Geosho – an introduction

I love maps. From hazy memories of childhood car trips to visit family in Ayrshire, Scotland staring at grandad’s Shell map. Intense concentration on a large folded and worn piece of paper. An artefact that allowed me to guess where we were heading, in advance, interpreting the symbols, coastlines, names and traces as they rushed past. “We’ll be in Scotland soon”! Maps of all kinds have held a magical attraction to me ever since; old mustard coloured and amorphous interpretations of coastlines and rivers, 1900 maps of my hometown, Openstreetmap, Admiralty charts, the maps at the beginning of books.. you get the picture?

I found myself working with digitised mapping quite by accident in the late 80′s in London. Working in a docklands quango and having to force mapping into a CAD package and then onwards to providing technical services and support to geologists at a major oil exploration multi-national. I then entered into the public sector and was involved in early implementations of corporate digital mapping (GIS) projects. The focus of my efforts were always on the installation, implementation, training and support of the systems and data that were used by Geologists, Planners, Analysts, Politicians and the Public. I didn’t get to see many maps.

With the arrival of Open Source software I saw an opportunity and escaped from the clutches of the public sector and was lucky enough to have played some key roles in setting up a significant UK web service providers.

The arrival of smartphones and the rapidly growing power and maturity of open source GIS products and Open Mapping data made the next step easier. Which brings us fairly neatly onto Geosho.

Throughout the last 30 years big business, Government and other large organisations have been pretty much the sole beneficiaries of digital mapping and GIS technologies.  The costs of hardware, software and the licenses for mapping and other data have been prohibitive. The tools have been fragmented and specialised. Even five years ago, the process involved in getting a large UK retailer’s sales areas digitised was a lengthy and relatively costly exercise that involved a lot of paper map scribblings, e-mails, meetings and a set of data that was only usable within a specific web based application. For the rest of the company, sales areas remained on paper, static and for illustrative purposes only.

At Geosho we want the benefits that digital mapping, GIS and smartphones bring to business to be made available to smaller organisations. We want to break the mould. No more exorbitant license fees and specialist software. The Geosho platform has been developed to make these services available where they count; via browsers and smartphones and through a range of applications dedicated to the needs of any number of end user markets.

The Geosho platform already provides key location services to three very different sectors and we are working on others too. Get in touch