I think geospatial technologies will play an increasingly important role in our daily lives. In addition to the government, enterprises are incorporating geospatial applications in their businesses to improve productivity.
How do you envision the future of geospatial technologies? What will be the role of SuperMap in realising this vision?
I think geospatial technologies will play an increasingly important role in our daily lives. In addition to the government, enterprises are incorporating geospatial applications in their businesses to improve productivity. This is true not only for developed countries but also for developing countries like China and India and many African countries. People can now easily access to geoportals for various purposes like routing, online shopping, entertaining, etc., via different kinds of terminals like mobile phones and PDAs. Geospatial technologies can exert their power as far as imagination goes.
As for the role of SuperMap in Chinese geospatial industry, our purpose statement best explains it: GIS creates values, we innovate GIS. We are keeping a close track of innovations in information technology, and are integrating them in our development, like cloud computing and other Webbased applications. Our innovation not only fills in our platform software, but also in the applications.
What is the most conducive environment to realise this vision?
Computers are becoming all-pervasive and Internet accessibility is getting easier and more flexible. What’s more, technologies like GIS, remote sensing and GPS are advancing at a very fast pace. More and more people are realising the importance of GIS in applications such as e-governance, ERP, public information service, etc. One of our customers has very accurately summed up the evolving role of GIS, saying “GIS was once the pearl at the top of the pyramid tower, now it is the foundation of the pyramid tower”, which means GIS is playing a vital role in IT. All these factors are contributing towards the evolution geospatial industry and SuperMap will keep growing with the industry.
What are your expectations from the stakeholder community, including government, users and research and academia?
The government is both a user and an industry regulator. As a user, we have built GIS applications for the government for various purposes and are planning to extend the applications of GIS by working closely with the government. Meanwhile, as a regulator, we hope the government could enforce more standards and regulations to further standardise the geospatial industry in China. I can elaborate on the expectations from the research and academia through the concept of “Education, Research, and Industry.” SuperMap believes in implementing innovations and by cooperating with institutes and academia, we can further innovate in our products and services using the achievements and advances from the research. I have put forward the concept of Innovation 2.0. In Innovation 1.0, users use what we have developed, but in Innovation 2.0, we cooperate and interact closely with users in developing and designing.
What are your offerings in the product space?
SuperMap has been in the product space for more than ten years, since the release of the first SuperMap GIS software, SuperMap 2000, in the year 2000. We offer a complete package of GIS software, including desktop GIS, component GIS, service GIS, and mobile GIS. Currently and in the coming years, cloud GIS is one of our main focus areas. We have already cooperated with a number of top cloud service providers and carried out a series of tests for compatibility with their cloud platforms. We found that SuperMap works well with them.
What is your strategy for the overseas market, especially Asia, in the coming years?
We aim to strengthen our presence in the overseas market by establishing a distributor network across the world in the coming years, firstly. For Asia, we have a distributor in India, some others in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. We have a number of solution providers as our partners, as well. This year and in the coming years, we will put more efforts into identifying distributors worldwide. In the future, we want to work more closely with these distributors to expand and consolidate our global market by providing good and reliable GIS platform software and solutions.
SuperMap has been hosting China GIS Contest for college students for a long time. Are there any overseas market programmes this year?
We will host the SuperMap User Conference in Beijing. We are expecting over 4,000 users from home and abroad at this event. We are also keen to promote our cooperation with overseas universities, institutes and organisations through various avenues like development contests involving college students.