GIS Industry trends for 2006 - GIS & Location Technology Podcast
Posted on February 10, 2006 by Farallon Geographics Team
In this Episode, a team from Farallon looks at the GIS Industry trends for 2006. Topics include:
- Autodesk GIS Web mapping server goes open source - what this means and what is their motivation.
- GIS vs Spatial Information Management (SIM) - how are they different.
- Google Earth - why is it cool and how is it transforming GIS from the realm of specialists to mainstream IT.
Autodesk and Open Source:
We all agreed that Autodesk is going the open source route for several reasons:
1) Autodesk is currently has little market share, so by going open source they can quickly grab marketshare.
2) For every 1 GIS user, there are 10-15 CAD users (Autodesk’s primary market). But open sourcing, Autodesk can move some of the CAD users to explore GIS
3) By tapping in to the open source developer community, Autodesk can accelerate their development and quickly add new features.
GIS vs Spatial Information Management (SIM):
For the most part we agreed that this is just new jargon for existing technology, motivated by the authors allegiances to products and companies. However there were some interesting differences we discussed.
1) GIS is analysis of spatial relationships between raw data sets, and the accompanying cartography and maps
2) SIM is broader covering everything from the tools used to obtain the raw data (including GPS, datatables, RFID, etc), to how to store and process the raw data to how to present it to the user.
3) SIM is primarily about data and data management, while GIS is primarily about analysis. But GIS can be considered a subset of of the broadest definition of SIM.
Google Earth and how it is shaking up the GIS industry:
We will talk about this topic more in future podcasts, but we just wanted to briefly look at why Google Earth is making such waves in the GIS industry
1) Google Earth put a magnifying glass on location technology. With all of the various Google Earth/Google Maps mashups, users at all experience levels are beginning to learn about the ubiquity and importance of location information
2) Google Earth makes mapping and spatial analysis entertaining - it is 3D and easily navigable.
3) Maps and even 2D aerial photos are difficult for most people to understand. 3D really improves the comprehensibility.
4) Google Earth allows for specific subsets of GIS functionality. A mashup is not as flexible as a GIS, but it does the one or two things it is supposed to do, very well.
5) Because the Google Earth API is so accessible, developing location mashups can become a community activity, where individuals can contribute.