Even if they don’t know the term “geospatial” more and more people are using geospatial technology in their daily lives. From hailing an Uber to finding the nearest Starbucks, geoinformation has permeated almost every aspect of our lives. Even pictures you take with your smart phone are geotagged. In an increasingly interconnected world, spatial relationships are revolutionizing the way we visualize data. Today, thanks to the ubiquity of smartphones, tablets and wearable gadgets, technologies like global positioning systems (GPS), geographical information systems (GIS), and remote sensing are no longer exclusive to defense and homeland security; they are becoming integral parts of our daily lives.
Hexagon President and CEO, Ola Rollén, recognizes this trend. “The explosion of geospatial data is outpacing even what the experts predicted,” he said. “Since more everyday products have become geospatially enabled, everything now has a geospatial component.” Other forward thinking IT companies like Apple, Google, Amazon, etc., are following this trend and buying up core geospatial firms that offer location-based services they can incorporate into their products.
An increasing number of businesses are nontraditional geospatial consumers are coming to recognize that location-based intelligence and analytics can boost their performance and help them better understand their customers. With the increasing demand for readily available, consistent, accurate, complete and current information, geospatial applications have become the primary tool for accessing sophisticated geographic information, and transform the raw data into actionable, authoritative intelligence.
From data collection to data management to dynamic information services
For years we struggled to get our hands on enough data to answer the questions we had about our changing world. Today, we have the inverse problem: with mobile laser scanners, mobile mapping, and the explosion of minisat and UAV data, we are recording so much of the earth’s surface every day that we have a hard time finding the piece we need in the deluge of data. We need applications that can not only organize the constant stream of fresh data, but access it on the fly and deliver it rapidly to decision-makers, helping them quickly sense, decide and act as the earth changes.
This need for storage and access of large amounts of data lead to many to the usage of cloud computing. Acting as a centralized repository, the cloud can make this data available instantaneously available to consumers across the globe. The ability to run accurate and rapid field-based analysis that produces immediately actionable information is the key to success in all businesses. There are a wide variety of how businesses and governments are currently leveraging innovative apps on Cloud platforms.
→ Smart Governance: Government agencies can utilize crowd-sourced feedback and notifies local or state government agencies with detailed information in less than a minute about the feedback from citizens.
→ Intelligent Navigation: The shortest distance between two points is not necessarily a straight line, especially when transporting over-size/overweight loads. You need intelligent systems that provide the best route for your cargo.
→ Smart Transportation: The basic spatial network of all roads and their properties need to be tagged and made intelligent to be used in a number of applications, from Intelligent Traffic Management systems to Advanced Driver Assistance systems and Telematics to deciding when to upgrade and repave the road network.
Moving beyond analytics to information services
Storing and organizing your data is only the first step. Traditionally, maps were static reflections of an area in the past and they abstractly communicate data about ‘where.’ From the first hand-drawn exploration maps to the digital map with attribute data about the objects and features, maps have come a long way. To truly make the leap into the future, we need to find ways to access the data as it becomes available and automatically update our maps, transforming them from static images of the past into a dynamic information service.
By tapping in to a constant stream of incoming data, you can create a dynamic experience that provides an ongoing information service that not only reflects what was, but what is, what can be, and what ‘should be’. This allows you to move your efforts from building maps to communicating information in an intuitive manner so that one can spot trends and relationships that are not apparent in tables of rows and columns.
The earth is changing around us and the Geospatial industry is adapting to that change. We need mobile mapping applications that allow us to accurately document the change, cloud applications to store and organize that data, and cloud-based applications that but to accurately predict what will happen next, allowing us to get in front of the change and prepare ourselves for it.
Managing Assets in the Mornington Peninsula Shire
Located in Victoria near the City of Melbourne, the bootshaped Mornington Peninsula is a 720 square kilometre promontory separating two contrasting bays, Port Phillip and Western Port. Locally called ‘the Peninsula,’ it contains a diversity of scenic landscapes and is almost completely surrounded by the sea. Boasting coastal boundaries of more than 190 kilometres, it makes up approximately 10 per cent of Victoria’s coastline supporting a combination of urban areas, resort towns, tourist development, and rural land. Mornington Peninsula Shire needed a geo-enabled, front-end asset data collection and validation system arose, the Council looked to Hexagon Geospatial to provide a solution. Hexagon Geospatial deployed a smart solution based on GeoMedia® Smart Client that enables the Council to collect, manage, and share data securely within and outside its departments.
Optimized Permitting and Routing of Oversized and Overweight (OS & OW) Vehicles
Movement of oversized and overweight (OS & OW) vehicles across the nation's infrastructure is a time consuming and high risk activity. The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety’s Size and Weight Permits Division (Division) is responsible for providing permits to transportation companies carrying oversized and overweight materials across interstates and state highways. Existing processes were limited, including permitting availability during day shift only, as well as limited knowledge of construction zones, bridge restrictions and roadway architecture. Discover how the Division paired with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and Intergraph Corporation to create the web-based Oklahoma Permit Routing Optimization System (OKIEPROS).
Saving the Taj Mahal
Along with the loss of precious lives, the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that ravaged Nepal in April 2015 also destroyed Kathmandu valley’s architectural treasures. Seeing this devastation, an architecture professor at University of Notre Dame in the United States became concerned about the fate of a UNESCO World Heritage Site located only 500 miles away in India — the Taj Mahal. So, Prof. Krupali Krusche armed herself with a 3D scanner and digitally documented the Taj Mahal with up to 1mm accuracy to identify any signs of distress or decay.
Stressing on the need to safeguard the monument from natural or man-made disasters, Bhuvan Vikrama, Superintending Archaeologist for the Taj Mahal, says, “We collaborated with Dr. Krusche because she had the right mix of technology (Leica Geosystems ScanStation P20) and expertise on the comprehensive digital mapping, which will be crucial for the future conservation and preservation of the Taj Mahal.”
Doing 1 year’s work in 2 months
Pune-based Prashant Surveys used reality capture solution of the Leica Pegasus mobile mapping system to execute more than 2,700 km of highway and land survey projects in the state of Karnataka. Prashant S. Alatgi, who is the technical head of the company, says, “We see a huge technological jump for field data acquisition from the traditional total stations to the latest mobile mapping systems. Though the initial cost of the new mobile mapping system is higher, the quality, speed and returns just cannot be compared with that of the total stations. We could easily capture geo-referenced high density 3D point cloud data along with quality photographs, with the speed of about 80 km per day in Indian road conditions. Accordingly, we could easily carry out the field data acquisition of more than 2,700 km of State highways in Karnataka in less than 2 months, which would otherwise require more than a year.”
Improving accuracy and efficiency
Geospatial technology provides a robust method for inventorying, managing, and optimizing natural resources. The city of Nellore in Andhra Pradesh is home to about 25 coal-based thermal power plants. But, there is one plant which is measuring coal stock volume more accurately — even uneven heaps — by using geospatial technology. Their Leica MS50 MultiStation equipment is able to combine 3D laser scanning, precise total station capabilities, digital imagery and GNSS connectivity into one system, resulting in unchallenged accuracy and quality.
Reducing seismic uncertainty
While geospatial technology becomes vital in any post-disaster scenario, its contribution in reducing seismic uncertainty cannot be undermined. In fact, the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur is utilizing Leica GR25 GNSS reference station for seismic studies. Just like a data center server, it has many requirements for reliable operation. For example, backup power supply, redundant data communications, environmental controls, high security and an easy way to monitor and support the system.