Geographic information in Internet related technologies
Abstract: The purpose of this thesis is to describe and analyse some of the possibilities and problems associated with the current and future Internet GIS. The term Internet GIS is here defined as geographical information (GI) services made available via the Internet. This thesis is based on studies such as a municipality's comprehensive plan presented on the Internet and uncertainty in analysis result. In these studies it is shown that: New citizen categories are reached if plans are presented also via the Internet. New categories of users create an increased demand on presentation methods. E.g. to be able to assess uncertainty in an analysis result Monte Carlo simulation can be a useful tool. The future Internet GIS is dependent of the evolution in many different fields, such as component-based program development, distributed systems, new hardware platforms, new types of services, standardisation etc. In this thesis some of the basic and emerging Internet related technologies are described. Current trends and are pointed out and exemplified. Previous studies are described and put into relation from different aspects with the growing area of Internet GIS. The terminology b2b (business-to-business), b2c (business-to-consumer) and g2c (government-to-citizen) from the e- business area are used to categorise different areas of use of Internet GIS. Among other conclusions that can be drawn in this thesis are for example that the development of GIS products in general is changing from having been technology-driven to becoming user-driven. Today's Internet GIS is mostly oriented towards map presentation. The future Internet GIS will most probably contain increased functionality, e.g. analysis capabilities. New types of mobile hardware platforms will probably create a demand for new types of GI services on the Internet, e.g. based on the current location of the user. Internet GIS within all the sectors b2b, b2c and g2c will most probably continue to grow in the future. When a wide variety of users and their hardware platforms access GI services on the Internet, important questions about data quality management, semantic interoperability and perception must be asked.
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