Next for GIS: simple apps using standards

Over the last five years, agencies have made much progress on adopting standards for geographically enabled data, but they still have far to go, the head of the Federal Geographic Data Committee said last week.

But agency officials now recognize the importance of such standards, FGDC staff director John Moeller said at the E-Gov conference in Washington. Full implementation takes time, he said.

Another panelist, Patrick Anderson of the Anderson Economic Group LLC of Lansing, Mich., said that many server-based geographic information systems are too complicated and time-consuming for the casual user.

Anderson encouraged agencies to consider developing simple interactive maps based on the Extensible Markup Language. With an XML version called Scalable Vector Graphics, agencies are able to create pop-up maps that users can adjust without repeated calls to the server, he said.

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