Data is the new global currency, location the new gold standard —...

Data is the new global currency, location the new gold standard — Javier de la Torre, CARTO

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Javier de la Torre,  Founder & CEO, CARTO, US
Javier de la Torre,  Founder & CEO, CARTO, US.

New software, based on open source code bases and modern user interfaces, has opened the door to geospatial for a much broader set of users than ever before. This massive new user community brings new demands for solving business challenges with geospatial data.

Rather than a niche market with a small number of highly trained users addressing geo-centric challenges, we now have a mass-market using geo data and tools to tackle everyday business challenges. Our customers and partners are some of the most progressive organizations in the world when it comes to turning location data into business outcomes.

We are entering a Fourth Industrial Revolution where data is the new global currency, and location data is the gold standard. Location is ‘the’ foundation of the 4IR. Removing the “fourth wall” of space frees up a 10x growth in innovation, commerce, transit, and government. This has already started happening — legacy, desktop-based GIS tools are giving way to on-demand access to spatial insights training an entire new generation of users, including business analysts, developers, and data scientists. At the same time, the mapping software itself is undergoing a transformation with more real-time updating capabilities, 3D basemap renderings, and predictive model simulations to name a few examples.

In the next few years, geospatial analysis will go from being the secret sauce for the innovators, to being adopted by people, cities, and companies across the world

Democratizing geospatial

Instead of restricting geospatial insights to a set of trained power-users, the integration of geospatial and 4IR will accelerate the innovations that will improve the quality of living conditions and infrastructure in developing nations around the world. Similar to the Internet, but with space as the primary axis, there are no physical barriers keeping geospatial from reaching all ends of the earth. And by democratizing access (vs restricting to a set of trained power-users), technologies will gain adoption quickly. This will speed up innovation and quality of life and infrastructure in the underdeveloped nations. I believe in the next few years, geospatial analysis will cross the chasm — it will go from being the secret sauce behind the scenes for the innovators, and quickly being broadly adopted by people, cities, and companies. It will be a seamless part of everyday life, business, transit, and more.

We at CARTO are excited to be part of the modern ecosystem of geospatial technologies. Ease of use is paramount to us, and our strategy is to design products for multiple, different, specific users. This includes data scientists, data analysts, product managers, GIS experts and more. For each of them, the usage paradigm, analysis types and questions being answered are radically different; as are the expectations for usability. By building products for these users, versus marketing one product to all of them, we can quickly gain market share.

We are open to new partnerships and collaboration; and we urge the society to join us in thinking about how to use this innovation for good. Our customers and partners are some of the most progressive organizations in the world when it comes to turning location data into business outcomes. We embrace the open-source movement as part of our product development strategy. This allows us to rapidly iterate and incorporate trends into our tools because we can partner with other individuals and companies that are all working to create the modern ecosystem of geospatial technologies.