Let us start with a statement of fact; ‘Everything Happens Somewhere’! So therefore, it should follow that knowing ‘where’ matters? Nearly all data can be linked to a physical location and time. Location is a powerful way to connect people to place, transactions to actions, responses to trends, and customers to where they do business and the kind of business they do.
However, location isn’t just a common thread connecting disparate data sources and breaking down silos, often it provides the most transformative insights. Leading organizations tap into location intelligence to solve business problems and uncover new opportunities.
Location intelligence is powered by what is generally referred to as a Geographic Information System or, as we commonly call, a GIS. A GIS is a platform that provides a framework of capabilities to manage, visualize, analyze, optimize and ultimately understand the significance of location, place & geography. A GIS helps to transform businesses and organizations across a wide range of industries by enabling a better understanding of the impact and influence of ‘where’ things are.
The science of where
To truly understand the impact and influence of ‘where’, we need to understand the subtleties of ‘location’, ‘place’ and ‘geography’ in the context of the intelligence that each source of data provides.
When we first moot the concept of ‘location, place and geography’, people look confused, instinctively thinking that these three terms mean the same thing. They don’t! Location, Place and Geography, offer very different levels of insight. It is Location, that connects people to place; With ‘Location’ we create information through location-based visualization. This basic manipulation of data answers the question … ‘Where is it?’ It is Place, that then helps us understand the impact and influence of where things are; Using ‘Place’ we develop greater meaning through location-based analysis. This deeper dive into our data answers the question … ‘What is going on around me?’ And, it is Geography, that provides a common canvas on which we make decisions; With ‘Geography’ we develop greater insight through location-based optimization. In this final stage of analysis, we start to enquire … ‘How can I make it better?’