[Freegis-list] Geoweb tools - Platial Launches MapKit
ral at alum.mit.edu
Wed Nov 8 19:34:19 CET 2006
Another interesting advance in free tools to make Google Earth more
useful to those wishing to do more than merely paste a 'push pin' onto
an image. And with more and more imagery becoming available for free
(see recent Canadian government announcements), this is just another
example of how "GIS Lite" can be extended in the future to open up new
possibilities for non-core GIS functionality in freely available services.
My reading of the comments from the assembled technology pundits at the
recent AGI'06 conference in London (Michael Jones, CTO of Google Earth;
Vincent Tao, director of Microsoft's Virtual Earth subsidiary; Andy
Duff, ESRI Technical Director; Ed Parsons, CTO at Ordnance Survey GB) are:
* Google Earth adds new data and 'customer-friendly' functionality
regularly, based on what 'customers' want - and continually
augments its underpinning imagery,
* Virtual Earth competes with G.E. product, service and
functionality - and continually augments its underpinning imagery,
* neither G.E. nor V.E. were yet able to deliver anything other than
'simple mapping' to their mass audiences - yet this alone is
creating a new level of interest among a whole new class of
potential GI users, and
* the future is in "geoweb services" where the traditional GIS
industry has been too slow to recognize and incorporate
'disruptive technologies' from other industries, such as Wi-Fi,
GPS, G.E. and V.E. etc.
Perhaps Ed Parsons summed it up best when he said that the GIS industry
needed to "look to the edge to innovate". Unfortunately, playing
'catch-up' is hard to do. Most GIS vendors seem to have trouble simply
launching the latest upgrades to their software based on known customer
demands without adding yet more complexity to their offerings by
'looking to the edge'.
In just the past few weeks, I have run across a number of applications
based on Google Earth that are beyond 'click on the push-pin' and offer
serious competition to similar solutions that would have required
implementation of a GIS, in the past, even if only about 5% of the
functionality of that GIS was required for many of the more simple
"click to view" applications for which GIS packages are often put to
use. It is in these areas that G.E. and V.E. are already making
important contributions - and one wonders just how many hundreds of
similar applications have never been implemented, by resource-starved
NGOs, small firms, citizens groups, etc. - because they lacked the
knowledge and resources (cash!) to afford to implement a 'heavy lift'
GIS solution, let alone a web server, geo or otherwise.
ral at alum.mit.edu
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Platial Launches MapKit
Date: Tue, 7 Nov 2006 18:51:53 -0800
From: Di-Ann Eisnor <diann at platial.com>
To: ral at alum.mit.edu
Today Platial launched MapKit. While our maps have been published on 4000+ sites and blogs, this marks the first time we have been able to put Platial functionality on remote sites.
Anyone who has ever wanted to make maps with their own users/readers on their own site, can. And for free too! Making maps, adding Places, leaving comments, uploading photos, embedding video... it's all possible from the MapKit, which takes literally less than a minute to install and keeps your users on your site and on some blogs.
As with Platial.com, we won't know exactly how you want to use it, so please let us know if you'd like us to work on any features to support mapmaking on your site or blog. (We know that we still owe you a few features on Platial.com as well- don't worry, they're coming).
This also marks the first email we're sending to our entire member base, so while we have you here, we'd like to say thank you. Platial has evolved a great deal since we launched last December, in great part because of your feedback and seemingly infinite number of ways you find to make maps and talk about Places. Your maps and places are inspiring, funny, witty, provocative and stretch the bounds of how we can view the world spatially.
Di-Ann, Jake, Jason, Chris, Tracy, Aaron, Sayumi
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