Saturday, March 04, 2006

GIS Today

As today we're getting used to see GIS applied essentially in displaying maps, we must realize that we'te not using the full potential of GIS capabilities. It is also wrong to assume that this is what gives more profit.

A geographic information system can provide full capabilities in such different areas (Remote Sensing, Urbanism, Medicin, etc) that to limit it in browsing maps sounds sometimes offensive.
Modelling reality phenomenons like traffic noise, predicting fire evolution or even the spills of petroliferous oil are some of the important topics that we can study using GIS.

Nevertheless, here in Portugal the investment in this area is very poor and when it happens it's wasted in an isolated information system with no future of becoming updated. There isn't today a conscience of building a GIS model to be used in a long term.

We have today several complex application's built in ArcView GIS 3.x (ESRI) that needs an investment to become updated to the new object models. There is a huge effort to be done here.

At 1990, since the appearence of object oriented programming (OOP), it was clear that OO (object-oriented) language had arrived to stay. But, even so, as usual, many application's where built knowing that they would become exceeded in a quite few years.

Four years ago, with the first appearence of ArcGIS 8.1 wich provided also a full framework based on OO, ESRI gave a big step forward in GIS software, assuming clearly as being the leader in this area. Intergraph and some other GIS companies loses here some space.

ESRI today, provides a complete GIS software in almost all areas, supporting even browser. The top products for web developer are ArcIMS and ArcGIS Server. The information about each one of this products will be available in this blog very soon. I'll even compare each product and show the differences between them and the advantages of each one.

To use GIS locally, ESRI provides ArcGIS 9.x as a full platform, allowing the user to have a full package of GIS sofwtare. Detailed information about this products are available at Also on market, GeoMedia (Intergraph) also provides a great environment to realize some complex GIS tasks.

1 comment:

  1. If you would be a municipality trying to put together a socio-demographic digital map, with information that could be filled-in by different partners, and publish it over the internet, for the general public, what would you choose: Geomedia or ESRI products?

    Ana Vasilache