In recent years, the value of geospatial processing outside of the geospatial community has become increasingly evident! There are examples of geospatial uses in the insurance industry, climate finance circles, autonomous vehicles, and even the Metaverse!
Such industries, which make good use of the vast amounts of heterogeneous spatial data, have been made possible by advances in AI/ML, the proliferation of cloud storage and processing, and the increasing adoption of geospatial standards.
Development of geospatial technologies through climate change disruptions
Today, geospatial technologies can accelerate our collective understanding, preparation, response, and adaptation to disruptive events, be they natural or man-made. As the geospatial community, we have prepared for these moments. We’ve always grappled with big, complex data, integrating data across organizations and domains, and building on the power of open standards for collaboration and innovation to bring today’s geospatial technologies to accelerate our collective understanding, preparation, response, and adaptation to disruptive events , taken for granted or man-made. Address disaster and emergency management.
We are now at a time when this is also being seen by the political levels and this is further driving the need for interoperability. This is one of OGC’s key drivers today – enabling and accelerating innovation and problem-solving by lowering the barriers so EVERYONE can use geospatial data via consensus-based, user-friendly standards.
Important spatial data trends in 2023
OGC is aware of a few key trends. We focus on domain-specific best practices, standards and community resources – hence our focus on disasters, climate and marine domains. It’s less about geospatial technologies (the what) and more about the problems they can solve (the why)!
On the technical front, there is a need for cloud-native geospatial standards as much of the geospatial data collected (from space to sensors to IoT, from imagery to spreadsheets) is hosted in the cloud.
The effort to bring developer-friendly OGC APIs to the world is at maximum. It is our responsibility to provide easy to use building blocks for geospatial data usage and that is the OGC APIs to easily fetch maps, tiles, routes, features and even environmental data! We continue to support the growing EO ecosystem by providing the standards for tasking, ordering, and data quality comparison, and developing the standards for space, including space coordinate reference systems!
From an abstraction perspective, the transition requires open consensus-based models to represent the world around us and support urban digital twins, accelerating the development of standards related to underground infrastructure, indoor mapping, and cities at different levels of abstraction.
Also Read: The Changing Face of GIS Intensifying Spatial Data Market Growth
The growth of the geospatial data market is fueling customers’ need for open standards for sourcing and ordering imagery, as well as for comparing data quality and usability, as customers increasingly need to mix and match images from multiple sources.
We are also seeing an increasing interest in the standardization of analysis-ready data – satellite data that has been processed to a minimum of requirements and organized in a form that allows analysis with a minimum of additional user effort and interoperability both over time and with allows other records.
There is a rise in professional services offering geospatial expertise to more industries than ever before! Also with the expansion of geospatial usage, there is an increase in companies offering services to help customers from data collection and integration to building analytics platforms. We see an ecosystem where the services are built on building blocks (parts of the solution). Hence our concern to ensure that the building blocks are interoperable via open standards.
(Nadine Alameh is CEO of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). The views expressed in the article are the personal opinions of the author.)