Comments About Those Chosen as the Most Influential Geospatial Person
These are additional comments that were posted regarding influential people.
Dangermond and ESRI have been and remain the prime movers in the GIS
software market. The solutions offered by ESRI are almost universally
applied across the globe. I live in Mexico, and they are know by ESRI
products and open source movement. i think that Dangermond is a
visioner (sic) in geospatial technology, although Google maps y Google
earth were a excellent product and it massed geospatial technology,
before it was alot of works.
[Jack] Dangermond: The choice is obvious. The man has been
a leader (and often THE leader) of the geospatial industry for
decades. His vision and implementation have developed the tools
and practices that we've all followed, directly or indirectly.
Dangermond, like him or not -- like his company and his products or
hate them -- has cornered much of the market for professional GIS
software. That makes him a big player. Warmerdam's
work is seminally important for a future optimally designed for users,
and not bullied by the largest vendors. DiBiase's program is one of the
academic models for the nation, making him one of the key players in
shaping a future for the GIS community.
Anything we "innovate" is done so while standing on his
shoulders. Still to this day, Jack continues to be a
true-believer in how geospatial technologies help people improve the
world, its resources, and the people who live upon it. And while
he is disguised as a captain of industry, underneath he is an idealist
who lives out his ideals every day.
John Palatiello is the Exec. Director of the largest and most
influential organization representing the geospatial professionals. In
this capacity he has the ability to frame the profession in terms of
licensing or certification, both of which will be significant issues in
the very near future.
The three fellows from Google for what they have done to enlighten the
world on the use of geospatial data in our everyday lives.
Jack - There is no need for further discussion...ESRI is GIS & GIS
is ESRI until other players enter the market. James -
SpatiallyAdjusted is probably one of the most informative and
insightful blogs out there...there is no reason to believe that will
change. Safe Software (FME) has truly brought Interop
to the GIS world...whatever happens to the industry, Safe will play a
James [Fee] is the man when it comes to new and emerging technologies,
Jack [Dangermond] is, well, Jack, and Learon [Dalby] has put Arkansas
on the map, literally, when it comes to GIS.
Jack Dangermond has done more to promote GIS as an effective and
efficient technology for the public good than anyone else I can think
ESRI and Google will continue to be the most influential forces in GIS
over the next 5 years with Open Source tools gaining ground. The
Google group, Dangermond and Warmerdam will be heard from no matter
what new developments may take place.
Google has made GIS a commodity.
James fee is sending the message out to the world. It is more important
than getting things discovered and stored in a corner of the world. He
has influenced his readers with the honest, up-to-date and the most
important contents in the geospatial industry.
Jack Dangermond will remain influential as the the ESRI will be leading
at least for another 5-10 years. However, after a decade, new open
sources and cheaper and better versions of similar products will hit
the market. There is nothing that can compare the research and
developments that ESRI is doing at the movement, but it is limiting its
horizon because of its price (very expensive for ordinary users). Jack
Dangermond will remain one of the most influential leaders for decades
if ESRI is taken to an affordable directions with the upkeep of recent
development. And yes, at some point, integration of Google products
instead of Microsoft (current initiative) with ESRI might become
Number 1 - Frank Warmerdam. GDAL & OGR enable so many pieces of
software, and getting the job done so much easier. Outstanding
leadership at OSGEO, as well as valuable contributions to so many other
non-FOSS software, under the hood. Number 2 - Steve
Coast. Freedom from the tyranny of GDT/TeleAtlas/Navteq - finally!
Enabling the entire world to take back ownership of one of the most
important foundation spatial datasets there is.
Number 3 - James Fee. Planet Geospatial is one of the prime hubs of the
geo-social networking world. James makes us think, brings us all kinds
of news about stuff we'd otherwise not have time to find, and provides
such a challenging and useful forum for discussion, and a lot of fun
Google - is there any question? Google maps might be old news, but
Google is not standing still. They've offered KML into the OGC process,
further establishing KML as *the* open map publishing format. They are
continually tweaking Google Maps and Google Earth, and overall are
pretty much the company everyone looks towards in terms of Web 2.0
mapping. There are some challenges associated with this dominance that
need to be faced by the rest of the industry and by users of Google
products, but the influence far outweighs anything else out
there. Steve Coast deserves recognition for how far
OSM has come. His relentless pursuit of a single goal has provided the
focus needed to achieve critical mass in terms of sheer data
availability. OSM is to geodata suppliers what Wikipedia is to the
encyclopedia industry. It's a force that is not to be trifled
with. Frank Warmerdam's personal achievements as an
open source geospatial coder and organizer are well-known and highly
respected. His code probably exists in more places than any other open
source geo code. There is no reason to expect his influence to wane. At
the same time, Frank can be considered a representative of the entire
FOSS geo "industry" which, like OSM on the data side, is going to
continue to challenge the proprietary software
industry. Google, OSM, and FOSS Geo (not just OSGeo)
represent disruptive forces that are shaking up the geo industry in an
incredibly positive way. Note that this has been happening for many
years, but it's not old news, and the effects will be long lasting.
Three? Are you kidding? I need five at least. Our
industry is extremely broad with multiple change
vectors. I selected Adrian Holovaty because open data
and especially open government data is going to radically change how
geographic information is leveraged. Adrian may not actually be
the driver of this change, but has definitely shown the value of this
information in a geospatial context. If Vivek Kundra (or Barack
Obama) had been on the list, he would have taken this
position. I selected Paul Bissett because WeoGeo is
the first company to tackle monetized Geo search with any kind of true
spatial intelligence. There is potential for Google to surpass
their efforts through extension of the Maps Data API into Google Apps,
and by finding an intelligent way of dealing with sparse/clustered
data, but WeoGeo will have led the way regardless. I selected Sergey
Brin, Larry Page, and Ed Parsons because I believe that Google still
has a lot of innovating to do. The emergence of Google Wave as a
collaborative mapping environment has a huge upside, but there is also
a lot of room for improvement in their core spatial search.
Applying the power of context and authority (implied metadata) to
spatial information has not yet been done and has the potential to
transform spatial search in the same way that Google transformed web
search ten years ago. If I had been allowed to chose
five influencers, my first bonus selection would have been Frank
Warmerdam. Not just as himself, nor as the visible presence of
OSGeo in North America, but as the poster child for open source
software, whether OSGeo-associated or not. Open source software
will be a critical component of any cloud-based computing initiative,
even if it's just in the background of user-friendly services like
WeoGeo or CloudMade. My second "bonus" selection
would have been Steve Coast. Not especially because I think that
OSM will bring a lot of innovation, but because like EveryBlock it has
been a pathfinder in showing how powerful crowdsourcing/VGI can be for
common data sets. You may notice that there are no
traditional Geo names in my top three. I believe that geospatial
information is at last finding its place in the information
landscape. While traditional entities such as ESRI, Safe
Software, and OGC certainly have a role to play in this brave new
world, it's a supporting role. The true value and innovation will
come from players who realize that geospatial is special, but only in
that it adds a dimension to non-spatial information which allows for
deeper insight and more effective visualization.
An interesting list and mix of others to choose from, majority of which
are relatively unknown to the general geospatial community. Several are
clear technology innovators.
The notion that "the people" are the true owners of information about them and their planet is spreading fast.
Published Friday, July 24th, 2009
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