Home » Technology & Innovation » Eyes on Geospatial Data Could Reap Rewards for Canadian Business
James Banting

James Banting

Software Developer, Sparkgeo

Will Cadell

Will Cadell

CEO, Sparkgeo

Geospatial data was once solely leveraged in map production, but the contextual information it provides can now be crucial to success in many industries.

Much of the data captured today can be tied to a point in space and time, giving enterprises and businesses an opportunity to learn more about when and where they get their money.

Maps have been the most common examples, where consumers can access data that ensures they follow a certain route, or search for a specific type of business relative to their location. Even a mobile video game like Pokémon Go, which proved popular in 2016, required players physically move to specified locations at certain times, cementing the geospatial concepts fundamental to the gameplay.

Organizations could benefit from a different view of what’s happening by seeking what geospatial data means for them and their particular needs.

“With shifting patterns of life due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people won’t spend money the same way and won’t be travelling as far from their homes,” says James Banting, Software Developer at Sparkgeo. “Industries that can, will make a shift to online ordering while others that rely on physical presence will need to understand where their customers will be coming from.”

“If they fail to adopt geospatial concepts, they could be quickly pushed out of the market because they won’t have the best available data to apply to their strategies,” he adds.

Will Cadell

Will Cadell, CEO at Sparkgeo, offers his own insights into how this could play out for businesses and their consumers.

What insights can the geospatial data industry provide to both organizations and consumers?

We can provide insight into human movement patterns and create indexes of oil demand. We can discern places with higher flood risk, where wildfires are more likely to happen, or watch for landscape changes. We can monitor the movement of high-value assets, and determine which countries are moving products to other countries (that perhaps they shouldn’t).

Where humans move there’s value, and by studying various elements of that movement we can provide valuable commercial insights. In reality, the analytics we create emerge from an “art of the possible” discussion. The great news is that geospatial data capture technology is way ahead of the curve, and we can answer questions that couldn’t have been conceived of even a year or two ago.

How might organizations better utilize such data? Do you have advice on what they should consider or execute?

A commitment to curiosity and innovation. Even the most traditional industries now need to innovate, so the trend is differentiating those companies that commit to innovation from those who “wait and see.” Those who are waiting, wait too long. Cultures of innovation are like organizational muscles: without use they atrophy. Building a culture of data, innovation, and technology literacy is a good pathway to success.

How do you see geospatial technology developing further? What are the possibilities?

There are so many options. I think we’ll see a great deal of movement around augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) powered by geospatial tech. Automated vehicles need high-definition (HD) maps. Most of the use cases for 5G have a strong geospatial or location component. These, combined with robust data fusion from numerous sensors in low Earth orbit, provide a creative environment from which to pull numerous new business models and products. 

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