Wednesday 16 December 2009

What is next big thing?

Recent groundbreaking news abounds, and both an exciting and challenging times lie ahead.

First GIScafe posted that ExxonMobil adopted IceWEB as a global cloud computing platform - that will answer any critic, who questioned security over the internet. And if an oil supermajor were not enough, then Mashable wrote that the City of Los Angeles moved all of its office communications onto Google Docs.

Second, James Fee pointed out that with the advent of new APIs, Google mapping makes it increasingly easier to post web data using tools that are free in cost if not in time. Having used some of them at home, I can now post even more easily my sales target locations and routing at work.

At oilelefant we offer web mapping as an intranet application, and we extend to other data stores like EZDataRoom. But we let our customers direct us to other data sources, as these have varying licensing models and move over time. To pick only two of many examples:
  • UK the onshore data is accessible via British Geological Survey web mapping serivces for free or for fee depending on personal or commercial use, respectively
  • UK offshore data is accessible from Oil&Gas UK by subsription on the DEAL site, currently managed by BGS but moving to Schlumberger in the new year

click on image to go to EZDataRoom

That is why we stick to our knitting, and provide users with a ready-to-use interface that meets their day-to-day business and technical requirements: oilelefant is flexible and based on standards such as PPDM and OGC. It evolved from v.1 to v.2 to include document management, and thus moved from PPDM Lite to full PPDM 3.7.

click on image to go to SlideShare

Yet as I said above, further development directed by users will hinge on the following:
  • do we offer import/export routines via XML
  • do we offer direct web links to other WMS
  • do we migrate our geodatamanagment platform
At the Prospex2009 show in London last week, we saw further alliances with others services. We aim to create a community of services, each of us in our own area of expertise. This will give users integrated access to what they need for their day-to-day business. By keeping their technical requirements under the hood, we help their businesses in many ways:
  • provide users with technical advances and new services as they unfold
  • conduct an on-going dialog with users to see which ones enhance their business
  • keep users working smoothly as requested services are added in the background
My earlier blogs reiterated this point, that what is the next best thing? will be determined by commercial usage, as much as by the industry offering the options. Its is our role as service companies to manage that information dialog, and provide users with tools that help their work.

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