CEO, GIS Development, India
email: [email protected]
Year 2002 has witnessed an increase in the usage of geographic information in non-conventional segments and its penetration has increased in engineering, infrastructure, utility sector and business GIS. Advancement towards web enabled GIS, has forced the GIS community to evolve common standards and structures and its integration with mainstream of IT.
The Global Scenario
The year 2002 has been a significant one for Geoinformatics industry worldwide. In contrast to general IT scenario, Geoinformatics sector has done better and has consequently been receiving business attention from leading IT giants. Although, few companies have shown less growth than expected, but major software vendors like ESRI, Intergraph, Bentley and Autodesk have improved their sales in GIS significantly. For ESRI the year 2002 brought good business. Bentley increased its focus on the geo-engineering field. Autodesk realized steep rise in GIS sales in its overall revenue proceeds. MapInfo showed signs of improving its sales of MapInfo 7 (in comparison to previous year). For Intergraph this year saw a paradigm shift. It has been showing continuous growth, and merging of ZI Imaging with Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions has provided greater strength to the organization.
For Leica Geosystems, the year has been more of consolidation of its various divisions particularly in view of merger of LH and ERDAS with Leica Geosystems. The year has been good for them and it seems that the year 2003 is likely to fetch good revenues for Leica.
Another segment of geoinformatics that did equally well is large-scale mapping using, LIDAR, and remote sensing technology. We saw the increase in the visibility of LIDAR companies in geoinformatics industry. Primarily Optech and Leica have been busy throughout the year delivering solutions for using LIDAR for large-scale database generation and mapping. However, successful delivery of high-resolution images from commercial satellites of Space Imaging and Digital Globe continued to give boost to large-scale mapping and updating.
Database generation and conversion segment also did well. Companies like Tele Atlas, Kampsax, Infotech Enterprises, and RMSI experienced notable growth. However this year they did not rely heavily on North America and explored opportunities in Europe and Asia (particularly Japan) yielding good results.
Much hyped Location Based Services (LBS) business began to show some fruitful results despite poor performance of the telecommunication sector. Continuous effort of MapInfo and Autodesk in this regard brought some success. LBS is gearing up to do better in future.
According to Ajay Lavakare, CEO, RMSI, “LBS industry is still witnessing partnerships, teaming relationships and consolidation, with no clear winners emerging yet. However, my bet would be that there will be more commercial opportunities for LBS in B2B space (fleet management, mobile workforce applications) than in the consumer space.”
Increasing interest of global IT giants like Oracle and Microsoft promises to bring in Geoinformatics in the mainstream of IT. The awareness about Geoinformatics as an important component of IT is increasing and it will help develop big market for this industry within the IT framework. Large projects with increasing integration of GIS datasets with an enterprise-based approach have been the highlight of this process. Past few years have witnessed an increase in the usage of geographic information in non-conventional segments and its penetration in engineering, infrastructure and utility sector and business GIS; integration of increasing layers with geographic information; and advancement towards web enabled GIS, has forced the GIS community to evolve common standards and structures and its integration with mainstream of IT.