Cloud computing is affecting the evolution of content management systems and the manners in which data becomes a service.
Business services are evolving as cloud computing forces people to think more about how information is organized and shared. At the consumer level, Apple iTunes will be replaced by cloud computing services, often referred to as online music storage lockers. People have become accustomed to using iTunes but as people get access to more data, they will find new ways to organize information. And the kids will realize how the information can be shared.
At the business level, cloud computing is having a profound effect in a number of markets. In the mapping world it's leading to new forms of content management systems that use data for specific niche purposes.
Services like WeoGeo offer new forms of geo-spatial, content management systems and marketplaces that offer deep repositories of data, like a giant map case in the sky. It's in some ways like a content management system and marketplace for map makers, an age old craft now in a different dimension.
Foe example, WeoGeo offers a map library and a marketplace, designed specifically for surveyors, engineers, architects, geoscientists, and cartographers. It offers both the library and the marketplace as data services, petabytes of data stored in the cloud. All of its services are available via RESTful web services. Is that a big deal? We kind of think so. Web oriented architectures require the data to be browser compatible. With RESTful, companies can create new kinds of mashups baked into a new generation of content management systems that correlate to specific communities. That's the evolution taking place. Applications that can share data through API's that provide the capability to organize new sets of data and shared in a variety of manners.
The service is in contrast to what Google and Microsoft offer. Both of these companies use map data to enhance their services. They serve as ways to lock in data that they use for search and advertising. SimpleGeo is a similar service to WeoGeo but it uses geodata to makes applications more location aware. ESRI represents the old guard of the industry and is the market leader in mapping software. It's a proprietary platform.
But the real future for the mapping world is in the cloud. It serves as a place that data can be served and built upon. It's also the place where markets will develop. It's like a data fabric that the map makers use to sell their works. It's a community made of developers.
And that's how communities evolve. They trade between themselves, thus creating the demand. It's similar to how the publishing market evolved several hundred years ago. Book makers traded books. As more books were published, the market grew.
We are in the same place with data as a service. Google and Microsoft will not and can not control the entire market. The foundation for geo market services will strengthen as its developer/small business community evolves. Its these small businesses that represent the future.