I recently put together a Google Maps based tool to map and edit employee information. The tool simply allows an administrator to add an employee to an interactive office floor plan. The administrator can then edit detailed employee information, upload a photo, delete an employee, or, move the employee to a new location in the office. Once the employee is added to the map, the data is available to end users via a simple mapping page, without the editing capability.
After posting this demo online, I began to notice how users were actually using the system. People began to put in their actual locations, not locations on the office floor plan. I thought perhaps this tool could provide a generic framework for users to add data to maps. A few examples came to mind:
- PC and other asset mapping
- Facilities management
- Shopping mall administration
- Moving storage unit management
- Warehouse inventory management
- Conference exhibit booth management
Of course, you could really manage any geographically located feature in this manner. The point if this post is, really, users can now “use” and “consume” GIS systems without even know they are doing so. GIS is changing. Apllications lihe this Emplyee Management Demo are opne example of what the next generation of GIS apps could look like.