Saturday, March 04, 2006

GIS in Future

These days, it's important to prospect about the future since the investment made in some product or application, must be the most useful as possible. Therefore, what are in my opinion the big tasks to become accomplished in a GIS software in future?

I believe GIS is going to have a huge impact when finally provides a full 3-D environment allowing developers to usufruct of it's framework. There are being developed algorithms that helps optimizing spatial analysis tasks in a 3-D environment, but I believe that with the current computers speed, only in the next years will achieve a new GIS platform.

As comunicating with XML (Extensive Markup Language) as assuming a huge rule on Web Services using an internet protocol like for instance http, I believe that even more we'll replace desktop application's for web browsers. Nevertheless, desktop applications we'll allways be needed when running complex processes wich take to much time to process spatial data.

Another interesting task, is to provide a browser interaction with the features, replacing the image for a vector graphic. ESRI as announced that will support Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) on top of the ArcGIS 9.2 software platform(new release). SVG is a language for describing graphics in XML.

Finally, a little comment about open source GIS. In the last 5 years, open source as been growing and assuming an important role on the GIS community. I believe it will still continue to grow and will provide in the next 2 years all basic GIS functionality. Nevertheless, don't be mistaken, the choice for an open source GIS product is a very difficult choice, and most of the cases leads us to an obsolete platform.

While on standard IT technology we still count on the millions of open source developers around the world, when it comes to specific GIS functionalities, it's hard to get things done. The choice for an open GIS software must be made very carefully understanding the advantages and disadvantages that the platform will provide specially when seeing in a long term.

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