Monday, April 17, 2006

Future of GIS

“Currently, GIS is being implemented on the Internet with simple Web mapping technologies. Such recent advances as the Google Earth 3D visualization environment are simply extending map-viewing capabilities in this traditional manner. But as the GIS server architecture takes hold, we will see leveraging of the Web 2.0 environment for integration and the linking of a whole multitude of distributed services, as well as the development of a whole new generation of embedded applications that will make use of these services. This new architecture will support both existing and new workflows that will lead to improvements in how information is integrated and used to support multi-agency/multi-organization collaboration.

To realize the full potential of service-oriented architecture with geoservices, certain procedures and protocols will have to be implemented, including standardization of data models, creation of interoperability procedures (Extract, Transform, and Load and related technology), implementation of GIS portals and collaborative agreements, willingness among public and private entities to collaborate and share information, and the further development of the underlying fundamental technology. This new generation of geoservices will enable a new type of synergistic relationship between groups and agencies with data and services going back and forth between them.

Interoperability is a key aspect of expanded use of spatial information. Interoperability standards will ensure open access to geospatial content and the ability to integrate multiple geoservices and better integrate geoservices with the rest of the IT infrastructure (enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, and so on). I am personally very excited about what is about to happen. While political leadership and knowledgeable GIS professionals are essential to make this vision a reality, emerging technology, such as full GIS servers, will be the key to creating the system-of-systems capabilities. Future services will include image processing, maps and visualizations, globe services, geocoding and gazetteer services, real-time tracking services, terrain services, as well as metadata catalog services, which is the key for discovery and portal integration.” Jack Dangermond, President and Founder, ESRI

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