Selasa, 17 Februari 2009

3D Ski Slopes

In my last post I briefly mentioned photogrammetry-oriented web-services delivering data products that essentially hide the photogrammetric aspect of the data processing. But how about pre-packaged fused geospatial data products such as the 3D maps?

After seeing the post on these at All Things Digital, I checked out the site and was duly impressed. The ski maps fuse 3D terrain, vector data, and topo maps and package them up in a nice java-based viewer. There isn't any coordinate display but as a visualization tool the maps are excellent.

I suppose pre-packaged products are the distant cousin of web services. They aren't as sophisticated or flexible and the level of interactivity is limited (for example, you cannot interactively turn layers on and off in the ski maps), but they are dead-easy to use. It isn't an apples-to-apples comparison, but a lot of pre-packaged products seem easier to use than some of the services-oriented GIS web mapping implementations I've seen (although I won't pick on any in particular). Or the other way around, I think that presentation and usability need more attention in many geospatial web-mapping implementations.

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