How do you make a geospatial exchange a reality? You find great content providers to bring their wares to the market. Aerials Express (AEX) is one of those great content providers. With 420,000 square miles of high resolution aerial imagery over major metropolitan areas in the US (see map below), AEX brings base map content to ‘prime-the-pump’ in the derivative product marketplace.
One of the hardest things to do is host your own data. Letting companies such as WeoGeo do that for you frees you up to do what you are good at rather than trying to wear multiple hats. WeoGeo has the whole S3/EC2 thing figured out so scaling isn’t an issue. Just publish and forget about it works for both the seller of data and the buyer of data. Slow ArcIMS sites are no place to be searching for geodata.
Typing in geospatial searches in Google just doesn’t work (well I do get lucky sometimes). WeoGeo allows for these spatial searches and folks looking for aerial imagery in San Francisco (or anywhere else) will look for other data sets. This is more democratic than Google’s searches because it is spatial and not based on how many links there are to a dataset. Every dataset is available to everyone searching in an area (of course you can limit your search to types) so you won’t miss out on any available data just because the EPA or NOAA doesn’t link to it. For WeoGeo to grow they need these “premium” services such as Aerials Express, maybe they are on the cusp of something big.
Now if WeoGeo would only drop the Flash interface so it will work on my iPhone.