To Increase Geospatial Adoption Across the Enterprise, Build Your GIS Brand

When I think of the term enterprise GIS, I often think of the USS Enterprise from the popular American television series Star Trek. Many of the things GIS managers focus on are like stoking the matter-antimatter reactors with dilithium crystals to power the Enterprise. For GIS managers, maintaining data, filling in metadata, updating software, and customizing apps keep an organization’s enterprise GIS running smoothly.

But GIS managers have a responsibility to ensure that the key decision-makers up on the bridge and all the stakeholders who work within the enterprise know the value of GIS. Of course, GIS managers understand the benefits of the technology, whether they work for a local, state, provincial, or federal government agency; a nonprofit; or a private company. But elected officials, public works managers, company directors, warehouse supervisors, and budget analysts don’t necessarily get it.

If key decision-makers don’t know how GIS supports their business functions, then they need to be educated. That’s a job for GIS managers.

Core Competencies for Promoting GIS

Like any geospatial operation, promoting GIS requires a structured project management approach. The Geospatial Management Competency Model (GMCM) from the United States Department of Labor outlines specific competencies that are useful to employ when promoting GIS. These competencies include communication, relationship management, business development, and political skills.

Here are six ideas for how to apply some of these competencies:

Additional Resources for GIS Managers

There are many great resources available to help GIS managers develop their brand and marketing competencies. Those include the following:

Effective marketing and business development can help enterprise GIS “boldly go where no [GIS] has gone before!”


About the author

Greg Babinski

Greg Babinski, GISP, is a GIS management consultant and founder of GIS Management Consulting Services, LLC. From 1998 to 2021, he served as GIS manager, GIS finance manager, and GIS marketing and business development manager for the King County GIS Center in Seattle, Washington. Previously, he was a GIS mapping supervisor for the East Bay Municipal Utility District in Oakland, California. For more information, email Babinski at