What was interesting to the QLD GIS community at this recent event ? Plenty of highlights on the strategic front, with new state government initiatives, and possible collaborations, which may mean both new ways of accessing/sharing spatial data, and potentially vast new resources of high accuracy information. This was my first SSSI conference, and I was happy that GIS-side of spatial was well represented, both in the presentations given, and in the make up of the audience attending.
Interest in taking steps into the cloud is growing amongst many spatial organisations. From a distance it sounds good but what do you need to consider in embarking down this path?
Why do you want to use the cloud? The meaning of the cloud is ambiguous so while the overarching reason to move to the cloud would be to reduce costs on hardware and software you need to know what your business reasons are for looking at the cloud. The most common uses of appears to be email, archiving, CRM and storage. For spatial organisations, requirements to store large volumes of historical imagery or vector data and the need to serve fast, good looking, tile caches to external customers are two areas that are becoming common first steps into the cloud.
The other area that is already seeing a large movement to the cloud amongst spatial organisations is delivering applications that tend to have a short life span or high spikes of activity (or both). For example, the many spatial applications around the oil spill disaster where cloud applications recognise both the potential for high activity around news events as well as the short(ish) period of interest.