Tag Geodata

The GIS Community Has Spoken

The GIS community has spoken on the current solutions available in the industry and (spoiler alert) the feedback is not good.  A recent market research survey of 50+ GIS firms from random countries conducted by Systemapic (in anticipation of our approaching Beta) has proved quite revealing.  Lets get down to the nitty gritty and hear what GIS professionals are saying about the current offerings on the market.


Out of survey respondents it is no surprise that 75% are using ESRI products, as the California-based giant has commanded market share for decades.  QGIS, Norkart, FME and Open Source softwares are all used by less than 10% of the GIS professionals that we spoke with.  Systemapic CEO Jørgen Ekvoll is wary of the effects of this dominance, saying:Most of the GIS giants were born in the 60’s and have dominated the market since. But over the last few years we’ve seen a new generation of web-GIS solutions emerging. Now it’s time to take that trend one step further, and offer the GIS industry the cloud of their dreams.”


When it comes to sharing data the GIS industry’s current solutions offer little in the way of efficiency and features.  It seems that time and money are being wasted consistently by clients and GIS consultancy groups alike.  When it comes to moving data from point A to point B for delivery, for example:

42% of respondents are using Dropbox

47% are creating pdfs

33% are exporting jpegs

56% are using a shared database

0% are sharing within the product itself

Simply taking screen-captures is frighteningly common for any industry as we move into 2016 but it is extra-prevalent in GIS it appears.  With most respondents reporting GB per project far higher than easily transferable on Dropbox and Google Drive (with many in the hundreds of GB or multi-TB range) this imposes challenges.  The outdated sharing methods provide challenges.  Especially since GIS professionals reported working on projects with 11.5 other individuals on average.  Imagine the unnecessary complexity and room for error.  On the innovation that Systemapic is making in regards to sharing and collaboration, two key priorities for us, CTO Knut Ole Sjøli says: “There’s obviously a huge bottle-neck for GIS professionals when it comes to sharing big data. Our cloud solutions handles terabytes seamlessly, and we’re very excited to bridge the data gap for our clients.”


Further confusion stems from the plethora of file formats used by different softwares in the industry.  Out of all respondents no two reported using the same combination of file types.  This is not a surprise, as there are almost a countless number of file formats out there in GIS, but it speaks volumes about the need to create software solutions to more easily navigate this ocean of options.

When it comes to verbatim it is no surprise that respondents comments reflect frustration with the current offering.  They are simply not good enough given their dominance.  Time and money are consistently wasted because of lack of innovation along fronts that Systemapic believes progress can be made on.  Multiple respondents complained about the impossibility of working with large datasets, highlighting primarily processing speed and time-consuming share-options.  With Systemapic your work is done on the cloud.  Problem solved.  Also no surprise that GIS professionals reported having challenges with lack of staff time/resources given the time investment necessary with current solutions.  The sharing and collaborative nature of Systemapic’s cloud-based software allows projects that previously took months to take days or even hours.  Other challenges reported include waiting for client feedback, data access, data tailoring and requirement of programming skills.  Done, done, and done.  

It is clear the GIS industry is in need of innovation and we’re happy to be the driving force here.  Join our beta to help us make Systemapic better and better, and stay tuned for more updates.

Happy mapping!

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Innovation is the name of the game at Systemapic.  As a darkhorse in the GIS sector and the entrepreneurial world we’re keen on pushing the envelope and the industry.  So when Norway’s best and brightest GIS minds came together at FOSS4GNOR on Wednesday 23 September you can bet we were the first in line to attend.


FOSS4GNOR (Free and Open Source Software for Geoinformatics) was the Diet Coke version of the big FOSS4G conference that took place in Seoul last week, but nevertheless we got some great insight into the open source geoinformatics trends in Norway and beyond.  Here are some of the highlights in our humble opinion:


-NorKart discussed their meeting with MapBox earlier this year, and their newfound love for vector tiles.  We agree, vector tiles are awesome. They allow for new and exciting possibilities for large data, and we’ve already been playing around with them for a while here at Systemapic.


-Geodata briefly discussed how ESRI servers can be incorporated into open source front end frameworks.


-Leaflet demonstrated the beauty and simplicity of their javascript package that is pushing the way we display maps in web browsers, and talked enthusiastically about the future of WebGL – map rendering in the browser.  As a company building a collaborative and interactive platform for web maps this was highly relevant for us and we looked forward to participating in this innovation.


-TurApp, our neighbor at Startup Lab in Oslo, gets a special shout out for their extremely awesome trekking/skiing route planning algorithms.  Really cool.  We can’t wait to hit some new trails using their product.


-Graeme Bell of NIBIO came late but good with an excellent talk on parallelizing geoprocessing. Lots of cool tricks for getting the most out of our CPU’s that we’ll definitively try out. Check out the slides for his talk here.


Overall, problems were discussed, solutions were batted around, business cards were exchanged and we really enjoyed ourselves.  Great learning experience.  We felt predictably comfortable in this small crowd of #geohipsters and felt like we were well received as relative newcomers.


We can’t wait to discuss our own experiences next year in Oslo or Bonn (fortunately a cheaper flight than South Korea for the global edition); because for Systemapic, collaboration is the other name of the game.


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