The treasure map is the most iconic image when it comes to uncovering wealth through map use. Finding the way to hidden treasure buried in the ground or cached in a mine has a strong romantic appeal, and while a real pirate treasure map has never been documented, the idea of finding hidden wealth with a map will forever endure.
There are countless applications of mapping with today’s technology that are all about uncovering hidden wealth, either in spurring additional sales, discovering new resources, or adding efficiency that translates into money saved. Today’s mapping tools are adept at aiding the bottom line, and their utility only increases as more information is aggregated and analyzed via spatial parameters. The trend toward real-time mapping promises even further gains as quicker and more predictive decisions will certainly aid bottom lines.
The business of retailing centers on a myriad of little details, and many of these are spatial in nature, from location of the store down to the location of display of specific brand items and their proximity to other items. It’s no secret that retailers track consumer behavior in micro-geographies, and that a well-placed promotion or display can suck us all in, and dramatically increase a store’s performance.
At the larger scale, retailers actively map their store and their customer base using spatial analysis to measure and predict the market performance of products and stores through a detailed understanding of the customer base. Each individual store has a well-defined territory, and a retailer’s treasure map involves knowing everything about people and their buying habits within that perimeter. This knowledge about, and interaction with customers, is gaining importance as our mobile phones allow for real-time interaction. Maps provide the gateway for understanding and targeting customers, and today’s tracking devices can communicate custom offers that reach further into our pocket books.
The latest integration of remote sensing tools, such as the 3D mapping with LiDAR, and spectral analysis of hyperspectral imagery to determine mineral composition, allows for low-cost prospecting for minerals and fossil fuels across large geographies. When prospecting, the search is on for certain minerals that are telltale signs of ancient activity. Much of the Earth has been scoured for easy pickings, so there’s strong competition for new troves of valuable resources.
Today’s mapping tools and models can not only uncover the potential of certain sites for a specific mineral, they even allow for the detailed modeling of the cost of extraction. A rigorous spatial analysis is needed to balance the value of the mineral against the expense to take it out. Much of the modeling is spatial in nature, taking into account proximity of sites to established roads and supply chains, factoring in fuel costs and the availability of local workers. Old timers won’t recognize today’s mining and mineral exploration map outside of the traditional geological view, because it has become a multidisciplinary repository that contains detailed geo-accounting to understand the potential for profit.
Mapping technologies are increasingly being used in all manner of energy analysis, with fine-tuned models that understand network performance, tie into meters for smarter delivery, and can quantify the potential of renewable energy in specific sites. Wind mapping has evolved from regional potential down to individual wind tower performance, including forecasts of output based on the weather in order to better manage this intermittent and fluctuating power source. Similarly, solar mapping at the roof level provides owners with a model of energy expectations and potential savings over the lifetime of the panels.
Energy mapping also involves the potential for conservation, as saving energy is much cheaper and greener than building new power generating capacity regardless of the source. Buildings account for a great deal of carbon emissions based on their high consumption and lack of energy efficiency. In this realm, thermal imaging cameras can provide detailed heat loss maps of established buildings in order to guide retrofits, and improve efficiency. In all areas of energy, mapping, models and sensors provide the means to understand costs and savings for easy decision making.
These are but a few examples of the kinds of treasure that can be found with today’s integrated mapping technologies that is becoming increasingly affordable and accessible. It’s hard to think of any type of enterprise that hasn’t benefitted from a tighter enterprise view that’s afforded by mapping. We’re at the point of maturity where it’s foolish for businesses of all sizes not to own, and constantly explore, their own treasure map. If you’re not mapping because you don’t feel that it’s done in your industry, then you’re at the mercy of competitors that have found a good thing and are keeping it to themselves.
|Sun Jun 23|
Italy - INSPIRE 2013: The Green Renaissance
|Sun Jun 23|
Italy - International Workshop at the Crossroad of Earth Information, Technology and Social Sciences
|Tue Jun 25|
Austria - RIEGL LIDAR 2013 International User Conference
|Tue Jun 25|
Canada - MultiTemp 2013
|Wed Jun 26|
Portugal - 10th International Conference on Image Analysis and Recognition
|Tue Jul 02|
Austria - GI_Forum