MapInfo 10.5 and Cloud GIS

I recently had the opportunity to attend the WA launch of MapInfo 10.5 and while this release feels less revolutionary than the move from 9.5 to 10.0 there are still a lot of nice features in there.

The thing that is exciting me most about the direction of MapInfo over the last few releases is the increasing support for open standards and I feel like they have moved ahead of ESRI in this area. In 10.5 there is now support for Tile Services, Catalog Web Services (CSW) and export to KML and I think those first two in particular make MapInfo even more attractive as the front-end of an open source stack. With full PostGIS support added in 10.0 MapInfo can now read and write both data and metadata from open source systems as well as consume data from just about any OGC web service.

The other main thing of note was Pitney Bowes have moved 30% of their MapInfo development resources to cloud based products, with this percentage increasing to 50% over the next couple of years. With that kind of commitment being made Pitney Bowes are obviously expecting a large chunk of users to be moving at least partially to cloud based services in the not too distant future. The big question though is will this actually happen and based on what I am seeing currently in WA I am fairly sceptical for the moment anyway. I just can’t see users being happy to let their data live outside their own firewall and I don’t think cloud GIS will really take off until that changes. What I can see happening is the increased uptake of cloud based tools for specific tasks but that seems less revolutionary either Pitney Bowes or ESRI are spruiking at the moment.


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