As 2016 nears its end, this is a good time to reflect. The rapid evolution of the geospatial industry has continued this year. The technology is advancing at a breathtaking pace. Platforms and SaaS have become part of the vernacular. New terms have emerged like Web GIS. Rapid change is upon us.
The geospatial industry has traditionally served the public and infrastructure sectors respectively. So local and state government, oil and gas, utilities etc. Organizations which manage assets: pipelines, water valves, roads, oil wells, parks etc. These assets have a location. The where questions, in relation to their management and upkeep, are obvious. These organizations have GIS departments; people trained to think spatially and use geospatial tools to answer where questions. In 2016 it became apparent that there is a growing awareness within the wider world, organizations new to geospatial, that there has been a focus on the Who, What, Why, and When but the Where has remained largely unanswered. These organizations are showing increasing interest in geospatial technology.
So, given this context, what high level (big picture) trends did we see in 2016?