04 March 2008

The GIS Effect

The current issue of Government Technology Magazine was a cover story on what they call, The CSI Effect. In a nutshell, the article describes how TV shows have conditioned the general public, particularly juries, to expect world class incontestable DNA data now before they'll convict.
If we watch enough TV, we'll assume that a CSI can conduct a DNA test at the crime scene in 30 seconds or that they can carry a small chromatograph to field test for obscure chemical compounds. They can't. But the raised expectations have become so common that the CSI effect even has its own Wikipedia entry.

So, it all gets me wondering about the GIS effect. I mean, anyone can make a decent map in MapQuest, find hidden away spots on GoogleEarth, or overlay data in i-Map, right? So surely the professionals can do much more, better, faster, etc. And when you watch that action movie, the FBI has a giant control center in all of the major cities with giant projection screens and dynamic maps tracking the bad guys and routing the gods. Right? So I imagine that people expect that their government can do all of that, and are disappointed by anything less. What do you think of the GIS effect?

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