Geocom 2017 Geocom 2017

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Smart GIS

On 26 October 2017, the Association for Geographic Information (AGI) held their annual GeoCom conference at the Royal Geographical Society in Kensington, London. This year the theme was 'Smart Geospatial' and Daniel Williamson, a GIS specialist at ABPmer, was part of the working group that organised and ran the event. 

The day had an impressive line-up of talks from industry leaders giving their insights on how the geospatial industry is influencing their sectors and how GIS can become 'smart'.

The day started with a panel session hosted by Charlotte Jee from Techworld Magazine discussing technological advances and how location information is quietly influencing today’s society more and more. Location data has become crucial to the success of everyday apps on smartphones such as taxi services, even games like Pokemon Go. However, it is also becoming a major part of 'smart' technologies of the future, such as self-driving cars. The outcome of the panel session was a strong emphasis on the importance of collaboration between all sectors that utilise location data, to drive innovation.

Other notable presentations were from David Johnson of the ONS Data Campus where they are investing in ‘Data science’ to get the most from the data generated by the ONS. Their aim is to blend multiple disciplines such as traditional statistics and modern computer science while keeping location at the heart of the analysis to enable ‘data science’ and truly understand the information available.

“Geospatial is the key to everything. Statistics do not make sense if we don’t understand where or what they relate to.” (David Johnson, ONS)

A particularly impressive presentation was given by Javier de la Torre, CEO of Carto. He stressed how location data has never been more important than it is today, and we have also never had such an abundance of it due to the vast number of sensors and devices constantly collecting information. However, the shift is changing from simply GIS analysis, to data analysis with location at its heart to enable more informed decision-making across the board. A call to arms on how to reinvent GIS to allow this, with collaboration as the key to this progress.

“We have new data; new analysis; new audiences – and this dynamic analysis, using geospatial data, is becoming an integrated part of the progressive business’s strategy.” (Javier de la Torre, Carto)

Daniel works in ABPmer’s GIS and Data team that uses industry-leading geospatial software to offer GIS and data management services, ranging from spatial analysis and bespoke tool development to quality assurance and production of standard-compliant metadata.

The team regularly processes location specific data such as LiDAR and bathymetry data as well as create spatial maps for decision-making purposes such as the national dataset of marine vessel traffic.

View the Conference page [Archived]

View the ABPmer national dataset of marine vessel traffic

Prepared by Dan Williamson, ABPmer GIS Specialist