AGI Foresight Report 2020 – location intelligence vital to connecting a ‘Digital Earth’

Technology and geospatial experts have come together to contribute to a new report which gives insight into the issues, which they believe will have a significant impact on our economy, environment and society over the next five years.

The AGI Foresight Report 2020 is made up of 60 papers from a diverse range of organisations and industry experts including Tesco, Imperial College London, Met Office, Office of National Statistics, Ordnance Survey, Atkins and Leica Geosystems.

The report has been published by the Association of Geographic Information (AGI), in partnership with Atkins, Esri UK and Ordnance Survey, and discusses five key themes - technologies, big data, open source, future use and policy and culture –identifying that the geographic information (GI) community can, and must, play a big part in helping us to understand and maximise benefits from these areas.

The new report says a truly connected ‘Digital Earth’ can only be achieved through location intelligence. A common thread through the report is the need for the GI community, and location intelligence, to tackle issues of data quality and data management to enable enhanced decision making in today’s ‘Digital Earth’. The report highlights that to do this the industry requires a fundamental and deep understanding of its relationship with digital data.

Every day we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data — 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. Not only will this bring a huge increase in data sources (10.3 Billion devices in 2014 to 29.5 Billion in 2020 (Forbes 2015)), but will also increase the amount of possible noise which will need to be sifted through to find real nuggets.

Former AGI Chair and Atkins Fellow and Director, Anne Kemp, comments: “There is far more to location intelligence than maps. It’s all about data, what you do with it and what outcomes you can provide that counts. We are seeing an explosion in the volume of sensors and mobile devices in cities, homes and workplaces which are producing torrents of data. The role of location intelligence in the management of these datasets is vital, with it becoming the glue to connect them.

“The management of big data through location intelligence enables people, and technologies, to visualise information and draw out insights to inform better dialogue and make informed decisions.”

The report identifies BIM, Smart Cities and the Internet of Things as key areas where location intelligence is being utilised to underpin decisions and address key social, environmental and economic challenges.

Anne added: “The 2020 report consistently highlights the important role in which location intelligence is playing across a diverse range of markets. I am confident that the geospatial industry has the skills to shape the way in which information is managed in the future. To do this we need to ensure that the technologies, homes and cities of tomorrow are developed with location data at their core.”

The AGI Foresight Report 2020, was launched on Monday 23 November at the annual flagship GI event, GeoCom.

Anne ended by saying: “The AGI’s mission is to serve the needs of society, environment and the economy by bringing geography and information together. This Foresight Report endeavours to address how the GI industry can make a difference during an era of massive change and incredible need.”

To view the AGI Foresight Report 2020 visit: www.agi.org.uk/news/foresight-report

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