With growing digitalization across the world, an ever-increasing list of datasets is getting geotagged. In order to take full advantage of these geospatial data streams, organizations need techniques and tools that make it easier to harness the power and potential of such data.
At Senzing, when we started conceiving our entity resolution software in 2009, we knew for sure it needed to be geospatially aware. After much work, we implemented something called space-time-boxes to make it easier to process and compare entities for similarity and relationships.
While a wide range of geospatial capabilities is being developed, it still seems to me that the geospatial opportunities exceed current offerings. I think this holds especially true in the area of multi-source fusion; for instance, fusing geospatial data sets with non-geospatial data sets — which as a by-product label location-less data with location. This type of auto-labeling is essential to machine learning. Another area where I feel much more work needs to be done is privacy by design (PbD) engineering. Without a lot of forethought into privacy, systems are less sustainable i.e., apt to be discovered and shut down.
Privacy by design (PbD) was one of our core design objectives when we started designing and building our software in 2009. One of our more unique PbD features is something called selective field hashing. When this hashing is combined with our space-time boxes, our customers discover a very unique and powerful way to compare geospatial coordinates between systems for closeness without exchanging actual latitudes and longitudes. This is discovery without disclosure.
Remaining relevant in a disruptive environment
If artificial intelligence means “systems that act smart” — then geospatially tagged data is going to play a key role; because the “where” factor plays a big role in all decision making.
The geospatial industry is undergoing a great disruption. One way of staying relevant is factoring agility and resilience into our growth strategy. I believe agility comes from underlying foundations and structures, and we are prepared for this. Continuous innovation is another aspect we need to focus on. As the primary innovative work is done and ahead of its time, a large chunk of our investment is geared towards boosting customer demand. I also think instead of standalone technologies, the future lies in the integration of various technologies, and hence the focus on open source integrations.
As our technology enables real-time, multi-source entity-centric data fusion, with geospatial-awareness, and more importantly privacy by design — we feel well positioned for what’s coming in the geospatial industry. Furthermore, as a library for programmers, we hope the companies building geospatial systems will find us. We would love to demonstrate to such organizations just how easy and affordable it is to now embed our advanced analytics inside of their technology — helping them leapfrog their competition in terms of capability — as well as performance and cost.
As we are on the cusp of The Fourth Industrial Revolution, it becomes imperative for the industry to reorient itself with an emphasis on privacy concerns and policy.