GIS Apps Leveraging Optimal Source Code

GIS Apps Leveraging Optimal Source Code

In the world of GIS apps, there are many technological components that drive the products and services offered by various vendors. It comes from both a hardware and a software perspective. For example, as we have reviewed in other postings, there are some companies offering hosted mapping and satellite services to their customers. This not only takes excellent wireless communications tools, but this type of offering also requires the use of high-grade servers from Internet Service Providers in order to host these high-quality maps.

Then, there are those GIS vendors whose product and service offerings are strictly software based. Examples of these include developing apps for mobile and wireless devices, creating software for unmanned vehicles, and creating apps for customers so they can create their own topographical mapping systems.

However, when it comes to the choice of software programming languages that can be used to create these apps, developers often have two choices.

These choices are:

  • Closed Source Software. This is where the actual, or native code is not available for modification, you use what is given. These types of software packages tend to be much more expensive and the technical support available for them is very limited (there is a cost with it).
  • Open Source Software. This is where the native code is actually made available for use and is modified to meet the requirements of the customer. These types of software packages tend to be much more popular because they are free, and the technical support is widely available.

In an effort to bring open source software into the GIS apps community, Harris Corporation has formed a partnership with another vendor known as Boundless. According to an article in Directions Magazine, their effort “. . . makes it easier and more cost-effective for customers to access, manage and share the huge amount of location-based data available from devices, sensors, and satellites.” (SOURCE:

An example of an open source software application developed from this partnership is a geospatial data warehouse called One Object One Time (1O1T). This is simply a database which quickly and efficiently stores and/or processes geospatial objects which are captured from videos, photographs, and even satellite imagery.

GeoTel is a telecommunications research and GIS mapping firm that researches and provides telecom datasets for more than 5,500 cities in the United States and worldwide. GeoTel’s expertise includes specialists in economic geography, geospatial engineering, web GIS, and telecommunications GIS Data infrastructure.

Valerie Stephen