GeoWorld December 2011

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Industry Trends Carl Reed: The cloud will defi- nitely impact how our commu- nity deploys applications and how users access data and services. However, although many geospa- tial data and service providers are making a move into cloud computing, most adopters are moving cautiously, testing the various advantages over previous provisioning models and looking for assur- ances regarding issues such as licensing and security of data and services hosted by cloud providers. In general, intensive human interactions, such as edit- ing a terrain model, are best done on a local computer, and heavy, intermittent processing such as terrain extrac- tion is very cost effective when deployed to the cloud. I-Cubed documented similar criteria when it deployed various aspects of its product line into the cloud. The bottom line is to understand your business requirements, examine key workflow aspects from business and IT perspectives, and then, within that context, evaluate the business value and benefits for deploying to the cloud. Walter Scott: With such large datasets in the geospatial world, it's important to move the com- puting to the data, so you don't force end users to transport (or manage) the raw data. Second, mobile computing fits naturally in a model where the heavy lifting is done on the server side (i.e., in the cloud, along with the data) instead of on the mobile device, which gener- ally runs a lightweight "app." Because these two trends reinforce each other to drive the creation of a rich set of cloud geospa- tial computing capabilities, it's natural to see even high-end geospatial applications moving to take advantage of this. All the attendant advantages in simplifying the IT infrastructure, such as deploying software updates centrally to the cloud instead of having to deploy too many workstations, reduce the cost of managing software updates as well as the time it takes to implement them. Mladen Stojic: When the geo- spatial industry first gained an interest in cloud computing, companies took some time to analyze how to leverage the cloud and re-factor existing software. After that initial lag, the technology developed at an extremely fast pace. Currently, the technology is there, but organizations are trying to figure out how to budget for it, since it's different than the traditional site-based model. Right now, we're probably in the later stages of the early adopter phase of the technology, but when organizations finally become comfortable with cloud technology from a business perspective, I expect it will become the standard for the processing, delivery and hosting of geospatial data. ADVERTISERINDEX ADVERTISER BAE Systems GeoWorld Reprints GeoWorld Subscriptions International LiDAR Mapping Forum PAGE 32 9 31 13 5 Don't forget, to read each board member's responses in their entirety, see the feature archive on the Web at . 24 GEO W ORLD / DECEMBER 2O11

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