Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Geospatial and Gov 2.0? Best to use open standards

In an effort to embrace a new age of tranparency, government agencies at all levels are turning to Gov 2.0 technologies that promote collaboration. Some of these approaches, like CarbonCloud Sync, iPhone GPS and others, can provide a platform and the tools for government-citizen collaboration through interoperability and open standards - while maximizing existing GIS investments.

However, a key point factor in ensuring these platforms are transparent is the use of open standards like "WFS" supported by all major geospatial services, such as ESRI, CubeWerx, ERDAS and GeoServer. Once these standards are implemented it's possible to synchronize geographic updates from citizens and government sources directly to any geospatial database - saving lots of time and money. Counties, states and federal agencies could improve efficiency, cut red-tape, and reduce data gridlock without making any changes to their GIS infrastructure. Furthermore, platforms like CarbonCloud Sync service can be hosted on an agency's server or on the Microsoft Azure Cloud to help reduce IT costs.

Once this approach is in place, citizens can submit updates and reports from their smartphones and websites directly to MANY local and national GIS, while professionals can use GIS tools to validate the proposed updates. Geographic updates may be easily coordinated with other localities, federal agencies, or civilian and commercial organizations. We think this type of crowd-sourcing (combined with interoperability and open standards) can promote a new level of transparency and collaboration visibility to all levels of the government.
- Jeff and Nuke


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