We came up to the idea that most of the medium-sized GIS companies in Romania have reached a certain way of thinking. Most of these companies have had a quite big contract for their possibilities with a big management or a wealthy client and they used all their expertise, work force and the software in order to work on a superjob, which normally had an extra-price. Now, after they cashed the money for their work, these companies do not find anymore a client who wants to know all the layers of vectorial information in the town they made or find clients with smaller possibilities or who are not interested in the precision level of centimeters they reached at the moment of the measurements. These companies make the mistake of asking the same price they did to their first client, as if they are supposed to start from scratch with measurements and the vectorials and the approvals� As if some money, less in number, to be exact, wouldn�t be good for them…
GIS information, unlike the wine in the wine-cellar, has the big disadvantage that it perish: here comes a mayor and sets kerbs and train ways on the streets, here is a rich guy and makes a wonderful skyscraper in the historic center, etc., etc. At a higher level, this fact is well-known and there are resources especially set for upgrading them annually. I have the impression that Romania is the country where cadastre in an area is started from scratch almost every year, sometimes with the same companies and almost every time there has to be a hit to our State or local budget and to our hopes for a better future. One year, there is the forest cadastre, in another, the water cadastre, in another cadastre for transport, energy, water, gas, cadastre on different types of soils, etc, etc. After this, the result is proprietary information, disguised many times as a working secret, with tough dues, obtained on public money, sold by private companies.
I never had the illusion that big GIS companies in Romania will participate in this project. For a big company there has to be a big wallet and that�s obviously not happening with us. Moreover, big companies go along with big clients, which are a few and with sinuous approaching methods and who do not need to promote themselves or to sell cheap but quality products to the masses. Somehow, the idea of masses, cheap and quality all together makes them itch and they prefer ignoring the opportunities in this segment. I really hope that small and medium-sized GIS companies won�t make the same mistake. For they do not sit at the tables of the VIPs and it is a shame to lose by non-presentation or un-knowledge a quality work to the budget of which we all contributed, voluntarily or nor.
Project Manager � Digital Romania Project
Bucharest � October the 5th 2004