GIS Thoughts

Snowflakesoft and the butterfly effect

Today I delivered the keynote presentation at the first Snowflake Software User Conference. Snowflake for those who don’t know are a small UK company set up by a couple of ex-Ordnance Survey people who specialise in developing XML applications for the GI industry.

Although a small team, the work that Snowflake do has had a profound effect on the GI industry in the UK. After developing the first tools to allow users to process the OS GML application schema, Snowflake have gone on to create more generic management tools for manipulating XML schemas and loading them in Oracle Spatial.

This is potentially important in terms of interoperability both within and beyond the GI industry, “normal” users need access to tools that allow the creation of XML data to really allow them to share their information with others, just look at all the published data sharing frameworks, things like eGIF.

The guys at snowflake have rightly realised that this is a IT not just a GIS problem, interoperability is not just about loading a shape file into Oracle, it is sharing all types of enterprise data.

Snowflake is one of those companies that has influence much greater than its size, as in the often quoted climate model, like the butterfly flapping its wings in the amazon impacting on the weather in London, Snowflakes efforts may have much greater impacts on how we handle data in the future.

Written and submitted from home, using my home 802.11 network.

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