Location intelligence

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Location intelligence (LI) is the process of deriving meaningful insight from geospatial data relationships to solve a particular problem. It involves layering multiple data sets spatially and/or chronologically, for easy reference on a map, and its applications span industries, categories and organizations It is generally agreed that more than 80% of all data has a location element to it and that location directly affects the kinds of insights that you might draw from many sets of information. Maps have been used to represent information throughout the ages, but what might be referenced as the first example of true location 'intelligence' was in London in 1854 when John Snow was able to debunk theories about the spread of cholera by overlaying a map of the area with the location of water pumps and was able to narrow the source to a single water pump. This layering of information over a map was able to identify relationships, and in turn insights that might otherwise never have been understood. This is the core of location intelligence today.

Deploying location intelligence by analyzing data using a geographical information system (GIS) within business is becoming a critical core strategy for success in an increasingly competitive global economy. Location or GIS tools enable spatial experts to collect, store, analyze and visualize data. Location intelligence experts are defined by their advanced education in spatial technology and applied use of spatial methodologies.

Location intelligence experts can use a variety of spatial and business analytical tools to measure optimal locations for operating a business or providing a service.Location intelligence experts begin with defining the business ecosystem which has many interconnected economic influences. Such economic influences include but are not limited to culture, lifestyle, labor, healthcare, cost of living, crime, economic climate and education.

The term Location Intelligence is often used to describe the people, data and technology employed to geographically “map” information. These mapping applications can transform large amounts of data into color-coded visual representations that make it easy to see trends and generate meaningful intelligence. The creation of location intelligence is directed by domain knowledge, formal frameworks, and a focus on decision support.

Location Intelligence is also used to describe the integration of a geographical component into Business Intelligence processes and tools, often incorporating Spatial Database and spatial OLAP tools.

In 2012, Dr. Wayne Gearey from the commercial real estate industry was selected to offer the first applied course on Location Intelligence at the University of Texas at Dallas. In this course, Dr. Gearey defines location intelligence as the process for selecting the optimal location that will support workplace success and address a variety of business and financial objectives.

Commercial Applications[edit]

Today, Location Intelligence is used by a broad range of industries to improve overall business results. Applications include:


See also[edit]