Esri Eliminates GeoIQ

So the answer to the age old question, “What are the boys down in the lab doing?” has been answered.

“We are excited to join the Esri family, integrating our technology and extending the Esri platform,” says Sean Gorman, founder of GeoIQ. “Esri’s approach to ‘GIS for Everyone’ is transformational in the industry and is very closely aligned with GeoIQ’s vision, so we are extremely excited about working together.”

I think Sean threw up in his mouth while saying that. That goes against everything GeoIQ has said about Esri for the past couple years (most assume the old @FakeJackDangermond twitter account was a GeoIQ sock puppet).

GeoIQ staff will join Esri at a new software development center located in Washington, D.C. and extend the ArcGIS platform with special emphasis on federal government clients in the areas of self-service mapping, analytics, big data, content streaming and social media.

Heh, GeoIQ staff extending the ArcGIS platform? I can only assume Sean made a deal with the devil (the real devil, not Esri) and lost. Now he’s got to work for Jack for a little while before they let him go. That’s what you get for trying to change the world guys, eaten by the beast. Despite having to give up control of his company to Jack, Sean looked pretty happy leaving the office this morning.

Slim Gorman

Andrew Turner should be able to fit in really well at Esri D.C. I pulled this quote from Andrew near the bottom of the press release about the File Geodatabase, “We wants it, we needs it. Must have the precious.”

Andrew Gollum

The bottom line is clearly here:

Esri opens the door for us to operate within the ArcGIS platform and to directly work with their millions of users.

Thus you see the problem with all these geospatial government contractor startups. There is one company in that space and it is Esri. Either you work with them or you don’t work at all. GeoIQ lasted as long as they could, but they clearly needed an out. At least their staff will work with a company making money hand over fist in D.C.

Autodesk on the Future of Design

I’ve talked about what Esri calls “GeoDesign” once or twice on before, but that is mostly from the GIS professionals perspective. Design usually happens in CAD, not GIS. So for digital design (or whatever we are going to call it) having architects on board is critical. I thought this interview of Autodesk VP Phillip Bernstein has some great perspectives on Design and how architects need to embrace change.

The firm that treats BIM software like a Xerox machine is going to find itself back on its heels. The transition from the non-digital to digital processes is very fundamental, much more so than the shift back in the early ’90s from hand-drafting to CAD—[that change] involved a lot of hardware and training, but it wasn’t a shift in the frame of reference or in the business model. It was a shift in responsibilities.

That goes for GIS folks too. Says Bernstein:

…spend time thinking about what your firm will be doing in five years. If you think that your firm is going to be doing the same thing that you’re doing now, you’re really wrong.

That’s sound advice for everyone. The future is more interaction between CAD/GIS/BIM and if you’ve got no plans in place for that convergence (this doesn’t count) you are going to be irrelevant in the future. You’ve been warned.

Little Red Book

Be very careful, this book may only tell you half the story.

The Paper Map Era is Over

Not that I needed to tell you, but paper maps are a dying breed:

Transportation departments around the country are in the middle of readjusting their spending amid times of falling revenue, and paper maps could be on the chopping block, said Bob Cullen, spokesman for the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

I mean who really wants a paper map other than neck beards (I know who you all are)? Plotters are already the dot matrix printer of our times. They’ll stick around until they break or need more ink toner, then the plug will be pulled and we can all move on. My first job in the industry was “Plotter Operator”, don’t let that be your last.


Take one last picture with your plotter and toss it out the door

BIM/GIS — There is Hope

Remember this quote?

‘I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use,’ he told me. ‘It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud.’ No longer would users have to fiddle with complex remotes for DVD players and cable channels. ‘It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.’

Well we’re still waiting for Apple to “crack” the TV (or I guess anyone that is). BIM/GIS has been a focus on mine for at least 5 years. I’ve had to put it on the backburner because the tools weren’t there to seamlessly sync GIS/BIM data back and forth (you still need to be an expert in Revit and GIS). But I’m starting to see things fall into place this summer where we could be really close to integrating these tools. It isn’t so much that you could pay someone like me to do the conversion (though I’m available at $300/hour to do so), it is the ability to bring BIM into GIS and GIS data into BIM without having to think about it.

It’s going to be a great second half of 2012!

Fun Times