Whither GIS?

A Directions magazine editorial, An Open Letter to GIS/Geospatial Software Companies, argues that between data providers providing mapping data to companies like Google, who then build hackable web tools, that are then used by GPS users to build custom maps or by hackers who mash the mapping data with other publicly available data, traditional GIS companies, whose focus has largely been on providing complete, if complex, tools for the professional marketplace, are at risk of being left behind. Dave Bouwman adds his two cents, with some points about simplicity and accessibility: it’s one thing to use GIS to analyse data, quite another to make end users use GIS tools to access that data.