Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Geospatial Babel Fish

The article is TITAN: The Geospatial Babel Fish, by Art Kalinski. The Babel Fish was a fictional species in (and plot device for) Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy science fiction comedy series. The Babel Fish enables alien races to communicate with each other while speaking different languages. This is also known in many other sci-fi series as a Universal Translator.

Art brilliantly uses the Babel Fish as a metaphor for TITAN, elaborating on the fact that 'we've all been looking for a Babel fish for geospatial data' and that TITAN 'takes data sharing, viewing and publishing to a new level.'

It seems to magically ingest almost any spatial data format, read it, use it, and publish it back out in any format — and do so quickly. It does for spatial data what the Babel fish did for language and speech. A universal translator designed for sharing and the sharing environment is completely controllable via permissions, so you don't lose data ownership.
At the end Art suggests that TITAN 'deserves a serious look.' Agreed. Thanks Art.

Read it here.

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