Defining the future of geospatial

Defining the future of geospatial


Hyderabad, India: Plenary Session I at Geospatial World Forum 2011 was chaired by Dr Shailesh Nayak, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, India. The plenary speakers of the session were Ola Rollen, President & Chief Executive Officer, Hexagon AB, Sweden and Jeff Jonas, Distinguished Engineer and chief Scientist Entity IBM, USA.

Rollen began his speech by introducing his company to the audience. He then talked about the recent Intergraph acquisition and also elaborated Hexagon’s vision for the future of GIS. The company had indeed come a long way in just 10 years. It’s now defining the future technology. “Static GIS is very professional, very accurate but very slow. Elaborating further, he said, “Google maps are now easily available, so what’s left for professionals. That’s why it’s more and more important to develop tech. There is a need for dynamic GIS, that is, combining accurate maps with tracker. There is a need for accuracy but real-time.”

“We are looking for digital terrain models with millimeter accuracy.” He also talked about the need to move from 2D to 3D. “By combining these technologies, we can find all kinds of solutions.”

Giving examples of the application areas of GIS in future, Rollen talked about the agriculture market and explained how we can use this technology to improve this sector. “GIS motion and tracking is the future of GIS.”

The next speaker, Jeff Jonas too began his presentation with the background of the company but soon introduced the audience to terms like ‘sensemaking on streams’ and called upon companies to evaluate new information against previous information, as and when it arrives. He said that the trend at present is that organisations are getting dumber. He then explained the audience how data collection is good for a company.

Jonas explained the importance of space-time-travel through a very interesting example. By compared the data collected about twins, he emphasised that sometimes two people can have same features but two people can never be at the same place. “space-time-travel is going to radically change the future. It will turn out to be the ultimate biometric tool.” Although he did raise concern about privacy issues, he said, “surveillance society is irrestible.”

The session ended with an interactive session of question answers with the audience.

Source: Our correspondent