Such graphic software, minus the topology and advanced query benefits, function well as basic spatial tools and comfortably serve data over the web with a “fair” amount of interactivity.
Does this make your overpriced IMS overhyped and overblown too?
Macromedia Flash fills this niche quite well as demonstrated [here]. And as the market seems to indicate, it does that [while] satisfying more customers than what an overly fancy GIS would. [This] reminds me of the MapQuest survey when polled customers had expressed great contentment with their level of map detail, whereas cartographers were red with indignation. Akin to using an atomic clock to serve your wake-up call- not needed!
So is the complexity in Geospatial, better still Spatial, Information System or SIS overblown too? Much of SIS requires common-sense logic arranged linearly. If a person can drive her car in rush-hour traffic as she deciphers vague directions off a schematic map while trying to make sense of rain-washed road signs and maintain a semblance of conversation with her passenger, and still manage to engage the kid in the back-seat [read multi-linear tasking]; she can achieve a sound understanding of spatial databases with little persistence, except for the eye-for-details that comes with practice.
My point: SIS is non-complex and not at the cutting-edge of technological change, and there is ample room for non-traditional spatial software!
This rise of non-traditional spatial software challenges the accepted definition of SIS. If you were to follow the modernists approach to design where in the end you remove everything you can without taking away from the essence of your creation and apply it to defining a SIS, you wonder what such a conceptual SIS would be in its simplest stark-naked Spartan form?