Strategic Geospatial

Making a map may be a daily activity for many, but thinking about why we do something and whether that activity is fit for purpose differentiates those who are thinking strategically about what impact they are having.

Strategy is a word often used to reflect a military operation or campaign. However, it can just as easily be applied to commerce or even personal conduct. When I talk about strategy, I am thinking about identifying a North Star from which to navigate. A strategy is a framework with which to make decisions. Now, when striving towards your North Star, it is possible to deviate reasonably to avoid pitfalls. No journey is utterly straight, we all have obstacles to avoid, but it is good to have a sense of direction, of intent. That is your strategy.

Strategic thinking means we are trying to step beyond the immediate problems or tasks at hand to consider broader meaning. Why does one company do this, while another does that? What might a press release imply about the status of the parties in question? There are many instances where thinking beyond the immediate horizon is informative.

In thinking about strategic geospatial, we are focusing our strategic efforts on the geospatial sector. What our community of practice does, what the trends might be and how we should address the nature of disruption are all themes that influence us. A strategy can help sculpt our response to market forces.

What effect can this have on the day to day lives of geospatial practitioners? Where are numerous places where individuals can act strategically:

Perhaps a map is not the best way of telling a geographic story? Is your intent to provide the best interpretation of the information you have or just do what you are most comfortable doing?

In solving a problem, when should we think about technology? Probably not before we understand that problem, but how often is that the case?

Is the activity you are doing now advancing the agenda of your organization? Do you understand your purpose today?

These are all questions of strategy. I have assembled a series of the article concerned with strategic geospatial; if you are interested, take a look!