In my earlier blog, “SMBs & C4ISR Marketing,” I spoke about how small and medium size business can leverage the power of satellite imagery and apply it to their business. There’s a different and maybe even better way to be a C4ISR Marketer and its origins are in my backyard in the Washington DC area…

GeoCommons allows users to “Explore, Create & Share Intelligent Maps and Geographic Data.” Imagine for maps. But it’s even better. Marketers can review an open repository of geodata gathered from government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and also uploaded by other GeoCommons users. This repository contains over 2 billion location attributes, 35 thousand variables and has already compiled 1,500 data sets with more to come. Taking the data, Marketers can create “smart” maps that can display patterns otherwise that were only hypothesized and then hand actionable intelligence to the sales force. The maps can be shared with partners too but as part of this application, unrelated organizations can take and shape the maps and data for their own purposes.Like in social networking, users can rate the maps for accuracy and content, so with time you’ll know if the map is useful or not.

GeoCommons plans to structure a paid service level which allows for privacy of data, but in the meantime, Marketers should not be afraid to take advantage of this powerful business related collaboration tool. By agreeing to their terms of use and understanding that their community may be also using the data, marketers can upload their data and start using Geocommons very quickly. GeoCommons supports the same KML or KMZ formats supported by Google Earth or ESRI’s Shapefile format.

If you want to add data in Excel, there are a number of conversion resources you can use prior to upload.According to their website, GeoCommons is built on FortiusOne’s GeoIQ Web Services platform, which organizations can use to build rich geodata visuals into their own applications. Signing up for a free account on GeoCommons, automatically gets you a GeoIQ API key to use.I am so impressed by their idea and would like to hear back from you if you’ve used it. C4ISR Marketing is here to stay.

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