream. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of them. All do something particular but function the same. They take an input, perform an action, and provide an output. What elegant simplicity! Two concepts define an entire application. Why can’t we boil English down to this?
Brooks E. Kelley has been a Senior Consultant with InfoGeographics since 2001 and has been in the GIS industry since 1990. He brings expertise in the areas of spatial data abstraction/modeling/processing. He brings very unique talents and skills to his position with InfoGeographics.
Many communities and utility districts in Michigan applied for, and were fortunate enough to win a Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) Stormwater, Asset Management, and Wastewater Program (SAW) Grant - most of them not knowing exactly what the final deliverables entailed. The SAW program is targeted to accelerate the Statewide use of asset management planning practices as well as improve water quality and ultimately, help determine the “criticality” and probability of failure of utility assets. In addition, valuable asset information will be used to determine how much capital funding may be necessary to provide the preferred level of services and to maintain and replace assets as they age accordingly. Combined with the results of the SAW asset management and capital improvement plan, and depending on the participants financial practices for asset management planning, the project(s) results will dictate necessary actions each community may have to execute. The actions may result in communities having to make difficult financial decisions such as reducing the level of service of the utility to save on expenditures or the generation of additional capital from rate increases, millages, permitting, or other means. The goal and intention of the grant program is that the SAW asset management and capital improvement plan will solidify their financial practices and they may begin to plan for better levels of service and/or growth of the utility.
The results of the SAW project(s) have supplied communities with troves of valuable information and data about their utility assets, computer hardware, software, and training that they may have never afforded otherwise. Geographic Information Technology (GIS) technology through software, applications, data, and training have played a large role in the SAW projects core function and results. As location and maps have become part of our everyday lives, GIS technology has proven itself and is not just some passing fad - it is here to stay. GIS will continue to become integral in our social being and business practices, specifically in the management of utilities and asset management practices. As a result of the SAW grant projects, participant communities now have high quality, detailed, and geospatially enabled and standardized data for their sanitary and/or stormwater systems as well as GIS software and applications, and training to utilize them.
This valuable data and supporting technology will require attention as recipients maintain and improve their systems “after SAW”- replacing appurtenances, repairing anomalies, cleaning, adding additional utilities and “layers” to the mapping, updating software, additional training, etc. To ensure the GIS data and accompanying system is being maintained along with the physical utility assets, it would be advantageous to pair these GIS administration/maintenance costs with your general system maintenance costs when it comes time to set or adjust your annual budgets. This measure would ensure the validity of the GIS SAW data and program for future asset management plans and capital improvement planning initiatives, along with a wealth of potential other uses.
Who is going to champion and maintain your GIS SAW data and program after your SAW Grant project? If you need guidance or assistance in leveraging your GIS investment to maintain and improve your SAW data and system, or would like utilize GIS for other business opportunities, such as scaling your SAW grant data to include laterals and service connections, develop mapping and SAW style data collection and management of your water or other utility systems, property parcel mapping, web mapping, or a mobile application, please consider InfoGeographics, Inc. InfoGeographics has become a leader in providing high-quality GIS services, applications, training, and support in Michigan and beyond, and has a long track record of successful projects in both the private and public sectors with an emphasis on utilities of all types. Please contact us at www.InfoGeographics.com to see how we can help you continue your success with GIS “after SAW”.
Chad Collins, Vice President, GISP/CMS
620 Third St
Traverse City, MI 49684
phone: (231) 995-8266 x103
fax: (231) 995-8267
If you are used to traveling to the event, laying out the marketing material, trying to find an outlet, internet access and the putting up the awesome booth you paid 2-10K to produce………………. This article is for you.
We all know that in most cases, we are at an event because we need to be. But if you are one of 50 or 100 or 1000 vendors, how can you increase the value prop to your potential client? You can try the typical “stand in their way” so they are forced to talk to you. You can give away the coolest item with your name on it, or you can give them the tri-fold that unfortunately ends up in the waste basket.
When I return from a conference, it is kind of like coming back from a night of trick or treating. I dump the contents of my bag on my desk (sponsored by someone), and start the sorting process. I will keep the thumb drive (always need one of those), the hat goes to my daughter. Letter opener? Really? In the trash. Then starts the process of going through all of the single sheet, bi-folds and tri-folds. I always save the one that you can make into an airplane, but the rest were just things that were shoved at me or I thought was interesting at the time.
The real issue that we have in the conference situation is that attendees will ultimately see our logo, pass our booth or be exposed to us maybe 3-4 times at an event. They will also have been exposed to the 100 or 1000 other logos and booths. This really waters down our ability to truly stand out.
Here is something that really works to bring your brand to the top of mind every hour of every day of a conference. This is also a way for a brand with less money to spend to get the same or more exposure than some of the larger brands with bigger marketing budgets.
Sponsor a Mobile App for the conference you are attending.
Here is an example of REAL numbers from the last app that we produced for an annual GIS conference:
- By working with the conference planners ahead of time, we were able to get 77% of attendees to download the app
- Each attendee used the app to view 192 pages of event times, places to eat, sightseeing opportunities, etc. (this means each user saw our brand 192 times minimum)
- We received open recognition at several of the events from event staff
- By providing links to our site in the app during the event, our site traffic increased over 500% during this time frame
- Over 90% of attendees polled post event stated that they found the app extremely useful
Bottom line? This is a proven way to increase your overall exposure at an event or conference. It is the gift that keeps on giving over and over and over.
If you are concerned about how to go about this, don’t be. This is what we do. If you are interested in this and have a conference or show coming up, get in touch with us at InfoGeographics. We will contact the event planners and let them know that we have a sponsor. We will handle ALL of the details from design to publication on Apple and Google play stores and interaction with event planners to ensure downloads happen.
We are convinced that this is top of mind marketing that has the highest overall impact. We are also able to produce this at a price point that will not break your bank.
Contact us to explore the possibilities:
It was an incredible 2017 at the National Cherry Festival. The weather was near perfect for the hundreds of events that took place. Thousands of people choosing events with phone in hand vs. traditional paper. The app currently has 39,465 downloads and over 1,900,000 page views . End users were able to see all events by day, buy tickets to any of the shows, concerts or tours, enter to win tickets, view accommodations, airport schedules, get local offers and many other options within the app.
IGI enhanced the app this year by introducing story maps that allowed users to find everything from the nearest bathroom to the best public parking. This included one click directions by car or walking to the desired location. IGI also used technology to deliver advertisements to users according to proximity (Geofencing/Beacon) and produced an 11% overall take rate per ad.
The analytics package provided by IGI will also assist the festival and others with planning for the incredible amount of people that arrive in Traverse City in future years.
Thank you to everyone that works hard to put this incredible show on every year! We look forward to additional technology enhancements in 2018 that will continue to bring value to both the Festival and its fans.
If you are a City, County or have a festival, event or conference with a large fan base, it may be time to look at how an app can enhance the overall end user experience while providing an incredible way to communicate with your audience and build loyalty to your brand.
Visit: http://www.infogeographics.com/mobileapplications for more info.
InfoGeographics promotes Chad Collins to Vice President
Traverse City, Michigan--InfoGeographics Inc. is pleased to announce that it has named Chad Collins Vice President of its company. Chad is a career GIS/geomatics professional with over 21-years of combined experience in the public and private sectors. His areas of interest/expertise are local government, utilities, GIS planning, data acquisition, development, deployment, and training. He is very involved with the GIS community and sits on the IMAGIN Board.
InfoGeographics recognizes the hard work, knowledge, dedication and professionalism that Chad brings to the table and is excited that he has accepted this position.
“We are very pleased to continue our growth plan at InfoGeographics. This is both a logical and calculated step that is very appropriate for both Mr. Collins and our company. We look forward to continuing our planned growth and will call upon his experience to assist us in our success,” says James Bennett, President of InfoGeographics.
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About InfoGeographics, Inc:
InfoGeographics, Inc. (IGI) is a GIS integrations company demonstrating success with GIS since 2001. IGI’s career GIS professionals specialize in GIS planning, end-to-end system deployment, geodatabase design and data development, web mapping applications, mobile applications including some available on the app stores, the entire ArcGIS Suite including ArcGIS Enterprise, ArcGIS Desktop/Pro, ArcGIS Online, along with Geocortex Essentials, FME, and training/support to public and private sector clients throughout North America. IGI is an Esri Silver Business Partner, a Geocortex Authorized Implementer, and an FME Solutions Provider. For more information about InfoGeographics and how we are Connecting Information to Your World , please visit www.InfoGeographics.com
InfoGeographics Joins FME Partner
Traverse City, Michigan--InfoGeographics Inc. is pleased to announce that it has joined the Safe Software FMEⓇ Partner Program and recently been certified as an FME Solution Provider. The InfoGeographics certified FME Professional will assist clients to best utilize the Safe Software powerful data transformation technology, FME.
InfoGeographics recognizes the potential for increasing its customers’ return on GIS investment with robust and readymade data integration and transformation tools. The firm has selected FME technology as a premier method to do this and help its customers rapidly meet their objectives in cost-effective and creative ways.
“We are very pleased to be business partners with Safe Software. FME offers our customers new and exciting ways to formalize and enhance their geospatial and traditional database transformations, movements, and integrations using a modern and mature set of tools and capabilities.” says James Bennett, President of InfoGeographics.
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About InfoGeographics, Inc:
InfoGeographics, Inc. (IGI) is a GIS integrations company demonstrating success with GIS since 2001. IGI’s career GIS professionals specialize in GIS planning, end-to-end system deployment, geodatabase design and data development, web mapping applications, mobile applications including some available on the app stores, the entire ArcGIS Suite including ArcGIS Enterprise, ArcGIS Desktop/Pro, ArcGIS Online, along with Geocortex Essentials, FME, and training/support to public and private sector clients throughout North America. IGI is an Esri Silver Business Partner, a Geocortex Authorized Implementer, and an FME Solutions Provider. For more information about InfoGeographics and how we are Connecting Information to Your World, please visit www.InfoGeographics.com
About Safe Software:
Safe Software is the maker of FME and global leader in spatial data transformation. FME connects data between 350+ formats including GIS, CAD, database, tabular, BIM, 3D, point cloud / LiDAR, raster, XML, and cloud. With FME’s intuitive interface, users create automated workflows that can extract, transform, load, integrate, validate, and share data, without writing code. Desktop, server, and cloud deployment options save time and money on any size project. Since 1993, FME has helped thousands of customers worldwide leverage their data so it can be used exactly where, when, and how it’s needed.