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What Is Geospatial Computing?

Geospatial computing is a term that you may or may not be familiar with. Geospatial computing is essentially an umbrella term for various types of computational subjects that involve geospatial information.

If we break it down, “geospatial” refers to any data that is related to geographic location. This data has locational information connected to a dataset such as address, city, or zip code. An excellent example of this is Google Earth–which emerged in the early 2000s, where GIS (geographic information system) technology was produced in an easy-to-use way. 

Why Is It Important?

Geospatial technology is all around us–in our phones, in our cars, and on the news. We use it more than we could ever imagine–to get us around and to resolve problems. However, geospatial technology is used for more than just getting around. In fact, the military uses it to optimize placement for resources while cities take advantage of it for urban planning and development. Many utility companies also rely on geospatial technology for underground operations.

What Is Missing?

The problem with GIS is that there are issues with location accuracy. GIS data is often out-dated and incomplete. Not only that, but utility companies that utilize GIS typically have low productivity rates.

What Can We Expect For The Future?

As mentioned, geospatial computing is the backbone of our current world. It would be shocking to go without it now. However, it could use improvements with current systems presenting limitations. Mixed reality applications are on the horizon, and they could be the anticipated solution for better accuracy, safety, and productivity in many sectors. AR visualization technologies are being explored everywhere–especially in the utility industry. 

A Toronto study that evaluated the effectiveness of applying “AR technology to utility locates using multifaceted criteria including productivity, safety, and locate accuracy.” The results justified the use of AR for productivity and accuracy. In 40% of jobs, AR reduced job duration by half. Additionally, 84% of participants revealed that AR made the job easier. However, geospatial technology and computing will remain the fundamental building blocks for implementation. We can take advantage of current GIS technologies and improve them using AR and mixed reality. With this combination, our world will be safer and more advanced than ever before.