Stalwarts discuss dimensions and directions of geospatial industry

Stalwarts discuss dimensions and directions of geospatial industry


Hyderabad, India: The plenary panel session at Geospatial World Forum 2011 saw industry stalwarts deliberate upon the dimensions and directions of the geospatial industry. Session chair Dr. Vanessa Lawrence CB, Director General & CEO, Ordnance Survey, Great Britain observed that geospatial industry is fast becoming part of the mainstream industry worldwide.

In his address to the audience through a video presentation, Jack Dangermond, President, Esri, shared his vision on the new modality of the geospatial industry that builds upon enhanced sharing of knowledge and data as technologies evolve. According to him, putting map on the Web involving volunteered geographical information would result in development of integrated system where all devices are connected. This would lead to collectively creating an ecosystem of knowledge. Jack observed that the benefits of having GIS on Web are driven by: technology, with hardware getting cheaper; measurement, with systems getting more real time; software development itself; impact of the technology on science; and new open data sharing policies. This implies that GIS is becoming an integrated system, offering enhanced benefits across businesses, citizens and governments and enhancing communication and efficiency.

Dr. BVR Mohan Reddy, Chairman and Managing Director, Infotech Enterprises, India observed that geospatial is multidimensional, with its role spreading into many more industries, implying that many more applications to benefit mankind. Reddy stressed on the growing relevance of geospatial technologies in infrastructure, in addition to its role in traditional applications. Reddy observed the geospatial industry is moving in two directions, network engineering pertaining to all business engineering and content engineering pertaining to public services which offer enormous scope for application of geospatial technologies. These necessitate the need to improve accuracy. Talking about technological aspect of dimensions, he opined that the future is the cloud. Sharing his vision for industry direction, he observed that the outlook is very positive. According to him, the industry faced challenges in 2008, 09 and 2010 but business is coming back now. He concluded that the industry needs to ensure that they deliver value to customers. Absence of same will impact not just one company but the industry.

Brian Bullock, Chairman, Intermap Technologies, US observed that the next decade will witness an even larger explosion of data. Commenting that disruptive change starts at bottom of the market, he observed that moving up the market requires updation of database, accuracy and new data layers. According to him, the most important requirement is accurate position. He identified the next dimension as higher accuracy and more growth as the direction.

Matthew O’ Connell, CEO, President and Director, GeoEye, identified trends that are defining direction for geospatial industry. These are increased reliance on satellite imagery by governments around the world, users increasingly wanting services that will help them make decisions using geospatial information and users wanting easy access to flawless geospatial information any time, on demand through Internet. He informed the audience about on-demand Web-delivery platform from GeoEye to address this user demand.

Kanwar Chadha, Founder, SiRF Technologies discussed the trends in geospatial industry from consumer perspective and discussed the impact of cloud content and relevant location on geospatial industry. Observing that devices are getting connected and world getting clouded, he said that content in cloud is accessible anywhere, anytime. Also cloud is going to be a unified source of information. According to him, this shift is changing dynamics of geospatial industry with the industry becoming part of part of larger information ecosystem, rather than being centre of an ecosystem. These dynamics are creating new challenges and opportunities for the geospatial industry. Steven Hagan, Vice President, Development of Server Technologies, Oracle discussed the drivers of geospatial industry from point of view of platforms. The four global drivers of geospatial according to him are big data, big software, real-time analytics and big hardware. According to him, scalability is needed to support all these.
Source: Our correspondent