Jump to content

 
Photo

GIS for the masses

- - - - -

  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1
Hans van der Maarel

Hans van der Maarel

    CartoTalk Editor-in-Chief

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,884 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Netherlands
  • Interests:Cartography, GIS, history, popular science, music.
  • Netherlands

Something that has been running through my head for a while now, and something I'd like to get your opinions on too...

Over the past few months, there's been a tremendous rise in the popularity of GIS. Not just amoung the techies, but amoung the general audience as well. Obviously this is largely due to Google. Google Maps and Google Earth have brought web-based mapping so close and made it so easy that everybody seems to be doing it now.

The part of this that appeals the most to me is the web-based mapping. Prior to Google, it was always somewhat difficult. You'd have to get a server, with the appropriate software. Set it up correctly, fill it with data... yada yada yada. Now with Google Maps, you don't have to worry about all that anymore, you can focus on the data. I've published a few tutorials on the subject, got loads of questions by lots of people and a few requests for price quotes.

Some samples:
Dynamic route maps for Ferienregio Vinschgau
My own holiday photos
Podmapper (not by me, but they used the tutorial)
Podcastdirectory (ditto)

The list of interesting/cool Google Maps sites is endless. Several of them have been reported here as well, check the links section. In fact, the member map of Cartotalk is a Google Maps application.

Google Earth is rapidly turning into a tool for desktop-mapping. One of my clients had me do some research into the usefulness for this purpose. I can't show the results yet, but do check out this site: City of Nanaimo, experimental GIS.

I've already caught myself using GE several times as a reference for the positional accuracy of data. Heck, even my dad uses it...

So what are your thoughts on this?
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#2
franciscocartographer

franciscocartographer

    Key Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 58 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Phoenix, Arizona
  • Interests:Maps, FC Barcelona, Cadiz CF, Phoenix Suns, Hiking
  • United States

Hans:

This is indeed a great topic. My opinion is that thanks to GE more people are realizing the power of location. This will lead to more GIS related demand and as a result a fantastic opportunity for new developments.

Web based GIS is the present and immediate future, and specially Google mapping applications has make it more accessible to everyone. I personally use GE as a general secondary source for deriving location maps and calculating distances. But I am really looking forward to learning the web based application side. The Google maps api users group have over 4,000 members so that tells me something about the potential of this web tool.

I am really looking forward on reading others opinions and experiences about this topic.

Thanks.
--------------------------------------
Francisco Jimenez, GISP
Senior GIS Analyst & Amateur Cartographer

My webpage

#3
frax

frax

    Hall of Fame

  • Associate Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,310 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Stockholm, Sweden
  • Interests:music, hiking, friends, nature, photography, traveling. and maps!
  • Sweden

(that photo of yours, hans, from stockholm - it is not far from my office!)
Hugo Ahlenius
Nordpil - custom maps and GIS
http://nordpil.com/
Twitter

#4
Hans van der Maarel

Hans van der Maarel

    CartoTalk Editor-in-Chief

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,884 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Netherlands
  • Interests:Cartography, GIS, history, popular science, music.
  • Netherlands

(that photo of yours, hans, from stockholm - it is not far from my office!)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I probabely came quite close to it then. We spent a whole day sightseeing there, before the FME reseller meeting in November 2003. It was quite cold at that time, around freezing, but I really liked the city.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#5
JB Krygier

JB Krygier

    Key Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 52 posts
  • Location:Columbus OH
  • United States

Over the past few months, there's been a tremendous rise in the popularity of GIS. Not just amoung the techies, but amoung the general audience as well. Obviously this is largely due to Google. Google Maps and Google Earth have brought web-based mapping so close and made it so easy that everybody seems to be doing it now.

So what are your thoughts on this?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Hans,

I think you have noted one of the most significant technological developments in
the history of mapping and GIS. Certainly the rise of computer mapping, GIS,
and graphic design software had a huge impact on the field; this technology has
been, however situated within a field of expertise (cartography, GIS) and/or based
on software that one had to purchase (and it can be quite expensive).

The Google technologies, however simple for the moment, are revolutionary in that
they are not situated in any particular field (many of the people using these apps
don't seem aware of or have much background in cartography or GIS) and the
software is not something you purchase (Google makes its $$ some other way).
This democratization of mapping and GIS will certainly create a backlash from the
experts, and is scaring the private-sector providers of desk-top mapping and GIS
software.

Some curious consequences:

- mapping, cartography, and GIS are all the same thing (maps and the
software - complex or simple - that generates them): these jargonistic
terms are not that important to the 'masses.'

- the potential for very creative applications and ideas will grow as people
not weighed down by mapping/gis traditions generate applications.

- the potential for huge problems will grow as people not informed by
mapping/gis knowledge generate applications.

- a generation of people used to mapping out stuff and thinking about
all sorts of things in a spatial context is upon us; this bodes well for
geography and anyone involved in mapping.

John K.

#6
Hans van der Maarel

Hans van der Maarel

    CartoTalk Editor-in-Chief

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,884 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Netherlands
  • Interests:Cartography, GIS, history, popular science, music.
  • Netherlands

More proof: I just saw a CNN news broadcast, using GE to zoom in on areas in the news.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#7
Matthew Hampton

Matthew Hampton

    Hall of Fame

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,314 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Portland, Oregon
  • Interests:Playing in the mountains and rivers.
  • United States

I have termed this latest event (Google Earth's popularity) the "democratization of spatial information."

For too long the ability to fully embrace spatial info has been in the hands of the few who could afford a college level education, expensive computers and outrageous software prices. Now someone without any training and a cheap PC can look at and understand more fully global relationships.

I see it as geography rising from the ashes. GE will become the defacto viewer for distributing and and viewing spatial data. I also wonder if ESRI is going to embrace it or try and compete with its ArcGlobe Express? Doesn't ESRI now own Safe Corp?

co-cartographic creator of boringmaps.com


#8
Rob

Rob

    Legendary Contributor

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 418 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Kailua, Hawaii
  • Interests:anything outside.
  • United States

hans, great thread idea.

I'd hope many of us in the cart world are thinking about this. I'd also second the ideas of Krygier's post. In many (almost all) publications cart has already been folded into GIS; there has been the NACIS CP thread on "cart is dead", although I don't totally believe it. GE does seem to be one more step in that direction. I too have used GE to check out data on a national scale (US), but I've never known where their data comes from, so in my book it just serves as one of many compilation sources when despresate, if not the last. I've also found many local (Hawaii) inconsistancies/ommisions in their maps.


Perhaps a business opportunity for cartos as this industry grows? Is there a feedback loop like other Google services where we can input?


rob

#9
franciscocartographer

franciscocartographer

    Key Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 58 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Phoenix, Arizona
  • Interests:Maps, FC Barcelona, Cadiz CF, Phoenix Suns, Hiking
  • United States

http://www.geospatia...l.jsp?id=183115


... "Google Sparks Search Wars" Article.
--------------------------------------
Francisco Jimenez, GISP
Senior GIS Analyst & Amateur Cartographer

My webpage

#10
Hans van der Maarel

Hans van der Maarel

    CartoTalk Editor-in-Chief

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,884 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Netherlands
  • Interests:Cartography, GIS, history, popular science, music.
  • Netherlands

I think the whole Google Maps/Google Earth thing is definately a new opportunity for cartographers (or rather: cartographers with a GIS/programming background). I've finished one GM project (the Ferienregio Vinschgau sample) and I'm working on two others (real-estate listings in Florida and a customer map for a supplier of some kind of flow-measuring devices). All of them are very traditional applications for maps, but difficult-to-reach markets.

Granted, they're relatively small project and therefore don't make me that much money, but it's fun to do, it's 'sexy technology' and I just enjoy the idea of having international clients (I had them before, but imho Belgium doesn't really count...)
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

-->