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Posted on April 5th, 2016

GTM – What is a GIS Cloud? Part II

In last month’s edition of the Geospatial Tip of the Month (GTM), we started a discussion on GIS clouds, offering a definition as well as introducing Apollo Mapping’s own GIS cloud, Map Mavin. In the April GTM, this discussion continues as we introduce the four basic components of Map Mavin: real-time collaboration, hosted storage, a marketplace and cloud processing.

Before we proceed too much farther, perhaps it makes sense to introduce Map Mavin again. Map Mavin is a secure and powerful GIS cloud that enables you to create, share and interact with web maps featuring your project’s spatial layers. And as we all know, few projects are completed individually, rather they require collaboration by a team of experts – many of them with expertise outside mapping – to achieve the most effective outcome. Map Mavin gives you the tools to create custom web maps, share them with your team of experts over the Internet and then reach an informed decision in a live screen share at a fraction of the cost of our competitors’ solutions.

It is easiest to explain Map Mavin by its four basic components, i.e. real-time collaboration, hosted storage, a marketplace and cloud computing; each of which we elaborate on below.

Real-Time Collaboration

At the heart of Map Mavin is the ability to rapidly create as many different web maps as your projects require – be it one, a hundred or thousands. And then sharing these maps with a team of users who might not have the funds for expensive GIS software nor the ability to use it. You can share these web maps with the general public; or you can protect them with a username and password only your team members know.

Sharing a web map is useful but Map Mavin takes it one step farther! As we link the entire project team together in a live session where you interact with your spatial data in real-time. With a built in chat function, users are able to add labels, change map symbology and more in order to collaborate and enable more informed decisions. After all, maps are made to solve problems and there is no better way to solve these problems than in real-time working with your team of experts – many of whom are not in your town, or even country. Map Mavin is the only GIS cloud on the market that lets you create web maps, share them and then collaborate in real-time.

Here is a sneak-peak of the Map Mavin interface where you can stylize your web map with additional tools and several color themes.

Hosted Storage

Map Mavin is built on Amazon Web Services (AWS) which means we have the fastest and most secure servers in the industry. It accepts the spatial file formats you use the most including shapefiles, KMLs and KMZs, GeoTIFFs and geodatabases; and stores these files in the cloud so you can access them anywhere you work.

We think pricing models where you pay for a bucket of storage and internet bandwidth that you never use are lame. So with Map Mavin, you pay a low monthly fee and then you only pay for the storage and bandwidth you use. We also think year-long service contracts are lame, so with Map Mavin you can cancel at any time.


Map Mavin will connect our network of GIS users through a marketplace, giving them the ability to either sell or offer their custom datasets for no cost to the community. The marketplace will also feature a collection of free vector and raster datasets that users can add to their bucket of hosted storage. Finally, it will offer a set of premium streaming imagery layers which can be added to your web maps. These premium layers can offer visual insights only recognized by combining your spatial data with current high-resolution imagery.

Cloud Processing

Raster and vectors files can be quite large, making them a challenge to process even with the quickest laptop and/or desktop. So let our processors take the load of your computer as Map Mavin leverages powerful Amazon servers to process your spatial data in a flash. Map Mavin will support a wide array of the most common spatial functions, including tiling, clipping and reprojecting. There will also be premium processing functions that accesses industry-leading technologies for orthorectification, automated spectral analysis and much more.

The marketplace and cloud processing components will be added in shortly after the initial launch of Map Mavin.

If you think that Map Mavin is a fit for your organization, feel free to reach out to us with any questions you might have by email or by phone at (303) 993-3863.

Do you have an idea for a future GTM? If so, let me know by email at

Brock Adam McCarty
Map Wizard
(720) 470-7988

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