Today this data is all around us, incorporating where we are, what we do and who we meet. Location data is increasingly woven into the fabric of our daily lives, whether it be in point-to-point navigation, delivery, ride-sharing, urban development, or natural disaster management. The future is now rarely planned without the consideration of geospatial information. Geospatial data today allows us to delve into the past and look into the future – it helps to bridge geography and history, and provides the interface linking time and space together. Through it we can better understand the lessons of history, in order to help us design the future of tomorrow.
With the advances of technologies in the past decade, geospatial data is now very much commoditised. The mass commercialisation of sensors has also meant that geospatial data has become increasingly democratised. The speed and effectiveness of this uptake in most developed nations has resulted in the ‘awareness’ stage of geospatial data being passed over.
Rather than a gradual, conscious recognition of how the integration of geospatial data affects our lives, we simply take for granted the advanced technologies that utilise it. In each of the mobile devices we hold, individually (and collectively), we become a geospatial sensor on the ground – helping to shed light on the urbanised world that we have today, generating data that elucidate what works, and what doesn’t. Most significantly, it allows us all to make everyday decisions more effectively, and improve our lives.
These better decisions can be as small as knowing where to find covered areas when it’s raining, or optimised travel routes to prevent you being late for an interview – but these build to have long term economic and social impact by improving productivity and wellbeing overall.
* Chief Executive, Singapore Land Authority
Source: Ordnance Survey