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#1
Polaris

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Capabilities Survey

In a recent topic on cartographic collaboration, I floated the idea of designing and conducting a survey to catalog the capabilities and offerings of working cartographers (and related trades/professions).

My interretation of the response was that the idea was seconded and given a couple of additional nods of interest.

I'd like to try to flesh out the idea a little. Here are some questions (and my thoughts).

What are the purposes of the survey?
... facilitate referrals and finding help, collaborative networking, learn about each other

Is this re-inventing the wheel?
... not in my experience

Do we need this anyway?
... isn't it better (as has been suggested) to do the research to find this stuff out yourself? yes and no, but I think the survey might be helpful

Is this technically feasible on cartotalk?
... hmmm?

Is there some way we might spread the survey to other forums, and compile the results?
... i have no idea, but it sounds neat

How do we come up with a meaningful list of capabilities?
...I'm thinking it would be o.k. for the list to be long, but capabilties shouldn't overlap too much, each capability should be defined in a short, clear way - perhaps have a 'score' for each capability (say, 0-5 from no knowledge/experience to expert) - and each score value clearly defined. I'm also thinking that it might turn out to be really difficult to come up with a meaningful list.

How do we keep the survey up to date?
... mebbee give it a home online

Who would do all the work?
... I'm willing to make a significant contribution, but it would probably take a couple of others willing to do the same

What do y'all say?

Eric

#2
Derek Tonn

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Eric,

I think a critical factor to the success or failure of a capabilities survey will be defining whether or not we are talking about "capabilities" or "core competencies". For example, my firm could make just about any type of vector, raster, hand-rendered or 360-degree/interactive map under the sun that someone could dream-up (as could all of us). However, my firm is REALLY good at campus map design...which is roughly 75+ percent of our annual revenues.

If it is a list of capabilities, then the usefulness of the survey will be reduced as each of us would subconsciously be encouraged to list any and every little service we can think of that we can provide...so we aren't left out of any potential discussions or leads. If, however, we all had to choose and only list the 1-3 things that we do really, REALLY well (in our opinion), that could make for a much more useful and intriguing list. B)
Derek Tonn
Founder and CEO
mapformation, LLC

datonn@mapformation.com
http://www.mapformation.com

#3
Martin Gamache

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If it is a list of capabilities, then the usefulness of the survey will be reduced as each of us would subconsciously be encouraged to list any and every little service we can think of that we can provide...so we aren't left out of any potential discussions or leads.  If, however, we all had to choose and only list the 1-3 things that we do really, REALLY well (in our opinion), that could make for a much more useful and intriguing list.



I agree.

#4
Polaris

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I think it would be useful to have 'lesser' capabilities listed - perhaps mostly in the negative sense - for example, I don't have Dynamic Mapping capability (unless you include client side image maps and such) and I don't do architectural renderings... I don't mind sharing what I don't do - and info on what we're not into might help foster complementary collaborations? On the positive side, I guess I feel listing (and scoring) the lesser capabilitites is just interesting... A high score (5) would indicate a core capability.

I'm still not sure whether a meaningful enough list can really be developed - and whether some of the other hurdles I mentioned can be overcome.

If this starts to look feasible and there seems to be enough interest, I'm willing to take a crack at putting together a 'straw man' list.


Eric

#5
Kartograph

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To really get this underway, we should do a quick and dirty first survey, on whose results we can confer upon. Otherwise we will fall into the metatalk-trap.

My two pennies.




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