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 The GIS Lens
Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.

GISCafe Industry Predictions for 2024 – Timmons

February 7th, 2024 by Sanjay Gangal

By Lowell Ballard, Director of Geospatial Solutions, Timmons Group

Lowell Ballard

The year 2024 promises to be a pivotal interval in technology that will be marked by various advancements—several of which we are expecting and can monitor, as well as plenty that haven’t hit our radars yet.

Geospatial technology and GIS are the basis for applications, software, and digital processes that play a central role in connecting nearly 8 billion people with their surroundings and the global Internet every day. It’s only natural that we’d track how GIS can affect and support technological changes for the masses.

As we move into the future, three key elements with roots in AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning) stand out as driving forces that are reshaping geospatial technology: Machine Learning as a Service (MLaaS), Digital Twins, and Digital Delivery. Changes in these technologies are set to redefine the way we perceive and interact with geospatial data, offering unprecedented insights across diverse industries.

Read the rest of GISCafe Industry Predictions for 2024 – Timmons

GISCafe Industry Predictions for 2024  – Dedrone

February 1st, 2024 by Sanjay Gangal

By Mary-Lou Smulders, Chief Marketing Officer, Dedrone

Mary-Lou Smulders

Four Drone Industry Trends for 2024

How much did the drone industry bring in in 2023? By Statista’s estimate, it was $1.32 billion … in the consumer electronics sector alone. To say that drones remain on a growth trajectory is an early candidate for the understatement of the year. Whether it is for hobbyist use as Statista tracked, for military usage in combat zones like Ukraine, or for commercial usage, the trajectory is clear: as the FAA becomes more comfortable with the idea of drones flying beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS), drones are poised to continue reshaping our world in 2024 – for both good and bad.

In this new year, we see four major trends emerging based on this drone usage explosion.

Ukraine and Middle East Conflicts Push Global Drone and Counterdrone Investment
There’s a new drone news story coming out of the Russo-Ukrainian War almost every day, from Ukraine’s use of naval drones to its repurposing of fertilizer-spraying drones as bombers and more. Meanwhile, drones have quickly emerged as a major component of the conflict in Gaza. Hamas used commercially-available drones to carry artillery – a technique that Ukraine has used so much, that video of it is publicly available on YouTube courtesy of the BBC. Furthermore, Houthis in Yemen are even using drones to shut down the Suez Canal and target ships heading to and from Israel in the process.

In short, countries around the world are seeing that while they may have thought they were prepared for the next phase of drone warfare, they probably aren’t as secure as they would like. Bloomberg, in its report, said as much.

Read the rest of GISCafe Industry Predictions for 2024  – Dedrone

GISCafe Industry Predictions for 2024 –Blue Marble Geographics

January 31st, 2024 by Sanjay Gangal

By Patrick Cunningham, CEO, Blue Marble Geographics

Patrick Cunningham

Where is Geospatial Technology Headed in 2024

2023 was clearly the year of ChapGPT and Artificial Intelligence (AI) offerings.  The technology has taken the Internet and media by storm with the advent of some actually useful applications amidst a host of seemingly useless applications.  Granted, it’s still early on this front, so I reserve the right to update that take.  Perhaps the most prevalent use is the effect on search and automated support desk assistance, which is already widely rolled out and in use as of early 2024.  Try calling your credit card company or broadband provider, and you are most likely confronted with an AI-assisted automated helpline. If you visit their websites or use their consumer apps, you are definitely going to be confronted with the tech.  As a consumer, I have found some of these tools to be a bit more useful than in the past, but in general, my experience has been that I personally still prefer to talk with a person when I am in need of assistance. The nature of the assistance I seek when reaching out to support is usually not already available in help documentation or other searchable support tools. And though the promise of AI is that it can take that documentation library and infer the logic for the next step in support, I personally have not seen it. So the application of AI is really just another delay to what I want as a consumer. What the data will tell these companies as far as customer satisfaction with these types of tools remains to be seen.

The other big application of AI is that of writing. Ironically, as I sat down to write this article this year, the thought did cross my mind of asking ChatGPT to write up my takes on some of these topics, so in the end all I had to do was a little bit of editing. You’ll have to believe me when I say that I resisted that temptation. That said, it is becoming more and more common for professionals and non-professionals (think students) to take advantage of the speed and relatively decent accuracy of AI robots for writing. In my business, for the first time this past year, we have seen submissions for presentations and scholarship applications that were obviously written by an AI robot. This is a bit disturbing, but really no skin off our backs per se as there are still many high-quality, well-written, and human-driven submissions. However, this is a much bigger problem in academia.  But I digress.

Read the rest of GISCafe Industry Predictions for 2024 –Blue Marble Geographics

GISCafe Industry Predictions for 2024 –

January 30th, 2024 by Sanjay Gangal

Ajay K. Gupta

By Ajay K. Gupta, Founder & CEO,

There are three broad movements predicts will come to the forefront of healthcare in 2024: the spread of generative AI, AI-based research and data analyses, and the increased use of GeoHealth for health equity.

1. The Continued Adoption of Generative AI in Healthcare 

Generative AI solutions, powered by Large Language Models (LLMs), like ChatGPT, will continue to grow in popularity and penetrate every section of healthcare. We foresee adoption and use in:

a. Telehealth and physician-patient interface

— As the remote work revolution continues in our country, so will healthcare also adopt many of its dictums with telehealth options becoming more and more popular with patients with limited mobility and/or living in healthcare deserts.

— Generative AI with its conversational interface will increasingly be used for patient education, walking patients through chat-like interactions on how to take their drugs, how to manage their illnesses, and even acting as triage to guide them on next steps of care.

b. Health education for the general public 

— Generative AI will also be used broadly for the general public seeking information on health issues. Instead of lengthy and often confusing written guides to things like vaccination and lead-proof homes, health departments will deploy LLM-powered generative AI solutions to “speak” to patients about their particular risk, through online, mobile, kiosks, or other channels

Read the rest of GISCafe Industry Predictions for 2024 –

GISCafe Industry Predictions for 2024 – CHCNav

January 30th, 2024 by Sanjay Gangal

By Francois Martin,  Vice GM, International Division at CHC Navigation

GIS Trends to Watch in 2024: Perspectives from CHC Navigation

Francois Martin

As we enter 2024, the GIS industry is poised for exciting innovations that will shape the future of mapping and surveying. Whether it’s new GNSS receiver solutions with augmented reality, workflows transformed by AI, or increased use of airborne and handheld LiDAR, the coming years promise to bring advances that will make geospatial data collection faster, more accurate, and more automated. In this article, we explore some of the key trends and technologies that we believe will transform the industry landscape in 2024.

Solar Activity Peak: Challenge for GNSS Solution

The Sun is currently in its 25th active cycle, which is expected to peak in 2024, when geomagnetic storms triggered by plasma explosions known as coronal mass ejections can cause significant disruptions to GNSS. Compared to the last active cycle, high-precision GNSS positioning has become more common in various industries that rely on accurate positioning information to ensure normal operations. To minimize the negative impact of solar activity on GNSS positioning, the industry will need better GNSS positioning solutions in 2024. First, by further improving the design robustness of receivers to cope with complex space environments. Second, by more tightly integrating augmentation services with positioning chips to improve the usability of high-precision positioning results. Third, by applying machine learning technology to calculate the ionospheric model more accurately to minimize interference.

Read the rest of GISCafe Industry Predictions for 2024 – CHCNav

GISCafe industry predictions 2024 – Figure Eight Federal

January 25th, 2024 by Sanjay Gangal

By Tim Klawa, Head of Product, Figure Eight Federal

Tim Klawa

Top 2024 Trend: Trustworthy Data Starts with Trustworthy AI – 2024 Brings Increased Demand for Transparency and Auditability of Data used in AI Development

In 2024, the defense and intelligence sectors are at the forefront of a major industry trend, prioritizing responsible and ethical artificial intelligence (AI). This paradigm shift reflects a growing operational need to ensure AI systems are not only advanced but also ethically sound and reliable. The focus on responsible AI underscores the importance of data scaffolding in the development of these technologies, particularly in high-stakes environments where AI decisions can have significant consequences.

The trend highlights a critical need for transparency and auditability in the data used to train AI models, ensuring that these systems can be trusted to perform accurately and ethically. This move toward responsible AI is driven by the understanding that the integrity and dependability of AI systems are as crucial as their technological sophistication, especially in scenarios where AI aids in critical decision-making processes. By emphasizing responsible AI development, the defense and intelligence sectors are acknowledging the complex interplay between technological advancement and ethical considerations, aiming to balance the two in a way that maximizes operational effectiveness while upholding ethical standards.

The year marks a significant evolution in AI initiatives, with a key trend being the pursuit of cross-vendor standardization for evaluating the quality of AI training data. This standardization is essential to ensure responsible AI development and to mitigate risks in data pipelines. Such an emphasis is crucial in maintaining the high value and effectiveness of government AI projects in defense and intelligence, propelling the nation’s competitive edge in this field. The defense and intelligence sectors are increasingly collaborating with AI developers and regulatory bodies to create a shared understanding and set of practices that prioritize ethical considerations in AI development. This collaborative approach aims to produce robust, reliable, and trustworthy AI systems that can be effectively deployed in sensitive and critical areas.

Read the rest of GISCafe industry predictions 2024 – Figure Eight Federal

GISCafe industry predictions 2024 – Dewberry

January 25th, 2024 by Sanjay Gangal

By Mark Safran, Vice President, Senior Program Manager, Dewberry

Mark Safran

Geospatial Mayhem

I wake up in a sweat at two in the morning from a chaotic dream of hyperspectral pixels and pulses of light and synthetic aperture radar rays bombarding the earth like an alien space invasion.

Point clouds swirl through hydrographic canyons, scouring geomorphon rasters out of the way, leaving nothing behind but hydro-flattened rivers and silt choked layers of flood modeling clay.

That’s when things change from bad to worse.

I find myself stuck waist deep in data bricks, my arms held down by writhing, scaly python scrips, and coming at me from all sides, emerging like ghosts from an azure cloud, Storms an army of agents from the halls of AI, carrying RAG fitted LLMs and GeoAPIs.

Definitions: Artificial Intelligence (AI), Retrieval-Augmented Generation (RAG), Large Language Models (LLM), Application Programming Interface (API), GeoAPI: Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC)’s set of programming interfaces for geospatial applications

Read the rest of GISCafe industry predictions 2024 – Dewberry

GISCAFE Predictions 2024 – 030Solutions

January 23rd, 2024 by Sanjay Gangal

By Nikolaas Steenbergen, CEO and Founder, 030Solutions

Nikolaas Steenbergen

The evolution of sensor technologies such as lidar, cameras, and drones has been pivotal for the GIS industry. These technologies have become more sophisticated yet increasingly affordable and accessible in the recent years. Lidar sensors now offer unprecedented accuracy in 3D mapping, while enhanced camera technologies provide finer details and higher resolution imagery. Drones, on their part, have become more efficient and cost-effective, enabling extensive aerial data collection even in previously inaccessible areas outside, even hand held and backpack mounted lidar and image systems are available.

With the influx of data from these advanced sensors, the GIS industry faces a significant challenge: the need for efficient data processing. The amount of data needs to be reduced in such a way to be able to derive actionable information to be useful. Manual labeling and analysis of this data are not only time-consuming but also expensive. This bottleneck necessitates a shift towards automated solutions, where AI plays a crucial role to be fast and scalable.

Even though current AI based methods play an increasingly important role in the GIS industry, research and development from foundational methods are far from reaching a standstill. Cutting-edge algorithms in machine learning and deep learning continue to evolve, enhancing their ability to interpret complex geospatial data more accurately and swiftly, especially in the area of point cloud and image analysis and photogrammetry. This ongoing progress and its practical applications is further going to accelerate the usage of image and lidar technology in the GIS industry for more sophisticated data analysis.

Read the rest of GISCAFE Predictions 2024 – 030Solutions

GISCafé industry predictions 2024 – Pointr

January 22nd, 2024 by Sanjay Gangal

By Ray Weaver,  CMO, Pointr

Ray Weaver

2023 was unquestionably the year that AI went from being the stuff of science fiction to reality in the public consciousness. It now impacts a huge range of everyday tasks, and of course the GIS industry is no exception.

In my opinion, the most clear industry trend we’ll see in 2024 is a greater synergy between mapping and AI. The GIS tools we have at our disposal today are more detailed and powerful than ever before, but the actual process of creating any sort of map has remained relatively static for many years now – it’s laborious, time-consuming, and prone to human error.

AI, however, presents us with an opportunity to produce maps at scale without requiring strict human oversight at every stage. By automating certain tasks while creating maps – such as identifying which features from the original source (such as a CAD file) need to be included and which can be excluded – and then applying these en masse, AI can save enormous amounts of time with little to no impact on the quality of the finished product. Furthermore, thanks to machine learning and human feedback, the more maps an AI-assisted tool is tasked with creating, the more accurate it will become over time, creating a virtuous cycle.

Read the rest of GISCafé industry predictions 2024 – Pointr

GISCafé industry predictions 2024 – Trimble

January 18th, 2024 by Sanjay Gangal

By Boris Skopljak, VP Survey & Mapping and Building Construction Field Systems,  Trimble

Boris Skopljak

Continuous improvement of connected workflows will yield measurable benefits to users in the areas of efficiency, accuracy and communication.

Thanks to advances in technology, more data is being collected at higher accuracies in less time than ever before, resulting in opportunities to leverage rich geospatial information for new applications in diverse industries, providing detailed analysis to support better decision making.

Improvements in computing power, broadband speed and data collection technologies are driving the connection of physical and digital workflows like never before. This evolution is facilitating the seamless transfer of information between stakeholders and is more timely and complete, increasing productivity, amplifying sustainability efforts and opening doors to new business opportunities.

1. Continued Growth in Reality Capture

Reality capture solutions will continue to drive the democratization of geospatial data by improving quality and reducing time to collect information. Advanced 3D scanners and mobile mapping systems are significantly impacting the capabilities of the surveying and mapping industry, resulting in larger data volumes and greater detail and accuracy. Reality capture is fundamental to the idea of a “living digital twin,” enabling more informed decision making based on the complete understanding of the status of an asset.

Read the rest of GISCafé industry predictions 2024 – Trimble

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