From GIS to the Geospatial lifecycle

From GIS to the Geospatial lifecycle

Geographic information is literally all around us. By now we have mapped every square inch in dozens of ways. Whether it’s about general topography, cables and pipelines, cycling routes or aerial photographs, it’s all there. We have also become used to analyze and edit these data through a GIS system.

Availability of geospatial information is no longer the bottleneck to effectively solve spatial issues. There is a new challenge however, and that’s maintaining the data. The value of a spatial dataset can be compared to the value of a car. Right after release, it’s very valuable, and this value decreases rapidly as the dataset gets older. Only after a long period of time the value increases again, because of historic perspectives. Similar to that of an old timer.

To retain the value of a spatial dataset, maintenance is needed. And a GIS alone is not sufficient. Much geographic data is collected using sensors. Only when the complete workflow of collecting from those sensors, processing it through a geospatial authoring system, disseminating it on a broad platform and providing the means to process maintenance feedback is in place, can we speak of a Geospatial lifecycle.

The availability of new data from sensors usually isn’t the problem, on the contrary. There is so much raw data being collected, that the challenge is in effectively using these. Through all kinds of technological developments, the amount of data that’s being collected through sensors will grow exponentially in the coming years. This makes that data itself is no longer the most valuable component, it’s the ability to quickly and accurately transform those data into actionable geographic information.

Hexagon Geospatial understands this and has committed itself to be able to fully control the geospatial lifecycle. This starts with powerful sensors, like aerial photography cameras, laser scanners and a broad range of satellites. For the first two, Hexagon can begin on its home turf, with companies like Leica Geosystems, GeoMax and others. For the latter category, Hexagon works closely together with partners like Digital Globe. And so we can provide support for the new LandSat8, the advanced satellites of Skybox, and for the Sentinel satellites in our own Copernicus program. There is still a lot to gain here, and once again it’s about shortening the lifecycle between sensing and acting, or to put in other words, efficiently managing the Geospatial lifecycle.

To achieve this, Hexagon Geospatial chooses to address complex data (like Radar and multispectral images) through an interface that can be easily operated by both novice users as well as more experienced professionals. That’s because there is shift to be seen in this aspect too. The real ‘GIS specialist’ gives way to a process oriented user that includes geospatial information in his overall workflow. This demands a user environment that’s able to create the right information at the right time, from a vast amount of available data.

With this philosophy in mind, Hexagon Geospatial creates its platform, and Imagem implements this at our customers in the Benelux. Shifting from ‘hardcore GIS’ to process driven workflows with a geospatial components makes that we cooperate more and more with sector specific business partners. We adhere to the credo of ‘stick to what you do best’. Our partners are experts in their respective fields and know what information needs to be available at what time and in which format. Imagem makes sure that information becomes available from the raw data stored in the organization. Together this leads to a smooth running system and we all do our part in the ‘geospatial lifecycle’. Let’s head into the future!