Today, Internet and mobile phones have changed the face of business, movement and communications with the factor of location and its accuracy becoming increasingly important at any given point of time. Business strategies have brought choices of products right into our homes. Decision-making has been ‘simplified’ for the consumer. In an information age, to be real-time is critical. The role of spatial information in every walk of life has also revolutionized.
In the past, the reason for mapping evolved from a very simple desire for expansion and trade with a search for new markets and sources of precious metals and other commodities. Later, mapping proved valuable to retain conquered grounds and to strategise attacks onto new frontiers. Today, the need for mapping has diversified vastly. Even though the primary usage remains political, the ambit of secondary use has widened. A huge and growing market – the information market – now drives the purpose and reason behind mapping. Fast and effective decision-making that is of use to not only soldiers but also civilians is now at the centre of mapping rationale.
In this race for the right and timely information, the tools for collection of spatial information have changed from dumpy levels and chains to satellites and DGPS. The tools of receiving the data has also transformed from A0 paper sheets sent via courier to image files sent via cellphones. Mobile mapping has come forth as an effective process of collecting data on ground and simultaneously rendering its check from satellites. With the recently released report ‘GPS Market Update 2004-2005’ on the prospects of the location-based industry that shows predictions of an expected market size of a staggering US $757 billion by 2017, definitely the horizon of mobile mapping applications seems bright…
Are we ready?