The world is changing every day, and so is the way we look at it. It is often our technological developments that help us reassess this world around us – and geospatial science is a big factor in that.
After all, we use geospatial science to shape our world. And with every year seeing experts developing new ways of capturing, analysing, and utilising geo data, we are continuing to dream up new ways of looking at our planet.
So just what does the future of geospatial science hold? Here are some predictions for how geospatial science will affect us as individuals – and as a species.
Geospatial in your pocket
Geodata has been helping drivers get from point A to point B for some time now. Sat navigation and Google Earth are pretty much ubiquitous nowadays, but there was a time when they were just fanciful ideas.
So what if the next evolution will be to help you find where you’re going when you’re on foot? A sat-nav tool focused on the mapping of indoor and interior spaces?
The technology is already there, with indoor mapping already being used for activities like 3D scanning heritage structures. The focus is now on developing user interfaces that can provide individuals with access to this information if it is presented in a helpful way.
For complex and/or large buildings, this could be a hugely helpful way of facilitating movement – and it has excellent applications for emergency workers, paramedics, and first responders.
Geospatial in your city
Ever heard the term “smart city”?
Smart cities use digital technology across all city functions so that all arms of governance can act as one. As you would imagine, location data and mapping are key to making sure that this vision is achievable.
Being a smart city means allowing the city’s population better access to information that they need. It also means that that information can be of a higher quality. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) – one of the key tools of the geospatial scientist – factor into this in a big way. They are used to bring together and effectively collate real-time location data in a way that will be readily legible to users.
Virtual visits to your local city hall will become more commonplace because the information that can be communicated there will become more valuable and more nuanced. Imagine if one stop at your city hall website can tell you where public works are occurring, what policies are being enacted, or which roads are likely to be congested on your way into work. For example, future GIS use may be able to better predict traffic flow based on extensive existing location-based data.
Geospatial in your world
The impact of geospatial science on our cities is one thing; how about its impact on our movement throughout the world?
One area that is already moving apace is autonomous vehicles. With industries such as agriculture already beginning to make practical use of autonomous vehicles and machines, it is geospatial technology like LiDAR sensors that are making this science fiction dreaming a reality.
Vehicles are being equipped with the intelligence to know what obstacles and geographical features are around them. Coupled with advancing AI technology, the applications for our world are obvious. Fields such as humanitarianism, surveying, defense and of course transportation could be changed forever – as could our way of looking at and engaging with the world.