Geography is a denominator for our most crucial problems — Anne Hale...

Geography is a denominator for our most crucial problems — Anne Hale Miglarese, Radiant.Earth

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Geospatial technology is fundamental to improved decisions and faster growth. In the near future, geospatial technologies will be embedded in many of the workflows that support the Fourth Industrial Revolution and therefore will be invisible to the end user or customer. That means the application is a success, no longer requiring human expertise and intervention at every step in the process. At the end of the day our problems need answers and the people who need the answers are seldom well equipped to deal with or even interested in the complicated and laborious workflow of how the analysis was done.

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There is a move by large IT and engineering firms to acquire geospatial technology companies. This is because these corporations see major market opportunity on the horizon and want to enhance their capability offering and/ or acquire a broader customer base. This is just another indicator that geography is a denominator in the equation of society’s most crucial problems. Autonomous vehicles, Internet of Things and climate change mitigation strategies are major market opportunities for large engineering firms over the next decade and all of these demand geographic data and analysis as major components of the work.

We are optimistic about the ability of governments and non-profits to put geospatial technolgy to work for our missions and customers

We think there will be countless opportunities for the commercial sector to grow based upon the innovation being driven by a few fundamental technologies. Taking into account just the general global trends around machine learning, one cannot help but be excited by what discoveries and analytics can be driven by earth observation data. Further, the fundamental positioning required by autonomous vehicles will drive tremendous market opportunity for mapping and geospatial firms. These two trends alone should significantly increase market opportunity.

Working for a cause

Additionally, with the barriers to entry lowered and the improvements in analytical capability, we are very optimistic about the ability of governments and non-profits such as Radiant.Earth, to put geospatial technology to work for our missions and customers. These missions are directly focused on supporting people and places in need of necessities, to improve the quality of lives across the globe. The trends in open data and government transparency will further fuel additional data-driven analytics to support the delivery of government services and transparency.

In addition to tremendous financial savings, the speed at which we can now compute makes some of our most demanding remote sensing computation work seem instantaneous. Radiant.Earth’s entire computing infrastructure is Cloud-based and we have partnered with AmazonWeb Services for this capability.

Radiant.Earth has begun to ready the platform for machine learning workflows and we are investing in image label libraries to support machine learning. Finally, we hope to launch a Blockchain proof of concept project in the next year to investigate the utility of this new technology in geospatial data sharing between non-profits and the commercial sector.