Subject: Common Ground News 2015-Q1

Volume 4 - Issue 1                                                      Q1 - 2015
Welcome to Common Ground News

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Kent Hargesheimer
  Managing Partner
  Geographic Enterprises
In this Issue:

Feature Article
   - Geo Data Overiew
      - GPS vs GIS, Geolocation; 
        Geotargeting, Geotagging

Tips & Techniques 
   - Uploading Your Own Data

Thematic Map 
   - Your Data and GeoMetrx

Trivia Challenge 
   - Atomic Clock "Do you know...?"

Phone: 1.888.848.4436 

Newsletter Archives 
Q4 - 2014 
Q2 - 2014 
Geo Data Overview

Geo data is a comprehensive term referring to information that is used to define a geographic location on the surface of the earth whether it be a single point such as a house, a national landmark, etc. or a collective area such as a block or a city. Only in recent years has geo data become widely available for public use, but we have become very dependent on it in that short time. Geo data is an integral part of many of the tools we use every day. Here are a few examples of geo data at work in our everyday lives:
  • Online mapping utilities such as Google Maps, Apple Maps, Mapquest, and similar help us find places, plan routes and get directions. Many of these apps now integrate real-time traffic and other valuable information as well. 

  • Navigation systems are fast-becoming a standard feature in most new cars identifying our current location and guiding us to our destination. Portable navigation systems are common items among those of us driving “less modern” vehicles, and short of that, any smartphone with the proper app installed can serve the same purpose.

  • Social media apps on our smartphones and tablets can easily track us and pinpoint our location. Most smartphone cameras can add geo data to our photos as well. While many simply find it fun to post their whereabouts and activities, businesses benefit from the free advertising, and can even capture customer data.
Geo Data Technology: GPS vs. GIS

The two most prevalent geo data technologies are GPS (global positioning system) and GIS (geographic information system). GPS is a satellite-based navigation system, and GIS is software designed to store and manage the data accumulated by GPS and a multitude of other sources. Without GIS, the location information provided by GPS cannot be used to its full potential. Think about that little icon that appears to be moving on your navigation screen; without an underlying map layer to visualize the movement in relationship to your actual location there would just be an icon in the middle of nowhere with nothing anywhere around it. When paired together the two systems are an invaluable resource for a variety of fields including communications, aviation, urban planning, recreation, agriculture, disaster relief and more.
  • The Global Positioning System (GPS) was originally developed by the U.S. Department of Defense beginning in 1973 as a military tool. In 1994, when the system became fully operational, it was also made available for civilian use. There are 24 solar-powered satellites in use by GPS that orbit Earth twice a day and are in constant communication with ground stations. GPS receivers pick-up the broadcast signals between the satellites and the ground stations and in turn estimate their own locations by triangulating the distance using at least three satellites (also known as trilateration). 

  • A geographic information system (GIS) is software that manages geographical data that has been collected, analyzed, and stored so that it can be used to display information on a map or globe, or in a table or chart. GIS provides visualization of data patterns and relationships. Think about maps that display accumulated seasonal snowfall, outbreaks of illnesses, or simple demographics such as population distribution by income, race, education, etc. Additionally, some GIS data engines utilize lat/long coordinates to identify the precise locations of buildings, landmarks, roads, etc. which can then be overlaid on a map. Any information that can be depicted on a map is a function of GIS. Being able to visualize data allows for better communication and better decision making for businesses and consumers.

Other Geo Data Utilities and their Benefits
Geolocation: Geolocation is the process of providing the exact location of a device such as a computer, tablet or smartphone. The process involves using GPS to acquire geographical (lat/long) coordinates and measurements. The resulting information is then translated into a recognizable location such as a restaurant or other business. Brick and mortar retail businesses, long suffering at the hands of online retail giants with a tremendous data advantage, are finding ways to utilize geolocation technology to help narrow the data deficit. Geolocation technology can target customers within a store based on movement, previous visits and other shopping habits.

Geotargeting: Geotargeting is the process of providing unique content to website visitors based on their location. This is another chink in the armor of online retailers, as it is allowing brick and mortar establishments to lure customers into stores to interact with a product prior to purchase based on web behavior and physical proximity to store locations. The location factors can be as broad as country or state and as narrow as postal code or even a specific IP address. You’ve probably experienced this at one point or another when the online ads and promotions become very specific to your interests as you continue to surf the net.

Geotagging: Geotagging is the process of adding geographical information to various media, such as photos, tweets, and other social media postings, in the form of metadata. Geotagging software can often identify not only your lat/long coordinates, but also capture place names, distance and what direction you are traveling if you are on the move. Some social media apps broadcast member locations allowing friends and followers to know those members’ exact location at any given time. Ever been stuck at the airport and wonder if there is someone else there you might know? Apps utilizing geotagging are ready to help!

GeoMetrx: An online application allowing users to define, evaluate and manage sales, franchise and other territories. The ability to upload customer data, even geolocation and geotargeting data, is an invaluable feature. For more information on how GeoMetrx can help, call us today at 1.888.848.4436 or request a free demo online. Let our experts help you make the most of your business
Uploading Your Own Data

Uploading your own data to GeoMetrx is an invaluable feature of our mapping application. You can create your own custom geographies, import a wide range of proprietary customer or territory data, and even create or add new territories. Your data can then be used to further enhance your territory management processes and to provide richer output reports. And best of all, it’s a relatively easy, logic driven process. This guide will step you through the process.

Thematic Map

In Tips & Techniques we shared how to upload your own data. In the image below, you can see the location plots of the "customers" we uploaded in the Houston, TX market from the example. In addition to our own uploaded data, we added a GeoMetrx data layer to the map displaying the population density by ZIP Code of those aged 65+, ranging from light yellow (lowest density) to dark orange (highest density). This is a prime example of GIS data at work. Layering these datasets together allows you to visualize your market and assess opportunities. 

The ability to upload your own data and include it in your territory management strategy and output reports is invaluable. In addition, to your own proprietary data, GeoMetrx has a wide array of datasets available as add-ons. We also offer a large selection of GIS data via our service for both US and international markets, including communications, imagery, postal geography, streets  and boundaries, and more. 

Atomic clocks are responsible for synchronizing time for much of our technology, including electric power grids, GPS, and the clock on your smartphone. On Apr. 3, 2014, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Boulder, Colorado officially launched their newest standard for measuring time using the NIST-F2 atomic clock, which has been under development for more than a decade. 

Q) How accurate is the NIST-F2 atomic clock?

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