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Michael Cerkas
(Unregistered)
10/09/08 02:47 PM
Geospatial Paradigm Shift or Not? Featured Article By Carl Reed, Chief Technology Officer and Executive Director Specification Program, OGC new Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

Geospatial Paradigm Shift or Not? Featured Article By Carl Reed, Chief Technology Officer and Executive Director Specification Program, OGC


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Michael Cerkas
(Unregistered)
10/09/08 02:47 PM
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I liked the fact that enough awareness exists 'out there' to recognize the changes that are occurring in the GIS industry. I agree with the author that we are not in a paradigm shift, but simply in a longer evolutionary cycle or phase. Transition is the same for evolutionary or paradigm shift changes, however, the rate or pace is drastically different. The only statement I do not fully agree with the author about is "Standards promote innovation and competition". Although standards provide a level playing field, I believe, to the contrary, that standards, by their inherent nature, provide boundaries and limit innovation. Standards lock out innovation and creativity and promote 'compliance'... Innovation is anything but compliance.... Overall, I believe the author did an excellent job of analysis, raising timely issues and succinctly stating his case. As much as standards provide increased exposure, use and application development, we have not yet seen any true 'innovation' with respect to GIS technology. The paradigm shift is surely out there, waiting to be discovered.

Sergio Sperat
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10/09/08 02:47 PM
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My impression is that under the scientific introduction of Kuhn's paradigm shift conceptual framework, the author cannot avoid to slip his own (understandable) desires by promoting "open standards" and compliance with industry current practices. That's what OGC pushes for after all.
Business stories prove time and again that standards are not the name of the game, but rather market acceptance is what declares the winning strategy. PAL vs NTSC, Betamax vs VHS, Napster vs iPod, RISC vs CISC. Will OGC-promoted standards prevail? To me, that's up to the market to decide.

Andrew Smith
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10/09/08 02:47 PM
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I somewhat agree with Michael in that standards traditionally do not actively promote innovation competition, though a quick look at the Electronics industry would provide a little insight into the "Does Standards = Innovation and Competition" debate. The plugs and cables required to connect a modular audio system setup hasn't changed for many years. Though the introduction of 5.1 dolby surround sound, windows media centre technology and the digital transfer of audio and video, may require an updated in standards.
To coincide with Sergios comment "market acceptance is what declares the winning strategy" is definately, where the inclusion of a CD/RW drive in computers was initially innovative, and the cost of such devices within a prepackaged computer incurred a large cost 8+ years ago, innovation became industry standard. Try and find a computer that will only read a CD in todays market. I believe that it is that it is a cyclic process. Yes standards provide a level playing field for all those involved to particpate, but the Standards provided by the OGC allow for 'optional' features to be implemented. The purpose of those companies such as Google, Yahoo and Microsoft as well as the Open Source Community, is to experiment with whats possible, to provide new and innovative ways to solve the problems that may arise. The purpose of standards is to adopt the 'feasable solutions' that have become accepted by the marked place, and include them in the base standards.
Of course there is a point of saturation where base standards are at risk of becoming bloated, but that time is far away for the Online GIS community. After nearly 2 decades, it is comforting to see an evolutionary change that can provide a feasable, 'standards based' solution to interoperability. I agree that it doesn't seem to be a 'paradigm shift' due to GISs close ties with computing theory, rather a greatly accelerated step in evolution. I most definately agree with the concept of a Business Model Paradigm shift. The way the GIS industry does business in regards to data discovery and dissemination will most definately have to change to remain competitive.
Most good ideas do need encouragement....Bill Gates borrowed the 'windows' idea off the old early 80's (?) LISA (pre-mac) platform and convinced PC users it was a good idea! ;)


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