The next generation geospatial models will be very low level – deep down in the compiler. There will be a geospatial compiler that will understand space/time attributes like direction and proximity innately. This will certainly boost geospatial awareness, says Dr. Kiran Manchikanti, Founder & Director, Mapsol Geospatial Solutions in an exclusive interview with Geospatial World
Geospatial is increasingly becoming a big set that encompasses many other subsets like drones, LiDARs, location technology, analytics, or virtually anything that requires a spatial component. So what do you think would propel the geospatial technology for future innovations?
A strong tool is needed for the future. Currently, the biggest setback for geospatial data usage and problem-solving is the right kind of GIS as a tool. Current tools are cluttered and incomplete. Mapsol is developing a world-class GIS, a prototype of which will be released within the second quarter of 2019.
Location is a crucial component in geospatial and its utility is increasing with each passing day. What do you think could be done to make location data more precise and real-time?
GPS is a blessing. While high accuracy and real-time monitoring is possible, it is mostly not possible due to selective availability. Strong augmented ground control networks are crucial to increase precision and availability.
Data is often called the ‘New Oil’ in the age of 4th Industrial Revolution. How do you envision developments in geospatial data analytics so that the domain would be able to keep pace in the age of automation?
Geospatial data suffers from ambiguity and reliability issues the most. The reason for this is the overload of data and a bulk of it not having a central context to be associated with. Mapsol is working on this aspect very closely in creating data models that would increase the reliability and usability the bulk of geospatial data floating around there or yet to be generated.
Could you please elaborate on next-generation geospatial models and how would they differ from the existing models?
The next generation geospatial models will be very low level – deep down in the compiler. There will be a geospatial compiler that will understand space/time attributes like direction and proximity innately due to object definitions itself.
‘Blending art and geometry’ in geospatial seems to be another guiding principle of Mapsol. But isn’t this something that has already been achieved and popularized with interactive maps and story maps? Or is there a big difference between the two?
Blending art and geometry, in fact, is not something new. Humans have been doing this for millennia. What Mapsol wants to do here is to create a platform for making technically accurate/reliable maps, 3D models, and infographics which will also become masterpieces of inspiration for future work and overall geospatial awareness.
Mapsol’s motto is striving to enhance geospatial awareness. How do you do it? And how do you think the benefits of geospatial technology could be best disseminated?
Mapsol’s way of creating geospatial products and solving geospatial problems is centered on the earth. Anything and everything we do starts with a spatial/temporal reference framework of the earth in the context of the current problem.
Once a central context is established (like scaffolding), we just need to arrange the pieces to solve the problem (complete the structure). The very exercise of creating the central geospatial framework and solving problems/creating products through it is a geospatially revealing process.
Any upcoming collaborations or partnerships with government agencies or private players?
Mapsol will be cooperating with research think tanks and private corporations to enhance and evolve our new GIS product.
Would the transformation in the dynamics of geospatial disrupt the Earth Observation sector as well?
Yes, they will. In fact, Mapsol vision is that geospatial will span geophysics to astrophysics.
Trajectory of future growth would be driven by AI and the convergence of different technologies. How do you foresee it? Would AI and geospatial functioning in tandem lead to a new breakthrough?
Absolutely. Part of what Mapsol has been developing (concepts and products) are heavily reliant artificial intelligence principles. What we are developing might evolve into a new kind of “Geospatial Awareness” in a true sense of computer becoming aware of the space/time fabric.
How do you think governments can best leverage geospatial technologies to deliver public utilities and tackle issues like poverty and hunger? Is there a dire need of geospatially enabled policy planning and what’s the way around?
Geospatial always creates a context that enables problem-solving. So long as we don’t have a map in hand, a journey to an unknown place or a hike up the mountain will be a daunting task. The moment there is a map in hand, the plan to accomplish a certain thing naturally simplifies itself. Governments need to consider geospatial as the primary context for their work, however, as I said previously, lack of efficient tools is keeping a lot of problems (that are geospatial in nature) from being solved geospatially.
Could you please tell us a bit about Mapsol’s sustainable development endeavors?
Mapsol focuses directly on environmental and engineering projects that are oriented towards sustainable projects. Additionally, Mapsol works on economic intelligence projects rather than business intelligence (alone) which give better insights into how we are doing in relationship to the ecosystem we are. Holism is one of the primary founding principles of Mapsol.