Musings around technological disruption in the built environment


Musings around technological disruption in the built environment

Geospatial Technology

I have been fortunate to spend a day at “Vision 2018: The Future of the Built Environment” at the Business Design Centre in London. With a rich programme of events, this is a worthwhile one in the calendar, although I ended up leaving with more questions than I came.

Topics covered included “urbanism, infrastructure and Architecture” raising big questions like my favourite “How can we quantify and maximise the impact of high-quality design on society, economic sustainability and commercial success?” Good question.

At the Carto Group, we are highly active in using technology and technological solutions to create better outcomes in the built environment, and I was hoping to be able to report on how the industry is embracing tools that we are starting to use day to day such as 2D, 3D, AR and VR mapping.

There were very interesting presentations on the use of technology by, amongst others Ron Bakker, Founding Partner at PLP and Roberto Bottazzi, Director of Masters in Urban Design at the Bartlett School of Architecture at UCL, who are using data to help inform architectural design in very exciting ways. And yet, these advances in the use of technology remain largely about the building design and structure – the materials in use, acoustic issues – not yet in many cases about those using the space – the people who inhabit the built environment.

The discipline of Principal Component Analytics for exploratory data analysis, helping to understanding the correlation between a number of factors (data points) in a predicted outcome is not a new science, yet is only just being picked up in the built environment sector. There is also a profound lack of model ratification – of evaluation of the outcomes after build – to feedback into future modelling. This is a specific an area we are exploring with our specialist data analytics partners at Beacon, along with a number of our more visionary peers in our industry – more on that in a future blog!

More positively, whilst we heard a consistent voicing of a resistance across the board in the industry to adopting these technologies – anecdotally, it is clear that once someone is persuaded to give VR or AR a go in their project, they are a convert, but that many are still very difficult to persuade! This is very much our experience too.

We are hosting an event in Swindon on Wednesday 27th June to showcase innovative mapping and location-based Augmented Reality solutions, including an open floor to chat about 2D, 3D, AR and VR mapping where you can ask some of the industry leaders in GIS questions, whether you are just curious about mapping, a student, a new user or an industry specialist, EVERYONE is welcome and we won’t judge you if you are open source, hybrid or proprietary.

Pizza and drinks will be supplied and sponsored by The Carto Group!

Sign up and come along at

If there’s demand, we might run one in London too – let us know on Twitter if you’d like to come to that!

Tim Hughes

Tim Hughes, CEO, The Carto Group.

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Forward thinking and always looking to implement innovative new ideas to expand the use of GIS within our clients and partners business.

Easy to approach, friendly and always trying to deliver projects with a smile. A passion for 3D GIS for use cases you could never imagine!

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Dave Rowe

Dave Rowe, Principle Developer, The Carto Group.

About the Author

Dave is an open data advocate, always looking to deliver as much value as possible from clients data.

Microsoft Certified in cloud Azure stacks, Dave is an awesome GIS Software Engineer that takes web GIS applications to the highest level.

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