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What is Geospatial Ecosystem?

Geospatial Technology in the Digital Ecosystem

 At the core of the development of any nation, lies the use of geospatial technologies. It could be a stunning satellite imagery from space, detailed surveying data gathered by total stations, aerial imageries by Drones/UAV’S, maps made in GIS software’s or scanning data so derived by Lidar and RADAR. The need at present is to unlock the potential of the data so derived and to turn it into meaningful information that enables the decision making process.

What does the Geospatial technologies encompass?

The Geospatial technologies encompass Geographic Information System (GIS)/Spatial Analytics, Global Navigation Satellites system (GNSS) and positioning, Earth Observation and Scanning.

Components of Geospatial Technology

GIS/Spatial Analytics 

The global GIS market grew at a CAGR of 11.4% approximately in 2014 and the use of GIS/Spatial Analytics by various industries is only expected to
go up from here. This is driven by an increasing global demand for geographically correlated information. Henceforth, GIS can primarily be categorized into four types:

  • Desktop GIS: Software is installed onto a desktop and runs on a personal computer
  • Web GIS: A desktop or mobile application allows the user to connect with the GIS server on the Internet
  • Mobile GIS: Takes GIS technology out of the office and into the field on a mobile device like a smartphone or a tablet
  • Cloud GIS: Running GIS software on Cloud allows a user to leverage the flexibility of the cloud environment for data capture, visualization, analysis and sharing.

GNSS and Positioning

GNSS or Global Navigation Satellite Systems has become an integral part of our daily lives that it is almost impossible to do without it. The demand for GNSS device is expected to cross 7 billion by 2019 or an average of one device per person on the planet. Everything from businesses and banking, to defense and aviation, surveying, navigation or indoor positioning – GNSS and positioning is the backbone of it all.

Earth Observation 

Earth Observation or remote sensing includes technologies like satellites in space, aerial photography (manned as well as unmanned flying vehicles) and radar imaging. While small, mini and nano satellites shake up the traditional earth observation market, 419 satellites are expected to be launched, generating $35.5 billion in manufacturing revenues, over the next decade. Simultaneously, the market for unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, is expected to boost the aerial photography industry by 12.9% over the next six years.

It is also exciting to note that the radar sensor ecosystem, made up of chip designer companies, component manufacturers, technology providers and system integrators, is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.94% between 2016 and 2022.


The scanning market comprises of Laser, LiDAR, Radar and point Cloud non-contact technologies that can digitally capture the shape of physical objects. 3D laser scanners create “point clouds” of data from the surface of an object or data about the surroundings. This market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.6% between 2016 and 2022.

While the government sector will continue to lead the demands in scanning technology, increased penetration across areas like wind energy, transportation, urban data acquisition are expected to be big growth drivers. Meanwhile, factors such as technological superiority, encouragement from government, and various applications of LiDAR, such as, engineering projects and large magnitude set are key drivers for the growth of LiDAR market.

What is the percentage share of each technology in geospatial technology landscape?

Percentage Share of the Components of Geospatial Technology

In past few years, earth observation segment has seen a proliferation of new entrants that have emerged with advanced nano-satellites and aerial remote sensing capabilities. Moreover, endless data collection and analysis possibilities have made this segment as largest percentage share of 37% technology providers within geospatial industry. Among the four categories of geospatial technologies, it has been seen that GIS/Spatial Analytics contributes 17% of the overall technology providers.

GNSS technology is being widely used as embedded component by both consumer and professional market. However, the percentage contribution of GNSS & Positioning technology providers within geospatial industry comprise of 33%.

In near future, it is expected that LiDAR technology will be used with smartphones; emerging as a commodity rather than being part of a niche industry segment. However, Scanner segment remains smallest among the four and has percentage share of 13% technology providers within geospatial industry.

Do you want to know more about how the geospatial technology trends are transforming globally? Do you want to know the interesting facets that drive the global geospatial technology ecosystem? Download the Global Geospatial Industry Outlook now!