No matter how work is done today, there’s room for improvement. In today’s workplace that improvement is likely to be a technology change. It might be new software, hardware or a new way to organize data. Deciding what kind of change will help most is one challenge. Convincing executives to believe in and fund the change may be even more difficult.
While organizational leadership may champion technology and even have successful projects behind them, each potential investment requires due scrutiny. Executives will only invest in one project over a second option if they have significant confidence in its success. A small investment in a return on investment (ROI) study may be the key to exploring, and ultimately funding and implementing, meaningful technology changes.
From our experience, the benefit of ROI studies is both quantitative and qualitative. AppGeo work in Vermont illustrates three types of benefits.
AppGeo extends its congratulations to Kevin Leonard and Roy Blanke of MnDOT’s Office of Land Management for receiving this Federal Highway Administration Excellence in Right of Way Award for Innovation.
MnDOT had the vision and the definition of more than 20 use cases by which mapping would add value to current Right of Way (ROW) work processes. AppGeo is proud to have had the opportunity to work alongside MnDOT staff on this project to geo-enable the Right-of-Way Electronic Land Management System (REALMS) in a manner that directly links mapping capabilities to the existing work environment and database system. Our Team (including Minnesota-based Pro-West and Associates, and Rowekamp and Associates) worked with MnDOT to implement those use cases using AppGeo’s GPV technology, thereby making interactive mapping a seamless part of the existing REALMS work environment. Going forward, AppGeo’s configurable GPV platform will allow MnDOT staff to continue to add mapping capabilities to REALMS in response to evolving staff requirements.
“This biennial awards program was developed by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to honor those who excel in improving the real property acquisition process while ensuring that property owner and tenant rights are protected.” (from the FHWA website)
Image credit: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/real_estate/practitioners/rowea/previous_winners/2012/pg01.cfm
Although most maps are now designed to be distributed via internet devices and viewed interactively, there is still a need for hardcopy maps and the art of (hardcopy) cartography has not completely disappeared. The larger size and crispness of a printed transit map, for example, can be particularly useful when large geographic areas are being viewed, such as when a person is planning a trip that may transit several communities, or when they want to see many routes all at once in context.
When designing for hard copy printing, however, different sorts of design decisions need to be made in contrast to designing for interactive web display.
By way of example, AppGeo has produced several editions of the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) statewide map of their bus and trolley services. For the 2012 edition, RIPTA requested a complete redesign including better highlighting of the Providence metro area. This Rhode Island transit map needed to show both the entire sweep of RIPTA services in Rhode Island as well as very detailed routing for downtown Providence.
To solve this cartographic problem on the printed page, we developed a map covering all of Rhode Island on the front side of the publication, and two detailed insets of Providence area on the reverse. To aid the riders in their trip planning we used color and line weight to highlight the highest frequency routes. The printed map also presents a table showing detailed time-of-day and bus frequency, plus a map of the layout of the Kennedy Plaza terminal in Providence.
Another of the challenges of designing for hardcopy is what I like to call “map origami” or how the map gets folded for ease of use. At the outset we created a folding pattern to match the desired folded dimensions. Then we aligned the map components logically within the grid formed by the fold lines. It is a back and forth process of adjustments to maximize the utility of the map. continue reading...