Friday, May 6, 2016

David Vs. Goliath

In the world of GIS-based data management systems myObservatory is the David. There is a Goliath out there. And they are very good at what they do. 
The other day I was strolling among the booths in a major international conference. I saw Goliath’s booth. There were about 5 sales people there. They were very nice and informative and helpful. But it made me think: who is paying for all this? Obviously, it is the client who pays for this. When you buy Goliath’s product, you pay for a lot of very expensive overhead. We do not have a fancy headquarters. We do not have a network of offices all over the world. We rarely participate in conferences. 

Goliath is extraordinary powerful equipment with a lot of tools in their arsenal. It struck me that many of the tools will only be used by the giants: major corporations, government agencies, etc.  We have many of the tools that Goliath has, but not all. The question is, when you purchase from Goliath, do you need to pay for the tools the giants use? For example, when is the last time you used a geostatistical package? In fact, why should you pay for it when there are many geostatistics packages out there that are free (e.g., R has a wonderful geostatistics package).  Do you need to pay for the development of expensive, basin-scale hydrological response models that, in all likelihood, you will never use? When you do, will you will need consultants who are already paying for all this or have in-house, proprietary tools?) As an hydrologist, I can assure you, there is no standard, plug-and-play, hydrological model. There is an appropriate time to turn to Goliath, but for a large number of casual GIS users and professionals who work in a specific subject area, Goliath is an overkill. 
So, a few questions to you, our reader:

If you are a professional (teacher, environmentalist, architect, engineer, park ranger, or citizen scientist), and not part of a mega-organization: do you need to pay for Goliath? Desktop users have a variety of free or low-cost tools to choose from for desktop-based data creation, and myObservatory could serve you well for your data sharing, management, and web access needs. myObservatory Mobile could serve you well for in-field data collection.

If you are a traveler or an explorer, wishing to document your travel with a nice, very well organized set of GPS-tagged and dated pictures with notes, do you need to pay for Goliath? We could do that for you, for a monthly price of a coffee and doughnut. 

If you wish to visualize your data, see a timeline, or generate charts of your data, do you need Goliath? This is easy to do on myObservatory. 

If you are a farmer, wanting to document your activities, to archive pictures of your fields so that you can remind yourself how your field looked before and after and over as many years as you have data, do you need to pay for sales offices all over the world? 

Want to have a seamless mobile-web connectivity? We have it. Why pay for sending sales people to conferences?  

Need to share data with all your stakeholders with differentiated access privileges? We can do it for you. No need to pay the salary of a CEO and c-suite officers, and of dozens of thought leaders. 
My suggestion: myObservatory is tailored for your world. Pay for the tools you need, at the price you can afford. Really. Check out here:
Write to me at, and I will convince you we can do all that.. and more. 
And if you managed to read all the way to here: you deserve a shot at our free myObservatory Mobile. Download it and have fun


  1. I love it. Surely makes sense.

  2. As of July 26, 2016, we offer myObservatory for free for non-profits. Also, single-user accounts are also free of charge.