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US federal agencies embracing cloud: Esri

US: Beta users are building approximately 4 – 6 million maps every day on Esri’s new cloud-based ArcGIS Online mapping tool, claimed Jack Dangermond, President, Esri. Those beta users are largely federal, state and local government agencies that have blanket software license agreements with the company. In addition, the company is considering launching a commercial version of the cloud service in next six to eight weeks, Dangermond informed during the company’s Federal GIS conference.
Dangermond envisions the new cloud-based ArcGIS Online functioning something like a Facebook for maps. Government, corporate and private users can make any of their maps publicly available for others to look at and build off, say by adding another layer of phenomena.
Every map includes metadata, which helps GIS professionals assess the map’s quality. They also include a five-star rating system and user reviews that less tech savvy users can look to as a quality test, something like the rating system for Amazon sellers.
Users can limit who views more sensitive maps by only sharing them with a pre-set group or not sharing them at all, Dangermond added. Several government agencies also have moved the ArcGIS Online software stack from the Amazon cloud into their own private clouds so the maps can only be shared internally, he continued.
Source: NexGov