2019 marks the twentieth year of operations for GEO Jobe. Twenty years is a long time in this business. Bob Dylan is famous for saying, “The Times They Are A-Changin’ “ and that statement may be truer now than it was when it was written in 1963. As GEO Jobe’s Chief Operating Officer, I want to take some time to discuss what I’ve seen over the last twenty years.
A lot has changed since 1999 for both GEO Jobe and the geospatial industry. In the late 90’s a GIS professional’s day to day job may have included GPSing assets and printing paper maps. Now we more commonly publish web applications and engage in activities such as curating the systems of records, engagement, and insight within our organizations. This has all been made possible by the internal and external march of technology. We have seen the rise in common use of the internet and smartphones. We are present for the mass adoption and comfort with ideas such as machine learning and IOT ( Internet of Things ). The average person carries a GPS in their pocket and has recommendations on what movies to watch or music to listen to handed to them by machine learning. The last twenty years have been intense.
GEO Jobe has adapted to this change and walked hand in hand with industry leaders to grow in the same direction. In the early 2000’s GEO Jobe focused on Tennessee and the Southeast United States with professional services directed toward asset collection, and standing up a GIS stack based on Esri technology for our clients that were primarily local governments. To this end, we became an Esri business partner in 2002 to better support our clients. In the mid-2000’s GEO Jobe began to have a more national focus with expanded work for state governments, airports, and universities.
In the 2010’s GEO Jobe was an early adopter of ArcGIS Online. This saw us catapulted to the world-wide stage with a global brand focused on our products that augment the Esri ArcGIS ecosystem such as Admin Tools for ArcGIS, Clean My Org, and Mapfolio. We now serve over 6,000 clients globally ranging from local governments and small nonprofits to Fortune 500 companies and major mutli-national corporations.
It is not just a change in our focus, it is a change in our technology. GEO Jobe has moved from field GPS crews and mapping technicians to software developers, enterprise engineers, and UAV pilots. Much of this growth has been made possible by growth in the underlying platform provided by Esri, namely the birth of ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Enterprise. Additionally, the rise of UAV has opened entirely new avenues of growth for not only GEO Jobe, but the whole geospatial industry. A true vision of our world is becoming possible, a true digital twin. I was once quoted in an Esri blog as saying “ArcGIS Online is the greatest global repository of geospatial information in the history of the species” ( click here to read the blog ) and I believe that with all of my heart. This is our industry taking long strides into the future. We must embrace it.
No person, company, or organization exists in a vacuum. We must be mindful of those that help us as we progress. Thank you to our customers, thank you to Esri, thank you to our partners within this industry and other industries, and thank you to each and every single employee that has contributed to our success and growth. You are all appreciated. This is a story of twenty years of cooperation, teamwork, and respect. Thank you all for contributing to our journey together.
What does the future hold? Well, I’d be a fool if I said I knew for sure, but I will tell you that from my perspective it is a future of growth for GEO Jobe and the geospatial industry. The GEO Jobe journey went from a local perspective in 1999 to a global perspective in the 2010’s. Technology continues to trend upwards in capabilities. Esri is moving from the board rooms, field workers, and office setting as a best kept secret in competitive advantage and insight to instead openly running commercials on national television. In the next 20 years Esri’s Science of Where will be a way of life for decision makers in an even more apparent way and GEO Jobe will be right there growing, adapting, and prospering. Thank you all again for your help so far and I can’t wait to write another article in twenty years detailing the exciting two decades of growth that will have passed.