In 2000, I had a ‘little do you know’ notion to strike out on my own and try my hand at a business. The LeadDog part of the business name was simple: Being based in Alaska, a northern theme was a natural.
The Consulting part, that was less obvious. Honestly, the consulting part was an initial attempt at being a business generalist. I had some skills, having worked in the GIS industry with GDT for seven years. I started as a map technician, then became mapping manager and later building the first international mapping division of the company. I had terrific mentors at GDT (Ken Forseth, Mike Gerling & Don Cooke) and used every day as an opportunity to learn both the operational and business side. Which led me to believe I knew something and people would pay me to impart that wisdom. Consultant – that’s me.
Within the first few months of starting LeadDog and working on a couple consulting and website gigs, I thankfully turned to what I knew best: international GIS map data. And off LeadDog went. Many times we considered changing the business name to LeadDog Maps or something as uncreative as that. Made sense, mapping is what we did.
And then something started to happen in the last couple years, facilitated by fundamental change in our industry: We started to make less maps and started to solve people’s map and technical challenges. Sure map making was often at the core of the solution, and still is, but it wasn’t just license what is off the shelf and done. It was license what’s off the shelf plus something else. That something else could be custom attributes, custom layers and combining our layers with other data sets such as imagery. There were map display challenges, GPS camera field collect projects in faraway lands, language translation, data integration, programming, determine the best value/quality of 3rd party data sets, discover new and unique data sets, etc.
I look around today and still see mapping but mostly see a staff helping solve real business challenges. We may grow into that Consulting part of our name after all!
Let us know how we can help you. It may surprise you what a bunch of mappers evolving into problem solving “consultants” can do.