The Changing Geospatial Landscape

The Changing Geospatial Landscape

… Over the last decade the geospatial domain has grown from a specialized area of professional expertise to a global phenomenon. In addition to ubiquitous web-based and mobile mapping applications used by literally millions of people worldwide, the geospatial user community is diffusing into many non-traditional sectors as diverse as public health, economic development, conservation, community planning, business intelligence, and the humanities. Professionals in these areas are beginning to see the benefits of these technologies and the integrating power of geography for solving problems. This trend has not gone unnoticed.  … I believe that these changes — in geospatial technology, non-traditional applications, and the growing importance of the place-based paradigm — have important implications for many geospatial organizations, in Wisconsin and beyond. To ignore them means missing an opportunity to connect with a whole new set of users who, if their experiments with geospatial technology are successful, will help us immeasurably in our efforts to prove to policy makers how extraordinarily valuable geospatial technology really is.   … Individuals standing in the way by trying to narrow the scope of “legitimate” geospatial activity or claiming to be the only authoritative geospatial voice will be bypassed by groups eager to find other ways to advance. …

For the full text of the article, visit the Wisconsin Mapping Bulletin.

Source: Howard Veregin, Wisconsin State Cartographer, Wisconsin Mapping Bulletin, July 23, 2010.

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One response to “The Changing Geospatial Landscape”

  1. Ian Tomlin says :

    I completely agree with your insights. At the present moment my company is bringing to market a spatial information management solution that means anyone – without GIS or IT skills – can upload, plot, manage, download and share mapping applications via a hosted online service. I believe this level of dexterity of geospatial ‘capability’ rather than know-how means that mapping will soon be a standard component of social operating systems like Google, Squork and Facebook to the extent that children, business people and academics will see as something that’s always been around.

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