The rise of cloud computing in recent years, as well as the birth of new paradigms of software distribution: SaaS (Software as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service) and DaaS (Data as a Service) have allowed the rise of new platforms and models of information dissemination.
The rise of cloud computing in recent years, as well as the birth of new paradigms of software distribution: SaaS (Software as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service), and DaaS (Data as a Service) have allowed the rise of new platforms and models of information dissemination. The flexibility and simplicity of the service platform's use have led many users of geospatial software to migrate from their expensive licenses to online platforms, with significant cost reductions due to the pay-per-use business model. This change is driven by the evolution of web technologies and the dramatic increase of bandwidth capacity of the net; in addition to the exponential growth of users who consume geospatial data, derived from the ever-greater existence of geoinformation.
GIS software has always been characterized by a series of very clear leaks: integration and data sharing were not easy tasks, large volumes of data, and expensive licenses, causing little expansion of this technology to end-users outside the geospatial sectors. GIS as a service makes it possible to generalize the use of geospatial information to multiple sectors and a wider range of potential users.
Software as a Service has enabled geospatial analysis tools to acquire key advantages versus their desktop rivals:
Ease of use.
No initial cost. Users only pay for what they consume.
Global availability, on any device.
The rise of geospatial platforms in the cloud has meant a revolution in the way consumers work with spatial data. The main benefits are clear:
Information sharing. Distribute and share large volumes of geodata easily.
Specialization. SaaS businesses focus on differentiation, providing added value.
Simplicity. Ten years ago, only specialized operators could handle GIS software. This has changed in recent years, the complexity has been reduced considerably.
Cost reduction. Costs are usually directly dependent on consumption.
Growth potential. Cloud computing platforms grow daily; new tools and new technologies appear every day. Geospatial platforms are the ideal context for showing information from Big Data, Data Mining, and the Internet of Things.
Some of the big names around the online GIS market are found in Google Maps, MapBox, Carto, ArcGIS Online, or OpenStreetMap to name a few.
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