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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Would you consider cloud computing the next disruptive technology for the geospatial tech sector? In an article published by ZDNet, the author, Ric Telford, explains that, in general, cloud computing " is not a disruptive technology in and of itself, but a disruptive IT delivery model which leverages key technology ideas (like grid computing, utility computing and Software as a Service) to deliver IT in a much more efficient model. Because of this, cloud computing has undeniable characteristics of a truly disruptive innovation."

If we look, then, at the geospatial tech sector, cloud computing may become disruptive in the way we deliver and store data, at least at first, followed by applications. Geospatial technology is a notorious data hog and as such continuously fighting for more storage. While today we look for technologies that will compress and then decompress data (think, LiDAR point clouds), the future may present us with better, cloud-based options, especially from some of the satellite data providers. And why wouldn’t they become a cloud provider for all data, not just remotely-sensed information?

Also, as we discussed yesterday in our podcast, we understand that IT managers do not have the bandwidth to "do it all." Because of the shift of geospatial technology management from the backroom and siloed fiefdom of the geospatial techy to the CIO, the CIO now has to outsource some services that they may have once believed to be solely under their control. It’s just makes better business sense to move some services to the cloud.

Telford believes that cloud computing is "an effective service acquisition and delivery model for IT resources, and if properly implemented within an overall technology strategy, cloud computing can help improve overall business performance while controlling the costs of distributing IT resources to the organization." The point of departure for me about this statement is that I don’t believe most IT departments have thought this far ahead. I think Telford may be right, but which services move to the cloud and which are better managed internally will be a battle fraught with both political and technological significance.

by Joe Francica on 08/12 at 11:08 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

This from Marc Cheeves coverage of the ESRI UC and Survey and Engineering Summit in The American Surveyor:

For years, ESRI has pleaded with software manufacturers to create a direct link from ArcPad to the ESRI geodatabase, ArcServer. To that end, he mentioned the new JAVAD GNSS ArcPad extension for handhelds. ArcPad is one of ESRI’s field tools, and is used to gather GIS locations.

At the recent ESRI Developers Conference in Palm Springs, Javad Ashjaee met with Dangermond and Jones. On a napkin, they developed the workflow, and in three months, Javad’s software engineers—along with an ESRI software engineer sent to Moscow from Egypt—kicked out the new extension. ESRI is very excited about this development because it means, for the first time, office people can benefit, real-time, from what is going on in the field.

Two things strike me about this story. First, if ESRI was really begging for a connection from ArcPAD to the ESRI geodatabase, would that not be a good reason to speed up development of that promised API? Second, some things do start on a napkin and with the right people can get to “market” (at least for a demo) in 3 months.

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/12 at 06:56 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The city has already been sued over 911 incidents where personnel could not find addresses, so the plan is to “clean things up.” Among the concerns:

- Duplicate addresses. Now there’s “a 600 Georgia Avenue downtown and one on Signal Mountain.”

- “Sound-alike streets, including Ingle, Engel and Engle.”

One of the more interesting suggestions which could leave similarly named intact but remove doubt: “Councilwoman Sally Robinson recommended for streets with similar names to make sure there are no duplicate street numbers. For example, she said Glenwood Circle could have the 100s, Glenwood Drive the 200s and Glenwood Avenue the 300s.”

- The Chattanoogan

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/12 at 06:37 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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