CyberGIS Software: a synthetic review and integration roadmap

CyberGIS is a combination of SAM (Spatial analysis and modelling), GIS and cyber infrastructure. Why the need for this new term? It seems that it is assessing the issue of the sheer quantities of data being produced at each passing instant, traditional forms of GIS are no longer able to adequately handle and visualize all this information on its own. Hence, there is an acute need for better cyber infrastructure, either in the form of physical computers or intangible networks, in order to process all this information. In essence, our data collection technologies have developed and spread much at a much quicker pace than our data visualization technologies.

The race to keep up with this technology has received a lot of interest by national governments, with the US investing 4.4 million dollars into the development of these new technologies, in a way that makes it sound like the government is vying for a tech-optimist, quantity-based solutions to things. Indeed, the authors list scientific research and better geospatial education as positive outcomes of the development of Cyber GIS.

Hence, where the need for this article comes in. The authors describe a need to integration roadmap into the development of these technologies. From the tone of this article, GIS researchers are viewed as a community. Indeed, this attempt to develop integrative frameworks is remarked in a tone that refers to ‘community input.

This notion felt very interesting to me. As it is using terms that denote an inclusive development of GI systems, yet only for their own small but defined community. The access to education of GI technologies should be more easily accessible to anyone interested, lest we run the risk of deepening the sense of a digital divide. As it stands, only a small amount of people is able to properly visualize these masses of yet unstudied data, which will surely lead to some important scientific pursuits. The question I am wondering is who benefits from this technology?



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