October 06, 2005

Will Google Earth Replace the need for costly GIS software and license fees?

This was a recent topic of discussion on the Google BBS... no doubt you've also been wondering... why invest deeply in a pricey IMS, GIS site license and support costs etc... "Lets take a look how much ArcGIS software we would need on one desktop to replicate the functionality of Google Earth. First you would need ArcView for $1,500, then add a license of 3D Analyst for $2,500. So now we are at $4,000 dollars just for software and don’t forget to add the yearly $1,300 dollar maintenance fee also. Now you need to pay for ArcWeb services so that you have data (which there aren’t even prices on website). Add in ArcIMS and ArcSDE servers and your talking the GNP of some third world countries." The small guy can definitley accomplish some amazing feats using open API's from Google and no doubt the internal discussions at ESRI and other agencies are likely quite heated these days.

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