The economic situation of the last few years has brought into awareness the realization that the previous 10 years were a special time – a time likely not ever to return. New financial and investment rules, legislation and increased transparency have changed and adjusted the nuts and bolts that held together the growth processes of the last 10 years. Now we hear the words ‘new normal’ - what is that and how does it impact the geospatial sector?
There are many forces at work on all industries at all times that include the overall economy, technology innovation, and the competency of the workforce. The standard line is that without the right mix of talent, technology and timing, businesses either thrive or fail. The fortunes and success of geospatial businesses have ebbed and flowed, with new technologies giving rise to whole new sectors, while other sectors have flamed out due to the commoditization of technology and a loss of value.
While integration of geospatial technologies is contributing toward an increase in real-time geodata needs, it can be argued that a shift toward demands for greater collaboration and increased sharing within and between projects is the primary driver for real-time geodata. With more people working and sharing together, often from different localities and time zones - projects never sleep. Spatial data is constantly be captured and exchanged, and many sub-systems in the work flows are automated for continuous geoprocessing and output.
The model building power of LiDAR is still in its infancy, but judging by the explosion of hardware adoption, that won’t be the case for long. Today’s hardware does a good job of capturing a precise 3D reality from the air, from mobile platforms, and from stationary tripods from different perspectives and for different purposes, and the software is catching up.
A recent debate included discussion on the use and application of software developed specifically for design related applications - architecture and infrastructure. Members on one side believed that software enabled them to develop many more potential designs quicker and more effectively. The other side suggested that the design process itself was impacted because of the software focus which limited possibilities outside the software functional capabilities. Are there limitations for design with CAD and GIS software?