How Emerging Technologies Impact Geospatial Industry
Five Emerging Technologies that Impact the Geospatial Industry in 2020
Emerging technologies like AI, Cloud, AR, and VR have transformed business processes in recent time. On one hand, these futuristic technologies have brought automation in various operations, and on the other hand, they have led modern industries to digitization while expanding their global reach. Every industry sector has started leveraging the benefits of emerging technologies these days, and the geospatial industry is no exception!
The geospatial industry collects, processes, manages, assesses, and distributes data related to the specific location worldwide. Key geospatial technologies including GIS (Geographic Information System), GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System), and Earth Observation are evolving thanks to the integration of advanced features of emerging technologies. Though these technologies are in the nascent stage, they have started showing the potential to bring radical changes in the geospatial industry in the near future.
The UK Geospatial Commission Report of August 2019 has listed key emerging technologies that could impact the geospatial industry in the coming years. Though this report is focused on the UK-based geospatial industry, we can certainly assume that these technologies will impact the industry across the world. Here we mention the top five technologies that are set to impact the geospatial industry.
1. Cameras, Imaging, and Sensing
Cameras, imaging, and sensing are backbones of the geospatial technologies. With the advent of a near-persistent observation approach, the range of imaging sensors is getting diverse across space, airborne, drones, ground-based imaging, and advanced camera networks. Technological advancements in these domains have remained stupendous in recent time.
The development and wider adoption of new platforms including drones, small satellites, and HAPS (High Altitude Pseudo Satellites) have resulted in greater coverage and more accurate targeting. As a result, we witness a radical change in the way we collect EO data and undertake persistent observation. What’s more, we have seen significant improvements in the capacity and accuracy of sensors and cameras in numerous geospatial use cases.
Another emerging trend in ground-based imaging is static and backpack imaging. It has fulfilled the requirement to capture the image of 3D city models while providing imagery context for indoor spaces.
Improved EO capabilities have gone beyond the defense and security sectors. Today, they are crucial for other key sectors like infrastructure, agriculture, and asset management. Higher quality images and advanced vehicle sensors can provide actionable insights to help us make informed decisions in real time.
2. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI is getting mainstreamed quickly across different industry sectors. By providing enhanced experiences to users and making accurate predictions based on available data, AI and ML (Machine Learning) have transformed the traditional business operations. Geospatial companies have leveraged the benefit of ML to enable systems to make decisions from both structured and unstructured data sets. It results in the reduction of human intervention and more accurate results.
GNSS and positioning technologies are influenced by AI in location intelligence. AI has a direct impact on the transportation and logistics industry as well as navigation systems. For example, AI-powered systems can process thousands of millions of GPS points at once to forecast changing route and traffic conditions for the fleet. The emergence and prevalence of CAV (Connected and Autonomous Vehicle) is largely attributed to AI. Along with this, LiDAR, RADAR, and IoT technologies will bring changes in the way processes are done today.
3. Smart Sensors and IoT (Internet of Things)
IoT is not an emerging technology basically, but it has evolved significantly in recent years. This futuristic concept has gone beyond the corporate sector as we talk about ‘Smart Cities’ and connected ecosystems. The Smart City domain has a huge scope for geospatial technologies and sensors. All the applications related to Smart City rely on an integrated IoT network. Simply put the integrated network of devices acts as a bridge between various services and processes.
Smart sensors can enhance the security and resilience of assets. Also, the retail sector and other customer-centric business models can utilize the data fetched by smart sensors to improve their services and provide better customer experience. In agriculture sector, IoT solutions can bring significant results while combining with geospatial technologies. Another role of IoT and other emerging technologies lies in the management of smart energy grids that consist of connected devices and sensors.
In the coming years, the technology consulting service will come up with more use cases and applications of IoT for the geospatial industry.
4. Unmanned Vehicle Systems and Drones
Unmanned Vehicle Systems and drones can greatly help the geospatial industry. Drones can be used effectively as an aerial platform for mapping projects. They can also be used as delivery systems to send lightweight packages, parcels, and even medicines. Energy distribution networks can be monitored effectively using drones as they can leverage the computerized vision to inspect the assets. They can also detect any fault or anomaly by using neural networks.
Traffic management and monitoring of urban assets can be done efficiently using drones. In the coming time, we can expect that the role of drones and unmanned vehicle systems will expand in the geospatial industry. Drones can meet the requirements of geo-awareness, geofencing, and GNSS-based locations. With this, drones will also contribute significantly to provide geospatial reference and data.
5. Immersive Technologies like AR and VR
Both AR and VR are used to produce an advanced geo visualization environment in the geospatial industry. These immersive technologies can make it possible to present any level of geospatial detail in a lifelike manner. Be it a skeleton geometry in 3D or an Intelligent Point Cloud that shows a real-time digital representation of a building, everything can be seen in immersive reality.
LiDAR, a geospatial acquisition technology, can provide the context in a more detailed way in the immersive model. The military domain has a lot of scope for innovative VR and AR solutions. For instance, these technologies can be effectively used to improve the training conditions and create simulated environment to make them ready for conflict. With the help of wearables, AR can take users into new and unexplored geographic locations. AR has made it possible to provide training to professionals in remote areas.
Advancements in simulation, connectivity, and survey-related technologies can also help the geospatial industry to fetch real-time data with higher accuracy. Technology consulting service providers can cast more light on the role of emerging technologies in the geospatial industry. There is no exaggeration in mentioning that in the coming years, these technologies will change the way of ongoing processes of geospatial industry.
At Silver Touch, we integrate the advancements of emerging technologies to build futuristic IT solutions for various industry sectors. Our in-house team of experienced professionals can come up with unique web and app solutions for complex requirements of modern businesses. Just send us an email at [email protected] with your project needs to get technology consulting services from dedicated and expert consultants.