On Wang et al. (2013)’s discussion of CyberGIS software

I found that this article was incredibly dense and difficult to get through, as other classmates have noted. Wang et al. discuss various cyber softwares and their limitations, but with focuses on the CI and programming aspects of it, which I know little about. 

In their concluding thoughts, Wang et al. outline the NSF-funded ESRI/USGS/et al. project more, as well as their aspirations for the future of CyberGIS. I think that if user-interfaces were not so complicated, or the program was open-source, their goals of having CyberGIS move into processing “large-scale participatory applications using very large spatial data sets for space–time scenario development” in short time frames would be great. Software that is not open source and must be downloaded as a program to a private computer (such as ESRI’s ArcMap) is often difficult for an average computer to handle (see: the difference in processing time in ArcMap between Schulich’s computers, McLennan’s computers, and the GIC’s computers). If online resources were able to be able to process a lot of information more quickly than downloaded programs (which isn’t difficult in many cases), and if these online resources were able to be updated to handle more complex tasks, I think that it would be groundbreaking for less-funded researchers and cash-strapped governments or organizations. It would be interesting to see what research, new inventions, and new findings could come out of a wider use of more advanced geographic technologies with an expansion of CyberGIS, as the authors desire.

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