What constitutes the geospatial technology ecosystem?

What constitutes the geospatial technology ecosystem?


The geospatial technology ecosystem is a multifaceted entity with multiple interactive components. Over the years, the technology ecosystem has evolved to capture the interplay between geospatial technologies, new enabling technologies and business processes to bring with it multitude of opportunities. As geospatial technologies get infused with the new age technologies and get embedded into the business processes, they become an enabler for socio-economic development.

But what exactly does the geospatial technology ecosystem encompass?

The GeoBuiz-18 report, an exclusive study by Geospatial Media and Communication, broadly segments the geospatial technology ecosystem into four categories, namely, GNSS and Positioning, GIS and Spatial Analytics, Earth Observation and 3D Scanning. Further on, the report sub-categorizes these four technology segments, into hardware, software, and services, providing market size and growth information respectively.

Geospatial Technology Ecosystem
Geospatial technology ecosystem

GNSS and Positioning

As the ‘location’ element becomes pervasive in our lives, GNSS and Positioning technology segment matures and becomes extremely relevant, improving productivity and reliability. An integrated part of the management process, GNSS enables high accuracy positioning with the help of satellite signals. GNSS and Positioning segment is a composite of GNSS upstream and downstream markets, the surveying market, and the fastest growing, the indoor positioning market.

The GeoBuiz-18 report estimates the GNSS and Positioning industry to be the largest of the geospatial universe. It estimates the market size to grow at a CAGR of 13.5% to reach $260.8 Billion in 2018-2020. In sub-categorization, it is revealed that the downstream of GNSS (inclusive of GNSS chips/devices) accounted for nearly 71.5% (in revenue) of the total segment in 2017 which is expected to increase to 74.4% by 2020. The market size of the surveying segment is expected to touch approx. $49 Billion by 2020 as the application domains (Infrastructure, Cadaster, Utilities, Mining, etc.) and customer base significantly widens. Fastest growing of all, the Indoor Mapping segment is extremely diverse having the power to improve many aspects of day-to-day lives and is estimated to touch $14.0 Billion in 2020.

GIS and Spatial Analytics

A technology segment that essentially needs no introduction, GIS and Spatial Analytics is central to the geospatial universe for capturing, storing, manipulating, analyzing and interpreting data relationships to establish pattern and trends. Available to consumers primarily as a software, it is available in three formats: Desktop GIS, Web/Cloud GIS, and Mobile GIS. A Research and Markets report, titled, “Global Cloud GIS Market 2016-2020”, forecasts that the Web/Cloud-based GIS market will grow at 11.03%, demonstrating an accelerating reliance on cloud computing technology. Concurrently, a research by Technavio predicts that the global mobile GIS market will grow at a steady CAGR of approx. 10% for 2016-2020.

The GIS/Spatial Analytics technology segment is sub-classified into software, services and solutions, and content. The GeoBuiz-18 report estimates that in 2017, the cumulative market for GIS/Spatial Analytics stood at $66.2 Billion, projected to grow at a CAGR of 12.4% between 2017-2020 to reach $88.3 Billion. Rapid urbanization and increasing investments in GIS-based infrastructure are predominantly going to drive the global GIS industry. Furthermore, among the three sub-segments, it is estimated that revenues from software are going to contribute 20.27% of the total, while services and solutions and content are likely to contribute 52.3% and 27.40% by 2020 respectively.

Earth Observation

Over the years, the entire satellite sector has been growing modestly. In recent years, the earth observation segment, a composite of satellite-based upstream, downstream and aerial mapping is becoming the talk of the town. With the advent of SmallSat and Nano-satellites, and UAV’s and other flying objects, the earth observation segment has seen a paradigm shift. Driven by commercial data services and value-added services (applications), the earth observation technology segment is all set to witness an accelerating growth at a CAGR of 14.9% between 2017-2020.

The GeoBuiz-18 report estimates that the growth of EO-upstream segment (inclusive of satellite manufacturing, ground-based systems, launch services, and payload manufacturing) will be at a CAGR of 15.2% during 2017-2020. Furthermore, the growing commercialization of the value chain and increasing collaboration between private and public sectors is going to drive the downstream segment from an approximate US$28.3 Billion in 2017 to US$42.3 Billion by 2020. An emerging phenomenon, aerial/UAV based mapping is foreseen to be a major growth driver for the earth observation industry by 2020. Inclusive of hardware, software, and services, the aerial mapping segment is expected to rise from an estimated US$ 6.3 Billion in 2017 to US$ 10.1 Billion by 2020.

3D Scanning

Comprising of LiDAR, Radar and Laser Technology, the 3D Scanning segment is presently the fastest growing segment with huge opportunities available for the future. The 3D Scanning ecosystem is sub-classified into three segments – hardware, software, and services. The market growth of this segment is extensively dependent on providing services such as body/face scanning, quality inspection, and reverse engineering in various industrial applications such as defense and internal security, healthcare, oil and gas pipelines, infrastructure and industrial manufacturing.

The global 3D Scanning market is expected to grow from an estimated US$ 8.6 Billion in 2017 to US$ 14.2 Billion. Furthermore, among the three sub-segments, it is estimated that revenues from hardware are going to contribute a massive 61.97% of the total, while software and services are likely to contribute 20.42% and 17.60% by 2020 respectively.

To sum up, the geospatial technology ecosystem is vast. Each technology segment of the geospatial universe has a crucial role to play in the digital ecosystem as they get embedded into the business processes to deliver end-to-end solutions for citizens, government, and businesses creating high impact for society at large.

To know more and to understand the global geospatial industry market size, regional market size, and recent business innovations and trends, download GeoBuiz-2018.