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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Distributed Geospatial Processing Services

Distributed Geospatial Processing Services
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Author(s): Carlos Granell (Universitat Jaume I, Spain), Laura Díaz (Universitat Jaume I, Spain) and Michael Gould (Universitat Jaume I, Spain)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 8
Source title: Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch188


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The development of geographic information systems (GISs) has been highly influenced by the overall progress of information technology (IT). These systems evolved from monolithic systems to become personal desktop GISs, with all or most data held locally, and then evolved to the Internet GIS paradigm in the form of Web services (Peng & Tsou, 2001). The highly distributed Web services model is such that geospatial data are loosely coupled with the underlying systems used to create and handle them, and geospatial processing functionalities are made available as remote, interoperable, discoverable geospatial services. In recent years the software industry has moved from tightly coupled application architectures such as CORBA (Common Object Request Broker Architecture?Vinoski, 1997) toward service-oriented architectures (SOAs) based on a network of interoperable, well-described services accessible via Web protocols. This has led to de facto standards for delivery of services such as Web Service Description Language (WSDL) to describe the functionality of a service, Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) to encapsulate Web service messages, and Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration (UDDI) to register and provide access to service offerings. Adoption of this Web services technology as an option to monolithic GISs is an emerging trend to provide distributed geospatial access, visualization, and processing. The GIS approach to SOA-based applications is perhaps best represented by the spatial data infrastructure (SDI) paradigm, in which standardized interfaces are the key to allowing geographic services to communicate with each other in an interoperable manner. This article focuses on standard interfaces and also on current implementations of geospatial data processing over the Web, commonly used in SDI environments. We also mention several challenges yet to be met, such as those concerned with semantics, discovery, and chaining of geospatial processing services and also with the extension of geospatial processing capabilities to the SOA world.

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