Embracing spatial

With greater openness, wider data markets, and better software and interface designs, the question can still being asked: why is geospatial not taken up more rapidly?  From within the geospatial industry it seems as if things are going from strength to strength, but when I mention what i do to those without a direct link to GIS or remote sensing, many still seem bamboozled. The main barriers to uptake that (still) seem to exist are those pertaining to:

  • complex workflows;
  • confusing and restrictive licensing; and
  • convoluted and/or expensive data access policies.

Many datasets provided to users are supplied by public sector bodies, which have traditionally been seen as potentially bureaucratic and inflexible. However, this is not so much the case today, and individuals inside and outside of such organisations are pushing forward substantial change and making spatial data much easier to access, often under open licences. Specific examples include the opening up of local authority data in the UK, the #OpenDefra initiative and federal government data in the USA.

One argument is that geospatial, as a discipline, is now being embedded into wider business practice and so non-specialists don’t need to know about spatial data and orbit characteristics. Indeed, this should be the case. As such, the use of geospatial technologies are being accessed and implemented ‘by proxy’. However, there is still a need for professional input despite this potential lower barrier to entry for using such data. The ubiquity of online tutorials, mobile apps and web portals means that now there needs to be a clear understanding of the data and how they are analysed and displayed. If anyone can obtain and manipulate data, how do we know that the information extracted from those data will give us the knowledge being sought to answer a specific question?

Geoger offers the support required for you to make sense of the spatial and environmental issues that you have; we can help you extract the information you need. Our knowledge comes from a solid scientific background and years of commercial experience.


This blog post is based on comments made in an article by John Pepper, published in GeoConnexion International, October 2014 and another by Eric Andelin, published in LiDAR 5(3).