#36 Data economy and geospatial data

Geospatial data has become fundamental part of modern businesses and nowadays it can be regarded as a mainstream. So first, what is Geospatial data? According to IBM, geospatial data is information that describes objects, events or other features with a location on or near the surface of the earth. Geospatial data typically combines location information and attribute information with temporal information


Back in 90s, it was more creating printed maps and updating goverment registries.

Geospatial data awareness started already in 90s, mostly in governmental services such as environmental urban planning, emergency services and in the military. It was then mostly about creating printed maps and updating registers. Just mentioning that selling geospatial data happened already back in those days. Now, I´ve to admit, sometimes I do miss the sounds of the matrix printer and slow completion artistic maps.


The final raise of the geospatial data economy started when Google started to add geospatial data (or location) data as a significant part of their services i.e. Google Maps, Google Earth and finally also natively to the Google´s search engine. Nowadays it is hard to think business without utilizing geospatial data. It has been widely estimated that 60-80 % of all the information needs are location-relevant.


The raise of the geospatial data economy started when Google started to add location data as a significant part of their services

Geospatial community has always been where advanced what comes to the data sharing and even data selling. There are very active and advanced open source teams for example developing geospatial data processing softwares (e.g. QGIS) and data publishing platforms (e.g. GeoServer) and creating standards to promote the geospatial industry, like Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). Today, they all play a significant role in other industries in addition to geospatial data.


Eventhough modern remote sensing technologies and e.g. laser scanning have lower the cost, collecting geospatial data is still in many cases expensive. It has always been logical try to fund data collecting and processing by selling e.g. maps or registries to the end-customers.


Geospatial industry is a major driver of the data economy. In many business cases it is easy to show value creating and proposition mechanisms of geospatial data. It could be e.g. cost- and time-saving in supply-chain or better environmental planning and use of natural resources. E.g. protecting and planning the environment, business takes a lot of geospatial data - and vizualizing it too. Showing the facts visually and even by financial number can be critical when selling data to the end-customer.


How about adding location to your current datasets, it could create significant growth of value and commercial interest? Then next start using existing geospatial services to analyze, enrich and vizualize our data. That can be a game changer of your way to data economy!