Geospatial GIS data is all around us and chances are if you have a smartphone you will have used it at some point. One of the best B2C examples in recent years has been Pokémon GO. The free-to-play, location-based augmented reality game (developed by Niantic for iOS and Android devices), uses GIS data information which allows players to “capture” Pokémon while walking around towns, parks and other areas. There’s also been a lot of development in the B2B space, where we are active.
“The focus of our company has been around geospatial innovation over the past 12 months and we expect that to be the case in the future.”
Where will the industry be in three years?
It’s going to be massive. People are already using geospatial data without even knowing it, when they use maps, on their smartphone, in business planning. The whole industry is going to become more accessible and yet more invisible and behind the scenes as it grows over the next three years and more.
GIS data technology is a crucial part of spatial data infrastructure – the technology, policies, standards, human resources, and related activities necessary to acquire, process, distribute, use, maintain, and preserve spatial data. With GIS technology, people can compare the locations of different things in order to discover how they relate to each other. For example, using GIS data, a single map could include sites that produce pollution, such as factories, and sites that are sensitive to pollution, such as wetlands and rivers. Such a map would help people responsible for public safety and for planning to determine where water supplies are most at risk.
Augmented Reality (AR) is becoming more intelligent. There’s so many applications for AR: providing geo-imaging inside buildings, this would be useful for firefighters and other emergency services when on a call; connecting workers to the office data, putting a technician in front of an asset – say a local authority lamppost – and connecting back to the maintenance team for live updates on the condition and whether any work is required; planning bus routes, town developments, the limits are potentially endless.
We are really pleased we were selected as a finalist for the HS2 Hackathon with an AR concept. This just proves our vision for location-based AR and the value we bring to the market with our solutions. Read more here.
Where are you now as a company?
We’ve changed quite a bit in the almost three years since launch. I started as a one-man band consultant and now we have 10+ staff developing high end, professional-grade software and data solutions, with partnerships and collaborations with some of the most recognised global companies who, can I say, have been awesome in supporting our business growth.
We’ve just gone through a consolidation and rebranding to become The Carto Group under which we can concentrate our different developments to be aligned with our partners and clients strategies. We’re working with two Innovate UK funded grants, with the Department of Transport and with lots of projects all looking at how open data can become beneficial.
We’ve had some bumps in the road, and I am slowly but surely learning my CEO role in the company (the not natural stuff!) but the future’s looking positive and we are all working hard – with a fantastic team – to achieve some awesome things.
Everything has an XYZ – everything has a location, whether that’s a person, a building, an asset, everything has a place in the world. Now it’s a case of seeing what can be done with that location data.
The sky (and the land and everywhere!) is literally the limit for us.