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Desktop vs Enterprise GIS

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P Riggs

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I am curious about what level of GIS cartographers are using. There seems to be a big push in the enterprise GIS market, but how many of you are using that level? I have always been partial to desktop GIS, probably because that is what I learned. But maybe, too, because I don't want to have to administer a complex database (PostgreSQL or Oracle) as an additional item on my to-do list.
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ArcGIS 9.2 with ArcSDE/ArcGIS Server. I wouldn't call that enterprise GIS really, most of the operations are still on the desktop. The database server is a data library and is also used for online/interactive maps, presented through ArcIMS.
Hugo Ahlenius
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Our shop is a little different. ;) I guess I'd have to call our system "enterprise" since it all works on servers, using a combination of SQL/Oracle and Perl/Linux. Our system is home-grown and we call it CAMPS (Census Automated Map Production System). We need to produce thousands, sometimes millions, of maps for numerous operations leading up to, including, and following the decennial census. As you can imagine, we don't actually see most of the maps that we produce: mainly prototypes and problem maps. We do use ArcMap for some small jobs, and until very recently we also used ArcINFO workstation for some projects.
Andy McIntire
US Census Bureau

James Hines

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It comes down to experience & how much money do you have and/or are willing to spend. Personally I have chosen a desktop because 1) I'm new to the industry, & 2) cost effectiveness.

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Hans van der Maarel

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Desktop GIS (Manifold/Global Mapper/FME), I don't see the need for going 'Enterprise' when I am the entire company ;)

Though I have set up a local MySQL spatial database to hold some oft-used data, as well as some other business-related stuff, but that's currently more for the convenience factor than an actual need.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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David T

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The Marine Corps used to be desktop, but we've moved to an almost completely server environment.

Obviously, the answer is going to be different for different organizations. As you can imagine, we've got hundreds of users, spread out over a very large area. It made sense for us to manage everything in a server environment, including ArcGIS. That is launched through Citrix. We manage all of our licenses via our Citrix farm.

We've got two primary systems - one on the west coast, and one on the east coast. It's worked very well for us.
David Toney, GISP
GIS Manager
United States Marine Corps
West Coast Installations

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