by clicking on the page. A slider will appear, allowing you to adjust your zoom level. Return to the original size by clicking on the page again.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider on the top right.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field and click on "In This Issue" or "All Issues" to search the current issue or the archive of back issues respectively.
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
this publication and page.
displays a table of sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays thumbnails of every page in the issue. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse through every available issue.
GCN : January 2013
GCN JANUARY 2013 • GCN.COM 27 Aconsortium of Western states is now poised to store geographic infor- mation system data in commer- cial cloud computing environ- ments to cut storage costs and improve efficiency. The ques- tion is which GIS apps, services or even data are best suited to a cloud environment. The Western States Contract- ing Alliance (WSCA) and the National Association of State Procurement Officials, working in collaboration with the states of Colorado, Montana, Oregon and Utah, have awarded four con- tracts for GIS public cloud host- ing services to Dell, Dewberry, Esri and Unisys. WSCA is a 15-state consortium that helps participants join in co- operative purchasing agreements that extend across multiple states. Two years ago, WSCA issued a re- quest for information from ven- dors on the technical and finan- cial feasibility of hosting GIS data and services supported by the individual states in commercial cloud infrastructures. The states had three primary objectives for considering GIS cloud services: cost efficiencies, flexibility and scalability, and reduction in staff support time. "Part of what we learned in the RFI process was that [cloud hosting] was bigger than GIS," said Robin Trenbeath, Montana's geographic information officer. GIS has unique traits because the information is public, so it made it easier to move in that direction, he noted. However, the WSCA contract for hosting services now goes beyond GIS to include general cloud hosting and infrastructure- as-a-service. So any government entity within the states' various jurisdictions, cities, towns, coun- ties, tribal governments or even sewer districts, can use the same GIS cloud contract to obtain cloud-hosting services from the vendors, Trenbeath said. In ad- dition, the contracts are open to other approved states and federal agencies. (The states in the alli- ance are Alaska, Arizona, Cali- fornia, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.) This is why the agreement in- cludes two vendors that special- ize in GIS -- Dewberry and Esri -- and two that specialize in in- frastructure and cloud hosting -- Dell and Unisys, Trenbeath said. This is not to say that Dewberry couldn't perform infrastructure- as-a-service or that GIS servers can't be put in Unisys' infrastruc- ture. The aim is to give states an alternative, so they can select the best cloud provider for the tasks they want to complete. Montana hasn't moved any ap- plications or data to any of the vendors yet, as states and ven- dors are finalizing their agree- ments. Then the implementation can begin, most likely in the area of GIS, Trenbeath said. Most states' IT infrastructure is designed around transaction pro- cessing, and the high-availability Regional cooperation and sharing resources is the wave of the future, members of the 15-state alliance say WESTERN STATES BUILD A PLATFORM FOR STORING GIS DATA CASE STUDY Geospatial Info Systems Infrastructure/Hosting WSCA CLOUD CONTRACTS: WHO DOES WHAT ESRI Dell Dewberry Corp. Unisys Corp.