THE LAST FEW MONTHS HAVE BEEN QUITE exciting, since we launched our premiere issue and website of LBx Journal this past spring. I attended a number of conferences over the summer and fall, including the ESRI User Conference (Business GIS Summit), GeoWeb, Cable Broadband GIS Summit, Location Intelligence, CTAM Summit (cable marketing conference), Enterprise 2.0 and the Web 2.0 Expo.

The recurring theme across all these conferences was cloud-based applications, social networking applications, data analytics, and location-aware applications that are redefining business processes and relevant customer and business intelligence data. With over 700 location intelligence companies, 100,000 iPhone applica- tions, 30 million Twitter users offering just some context on the development and adoption rate, these technologies are driving the enterprise into a fast-paced race to stay ahead, to stay relevant, and to keep the cost of implementing new ideas low.

In this issue, our contributors touch on all of these issues, discuss location data as a common denominator in business intelligence and as a collaboration platform, and describe industry applications built on a location intelligence platform. In “Next-gen KPIs,” Robert Novick discusses broadening the KPI development lens to address the ‘whys’ of performance. This issue also includes looking at three location data sources or datasets— time, human sensors, and imagery—which are discussed in Mark Feldman’s “Time: The Fourth Dimension,” Brady Forrest’s Game Changer column on “Humans as Sensors,” and an article by yours truly, “What’s in an Image?”

On the application front, in “Catastrophic Risk Management,” Charles Huyck discusses the role of location/GIS and citizens’ real-time reporting of disasters on risk management models. We interviewed Roger Parks, recently named one of the top 100 Innovative CIOs by CIO magazine, on why GIS/location intelligence is an information management foundation that is critical to dealing with the agribusiness challenges of the future. Targeted advertising is an advertiser’s dream come true; Arthur Berrill and Sherif Ahmed of Pitney Bowes reveal, in our other LBx Executive Interview, the hidden advantage of connecting logistical processes as seemingly mundane as mailing flyers, bills, and corporate communications with predictive analytics and location data to improve direct mail campaigns.

On the market and economic front, there clearly will be winners and losers over the next several years, as companies vie for the opportunities of the future. While Cole Van Nice talks about the geospatial investment opportunities in this fragmented market of incumbent players and disruptive tech- nologies, Robert Avila in On Minding the Store sounds the alarm on paying attention to the changes in High Finance—not only armchair attention to the end of U.S. Dollar dominance, but serious awareness of the impacts on capital investments, financial management, and global supply chains.

Although consumer adoption of location intelligence has taken the market by storm, enterprise integration remains a challenge. Critigen, the IT Consulting and Managed Services
arm that was divested from CH2M HILL on September 16, 2009, may just be the company with enough scale and expertise to change that perception. Critigen’s focus is on providing the information management solutions required to modernize critical infrastructure around the world, and they appear to be a model for enterprise-wide implementations with a range of managed services. Read our interview with the executive team online.

As we prepare to start a new year, I’m pleased to announce that we will be featur- ing two new blogs on our website: Craig Bachmann’s “Points of Departure,” and John Corbett’s “Spatial Lens.”

Check our website regularly for their views on location intelligence as a strategic asset and the unfolding debates around business applications, the role of the business analyst & IT, the value of data, the source of data, and innovation.

Remember to discover your location dimension,


Natasha Léger