Directions Magazine Readers Looking Forward to Technology Advancements, But Still Deal with Some of the Same Ol’ Stuff

By Nora Parker

Although our annual Reader Survey is still going on through the end of the month, with already over 700 responses we thought it would be interesting to look at what readers are telling us so far about their GIS projects and plans... Our survey is by no means scientifically administered, but each year we do find interesting trends that tell us something about where our industry is headed.There are more than 50 questions on the survey - this brief preview is just the tip of the iceberg.Click here if you'd like to pre-order the results, and click here if you haven't yet take the survey and would like to.(There are some totally cool prizes provided this year to randomly selected entrants, including a Dell Inspiron 1000 Notebook, Matrox Graphics card, and a copy of Safe Software's FME 2004 ICE.)

On the plus side, many of our readers get to control their own destinies when it comes to purchasing decisions.Almost half "have the greatest influence on technology purchases." Being able to have a significant say in what kind of tools are being used is a tremendous upper for productivity and morale.

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In addition, our readers are highly observant of what aspects of technology will influence their projects and purchasing in the near future.Many are looking toward spatial database enhancements and even more expect web services to be influential. As usual, numerous users are looking forward to enhancements to their existing software.

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We do continue to deal with many of the same issues as they relate to the implementing enterprise-wide solutions in the spatial data arena.Generally speaking, most challenges fall into the "folks just don't get it" category.Lack of awareness of what could possibly be done if there were "no walls" gets the most votes. We also see quite a few people responding that lack of funds, cooperation and even "tunnel vision" continue to be problems.This means that we continue to have a challenge ahead of us as we work toward finding ways to implement systems that take advantage of spatial data that make sense within organizations. At least that keeps life interesting!

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Published Tuesday, June 15th, 2004

Written by Nora Parker

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