Geospatial World talks to Mathieu Becker, President-Founder of Isogeo, a data management company based in France, about Isogeo platform, its mandate and how the current geospatial trend is driving data management market.
SMEs are considered as the interface between technology MNCs and end users. How does Isogeo fit into this role?
Large technology MNCs are interested to support SMEs so we can integrate their technology in our solution. Thanks to the API, integrators can easily develop new services to the market. This is also a way for Isogeo to have its technology used and reused for new applications, tailoring the platform to customers’ new needs. As Isogeo platform allows public sector to deliver open data to a large audience, we can easily connect our clients with companies interested in getting the data. Acquiring data from the field is very costly for some companies; hence, Isogeo platform becomes the mediator between these companies and the data provider.
Do you think the government policies have been encouraging towards the use of geospatial technology?
In France, the government – through CNIG (an organisation under Ministry of Environment) – has been playing a critical role in promoting the use of geodata with regards to the INSPIRE Directive. Through their efforts, the requirements are now well understood by the community. Another initiative came from ETALAB, an organisation attached to the Prime Minister’s Office. ETALAB has developed an open data platform for public information – data.gouv.fr – where geodata plays a major role. Isogeo has taken these two initiatives into consideration when developing our platform. I will be presenting the critical importance of cataloguing geodata as a prerequisite to INSPIRE and open data strategy at the upcoming INSPIRE-Geospatial World Forum 2015 in Lisbon.
Tell us about Isogeo platform and its operation.
Our motto “Easy Access to Geodata” summarises the vision of the company that is to make geodata easily accessible for anybody in any organisations – may they be GIS specialists or just users. For users to know what data are available and how to make the most out of it, it is critical to have a comprehensive and up-to-date catalogue of the geodata. This is where Isogeo platform comes into picture. We scan all data in any format and catalogue them for easy data access. As Isogeo platform is INSPIRE-compliant, our clients at the moment are mainly from the public administration in France, including federal departments, regional offices and municipalities. We are now targeting to penetrate into large private corporations and hopefully to expand internationally as well.
What are the major trends that you think could drive this market?
I think open data trend is here to stay. The emergence of this trend has created demands to support more geodata formats on our platform. Also, the big data trend, which makes data management more and more complicated. There will be more investment to create efficient data management. We have also noticed increasing demand for monitoring tools, especially from engineering companies interested in delivering top class services to their customers.
What are your expansion plans?
Our main focus at the moment is to expand at European level. Isogeo was developed initially to help public organisations to be compliant with the INSPIRE Directive. So our platform is relevant to all European Member States implementing INSPIRE. The second focus is to penetrate into large private organisations in France and internationally, which I believe is crucial for any SMEs in order to survive and expand. In a few years’ time, I would like Isogeo to be positioned as a geodata specialist, playing an interface role between data providers and users.