Geospatial Technology Offers Plenty to Get Excited About

Posted on behalf of Emma Kettle who is a writer specialising in science and technology, she began her career in IT, but when motherhood beckoned she turned to writing about her chosen career path and now she contributes to a number of websites that have special interest in tech matters.

Few people could have failed to recognise the sharp upward trend in the production, and usage, of affordable consumer electronics. These days the lives of most people in the western world, and a growing number in other places, are dominated by smart phones, clever tablets and intuitive computers. Modern lifestyles have become dependent on technology in a big way. As a result of this, the last few years has seen an increase in the adoption of Geospatial technology by both businesses and consumers.

The primary area of attribution for this heightened interest in the technology is a demand for ever more insightful mapping solutions. Mapping has evolved to much more than just a tool to help people find their way around unfamiliar lands, although that aspect in itself has indeed evolved a great deal. Nowadays the technology is woven into computer devices and their applications in such innovative ways that many people now wonder how they ever lived without this technology.

So just how is this technology infiltrating modern living? Here are the key areas where geo technology is having a profound impact on modern living:

  • Interactivity

Digital maps have been around for some time now, but for the most part these were either static or of specific locations displayed through imaging. Though maps have been evolving for some time, 2013 saw a huge leap in that evolution towards high quality, information-rich interactive maps.

Increased capabilities of Geospatial solutions has allowed brick and mortar companies to literally put themselves on the map. This means that a person now has the opportunity to use a map to locate a company, gather important information about that company and get directions all from one place.      

  • Mobility

According to a recent survey conducted by Sophos, the average technology user can now be found ladened with 2.9 devices as they go about their daily life. There are people walking around today with more technology in their pocket than was even conceived of just 50 years ago. These advancements have also lead to gadget repair, maintenance and insurance companies playing a more important role in modern life as people take steps to protect these valuable electronic devices. Sales of mobile devices surpassed that of PC’s for the first time in 2013, and as more people begin to embrace this so called “mobile revolution” the demand for reliable location based services has surged. This is reflected in the availability of hundreds of mobile applications that now utilise this technology to bring more convenience to everything from securing possessions to socialising.

Companies such as Avast, who are long-time specialists in PC software, have already made the shift towards focusing on mobile, and just like social applications like Foursquare and Uber, Avast relies on location based services to provide the best service.

Mobile users also have access to increasingly intricate online maps, some of which are comprehensive enough to even include details of the nearest public lavatory, should one be required. 

  • Integration

Forward thinking innovators and organisations understand that the best value is often achieved with integration. Geospatial solutions can be used to help companies make more informed decisions when integrated, for example, with CRM software. This integration can provide the company with a much deeper insight into the data it collects about its customers.

One of the most common integration options, amongst many, is one between the popular CRM software, Salesforce and Google Maps for Business. Salesforce provides a host of useful benefits for businesses on its own, but when combined with the powerful location based features that comes with GMB it can result in an innovative new way to gather and interpret data.

  • Availability

The main reason for the rising interest in geospatial technology is that it has become more accessible. It can be said that there is now a democratisation of geo technologies as the tools are no longer reserved for highly specialised engineers.

Individuals and organisations alike can easily get access to tools such as the Google Maps Engine platform and develop their own solutions. Such tools have been designed with usability in mind, meaning that the learning curve is short and specialist knowledge will not be perquisite.  

Looking forward

According to the Boston Consulting Group, the geospatial service industry is worth approximately $75 billion dollars, and it is on a steep growth trajectory that will see it exceed $1 Trillion dollars in the next few years. This prediction is mirrored by the United Nations Initiative on Global Geospatial Information Management, which confirms that the demand for geospatial information is set to accelerate over the next ten years.

There are many things to get excited about in this arena, with innovative mapping applications being just one of those. The technological advances in the geospatial industry is not only breaking down geo knowledge barriers, it is completely flattening them.

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