A Geographic Information System - Icloud – Essay Example

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The paper "A Geographic Information System - Icloud" is an excellent example of an essay on information technology. Most software services are already on the cloud while many others are also headed for the cloud. Desktop applications are soon to become a thing of the future as most applications move to the cloud. Today, you can store documents, images, presentations, calendars, articles and many other file types on the cloud. It only logically follows that the future of GIS is on the cloud just like the other business applications.

GIS software on the cloud has many advantages that will accelerate the shift to cloud-based GIS. One of the distinct advantages of GIS on the cloud is its potential to deliver GIS services to customers beyond the traditional GIS niches. Discussion Moving GIS to the cloud is appealing to many GIS businesses as the shift will enable GIS to reach customers beyond the current core markets. Currently, GIS is only used in niche markets such as utilities, government, gas sector, telecommunications and oil (Sui 2014). By moving GIS to the cloud the barriers to uptake of GIS by the wider business community can be eliminated.

GIS has value to any organization that needs easily understood reports, charts, and maps. However, GIS availability remains significantly constrained by unnecessary complexity, excessive costs and lack of accessibility (Sui 2004). Unlike existing GIS software, GIS cloud can make the process of integrating GIS information easy and less expensive. Demand for GIS is growing beyond the traditional markets partly driven by low-end online GIS applications such as Google Earth and Bing maps (Sui 2014). These low-end GIS applications are still used by hobbyists and consumers and it is still questionable if they can be used as large scale GIS software.

The present online applications have proved too costly when used for business purposes (Sui 2014). However, the software serves individual mapping needs very well. Despite the disadvantages, Bing and Google have shown that the GIS cloud has immense potential in terms of ease of use and availability. Cloud GIS can enable GIS to overcome the traditional constraints of complexity, cost, and accessibility (Sui 2014). With these constraints resolved, GIS can be made available beyond its traditional niche markets.

Cloud computing provides a delivery method for geospatial capabilities to line-of-business information and enterprise information systems. According to Sui (2014), GIS in the cloud can offer much more than just a webified version of the current GIS products. GIS on the cloud will become a multi-layered offering with GIS applications tailored to businesses or industries. The application will have broad GIS functionality and will be built on a robust platform. GIS applications on the cloud will also have the same reliability, security, and scalability as other online applications (Evangelidis et al 2014).

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