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15

I disagree that there are only two options in the GIS industry on a number of levels. The first is that there are many other well established commercial GIS offerings other than ESRI SmallWorld, Bentley, AutoDesk, ERDAS, MapInfo, Integraph and Idrisi spring to mind without thinking too hard. You say they have a market share "well below" ESRI. ESRI ...


12

KFC have a store locator. Behind this is a FindNearBy web service that can be sent lat longs. http://www.kfc.com/storelocator/services/MWS.asmx?op=FindNearby You can issue SOAP requests to this and get a nice list of stores in JSON. Alternatively just manually run a query for Ohio and copy the JSON reponse in FireBug. { "Latitude": 40.393947, ...


12

MapInfo would definitely do what you'd like it to do. However, in my opinion, the open source options have far surpassed the capabilities of MapInfo. Specifically, I suggest you look into QGIS. It can do everything MapInfo can do and more. I've never used it for retail business and service planning, but there are plenty of people on this site who could ...


11

I would not compare GIS to a programming language. A programming language is a tool that can be used to define your business process. "Perform these steps in this order, making some decisions as you go." GIS is more abstract; rather than being a tool to define a process, it's an entire branch of tools and methods that manipulate data that have location. ...


10

Simple question, difficult solution. The best method I know uses simulated annealing (I have used this to select a few dozen points out of tens of thousands and it scales extremely well to selecting 200 points: the scaling is sublinear), but this requires careful coding and considerable experimentation, as well as a huge amount of computation. You should ...


10

ESRI's been around for a long time, and essentially helped invent the term "GIS". There are other big players, but they often come from a different angle (i.e. AutoCAD Map 3D, or Intergraph/Microstation). Increasingly all these different dominant players in the maps/drafting/design world are starting to overlap and come together, but they still hold their ...


10

Here's a little QGIS python function that implements this. It requires the rasterlang plugin (the repository has to be added to QGIS manually). It expects three mandatory parameters: The points layer, a raster layer (to determine the size and resolution of the output), and a filename for the output layer. You can also provide an optional argument to ...


8

As a freelance GIS Consultant, I am confident that you can do almost everything you need using Open Source Software. If you can avoid borrowing a lot of money for software licences as you set up your business, it will massively help your cash flow. Then, when your business grows, you can show your appreciation to the Open Source Community by making a ...


7

I envision a "Farmland Suitablility Database" that can analyze land suitablility conditions for various crops and make crop yield projections. Information from the database could be used to help assess the risk of an investment, or for marketing financial instruments among land owners with the right stuff.


7

As scw says in his comment the code itself seems to make use of some basic processing and loops so could probably be rewritten quite quickly in Python and Shapely. However if you are looking for a script take a look at the following written in R..and German: http://www.reymann.eu/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/GravitationsgesetzHuff.R Google Translate seems ...


7

To answer the question: Why no industry standard product from any established software giants? The problem is you appear to be begging the question. There is an industry standard product from an established software giant. They're called ESRI and being founded in 1969 they easily predate Microsoft (1975), Google (1998), Oracle(1977), and Apple(1976). The ...


7

The short version is - Seek professional help. The longer version: You appear to have some vague knowledge of what you want to do but certainly don't have the specifics. What you have here is an entire Corporate GIS project and you should go through the Project Management process for it. What are your requirements? What do you need to connect to what? ...


6

From the ESRI website: http://www.esri.com/getting-started/executives/index.html "GIS provides critical tools for success and efficiency. As an executive, you are presented with a high volume of complex data every day. GIS helps you Organize your information and knowledge. Make informed decisions. Improve communication. Increase efficiency. Share ...


6

We've found that spatially enabling data that has just been sitting around in databases for years and years allows us to QC the data. You can look at lat/longs in a table all day long and the numbers are just numbers (to most people). Put those locations on map and all of the sudden you can see errors in your data in ways that were never possible before ...


6

Top intangible business benefit of geographic information: providing context. ESRI has a webpage about business benefits and return on investment of GIS: http://roi.esri.com, and the discussion is largely platform agnostic. That page and an associated book, "Business Benefits of GIS" authored by David Maguire (ESRI), Victoria Kouyoumjian (ESRI), and Ross ...


5

I'm answering from a programmer's point of view. I have to keep track of the following categories of data: Immediate tasks (e.g., "Fix the road type bug", "Clear disk space on machine X") For these I use Google Docs spreadsheet with tasks. Each task has a due date, urgency level, importance level, and the team members who is responsible. The document ...


5

There are a number of paid-for datasets that you may need to consider. Often State Govt has listings of their businesses, as well as vendor's like InfoUSA or Dun & Bradstreet. I posted a similar question a while back with limited response. Update: A quick Google search came up with Ohio Business Gateway as a likely candidate. Have you tried ...


5

Some reasons that came into my mind: -Check for frauds related to land size, crop extents, etc. -Analise the extents of the damage in case of an insurance claim. -Be able to retrieve fast data to build prognostics make future planning and make and answer questions like: "how much area is in this tornado danger zone?" "What is the expected crop losses if ...


5

There are a number of places where footprints can come in very handy Public Sector: Taxation: As @Mapperz said, taxation is one area. The percentage of property that is built on is sometimes used as a tax criterion. Planning: Knowing where structures already exist on property can help in the planning process due to applied setbacks and minimum ...


4

August 1, 2011 blog posting: "SimpleGeo’s CC0 Places data set is now available for download at no cost. If you’d like to get your hands on 21M+ POIs that cover 63 countries, we’re ready to hand that over to you in one file. The file is about 2GB in .ZIP format, and remember, with the CC0 license, this data becomes yours – free and clear – to do whatever ...


4

Well here's a few: Proper Databases (Cheap / free but of variable quality) - you will probably have to convert to mySQL yourself as this is not a standard geospatial format given its relatively poor geo extensions. Factual Places Cloudmade OpenStreetMap APIs (usage restrictions, generally free to a certain level of use) Foursquare Google Places ...


4

Download tiger census block shapefile for your area of interest. Download American Fact Finder demographic tables to join to your block shapefile. Create a point shapefile for your long/lat coordinates. You can then use the Select by Location option to select block features within your buffer distance for each point feature. Summarize selected features by ...


3

Based upon your description, I would suggest the opposite method that @artwork described. Use the same tools, but start with your block groups as your primary layer and join the customers to the polygons with a spatial join, which will give you a count field. From the Layer dialog, Right-click on the polygon layer, choose Joins & Relates->Join and ...


3

You may want to split your large block group data set into seperate feature classes within a file geodatabase for processing. After doing that you can run a spatial join from the ArcMap TOC. Right click the customer locations layer and select Joins and Relates>Join. On the top drop down select "Join data from another layer based on spatial location". ...


3

You could run a Spatial Join between the two layers. In ArcMap TOC, right click the layer and select Joins and Relates>Join. On the top drop down select "Join data from another layer based on spatial location." Check the radio button that says, "Each point will be given all the attribute...etc". This will give you a distance value. You can also use ...


3

If you are in an academic institution ESRI Business Analyst is very affordable. It costs approximately $3000, but it has full US coverage based on the Dunn & Bradstreet data, and is geocoded. It is also available for specific years. The downside is that the licensing is ridiculously complicated and restrictive (so much so that despite having the money ...


3

You have to find the shortest pair in a search box, and if the box has nothing in it, expand it. It's not pretty but it works. There's example PL/PgSQL code here http://trac.osgeo.org/postgis/wiki/UsersWikiNearest


3

There are similar questions (Q1, Q2, Q3) that contain answers that may guide you to find the Points of Interest data you are looking for. Particularly take a look at OpenStreetMap, SimpleGEO, and POI Factory. Additionally, you should browse the questions tagged as POI, business, data, and datasets. Whatever dataset you choose to go with, be sure to read ...


3

However this not the case in other streams of information technology, databases and programming languages in broad sense. Having one dominant market player is not rare for professional programs on a PC: Autodesk for CAD, Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop/Indesign,...


3

As mentioned you and other answers have already surmised, aside from acquiring customers, learning their needs, etc, etc, acquiring the necessary data to deliver useful analysis to your customers may be one of your most challenging efforts. From a business perspective, though, the most valuable thing that you have to offer is your service and knowledge of ...



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