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October 24, 2016
Municipalities are Adopting Analytics for their Geospatial Projects

A few months ago Maptiks announced their web map analytics for Esri’s ArcGIS Online. It made it possible for ArcGIS Online users to track visitor activities, helping to answer key questions like “how and where are users interacting with a web map” and “what demographic of users are visiting my web map”.

Originally, the team focused on building an analytics tool for open source and consumer web mapping platforms. However, the ArcGIS integration has brought in big interest from government agencies and large enterprise companies.

“There’s been a great response, mostly from GIS departments in local governments. They have been contacting us to get their maps out ot the stone age. Many of whom are looking to provide upper-management with data on who, where and how their residents are using their tools”, said Will Cadell, the CEO of Maptiks.

Recently they worked closely with a municipality in British Columbia that is home to 70,000 residents. The City of Prince George’s Geospatial Department were tasked to build a web map application, accessible online, for their ongoing public roadway rehabilitation and sidewalk construction. Their goal was to drive local residents to their application and keep them informed on the cities construction plans.

“What happened next was really quite surprising” says Will Cadell, “they launched their application and saw a really high engagement rate. But more interestingly, their call center logs decreased because the locals were getting their information from the app.”

Maptiks for ArcGIS Online is really just a response to upper-management and geospatial developers who couldn’t get insightful data out of their web maps. Unfortunately, standard analytics tools simply do not work with ArcGIS Online. So Maptiks came up with a solution and recreated the standard ArcGIS web map app templates with their proprietary tracking technology that records all visitors and click based events.

Maptiks is ultimately about saving development time and gaining insight, Cadell explains that the impacts will be broader. “It’s an investment [from the organization] in being data-driven,” he says. If they start tracking users, they make it really easy to optimize for better conversions and it provides concrete metrics for success. “Maptiks removes a barrier to using the analytics they should be using, but simply can’t, because of implementation challenges; we’ve built an easy button for web map analytics” he says.

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