|High Seas by AJ Ashton. Pirate by Lego, clearly.|
- Step 1: ESRI rumbles toward a unified way of getting licenseholders' data online, while pulling a group of early innovators - GeoIQ - onboard to help. Admirable.
- Step 2: ESRI adopts the term "Web Map" along with "Story Map" and a few other items that they clearly stole. No worries; a bit of rebranding and we're all one big-happy-web-mappy family, ESRI, Google, FOSS4G and your grandmother with her Bing API side project.
- Step 3: ESRI kicks everyone else off the boat they just boarded. Now only ESRI makes "official" web maps, and clients should be wary of cut-rate imitators. Specifically a "Web Service" is only an ESRI REST service, and a "Web Map" is "[Like an] .mxd file, but for the web."
Fair play to the big guy with the marketing budget, you say. But here's why I want the developers that built this ship to retain control of it: THEY'RE BETTER AT IT. The user experience is uniformly superior in non-ESRI web maps, the implementation costs are lower and the data is faster. Though this will change and ESRI will catch up if new hires like Sean Gorman have anything to say about it.
But for now I would love to see a bit of humility and willingness to listen on the part of the GIS giant, instead of taking the ship by storm and kicking off everyone who knows how to steer it.