Year 2012 has been characterized by the conspicuous influence of geoinformation and location technologies in disciplines that traditionally don’t use it or considered it secondary, ranging from marketing to solidarity assistance, passing through interactive games.
Although the world of geoinformation technologies has a great dynamic and speed and year 2012 saw fulfilled several of the technological predictions expected for the discipline, many experts were surprised by the debut of some trends in which less utilization was expected.
There are several reasons that explain the broader scope of geo-information at the present juncture, among them the current extensive use of mobile devices, notoriously more popular in less developed countries. This trend is additionally reinforced by a decrease in the cost of acquisition of GPS devices and digital cameras.
Additionally, the growing availability of geographic data and free base maps online, not only traditional ones as Google Maps or Bing maps but also others of higher quality as (free) Geo Eye, Open Street Map or ESRI is also expanding possibilities for new developers and changing the structure of technological markets. Finally, the growth of applications based on geo-information witnessed in richest countries, is about to be replicated in those countries of lower income per capita.
GeoCensos is pleased to offer an original analysis of 13 approximate trends of the use and application of geoinformation from 2013 on, in the critical light of our own contents and third-party’s articles.
- Geomarketing will definitely take off in non central regions, such as Latin America, used to exploit consumption in the growing, albeit diverse middle and middle low classes. Growth will be checked mainly in projects of client censuses in the territory, forcefully needed to exploit the different consumption in mega cities in their continuous growth.
- Awarding for location in the style of the exploited by Foursquare and Groupon offering geobased discounts will be almost mandatory in retail geomarketing of new developments. Checking in (similar to “like” in Facebook, although territorial) and offering instant discounts will be adopted by numerous corporations in retail, including SMEs which may provide immediate promotions for the walker carrying and reading his smartphone in commercial areas of large cities. Also stimulated by economic crisis, discounts at the entrance of discos, theatres and major events per amount of people waiting to pay the offered service will also be developed.
- Solidarity social networks will have even greater development, covering more uncertain needs such as natural disasters. Although still emerging technologies, there are innovations that locate demand and offer of help to the needed. Also initiatives to provide recognition to volunteers will begin to spread, with a gamming rationale, integrating those acknowledged for the aid of their compatriots and fellow citizens.
- There will be great popularity of apps intended to enhance urban mobility, especially those aimed at cyclists, bikers, car riders, taxis, buses and metro and in general those users who attempt to optimize time when dealing with traffic in major cities.
- The development of applications for tracking or monitoring will also be highlighted by a chip that produces signals of geographic location of children, pets, elderly adults, handicapped people or individuals with protection orders against them, given the growing need for security in large cities and the lowering the cost of GPS signal devices.
- There will be, by contrast, a noticeable decrease in the use of GPS navigation in cars and therefore charging for updated maps for that end, replaced by the abundance of online free maps and smartphone applications with built-in GPS.
- Citizen science, a science challenged by the alleged bias of activism, will take force now and mainly in the cities of the third world. Population and accelerate economic growth of large cities, the availability of quality geoinformation and the increasingly intrusive infrastructure development will require the resolution of territorial problems based on evidence generated by active and environmentally concerned citizens carrying cell phones , GPS and digital cameras.
- Active geographic crowdsourcing and crowdfunding initiatives based on solidarity principles and vicinity will begin to give way to a new generation of innovators who will seek to improve the world with their developments and projects, particularly focusing on the needier in cities and remote locations.
- Cloud Web mapping applications will be articulated in territorial public services (such as transport, health or education) of Governments that will begin to open their public data, especially those geographical-based.
- Projects of 3D geovirtual environments, together with 3D printers and participatory GIS mapping 3D, will begin to be used more intensively in the academic world that will see the convergence between physical knowledge of the territory and distance decisions. A possible application "to the real world" of such innovations is the decision by companies engaged in geological exploitation which may decide at their Headquarters solutions to problems located in various mines around the world.
- Facial and movement recognition will begin to become generalized and combined with geographical information systems for law enforcement purposes in search and tracking of suspects in cities, particularly fueled by the great diffusion of mobile and static cameras on public roads.
- There will be some progress in indor positioning, detection by internal positioning in buildings (a sort of satellite indoors). Already outside the scope of laboratories, they will begin to be used by more advanced cadastres of properties that will allow them to have online architectural designs without the need of having the original blueprint of the building.
- Some innovations will begin to use more intensively passive crowdsourcing, meaning that changes in cities, places, shops, people or incidents can be identified through the mobility of volunteers equipped with GPS in their device will feed geographic and thematic information systems online.
Present is emerging as the turning point in which this discipline finally demonstrates the vital importance of conquering territory and space in the hasty course of the development of information society. By virtue of this vibrant moment for geoinformation science, we provide our audience this analysis in the form of a friendly end of the year toast, merely trying to dive in the near future of potential geoinformation developments and projects starting in 2013 and beyond. Happy end of the year holidays!