Mark Doherty has been with Intergraph for 20 years, and has spent a lot of time steeped in technology in general and geospatial technology in particular. This focus allowed him to give a detailed overview of where the technology of GIS has been, where it is now, and where it is going, during his keynote presentation on Thursday morning at the Rocket City Geospatial Conference in Huntsville, AL. He reviewing the history of GIS from its early mainframe days, up through the relatively near future of 3D, cloud computing, and software as a service.
Doherty’s conclusion asked, where does all this leave us? “We will have a new era in computing in the maybe not too distant future.” Four trends are converging to create a potentially unique opportunity: 1) SOA and standards; 2) cloud computing; 3) orchestration (e.g., taking services and chaining them together in a logical fashion); and 4) thin clients/rich Internet applications (RIA). What might these unique opportunities be? We will have to stay tuned, said Doherty.