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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

GISCafe Industry Predictions for 2019

January 4th, 2019 by Susan Smith

 Happy New Year!

Before the holidays I sent out a call for industry predictions for the new year. So far, we have received an overwhelming number of responses! This means that I need to make this story into a multi-part blog. If your submission does not appear this week, never fear, it will appear in a subsequent blog. I plan to also summarize the predictions in a future blog.

Your voice is important to the future of GIS. Thank you for your valuable contributions.

Rishi Daga, CEO, EagleView

From Rishi Daga, CEO, EagleView:

Soon enough, every company will need to incorporate geospatial data into their thinking both from a strategic and operational mindset. 2019 will prove technologies like deep learning and artificial intelligence are crucial enablers to pivoting data into critical outcomes at a more efficient rate than traditional analog methods.

But it’s not enough to collect and use data if it cannot be managed with an integrated approach that scales. Successful organizations will identify and orchestrate a multitude of tools developed across imagery, big data, computer vision and SaaS development, and deploy them seamlessly with low friction and increased time to value. At EagleView, computer vision and machine learning drive the modernization of our workflows to scale internal processes as well as products that our customers are consuming in robust and repeatable ways.

Through technology integration and in particular, deep learning integration, we can democratize the processing of geospatial information.

As the Chief Executive Officer of EagleView, Rishi Daga leads a team of innovators based throughout North America. In his role as the leader of EagleView, Rishi is responsible for driving global growth, operations, strategy, and culture. Rishi has more than 20 years of experience in the technology industry.

Brendan Wesdock, president, GeoDecisions

From Brendan Wesdock, MCP, GISP, is president of GeoDecisions

While many technological advancements are impacting the GIS industry, there are a few standouts that will come into their own in 2019 and dramatically shift how we approach, integrate, and leverage geospatial information.

There will be a dramatic increase in the use of geospatial machine learning and artificial intelligence across industries – from real estate to transportation to construction to public safety and emergency response. Machine learning solutions will empower organizations to use predictive modeling to make informed decisions based on synthesized, historical, multi-sourced data, and AI will leverage those outputs to automate processes, responses and actions. For example, realty companies will begin using geospatial tools that mash up data from the MLS, expected selling price, tax assessments, sales histories, community and environmental repositories, and school performance records to determine the probability of a client’s home selling within seven days on the market. They’ll be able to use the information to help their clients fine-tune their asking price, position marketing and lead generation, enable geofencing to target nearby prospects, and enhance their client relationships.

Augmented, virtual and mixed reality will become mainstream in the AEC industry and push building information modeling (BIM) to new heights through advanced applications. City officials and planning commissions will be able to create AR/VR demonstrations that use the GIS data of a city’s buildings and terrain to model flood events as well as the impact of proposed flood mitigation efforts to help them make informed decisions, educate the public, and reduce costs in time and money. In another example, construction planners will begin to take their designs onsite through handheld devices to conduct virtual walkthroughs of the “built” design enabled through augmented reality solutions. These technologies will improve the entire lifecycle of construction projects, from design to construction and throughout lifetime maintenance.

GIS is at the heart of Smart Cities. LiDAR enables automated vehicles to navigate roadways, sensors turn on street lights when people are in the vicinity and dim them when the street is vacant, water usage can predict traffic congestion to moderate traffic light patterns. This is Smart Living extended outside of the home, and residents are ready for it, demanding it, and even bringing it to the fore in their communities. As local, state and federal officials consider tackling infrastructure needs, smart technologies will need to be a part of those discussions.

Brendan Wesdock, MCP, GISP, is president of GeoDecisions, where he is responsible for leading the strategic direction and growth of the premier geospatial technology firm. He also serves as a senior vice president of Gannett Fleming. Wesdock has 23 years of experience supporting a wide range of private and government sector clients in the geospatial industry.

Boris Skoljak, marketing director, Trimble

From Boris Skopljak, marketing director for Trimble Geospatial strategy and analytics.

As geospatial technology continues to evolve in 2019, I believe the focus will be on innovation that helps users achieve more with their technology, their data and their teams. We will see growth and innovation in several areas, including sensor fusion, mixed reality, big data analytics, 3D modeling/BIM, and more. I believe we will also see a shift toward greater integration of these and other technologies to create more robust solutions than standalone products can provide by themselves.

We will continue to see greater adoption of technologies driven by continued increase in connectivity and computing power. The increasing accessibility and sensor miniaturization, specifically in systems used in autonomous vehicles, will continue to drive the accessibility of sensor fusion technology overall, which will increasingly find its way into products specifically designed to solve geospatial customers’ needs.

The construction sector is one in which I expect to see specific advances in the use of geospatial technology in the coming months and years. Many organizations are already implementing BIM (building information modeling) for streamlining building and infrastructure projects in a seamless online environment. At the same time, engineers are facing increasingly complex design challenges that makes it hard to rely on paper plans. As a result, we are seeing increased utilization of BIM for civil applications, driving more demand for up to date content and attributed as-built information, which I expect to continue in 2019.

Content and data will continue drive technology innovation in 2019, with an even greater emphasis on how to make data more useful and actionable. Content will be increasingly relevant in geospatial contexts as users come to expect both precise positioning and rich data with attributes including time and cost for accurate progress tracking and scheduling. This is where geospatial professionals will find more opportunities to deliver value, especially as smart cities and autonomous vehicles evolve and rely on geodata.

I also expect the market’s desire for augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR) and virtual reality (VR) technology to continue to increase. These tools provide greater visibility into site conditions and can help immensely when it comes to evaluating changes on a jobsite. Using a mixed reality tool like Trimble Connect for HoloLens, for example, project participants can improve coordination on a job site by comparing digital models on a 1:1 scale with the real-world environment and see how new parts would fit — down to the nut and bolt — before construction begins. Trimble SiteVision is another great example where augmented reality provides a high accuracy system for users to view new designs, existing underground utilities and future landscapes overlaid on the work site.

Tools that enable decision-making from data will be the key for the industry going forward. I expect the conversation to continue to shift from talking about the collection of big data to the efficient extraction of meaningful information from that data. The focus will be on how companies can do more with their data, and the goal of solutions providers will be how to provide the technology needed to use that data to effectively make decisions.

Boris Skopljak is marketing director for Trimble Geospatial strategy and analytics.

Jack Dangermond, Esri founder & president

From: Jack Dangermond, Esri founder and president

Where is Location Intelligence Headed for 2019

As we enter the first quarter of the twenty-first century, it’s become clear that the pace of innovation in information technology is increasing exponentially. But the real future lies in how we integrate the many kinds of technologies and types of information available to us now. We see GIS offerings increasingly being recognized as a fundamental IT system across business, government, and other industries. This new acknowledgment will raise the profile of GIS as a valuable cross cutting platform introducing new capabilities of spatial data science and statistical tools for machine learning, as well as integrating IoT, spatial BI, and big data. It will also help bring GIS to life in new operational areas such as field mobility, logistics, dashboards for operations management, and even augmented reality. Finally, new integration capabilities between AEC, BIM, and related technical engineering offerings are rapidly becoming relevant in geospatial settings.

Organizations are increasingly transforming their operations by inter-connecting and integrating their corporate information systems. This is helping them rethink and streamline virtually everything they do. Location data is beginning to play a role in this transformation and is being seen as one of the fundamental keys for enabling this digital integration. Enterprises are already (consciously or unconsciously) collecting and managing massive amounts of geospatial data about their assets, personnel, and business activities. While this data is often used for specific workflows, it is also rapidly becoming part of corporate information systems.

There are three drivers influencing this trend: the increasing volume of geospatial data; the growing awareness of its value; and the dramatic advances in the technology itself. We see many IT shops in both the private and public sectors implementing location capabilities and setting up GIS systems side by side with other major enterprise systems. These systems immediately provide their users with the capabilities to visualize and analyze their data spatially.

Our tools are already designed to work incredibly well at integrating with numerous other technologies. Open geospatial web services and Esri’s Geospatial Cloud have been the keys to rapidly enabling our users to achieve much greater integration among systems within their organizations and beyond. The result is there are many new and exciting ways for organizations to integrate and leverage their location data.

Jack Dangermond is the founder and president of Esri, the world’s sixth largest privately held software company. Founded in 1969 and headquartered in Redlands, California, Esri is widely recognized as the technical and market leader in geographic information systems, or GIS, pioneering innovative solutions for working with spatial data.

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