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What’s in a name (or number)?

By [email protected] - 28th October 2015 - 19:47

Technology wouldnât be what it is without the coining of new terms to tantalise us. That was certainly true of this yearâs INTERGEO expo in Stuttgart and where the term Geospatial 4.0 made its surprise debut. â©

Quite how the term originated â or when Geospatial 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 fell by the wayside - is less than clear. But etymological niceties aside, Geospatial 4.0 is, it seems, the name of the game. â©

An expert panel assembled ahead of INTERGEO shed some light on the subject by agreeing that Geospatial 4.0 entailed the intelligent networking of sensors, data and services to generate new processes. Karl-Friedrich Thöne, President of the German Society of Surveyors (DVW) elaborated on this in his keynote at the INTERGEO conference. âThe public, using smart devices, will increasingly act as the data providers of crowd-based geoinformation that will shake the ground below our feet for good,â was his take, adding that the customisation and personalisation of user-focussed solutions stemming from Geospatial 4.0 will usher-in a completely new era. âWe are at the dawn of a new digital age,â was his message. â©

In a subsequent interview, Gerd Buziek, First Vice President of the German Umbrella Organisation for Geographic Information (DDGI) pointed to better road traffic control, improved planning, the optimised distribution of goods, and the delivery of more personalised services as examples of how Geospatial 4.0 would make an impact.1â©

Needless to say, the big beasts of the geo industry have been quick to latch onto the term. But the future will equally belong to those fleet-footed businesses such as Dotted Eyes, which has distilled 1,000 pages of fiendishly complex INSPIRE Annex II schemas and specifications into a simple, easy-to-use web app (of which more in our next issue), and start-ups such as GeoSpock, with its revolutionary data processing engine.2â©

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