GISuser Expert Feature – NSGIC + Whiteboard + Smart Folks = Issuemap

IssueMap ( has generated quite a bit of buzz this week. Reference was made to it at the FCC Commission Hearing along with a blog post from Michael Byrne, FCC GIO. It has been a lot of fun watching IssueMap take on a life of its own.  Given that IssueMap has been blogged on no less than a dozen sites, I believe the Copy, Paste, Map concept was a great step in the right direction.

So what is even more interesting to me is who is or isn’t talking about this really useful tool. IssueMap has been covered by Radar Oreilly, republished on Forbes, Government Computer News, GovFresh, ExecutiveGov, MSNBC, InfoTech, and The White House Blog just to name a few.

So how’d did it come to be? A few guys gathered around a table at a NSGIC conference in Cleveland, OH started discussing how useful it would be to map a spreadsheet. Recognizing everyone has an issue, not just those with software. Policy people have no time to learn software, they have spreadsheets, and need a story and maps help tell the story. Obviously that can be done with GIS software and several online viewers. So what separated this from the others?

1. Copy/Paste
2. Map to several geographies (semi automated)
3. Publish map with permalink
4. Share with the world

The goal? Reach the other 99%. I often talked about how GIS is really only used by 1% (that is really generous). We wanted the other 99% to be able to map their spreadsheet. A quick look at who is taking notice indicates to me; IssueMap hit its niche.

Related Weblinks:

Learon Dalby serves as the GIS Program Manager for the Arkansas Geographic Information Office (AGIO). He began his career with the AGIO in 2000 where he is responsible for managing a number of statewide programs. You can follow him on Twitter @learondalby


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