PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2012, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (11): 1519-1528.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2012.11.013

• Original Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Research Progress and Connotation of Cloud GIS

LIN Degen, LIANG Qin’ou   

  1. College of Geography and Environmental Sciences, Zhejiang Normal University, Jinhua 321004, China
  • Received:2011-11-01 Revised:2012-04-01 Online:2012-11-25 Published:2012-11-25

Abstract: Cloud Computing is evolving as a platform of next generation. Its emergence promises to promote new developments in the Geographic Information System (GIS), which is closely related to computer sciences. This paper discusses the characteristics of Cloud Computing, the definition and the key technical and scientific issues of Cloud GIS. Cloud GIS is a new technology that utilizes the large-scale computing power of Cloud infrastructure to overcome the challenges of handling the massive spatial data in the GIS in several aspects, including multi-site distributed data storage, allocation of processing tasks, data query and retrieval, interoperability, virtualization, etc. By improving data processing and data management, Cloud GIS provides high-performance processing technologies to a variety of GIS services, such as data-intensive tasks and computing-intensive tasks. The essential connotations of Cloud GIS are the Cloud characteristics of spatial data and the Cloud Computing characteristics of data management. Cloud GIS goes beyond the“small professional community”of conventional GIS, brings the spatial information services and their values to the public, and in return makes a volutionary breakthrough for GIS itself and greatly expands the scale of the market for its applications. We introduce several CloudGIS platforms, and discuss advantages and disadvantages of the development of Cloud GIS. At the end is an overview of research progress on Cloud GIS in China in three aspects: the trend of technology models of Cloud GIS, the need for its applications, and the need for its education.

Key words: cloud computing, cloud GIS, GIS, massive spatial data, virtualization