Geographic Calculator – Past, Present, and Plans for the Future
Geographic Calculator has been synonymous with high accuracy and powerful geodetic calculations and transformations since its inception in the early 1990s. As Blue Marble Geographics grew, so did Geographic Calculator. In the early 2000s, Geographic Calculator was merged with Geographic Transformer and Spatial Connect and rebranded as Blue Marble Desktop. With this expansion of functionality, the application continued to dominate the geodetic space. Blue Marble Geographics continued to expand, and Geographic Calculator followed suit. Spatial Connect became dedicated jobs with the application, and the name of Geographic Calculator returned in 2015, resulting in one unified app. Since then, Geographic Calculator has maintained the largest geodetic parameter database, up to date with the IOGP’s EPSG Geodetic Parameter Dataset, NOAA’s National Geodetic Service libraries, and countless other parameter datasets. All of this growth and success leads us to, what’s next?
GeoCalc Online was initially released at the beginning of 2017 – the first step to getting Geographic Calculator’s functionality to the cloud. As a publicly hosted service, GeoCalc Online expands access to Blue Marble’s geodetic parameter repository to anyone with an internet connection. The service can be fully queried using map-based or advanced search parameters. A Point-to-Point Calculator was then added which allows users to conduct point conversions, forward, and inverse calculations in the cloud. GeoCalc Online is also the database utilized by a variety of Blue Marble’s other tools – Global Mapper, the GeoCalc SDK, and of course Geographic Calculator – to update and augment geodetic definitions.
GeoCalc Online can also be client hosted. These private instances of the service give users expanded flexibility and control over their workflows. Customization of database definitions, views, etc., are available along with company specific branding and much more.
Although GeoCalc Online is a relatively new application, there is already more to come to expand its functionality as the industry looks toward more cloud hosted services and programs. In the shorter term, it will receive support for the latest EPSG database updates ensuring access to the most up to date parameter information. Saving favorite definitions will allow users to improve their efficiency to quickly identify and utilize systems of interest. Saving and exporting reports from the Point to Point Calculator will act as an easy way to save progress.
Looking further into the future, we are working on even more exciting enhancements to GeoCalc Online. Expanded calculation support for tabular and vector data will allow users to conduct even more of their workflows in the cloud. Utilizing cloud-hosted data transformations will help eliminate the need for large amounts of local hardware, improving efficiency. This is just the beginning of what is to come, stay tuned!