When someone tells you that with the help of Internet Mapping Services you can find any route, get suggestions on your favorite eating joints, and even see your own roof top on the Internet, your first reaction would probably be, “wow!” But do you realize what goes into making these technologies and whether or not they are invasive to your private space? Do you know whether these services really are as great as they initially seem to be?
The infrastructure used for web servers and the Internet is not completely reliable, reason being that the web map depends on an external data source. This, at times, makes it difficult for the the author of the material to guarantee that the information will be available.
Loss of Privacy
It is now easier to find out private and personal data of individuals with the help of detailed information available and the combination of distributed data sources, which can be integrated using open standards and documented APIs. It is also possible to access any property owned by anyone around the world. This can be done with the help of high resolution aerials and satellite images.
Quality and Accuracy Issues
Symbolization of content and data could be a problem for many web maps. They aren’t as accurate as one would expect them to be.
In the U.S., geodata is collected by governmental institutions, therefore, making it available very cheaply, and at times, for free. In other parts of the world, geodata is very expensive.
High Bandwidth Requirement
Web maps require a a high bandwidth, which makes them expensive.
Constraints on Screen Space
No application can render an entire map of an area on a small screen of a device such as a Smartphone. These hand-held devices usually have screen sizes measuring a few inches, which is not adequate for displaying a map optimally. Although hopefully, as technology advances, these limitations will be tackled in the future.
Complexity with Their Development
Although there are many tools, free as well as commercial, available to create web maps and other web GIS applications, mastering modules, data sources and services and integrating them has made the creation of an interactive web map a difficult task.
Immature Development Tools
Development of a group of web technologies that are different is still uncomfortable as compared to the development of standalone applications with integrated development tools, as it is a lot simpler and uncomplicated.
Issues with Copyright
A large number of people are not comfortable publishing geodata; this is because their fears about copyright infringements are much too real where someone from a different part of the world could steal the result of their work without their permission.