We’ve been building Web GIS apps since the early days of the Internet. Much has changed. But what has not changed, until now, is the need for the applications we build to assemble and load data from different sources. Many development hours are spent pulling together the data; the raw materials of the final application. Long have we wished for two things:
1) That users – and not just GIS users – have the ability themselves to assemble their geo-data.
2) Once assembled that data is published, and thus available, from a single source.
Imagine this new world.
Key personnel within organizations are empowered, now they have control over their data, a single point of assembly of ALL geo-data, and the ability to easily publish combinations of that data to a single web map. Developers, guided by these new empowered individuals, consume this single data source or web map and build apps with targeted tools for consumers of the data.
Its a world where everybody wins.
Well with ArcGIS Online that world is now here. And at the centre of this new mapping platform is, you guessed it, the web map.
So is it a coincidence we named our company WebMapSolutions ………..?
The web map is very powerful. These new single sources of geo-data can be embedded in documents, and consumed by applications. ArcGIS Online allows basemaps to be combined with an array of different geo-based data; from the traditional like ArcGIS Server endpoints, shapefiles and KML to the non-traditional like spreadsheets. Once assembled the published map is the web map.
What then do you do with a web map?
In many ways the sky is the limit. Publishing just the map itself is one implementation (pattern). Consuming it in applications which are available to Web and mobile users is another. ArcGIS Online is about web maps.
Back to our company. Maybe our new slogan should be:
WebMapSolutions … its all in the name!