GISCafe Weekly Review September 3rd, 2015

When will GIS disappear?
September 2, 2015  by George Demmy

Geographic Information Systems (or one of the other subtle variants of the acronym) will never disappear completely, but they should be more invisible than they are. It’s remarkable how long the apparent (and mostly false) dichotomy between that’s what’s spatial and that’s what not spatial has persisted. Having spent a good part of my career letting people integrate place into their workflows and systems, however, I can understand why it’s there, however. There are thousands of different coordinate systems with their different purposes, etc., and one person’s place exactly where they think it should be is not where another might expect it to be. Further complicating things are units like rods and chains and feet (really, feet are still used, in some places. And there is more than one foot to choose from!). A grad for good measure (pi/200 of a radian, in case you were wondering). Making that all go away for people for whom that’s a raft of irrelevant implementation details is actually pretty hard work, and I have the source code to prove it.

The reason that it’s important to hide as much of this kind of stuff when it’s not relevant is that the complexity of normal GIS workflows, worldview, and thinking prevent the adoption of location based capabilities in workflows in non-GIS contexts, which actually makes it harder for GIS and its champions to deliver value in proportion to the investments made in them or to their potential. In fact, I’d go farther to assert that it throws up barriers to adoption even in GIS contexts, because I see it all the time. It’s just a little too much of a pain to do this, that, or the other, so I’ll just jot it down on this paper form here…

My, how the maps have changed…
August 31, 2015  by Bryan Burns

It wasn’t too long ago that maps were a dark art, reserved for things like surveying, tactical operations and family road trips. Remember? And to obtain one of these map things you had to order it (as in postage), go to a truck stop or have it printed especially for you. It might’ve taken weeks to get it. It was paper (laminated if you were lucky) and probably reflected data from when your great grandpappy was runnin’ hooch through the hills of Dawson County.

That’s what we had to work with and we were thankful for it. I guess…

Fast-forward a few years: Need to check a live traffic feed before you head out of the office? Hit-up Google Maps. Need to see if that sharknado is headed your way? Check the live Weather radar map. Need to find your friends at a football tailgate? Turn on your friend finder map/app (??mapp??). It’s all so easy now and right at our finger tips. And oh-by-the-way this ain’t hooch data, IT’S LIVE DATA!

GGS: softmouse 3D - Learn More
Trimble Nomad 1050
Exelis: Use ENVI to easily add image analysis to your GIS workflow
Optech: Please join us at INTERGEO 2015 Sept 15-17
INTERGEO: Conference and Trade Fair for Geodesy...


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