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Modern maps are providing deeper insights into the world around us – Andy Dearing, Boundless


Maps have been a medium for people to communicate for many years. The information provided on maps was based on what was known (or sometimes unknown) at that point in time. Through the years, maps have evolved into a more powerful communication tool to help provide context and understanding.

With more information available than ever before, which can provide more context and refined understanding of the questions we ask, modern “maps” are providing deeper insights into the world around us. These maps are far from traditional maps that once described where topological features were in the world; these geospatial informational displays can connect people, deliver real-time information, and provide augmented experiences to help drive deeper understanding.

Cloud, open source and hybrid systems — key to future relevancy

With more and more data getting processed in modern IT architectures and third party Clouds, Cloud-native geospatial is key to the future relevancy of our domain. Next, most businesses and organizations are adopting open source as a foundational element of their IT/business missions. Loosely coupled architectures, joined together through open technology standards and APIs, are key to maximizing how best technologies can work together.

We have taken the best of open source and packaged and delivered it in a way that it is not only solving traditional geospatial problems, but modern IT problems of scalability and interoperability as well. Providing a modern platform to IT departments that can quickly enable their location information workflows is the sweet spot of our technology. We see a whole new horizon for these organizations to better understand and make more informed decisions by analyzing streams of information on the fly, building processes on top of that information in real-time, and making timely decisions to what the information is communicating to the organization.

Our technology is the exemplar for open standards for geospatial, and we are also participating on new and emerging standards, ensuring that our technology is built in a way that can maximize interoperability and flexibility for our users.  The days of putting all your data and users into one system are gone – hybrid systems connected through open APIs and services are the best approach for our industry.

We commit resources in our organization to building “what next.  While we have to be balanced, as we are still a relatively small company, we realize that if we are focusing on the future of our market, we need to be thinking about the future of our technology and investing in it.

For the geospatial world, technologies like AI, machine learning and IoT have already started driving change. No longer people have to look through volumes of images to detect if something is happening; experts are now building algorithms that can be run on massive architectures that can find and alert mission partners of events that are occurring.  What would have taken weeks or months is now being done within seconds.  Being able to narrow the aperture of information to what is meaningful and relevant for your organization is what ML / AI / DL are enabling within the geospatial industry.

While we do not natively build out these types of algorithms, we have a scalable platform that these algorithms can run on to support the massive processing that is necessary to produce accurate, timely results.

Large organizations will make the future

Having data and processing capabilities natively within their platforms, large organizations, like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google can unlock insights that have never been possible in our industry. We are making sure that we are prepared to support our customers to make this leap.  We provide unparalleled speed and scale that the geospatial industry is yet to see and we look forward to continue to be pioneers as to what the next GIS systems should be. 

Also Read: Towards geospatial machine maps – Nikhil Naikal, Mapper