Link – Google Earth Continued
I’ve recently seen various forum and blog posts about Google Earth moving into traditional GIS territory. In some regards this is true, GE is a very fast, very internet friendly, very ubiquitous geospatial viewer that provides a whole globe full of free base data. However, it is not a very good GIS platform from a cartographic, analysis or geoprocessing standpoint, in fact it doesn’t do any of these. From a GIS perspective, it’s just a viewer. A very good viewer with excellent hooks for additional data streams but a viewer none the less.
Brian has a nice look at moving from ArcMap to Google Earth as a GIS Viewer. My first reaction is that this is huge because there really isn’t a good free viewer available to view GIS data from desperate sources. The flexibility of KML is really starting to show, but the Table of Contents still isn’t my cup of tea (I guess I’m just used to the ArcMap one). I hope ESRI can get ArcExplorer out before people get comfortable using Google Earth to share their datasets.
It is unfortunate that ESRI felt the need to charge for ArcPublisher as ArcReader could have been a pretty good choice as a GIS viewer application, but since you need an extension to create readable map documents it isn’t really free.