Common Myths about Telematics

In a world where it’s difficult to distinguish between fake news and real news, telematics or black-box insurance is struggling to gain confidence of car owners and fleet managers.

I have earlier discussed at length what Telematics is and what the various benefits and drawbacks of going for telematics insurance are.Today I’ll try to bust some common myths prevailing about this new age motor insurance policy.

Telematics was touted as next big thing in Insurance business and was considered to be a win-win solution for insurers and customers. A device which cuts down your insurance premium and rewards you for good driving habits!! Isn’t it the best solution for customers trying to save their hard earned money?? Well it is, but having a black box fitted into your vehicle, monitoring your driving history creeps out even the most optimistic of the lot.

Telematics Myth 1: Black-Box data will be utilised to penalise drivers who have crossed their stated mileage

The basic concept of Pay-as- you-drive insurance is to ensure that if you drive approximately up to your pre-stated mileage you will not be required to pay extra premium and if you drive more than that an extra top-up would be required to be paid. But if your telematics reads more mileage then you can always get it amended. Telematics is especially rewarding for customers who like to use their secondary vehicle for few getaways each year.

Telematics Myth 2: Insurers may randomly charge customers who drive rash or over speed

A good driving pattern over a period of time can be rewarding under this scheme but over speeding occasionally or hard braking won’t affect your premium. Telematics is there to reward good behaviour and not to penalise randomly.

Telematics Myth 3: It will be used as surveillance device to track customer’s location

I know this is the biggest concern for every customer thinking of getting a black box fit in their vehicles, but unlike the common perception insurers don’t want to track where you are travelling. They want to understand how you drive so that they can offer you the best possible discounts of motor premium quotes.

Telematics Myth 4: It will relay the data to police in case over speeding is observed

Yes this is another of the concerns but in reality nothing of this sort is done nor is the telematics device configured to relay such signals. Telematics data can be used by law enforcing agencies only in case of serious incident or an official enquiry is made.

Telematics Myth 5: Telematics device will mess with your car machinery and will affect your car’s warranty

The device doesn’t mess with internal machinery of your vehicle, in-fact it is plugged-into your vehicle’s diagnostic port. Car’s warranty is also not affected by installing this device.

I hope I have been able to address the misconceptions about the blackbox insurance. Read More about 10 Factors That Affect Your Car Insurance Premium

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Use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in Business

The word “business” relates to the exchange of goods and services and in turn gives profit. Now the word “profit” sounds exciting…isn’t it? So how do we make the business profitable? Ever thought of it? Well GIS has solutions.

“Business Geographics” is the area of business which uses tools and techniques pertaining to geographic ones to conduct a plethora of important tasks to the world of business.Be it retail, marketing, insurance or banking, GIS can be used anywhere because it is a tool and not any hardware or software.

Read More about basics of Geographic Information Systems.

But why should one use GIS for business?
Well let’s get into economics 101. Less cost of production means more profit. 80% of business data is location based and GIS specially works on location based data. Let me elaborate with examples.

Applications of Business Geographics:

Identifying Markets:
For example, if a teenage clothing store is considering relocation because of less profit, rolling the store could map the population of people with teenage group in its target age group in the city or area it is considering moving to. The data can then be put into a GIS and mapped using dark colors for the highest concentration families with teenage and lighter colors for those without. Once completed, the map will highlight the ideal areas for the clothing store to locate based on that factor. This important aspect in business is the identification of a target market or "customer mapping”.

Determining if a Service is needed or not
Like “customer mapping”, it’s important to locate where a service is needed to get the best possible sales numbers. Using mapping allows various types of customers to be easily identified to see if an area needs a business or service.
Take for instance, a senior center. Because this is a specialized service it is important for it to be located within an area with a high proportion of senior citizens.
By using mapping,the highest proportion of senior citizens in a city can also be easily mapped. Therefore, the area with a greater senior population would need this service more than other age groups.

Identifying Other Services in the Same Area
Another problem that sometimes occurs in business is the location of two types of service in the same area. For example if there is already a PIZZA-HUT shop in the area, a new one will not be conducive unless there are enough customers to support both.With GIS all businesses or services of a certain type in a city can be mapped. The target customers can be put on top of a layer showing current PIZZA-HUT shop locations for instance. The result would be the ideal location for a new one.

Analyzing Sales-the retail aspect:
STARBUCKS has expanded its business using GIS. NIKE has identified its customers using GIS. How? GIS helps businesses to analyze the geographic patterns in their sales. In identifying these patterns, business managers can see certain areas where people buy various products. This is important because the peaks of say, black coffee as opposed to coffee with cream, might not be recognizable any other way. By identifying such peaks through the sale of different items at several coffee houses in a chain, the manager of the chain can determine which items to carry at the different locations. In doing so, can be a profitable supply chain.

Site Selection:
A new location of WALMART Important to its site selection are incomes, community growth rates, available workers, roads, water, etc. that may be needed to produce or sell a product.By using GIS, each of these factors can be layered on top of each other. The resulting map will then highlight the best possible site based on the characteristics deemed most important by the businesses managers.
Marketing Plans All these listed above (minus site selection) aid in the creation of marketing plans. Once a business is setup, it is important to be able to advertise to its “target market” in an efficient manner. The efficient sale of products and offering of services to the population is an important part of the world’s economy. In using maps, the notion is reinforced that maps make excellent graphical tools.

Read More:
Advantages and Disadvantages of EDI
What is covered under Car Insurance?
How Start-ups can survive financial crisis

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Benefits of Geographic Information Systems in Healthcare

We never want the noise of the ambulance haunt ourselves or our dear ones, right? But unfortunately we all have fallen sick at some point in our life.Sometimes the sickness became severe and led us to hospitals and there came the rush and the tension to find the right hospital and doctor. No I am not trying to make you melancholic by bringing back those memories which were equivalent to nightmares. I am just making you more knowledgeable about how the next time you will panic less while finding a hospital or a doctor in your area. Do you know how many doctors are there in your city? What do they specialize in? How far are they from your house? Well I can make out that ‘question mark’ face of yours. The busy world of ours has made us so ‘busy’ that we sometimes don’t even know what is our neighbor up to.

So here are certain questions that people ask:

  • Where's my Doc?
  • Can one Map Patients, Provide their Locations & Find the Closest Doctors?
  • How can one find the Right Doctors?

Making decisions based on geography is very basic to human thinking. By understanding geography and people's relationship to “location”, we can make sound decisions about the way we live on this planet. A GIS is a technological tool for comprehending geography and making intelligent decisions. GIS organizes geographic data so that a person reading a map can select data necessary for a specific task. A GIS MAP IS INTERACTIVE and has a table of contents that allows the reader to add layers of information to a base map of real-world locations. A good GIS program is able to process the geographic data from a variety of sources and integrate it into a map project.

Read More about GIS and how it works

GIS Healthcare, Applications of GIS, Geoinformation System
How Geographic Information System (GIS) works

Since the ancient times, the importance of location in outbreak and treatment of diseases has been paramount necessity. While in the times of Hippocrates, physicians found out that people living near water would be more prone to malaria than those in drier areas.
In 1854, London suffered a severe cholera outbreak. No one knew how it spread from one person to the other. Some physicians believed that cholera spread through miasmas, bad air and bad smells but Dr John Snow thought otherwise. He plotted the distribution of deaths.On map of London the water well on Broad Street was apparently responsible for hundreds of cholera attacks in a ten-day period. Dr Snow asked the local authorities to immediately remove the water pump’s handle. As soon as this was done, the number of cholera deaths was dramatically reduced. Dr Snow’s work stands out as the first case where geography and maps were utilized to understand the spread of a disease. That’s how first ever disease map was drawn.

How geo-spatial technology helps healthcare?

The use of location in modern health care finds roots in public health information or PHI. It means the application of information science and technology to public health practice and research and better public health information leads to improved health geomatics… thus making GIS relevant and useful in health care. Primarily, it is applied in the areas of epidemiology, public health and medical geography. Spatial data is used to establish the correlation, between location and health, and layers of useful information are added to show a relationship with local factors using a GIS.
Healthcare professionals across the globe are using geo-spatial technology as a weapon in their fight against dreaded diseases. What’s happening with swine flu? Where is it spreading? What is the severity? Is it in nursing homes or elsewhere? This really interferes with our ability to protect people isn’t it?


  • World Health Organization has also come up with a dengue map for the country which not only talks about the number of cases but also predicts the disease spread
  • Digital Mapping Laboratory under the Vector Control Research Centre in Pondicherry,India is using GPS to demarcate areas affected by dengue or malaria by interpretation of the multi-spectral and multi-temporal satellite sensors data for mapping the mosquito breeding habitats. This helps in understanding the severity of the disease spread and in evaluating the pressure on healthcare facilities and resources in the area.
  • “The Global Polio Eradication Initiative”, a public-private partnership led by national governments and spearheaded by the WHO, Rotary International, US CDC and UNICEF, is aggressively using geo-spatial technology to gauge the effectiveness of the Short Interval Additional Dose approach in vaccination drives.

The revenue of this sector exceeded $320 billion in the United States. They are discovering that GIS can help them address these issues. As the industry matures, a growing number of its clients are demanding more sophisticated health plans. Patients feel their providers should be close at hand. Physicians within preferred provider networks want more control over the number of patients they are asked to treat.
Patient Access, an application developed by GeoHealth Incorporated, an Esri business partner, is used by managed care companies to make sure that patients are close to their physicians, and the ratio of patients to physicians is constant throughout a given health care network.The application displays the geographical relationships between a client's employees and the network of physicians that the provider has to offer.It is now being used by medical groups, hospitals, government entities, consultants, and businesses to map the locations of patients and physicians. GeoHealth used ArcView GIS to create PatientAccess.

GIS is proving itself to be a useful tool in the evaluation of health care networks nationwide. With the integration of GIS in the health care industry and the development of applications one can optimise and refine their health plans. So we can hope that the ambulances serve us on time just like the pizza delivery system.

Read More:
Application of GIS and remote sensing in modern transport system
GIS application in Natural Resource Management
GIS for Land-use and housing management
GIS and aquatic science

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Use of GIS in Military

                                                   PROTECTING THE BORDERS
Every night we close our eyes peacefully knowing that our house is secured, it’s locked, there is security guard, and most importantly family is with us. But many are not that fortunate. Reviewing the present situation in the Middle Eastern countries like Iraq and Syria, it makes me think how cruel mankind can be. Actually wars have never been a solution for anything: it’s like a loop: a loop (if you know programming you will be familiar with the term) goes on and on until the condition is false. Wars have no borders, no gender, no religion or age. It’s mankind that has created them, divided the society into compartments of rich and poor: the haves and have-nots.

So now the condition cannot be false, i.e., we cannot make wars end: be it protecting the borders or geopolitics of resources like oil and water wars. Now that we have to live with this why not bring in some innovation in military to help us serve better for our country?
This “innovation” is brought by GIS in the world of defence and intelligence.

Read more about what is Geographic Information System (GIS) and how it works

Advantages of using GIS and its Intelligence Capabilities in Modern Military Warfare

Here are some facts we need to know about:
Homosapiens… ok don’t get worried…it means simply human beings…we... are power hungry and when we don’t get what we want we fight for it…the wrong way or the right way. Similarly in the modern day battle field, the key to victory lies not in the size of the military forces but in remaining one step ahead of your enemy. So if one can figure out where their enemy is and what his future course of action going to be like... then it will be easier to locate and defeat them. But how are we going to find them? The answer to our question is spatial information: if in a weapon system we have it with accuracy then we can take advantage of the position and make for the action plan. So the military command which has the information fast and uses it fast will be the game changer (hope you remember the situation in Gulf war in the ‘90’s by Allied forces against Iraq. Now the country with better or best technology will get the best of GIS and will attain dominance in military power on land, sea and air. Military forces use GIS in myriad ways including battle field management, cartography, intelligence, remote sensing terrain analysis, military installation management and monitoring of possible terrorist activity.

GIS plays the administrative role here. The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has large chunks of properties across the nation and their effective management is done through digital mapping by GIS. It helps in significantly reducing base operations and maintenance costs to improve the overall mission effectiveness, provide rapid modelling capabilities for analyzing alternative strategies and improve communications.

Terrain evaluation involves developing a detailed land map with information on the land use and cover, terrain modelling and proximity analysis of habitat are essential for military operations. All these details must be available to the field commander on adatum (bench mark area) to match with the equipment he uses for position fixing and communication in her/his area of operation. For all sensitive military operations gravitational information and magnetic variation are a must have. Due to the extremely critical nature of the operation, any discrepancy in this information may endanger the entire operation. If the inputs are matching with the system used for firing, target assessment can be done.Read about application of GIS in Land use management

When a submarine or any other ocean vessel sails through it must know where it is in the vast waters of the earth. The complex ocean dynamics (wave conditions, sea surface temperatures, etc.) are crucial to comprehend the situation during war time. ENC- Electronic Navigation Chart and Electronic Chart Display and Information System -ECDIS, on bridge of the vessels helps the navigator to navigate the ship safely in all weather conditions. Read about use of GIS in Marine Resource Management
The database for GIS operations is ENC and the real time GIS application in marine environment is ECDIS. Electronic Navigation Chart (ENC) has replaced the conventional paper chart, which was used for providing input for detailed information about depth, navigation, navigational and hazards aids in the area.

Like the land and sea operations it is important to have data about elevation, proximity to the civilian areas and threat from the ground. For example data regarding location of the target, its identification, possible hot spots is relayed to cockpit of aircraft. The tool used by Arc GIS is 3D ANALYST TOOL which helps in making threat envelopes (volumetric circles or spheres –high, medium and low) on the map and then decide the flight path (in the form of a corridor).Meteorological information and data which enhances visibility, and warns them of possible change, which may occur during an aerial war activity is also received by the pilots.

One important note that military operations are going to function properly and successfully when This additional information Is handy: like wind conditions, cloud coverage, visibility and temperature parameters are real time. Therefore, ground truth data, remote sensing.

Application of Remote Sensing in Military

A major activity which uses GIS is determining how troops can be deployed in the quickest and most effective way by understanding the terrain. This is done with GIS along with satellite imagery. This is very crucial because this way strategies with respect to positions, likely locations for scouting parties, best line of sight/fire and also the ability to hide troops and equipment are charted out.

GIS plays an important role in military logistics because it is able to move supplies, equipment, and troops wherever they are needed at the right time and place with help of digital maps.

The bottom line is that technology has revolutionized warfare. It is no more with swords and horse riding. It is about harnessing the best from our existing infrastructure and using it intelligently for war-fare by forming strategies and not merely the size of the enemy.

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GIS and Marine Resource Management

We have discussed what Geographic Information System (GIS) are and how they can used in Land Resource Management, in transportation and Natural Resource Management. Today we will be discussing about GIS application in Marine Ecosystem Management.

Application of Geoinformatics in marine resources:

The increase in population and fast dwindling land resources lead to tapping and exploitation of ocean resources. Exploitation of ocean resources may cause ecological imbalance. In addition to this, oceans play an important role in climatic changes, influencing monsoon that decides the economic development of many economies. Remote sensing technology is extremely useful to study and manage the ocean resources. RS and GIS applications area has extensively used this technology for the following purposes:

  • Ocean colour, wind and temperature: methodology development
  • Ship tracking and navigation studies
  • Coastal environmental studies
  • Development of irrigated fisheries forecast model
  • Surface sediment dynamics

GIS provides the resource managers with a means to integrate scientific data with prevailing cultural values and traditions. GIS allows interpretation of many terrestrial and marine datasets, fisheries catch data, seabird standings, marine political boundaries, as well land cover classification from watersheds, roads, satellite imagery, streams and political boundaries. The marine GIS have all the aspects for making it a fertile domain area for research. Further remotely sensed SST, wind and other parameters can be used to model to predict fish abundance, their habitat and related aspects.

Marine Fisheries Management and planning:

  • The objective is to encourage GIS tools to foster the sustainable use of natural resources.
  • It aims at aquatic resource managers, decision managers and fisheries biologists in developing countries that have little or no knowledge about GIS.
  • Oil and chemical spills can have widespread impacts and long term consequences to wildlife, coastal and marine habitats and human health. A GIS can assist oil and chemical pollution.
  • A GIS can provide uniform spill response.

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