GIS is at a crossroads. And its been there for the longest time. The technology has a long history with deep roots in the public sector. Technical advances with mobile and cloud are driving change. Finally GIS has come out of its shell. Is technology the driver or demand? That is a good question.
Is GIS Groaning to Move Away from its Traditional Roots?
As we discuss this question:Is GIS Groaning to Move Away from its Traditional Roots? let’s first consider the then and now. Traditional GIS is map focused, centred on 3 elements: desktop, server and web. See the diagram below:
Cloud based GIS connects these elements. Simple right? Disruptive definitely.
What are the implications of cloud GIS? Reading others discussions i come across words like: sharing, collaboration, simplicity. All very true. I actually wrote, a number of years ago in this blog, that cloud GIS is about GIS anyplace, anytime, in the office or out of the office. I now read variations on that statement. That truly is at the core of cloud GIS. But traditional thinking and approaches to GIS persist. We continue to hear the following:
Isn’t GIS mapping technology?
I’m comfortable with desktop GIS, cloud based GIS is confusing and a leap into the unknown.
Why should we move off of web and server GIS, our user community are satisfied?
The benefits of cloud GIS are considerable, but adoption demands a different mind-set, a new set of skills, a wider view of the applications of GIS technology. Though we wont cover that here, there is no doubt also business reasons as to why GIS is groaning to move away from its traditional roots. But we believe adopting cloud GIS in place of traditional GIS requires hand holding. Realising the possibilities of cloud GIS, implementing solutions across groups and departments, dispelling myths will not happen organically. The picture needs painting of the possibilities. We’ve changed our business practices to provide this need. Through our from Where to There process we have developed a holistic approach to moving organizations forward with GIS: from a mapping technology to business problem solving.
Want to better use GIS to solve organizational problems? Contact us on 801-733-0723.