Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Geospatial and Open Source

I'm attending a talk on the effect of open source on geospatial. The database and CAD packages are being geospatially enabled. New views, giving fire fighters a real time simulation of the insides of buildings, of what's under the street, are becoming commoditized.

"Think of SimCity but with real data" said Geoff Zeiss of Autodesk.

Geospatially-enabled IT plus Web 2.0 means General IT is absorbing GIS, resulting in a convergence of hitherto separate cultures. GIS is also converging with CAD.

We're also seeing new open geospatial standards, such as SFS, GML, web mapping service (WMS) and web feature service (WFS). ISO's SQL/MM includes geospatial extensions. OSGeo has matured.

Given the field forces have lots of retirement age personnel, there's a big need to update telco and utility records so that coming generations know where stuff is. Historically, central data repositories are significantly out of date vis-a-vis what's true on the ground.