This past week, Google unveiled two reports they commissioned that take a close look at both the domestic (U.S.) and global market for Geo services. The reports were prepared for Google by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) for the domestic portion, and Oxera for the global take. Both studies are keyed toward three outcomes: the assessment of the size of the industry; its economic impact; and the drivers for broader global expansion, including discussion of public and private investments.
There has been a big push over the years to open up systems for more of an enterprise-oriented view, rather than fiefdoms of domains. This move has been largely successful across many enterprises through the benefits of databases, web services, and cloud-based resources. Now that data is freer to mix and interact, it’s possible to respond to broader queries and report on operations in real time. This new openness is also having an impact on how we organize operations.
The idea that GIS is new media grows with relevance as we move toward more real-time insights, and as spatial analysis is being used widely to develop and enhance news stories. This concept was coined by Daniel Sui and Michael Goodchild in a guest editorial that appeared in the Intl. Journal of Geographical Information Science in 2001. Then, the ability of GIS to broadcast information through maps, and the expanded connections with the Web to display and distribute this information, were deemed a new means of communication.
One beauty of a geographical systems pursuit is the never-ending to-do list of items that need mapping. Where we once charted unknown lands, and added place names, today’s tools allow us to catalog many more attributes, and monitor change through modeled and simulated captured reality. We’ve come so far in our mapping abilities in a short time, and we are on the verge of a profound change to mapping thanks to sensors that provide real-time insight. So, where do we stand today? If there’s a continuum of mapped and non-mapped features and processes, what percentage are we done with mapping?
Much time is spent this time of year looking forward. Sensors & Systems spent some time reflecting on emerging stories and growing trends to come up with the following predictions for 2013. On the list are technology advancements, policy initiatives and the continued evolution of model-based design. Read the full list and please add your own observations in the comments.