Despite thousands of data sources for geographic information systems, there's no universal standard or widespread, non-proprietary way to federate that data. It doesn't have to be this way.
Used to be that only local governments and shipping companies cared about geographic information systems. But now, the market is telling us that GIS is a "can't live without" feature of not only place-based applications like Google Maps, but a mainstay of federal economic stimulus programs.
There's only one problem: GIS is fundamentally broken.
Here's an example: 30% of the trails in the woods behind my house were recently destroyed by a school construction project. If GIS had kept pace with other information technologies and practices, trail data would have been available to local government agency planners, and allowances could have been made prior to construction. In this case, 40 feet would have made a pretty significant difference. Make no mistake: Effective, usable GIS has the ability to affect you, literally right in your backyard.
Frankly, this would make for a pretty bad Internet, because we’d all have to abide by one private organization's profit-driven licensing and usage guidelines. Many would choose simply not to buy into the service. Significant advances in the field of federated name-to-address lookup that served the public good would be stifled, because there's a bottom line to consider. It's not private industry's role to provide for the public good; it's private industry's role to innovate to the point where they attract customers and maximize profit.
I don't care how "not evil" this corporation is; it’s not going to release its proprietary algorithms and reference code into the public domain without a clear strategic (read: financial) motive.
That's the situation with GIS. There are thousands of data sources for geographic information systems. Look no further than your local municipality or county. The problem is, there's no universal standard, and even if there were, there's no widespread, non-proprietary way to federate that data. Silo systems are an egregious 1980’s era enterprise architecture issue, and we're all paying for it.
Time to Reconsider Enterprise Email StrategyCost, time, and risk. It's the demand trifecta vying for the attention of both technology professionals and attorneys charged with balancing the expectations of their clients and business units with the hard reality of the current financial and regulatory climate. Sometimes, organizations assume high levels of risk as a result of their inability to meet the costs involved in data protection. In other instances, it's time that's of the essence, as with a data breach.
5 Top Federal Initiatives For 2015As InformationWeek Government readers were busy firming up their fiscal year 2015 budgets, we asked them to rate more than 30 IT initiatives in terms of importance and current leadership focus. No surprise, among more than 30 options, security is No. 1. After that, things get less predictable.