Daratech, a market research firm, released a report this week indicating that the GIS marketplace was projected to grow 8% in 2003.In a global economy that is sputtering, 8% looks pretty good.
Now, if you have been paying attention - and by the way, if you have just gotten back from vacation, you are excused; and if you are one of our European colleagues, you are probably still on vacation and will never see this wonderful editorial - you will have noticed several positive trends for the spatial information business and the economy, in general:
- The Daratech Report is a good sign that GIS technology is recognized for its effectiveness in supporting business productivity.Certainly 2003 looks like a "break-out" year.
- Stock prices for those public companies that we track in the spatial information arena are up significantly.
- Layoffs are dropping
Stock prices are said to be a leading indicator of market trends.If that is true, we are in for heady times.Directions Magazine tracks thirteen public companies that contribute significantly to the spatial information business.We looked at the stock prices between March 17th of this year and August 4th.The chart below represents the trend lines for nine of those companies (We disregarded GE, IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle whose spatial information products would not drastically affect stock price).Only one company showed negative growth (Descartes Systems, -8%); MapInfo's share price grew 240%, following by @Road, 112%; Analytical Surveys, 74%, Trimble, 62%, Orbimage, 51%, Intergraph, 22%, Group 1 Software, 8%; and Autodesk, 2%.An interview with Mike Hickey, MapInfo's Chief Operating Officer, will be published next week.
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