One of the main choices users of geographic systems and data face is whether or not to pursue an ESRI-based solution. We would like to share our reasoning behind the use of ESRI technology solutions for our clients. While we are an ESRI-focused firm, we believe blind commitment to any technology is unwise. There are several reasons, however, why we continue to focus upon ESRI-based GIS solutions: ESRI is comprehensive, modular, open, and flexible.
Esri is Comprehensive. There is a real difference between a “geographic data visualization tool” and a “Geographic Information System.” A geographic data visualization tool is a way to share geographic information, but not manage data. A GIS supports a central data repository where there are many clients with varying functionality and access. GIS also enables database functionality whereby tabular and geographic relationships can be enforced. For example, parcels cannot overlap; no land is in more than one parcel. There is no way to enforce this type of rule solely within a geographic data visualization tool. There are ways to overcome this type of obstacle, but they require investment in an expensive and diverse skill set. Often individuals which meet these requirements might not include any experience working with maps or spatial representation. ESRI software provides a system which is configured to accomplish both the data visualization and data management tasks. In short, if you have a geography-based problem or question, ESRI will have a supported solution on their platform. As specialists in the ESRI technology stack, Evari can focus on implementing geography-based solutions to a broad range of clients.
Esri is Modular. Most organizations getting into GIS start small with one or two ESRI ArcView users/licenses. As the desire for more functionality grows, they can purchase (and configure) a supported solution which will work with and complement that investment. This scenario is better than having to hire programmers and database admininistrators to develop a solution from the ground up. Or worse, being dependent upon a particular consultant to provide a solution on their proprietary platform which another consultant cannot manage. The latter scenario places our clients in a tenuous situation if they decide to move away from that particular consultant. At Evari GIS Consulting we believe in providing our customers with the simplicity and scalability that comes with ESRI products.
We also wanted to add that we are well aware that we are living in a fluid environment, especially as it relates to web services and service-oriented architecture (SOA). As servers become elastic, quad-core 64-bit desktops with 8gb of RAM, dual-core 1GHz tablets, and cell phones with independent GPUs become more available, new frontiers are being opened up. The client/server relationships of the past are giving way to a whole new paradigm. Suddenly, a tablet has the same horsepower as a server of just a few years ago. Processes which were previously required to run on the server can now be accomplished client-side. In this type of dynamic industry, we are always looking to find ways to deliver more reliable, performant, and robust solutions for our clients. ESRI has proven that they can compete vigorously in this market, but Evari maintains an eye on the future for any changes which will affect our industry.
Evari GIS Consulting is in the business of providing professional and affordable geography-based solutions for our customers. Based on a clear understanding of the GIS industry, Evari believes that leveraging the ESRI technology stack is the most effective way to fulfill those goals.