Jeff Thurston thinks we are all too focused on the GIS viewer

Link – Directions in Spatial Information

It is interesting to read and learn about all the things that Google is up to with respect to maps. Like I said a while ago, here; it has opened the door to increasing mapping awareness, especially to, although not limited to younger folks ‘ move over MTV.

Jeff pretty much says what I’ve been saying and what ESRI’s focus should be on. Tools to create GIS data are extremely important. Google isn’t a creator of this information, they are a consumer. Our GIS workflows are integrated into ESRI’s tools so for us to be successful, we need ESRI to continue to push the envelope. Our biggest problem though has been on the reader side of things. Jeff says ArcGlobe is ESRI’s “Google Earth”, but that requires you to have at least an ArcView license. Jeff does say why Google Earth has been successful and it is plainly the simplicity of the application. If you’ve ever used ArcGlobe you know you have total control over just about everything, but zooming and panning can get out of control (well maybe it is just I can’t work in a total 3d world).

The key point of Jeff’s post is that we can’t get to the future without improved spatial tools and he is right on. But the problem today is consumers are beginning to want to consume GIS services and the tools to do so are limited and into that void falls Google Earth.

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