Not when it comes to Geographic Information I would argue…
Adena very well I think identified the massive interest in imagery demonstrated by the vendors at this years ESRI UC exhibition in her latest directions magazine editorial. Imagery is great as context to other types of spatial information, but on its own I believe it’s value is limited.
There are a lot of innovative ideas in this part of the geodata business driven both by the massive demand of the new generation of geographic exploration services from GYM and now ESRI, and from the fact that for much of North America there is no large scale topographic information otherwise available.
While technologies like Pictometry are interesting especially when combined with tools like SocketSet and OpenFlight to produce 3-D city models (thanks to John Allan and Rick Mort of BAE for the Southampton example above) , they can only provide contextual information which need expert human interpretation to generate true information let alone ‘Geospatial intelligence”
Using the example above, without access to other geographic information, can you tell.. where in the city are we ?, what is the name of the street in the foreground,? what is the address of the red building?, who “owns” this property ?
To answer these type of questions and indeed to really carry out any type of spatial analysis you need detailed feature based information and I would argue for a lot of analysis up to date information as-well.
So until more feature based information can be produced (it’s expensive !!) new tools like ArcGIS Server at 9.2 and the increasingly popular OGC WFS standard will be constrained..
Have we have invented the equivalent of the CD player, but are still producing 78-rpm mono gramophone records.
And a semantic Geoweb based on imagery.. forget it !!
Written and submitted from home, using my home 802.11 network.