Spatial Cloud – Open Source Java virtual globe

It looks like World Wind Java may have some competition, I read about this on Slashgeo, it sounds pretty interesting, from the Spatial Cloud website –

SpatialCloud is a new way of viewing, creating, and distributing maps. The project includes an independent open-source 3D Viewer (globe) and flexible commercial Web Services to handle enterprise-class processing, storage, archival, and distribution of mapping data. These tools can be used in tandem or individually.

Currently most online mapping services are:

  1. Selling/distributing datasets to consumers for use within their current GIS system
  2. Providing an open-source solution to a specific mapping/GIS problem but not a turnkey solution for developers
  3. Providing consumer level viewing of geospatial data
  4. Providing developer tools for 3D viewing-only or mashups of datasets

SpatialCloud is capable of many of these roles plus:

  1. Gives you the power to decide what geospatial capabilities you wish to deploy into your application
  2. Adds the ability to add custom data into the “cloud” for access to your application
  3. Lower costs via open-source software and the elimination or per seat licensing fees – you pay only for web-services you choose to utilize
  4. Provides robust developer support and tools to allow development of applications in a timely and cost effective manner

Another interesting comment on their Sponsor page –

Truly open-source
It all starts with it being truly open-source. Unlike other 3D globes on the market, the full SVN repository will be available for developers to create customized applications. Further, the SpatialCloud team is committed to this open aspect by supporting initiatives allowing a developer community to thrive. It will be fostered with a framework for developers to create applications using the base 3D Viewer environment. This includes code resources, bug reporting, and useful documentation to help facilitate an active developer community to share knowledge, growth of concepts, and development of a large code base over time. Lastly, since pTolemy3Dis backed by SpatialCloud, the Viewer will remain supported for the foreseeable future with the financial resources and energy needed to sustain the project.

Sounds like a direct dig at World Wind Java, who currently don’t give normal users access to their SVN repository and take very little help or advice from the community, without the community provided forum at WorldWind Central there would probably be no interaction at all.

I look forward to seeing how this project develops, currently the demo viewer crashes my firefox, but I am on Windows 7 beta so I can’t really blame the demo, and maybe this will help spur more World Wind development.

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