24
Aug
2017
0

A technological and geospatial revolution?

By Neil Dewfield, Principal Consultant, Ordnance Survey International

Why does it matter how geospatially mature you are? What impact does geospatial maturity have on life chances, on government policy making, on a nation’s economy?

It feels as though we’re at a moment in history where these questions are being asked increasingly often. And I sense we’ll look back on this as a time of revolutionary change in the geospatial world. Tech development has been exponential over the last decade, creating a brave new world of opportunities to harness geospatial intelligence for societal good. High-quality geographic data can now power effective decision and policy making in government; it can support sustainable growth and deliver real benefits to a whole nation. Being able accurately to locate assets and resources and to know how they’re being used helps authorities design and focus public services, and to engage and involve citizens in this process. And, as cities get smarter, changes to how these services work can be made in near real time.

We’re seeing that governments and businesses around the world recognise they need to be geospatially-ready; fit-for-the-future.

So how will nations respond to growing urbanisation, overcrowding, poverty, crisis management? Put simply, those with the best information about location and place are most likely to respond best to this challenge. With the right infrastructure, the right data management regime, the right tech, and the right capabilities, countries can realise their geospatial potential.

Geospatial Media’s Global Geospatial Industry Outlook is an excellent insight on the trends in the industry, looking at the new frontiers for technology and geospatial data. How will the spatially connected governments of the future shape public services, engage, and connect their citizens with where they live? How will they direct increasingly scarce resources to solve increasingly complex and costly problems?

Geospatial Media’s outlook also shows us how geospatially prepared countries are. How mature and how ready they are to face tomorrow’s challenges. 50 countries, representing 75% of the world’s economy, and 80% of the world’s GDP were assessed, with the United States, the UK and the Netherlands coming out on top.

I’ve seen first-hand just how different countries can be in their levels of geospatial maturity. We’re working hard to turn the lessons learned over 200 plus years in Great Britain into help to unlock other countries’ geospatial potential. Our first step is almost always objectively to assess how mature they currently are, and how mature they need to be.

Like Geospatial Media, we see the opportunity for huge growth in the geospatial industry, and we see that the importance of geospatial maturity is being understood across the globe. Our challenge is to help others develop 21st Century geospatial infrastructure and to turn this into tangible benefits for all.

Is this a time of revolution? Time will tell, but I’m convinced the conditions are there for us all to show the potential that geospatial data has to positively transform countries and lives.

Why not visit os.uk/gma for a quick assessment of your geospatial maturity.

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