Saturday, November 02, 2013

Open Source Knowledge Management Should Leverage GIS

Embedded data is the future of all research, analysis, and publishing.  There's no going back.  Photos and maps that are loaded with narrative timelines make enormous sense and confer strategic advantages to enterprises.  The best geographic information systems (GIS) applications turn multiple data streams into visual layers that make comparison easier.  The best enterprises leverage their KM people and systems to share GIS data with everyone.

The US government's openly available GIS tools are impressive.  Uncle Sam's GeoPlatform and National Atlas apply the US government's open data rules.  They also apply the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards for publishing map-embedded data.  The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) makes policy via its National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC).  It publishes the GeoPlatform and plans the development of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure, which presumably will be compatible with a Global Spatial Data Infrastructure.

The US government has a decent roadmap with its Presidential Records Management Directive (PRMD) and NARA keeps the government's internal KM pros updated with its Records Express blog.  Private enterprises often outsource their archival functions because that's not a core function, but defining the terms for retrieval is within a Chief Knowledge Officer's authority.  The point is that KM should dig through digitized archives for those records that show changes in locations over time.

KM turns archive management into content management when CKOs adopt OASIS's Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) and Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) protocols.  CKOs must know these standards and ensure that their contracted records management vendors apply them.  The CKO has the lead in defining the KM taxonomy for implementing these protocols within the enterprise but must work with the CIO to ensure embedded data products - including GIS displays - are sharable and retrievable.

Geospatial data easily integrates into knowledge management platforms with tools like ArcGIS's Esri Maps for SharePoint.  The availability of said knowledge for common users only becomes actionable when KM pros install these tools within ERP systems and evangelize them to enterprises.  KM and IT pros can make magic happen and the how-to steps are available for free.  AIIM has tons of free guidelines for optimizing content and managing archives.  This stuff may sound arcane but I've discovered many times that very relevant information is buried in obscure records and is still actionable long after its creation.

I discover these tools because I seek a competitive edge over other financial analysts and business leaders who don't do their homework.  I hear thought leaders at tech conferences push the integration of mobile, cloud, and Big Data.  I believe that embedded data in sharable GIS content is the killer app that will make that big tech dream come true.  You heard it here first at Alfidi Capital.