Tomorrow (17th June 2016) I will be attending the ‘From satellite to soil: connecting environmental observation to agri-tech innovations‘ event at the Royal Institution.
Details on the event are provided here: https://royalsociety.org/events/2016/06/observation-and-agritech/
and for me, one of the key phrases in the event description is
“in the middle of this value chain are intermediary companies which convert the “big data” produced by the EO technologies, and through data visualisation convert it into a format that the end-user can engage with.”
The companies that sit in this space (excuse the pun!) are critical, and will become more so in the years to come. I suggest that those that are micro, small and medium sized businesses will be the most important. As the cost of access to cloud based computing power falls further, and the ability to rapidly spin up test systems becomes even simpler, it will be these firms that are most reactive to the needs of clients. Indeed, I see Geoger and companies like it, being used as the R&D arm of some of the larger data companies, and even as a way for universities to rapidly prototype some of their research ahead of commercialisation. All it takes is the right attitude and a mutually beneficial contract!
As more datasets are made openly available, companies such as Geoger can offer a more complete analysis by using data from multiple sources, at comparatively low costs. Micro and small businesses in particular are able to be very reactive and agile, providing cost-effective sources of R&D time. The use of tools that allow reproducible systems (such as Vagrant) and code (like recipy) as well as version control software such as Git and collaborative project management tools all mean that the client company will be able to easily spin up the research application or product where the smaller company left off.
I’m looking forward to the event tomorrow as I’ve always thought of Geoger Ltd. as an environmental data company (hence the original idea about the name – GEOGraphical and Environmental Research) rather than just an Earth observation business. For reasons of necessity I have focussed the initial years of the business on EO, but am now able to bring the computing, data processing and project management components further into the mix of services to offer more to clients.