Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »
GIS Without Bounds from Boundless
November 17th, 2016 by Susan Smith
Amazingly, 80 percent of all business data contains a location component, yet most organizations are not using it or don’t know how. On Nov. 15, Boundless expanded its open GIS solution into an ecosystem of geo-aware open source data, content and expertise that makes the latest GIS data easily available to developers and analysts in both public and private sectors.
This expansion addresses the increasing demand for an alternative to proprietary geospatial solutions (Esri and Hexagon, for example). Boundless offers greater functionality than Esri’s ArcGIS at 10 percent of the cost.
With Boundless’ open, cloud-based and highly scalable platform, developers can deploy an entire scalable GIS infrastructure with just one line of code, and analysts can visualize all of their geospatial data in real time without any licensing fees.
GISCafe Voice interviewed Boundless Chief evangelist Anthony Calamito regarding the new Boundless Connect cloud-based ecosystem.
GISCafe Voice: If a customer has an ArcGIS Desktop, why/how would they want to get a subscription to Boundless Connect?
ArcGIS Desktop is a desktop application, whereas Boundless Connect represents a cloud-based ecosystem of resources. It is very conceivable that an ArcGIS Desktop user will want to register for Boundless Connect (it’s a free registration, no subscription needed) in order to find GIS resources to complete their work. For example, an ArcGIS Desktop user might be asked to determine where to place the next big box store (like a Target or BestBuy). That user could search Boundless Connect for datasets, for analytical tools written in Python, or style files for visualizing their analysis results in a cartographically pleasing way. Boundless also offers Boundless Desktop subscriptions to those who want an open source alternative to ArcGIS Desktop. In addition to massive costs savings, Boundless Desktop works cross-platform (Windows, Mac and Linux), innovates very quickly with major releases every 6 months, and has the Boundless Connect ecosystem behind it to ensure your success.
GISCafe Voice: What are the most common GIS systems that most customers want to connect up?
Boundless has a broad range of customers who perform everything from oil well head maintenance, to military mission planning, to agricultural crop yield estimation, and everything in-between. As we move farther into the era of connected sensors, wearables and the Internet of Things, we are seeing a trend of more organizations needing to process geospatial ‘big data’ in the cloud. Unlike proprietary systems which require ‘credits’ or impose high license costs to scale in elastic cloud environments, the Boundless open source platform does not penalize you for scaling up or out. You can grow your GIS as much as needed to process ‘big data’, and then scale it back down in an elastic manner when you are done. Any whether you are a desktop GIS user in an office, or a disconnected field worker in a remote location, Boundless has a solution to meet your needs.
GISCafe Voice: How much customization do you do for customers in using the Boundless Connect subscription?
Boundless Connect is a one-stop-shop for all your geospatial needs. It is a global ecosystem of learning materials, training videos, how-tos, datasets, analysis tools, style files and more. So Boundless Connect itself does not have options for customization at this time. However, our GIS portal Boundless Exchange and our desktop software Boundless Desktop both offer customization options. Everything from changing the look and feel, to adding additional tools/widgets, to adding custom logos and graphics. Because these products are based on open source projects, customization is a built-in part of the experience.
GISCafe Voice: Does Boundless Connect offer integration of the location and other data that comes through or does it allow the customer to interact with the data – view, markup, analyze, etc. but leave the data in its original format in its original database?
Boundless Connect simply indexes the data wherever it lives so that it can be discovered easily by users from around the globe. If you are looking for a way to index data, and offer up collaboration (markup, analysis, etc), then you will want to look at Boundless Exchange. Exchange is a geospatial content management system (a GIS Portal) designed to support search, discovery, and collaboration of data via the web. Organizations can upload their content to Exchange, and users throughout the organization can view, edit and collaborate on that data. Boundless Exchange offers a great alternative to users who have implemented Portal for ArcGIS on their private networks.
GISCafe Voice: Is Boundless Connect/Desktop able to receive data from various sources: crowdsource, UAV, point clouds, photos, photogrammetry, satellite imagery, street data, etc?
Yes. The entire Boundless ecosystem leverages the GDAL/OGR open source data library. GDAL includes support for hundreds of different vector and raster data formats including aeral and satellite imagery, LiDAR point clouds, openstreetmap data and more. Esri leverages the same data library inside its products as well, which means we support the same data formats the ArcGIS platform supports.
Categories: 3D Cities, analytics, ArcGIS, asset management, Big Data, Boundless, climate change, cloud, cloud network analytics, conversion, crowd source, data, disaster relief, Esri, field GIS, geocoding, geoinformatics, geomatics, geospatial, GIS, Google, government, GPS, handhelds, hardware, integrated GIS solutions, location based sensor fusion, location based services, location intelligence, mapping
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