Working from the same
page map means less meetings
There are a lot of things I never knew I needed a map for. Most smartphones can show you a map, and more importantly, show you where you are on the map. This capability has been exploited by a surprising number of smartphone apps. Who knew there was a spatial dimension to restaurant reviews, tracking your fitness, reminders, managing your photos… and stalking your friends and family?
In so many of our personal and social situations we now know how useful understanding our location is. What about your work?
When you need a map, there is no substitute for… a map. When discussing the changes required to a proposed subdivision layout, you need to be looking at the map. When negotiating the alignment of new infrastructure, describing alternative layouts in words doesn’t work. When communicating the design options for a proposed sporting facility for community feedback, there must be a picture.
Can your Council have these spatial conversations online? Or, do you all gather over a paper map in a meeting room to assess that major development application? Do you shuffle design documents back and forward by email with the consulting engineers engaged to design the new arterial connection road? Is the feedback you receive from your community on new facilities and land use planning limited to words?
Spatial collaboration solutions, such as ShareMap are like a sketch pad overlay to your GIS system. Everybody involved in the discussion can explain their ideas visually. As different options are explored, version control provides a time lapse view of how the discussion has progressed and allows you to roll back to an earlier version. With granular access controls, everyone can be involved in the discussion without seeing information they shouldn’t. As an overlay, spatial conversations don’t affect the integrity of your corporate GIS data, but final outcomes can be folded back in without the need for manual capture.
If people can draw their ideas on the map, maybe you could review major projects or assess major development applications without a meeting. I’m all for less meetings!
I am looking to start a discussion about the projects and processes in local government that will benefit from everyone working from the same map. If you have a meeting you could avoid if you could ‘doodle’ your thoughts on a map, please tell me about it.
Image courtesy stock.xchg