GIS in the Rockies keynote was delivered this year by Peter Batty (think Ubisense). With a conference theme, “Endless Opportunities for the Future” Batty, discussed how GIS has traditionally been a specialized “backroom” technology, although that is now changing and GIS coming out of the closet. As an example, Batty discussed Google maps and G Earth, fine examples of disruptive technology (see Clayton Christensen “The innovators dilemma”) and for the most part, consumer driven innovation. As the technology [and industry] go mainstream though, Batty points out how many have the following perception: “But these are simple systems and not real GIS”. Batty went on to discuss and provide examples of the new era of GIS and Geospatial technology with particular focus on the web, open source, usability and the power of the crowd. The following are some key items that I picked up on during the presentation.
- There appears to be a chasm in the industry – many GIS people don’t know about these new web2.0 apps and likewise, the newbies to Geo aren’t aware of the true GIS capabilities
- Public [mainstream users] are now embracing systems like Ubisense. A simple intuitive UI
and Integration of Google maps functionality and combines complex GIS data behind the scenes along with the simplicity of Google.
- If a dataset on the web is in a format that cant be indexed by Gogole does it make a sound
- Rules for usability… do usability testing!! Put the app in front of a user, shutup, watch
- The Cloud is here! Save BIG by leveraging these economies of scale – take advantage of the infrastructures provided by google and Amazon [pay for what you use] an example, using Google app engine at a cost of $5 day and get 43.2 million web requests in return.
- But is the cloud secure? Yes its can be very secure…eg. Salesforce, Amazon, gMail – great examples of safe services running in the cloud.
- The beauty of running your service in the cloud, look at Google Maps as an example where google maps had 400 releases in its first 4 years – all updated seamlessly and without any affect on the users.
- We need Geospatial tech to make sense of it all
- OSM quality is beyond good enough in quality!
- Location sensing technology is so pervasive
Web 1.0 – publishing
Web 2.0 – collaboration
- Tomtom making real time traffic available via speed database – we have the ability to know where everyhting is and what is happening all the time
- LBS are real at last!
- In general, traditional GIS apps tend to be too complex.
- Time for the cloud is here (economies of scale)
- We’re seeing big changes in the nature of geospatial – multi-media, interactive
- The power of the crowd!
Batty touched on many of these topics in his presentation delivered at Ignite Spatial NOCO 2