What’s new in GIS?

Increasing numbers of mobile devices and access to data mean that more and more people are using GIS on a daily basis.

MOBILE: Users are now familiar with Google Maps, searching online for static locations, hotels, shops, restaurants and dynamic locations, the nearest taxi, traffic incidents, fire alerts and radar storm path models/animations. There are user expectations for spatial solutions and GIS is just a tool running in the background making the magic happen.

The ‘CLOUD’ has also changed how we store spatial data and the tools we use to analyse it. Esri have tackled the “Cloud” aspect with ArcGIS Pro (software as a service) and ArcGIS Earth which will replace Google Earth Enterprise (scheduled release “later this year”). GIS\IT Managers need to understand different cloud offerings and terminology as it gains popularity:
• IaaS: Infrastructure as a Service, for example, Amazon, Rackspace or Macquarie Telecom. You acquire virtual machines to run your applications
• PaaS: Platform as a Service, for example, Esri ArcGIS.com. This is where you utilise a platform for sharing data, setting up web services
• SaaS: Software as a Service, for example, Xero where you use a payroll system and pay by the month, or for what you use.

DATA: The GIS Industry is expected to grow to a worldwide US$10.6 Billion by 2015. The largest demand is for GIS data, which has grown at a compound annual rate of 15.5% for the last eight years. Hitachi describe growing data volume trends from 300MB/km2 in the early 90’s, 25 GB/km2 in 2006 and PBs/km2 today. Sensors now capture full 3D data at rates of 8-20GB’s second!

Pitney-Bowes (PB) have responded to the need for interrogating large raster datasets introducing an innovative grid format called Multi-Resolution Raster (MRR).( MapInfo Pro 15.2 Available early November, 2015).

Accenture ‘2015 Oil and Gas Digital and Technology Trends Survey’ recently reported that mobility, infrastructure and collaboration technologies represent the biggest investment areas across the oil and gas industry, whilst Five of Gartner’s ‘Top 10 Technology Trends Impacting the Upstream Oil and Gas Industry’ (2015) relate to cloud, data & mobile solutions.

In conclusion GIS has moved beyond the ‘where’. Priority has shifted to ‘when’ and ‘how’. 4D GIS (XYZ and time) is the next major step. Add predictive modelling to the mix and proposed management actions (for example, timber harvesting and subsequent vegetation growth) can be introduced to look into the future. Tomorrow’s data structures will accommodate time as a stored dimension and completely change the conventional mapping paradigm. (A dynamic datum GDA2020 with time vectors, will be implemented by the ICSM
in Australia by 2023).