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Evaluating the Current State of Geospatial Software as a Service Platforms: A Comparison Study
Abstract The goal of this chapter is to evaluate and compare Geospatial Software as a Service (GSaaS) platforms oriented toward providing basic mapping capabilities to non-GIS experts. These platforms allow users to organize spatial materials in layers, perform overlay and basic visual analysis, and share both final maps and the processes used to create them with remote collaborators. The authors gathered data on the characteristics of 15 platforms through an online survey, then summarized the results and created an Excel tool to enable users to sift through the data to identify platforms based on need. This study presents a snapshot of the current GSaaS landscape, summarizes current capabilities, points out weaknesses, and considers the potential of this class of application.