Browsing: Geospatial

How to Build Innovative Geospatial Solutions


“So the problem is not so much to see what nobody has yet seen, as to think what nobody has yet thought concerning that which everybody sees.” – Arthur Schopenhauer, Parerga und Paralipomena

The geospatial industry has been going through a transformation. The rate of change is accelerating. rapidly than ever before. Landscapes, species and cultural heritage sites are disappearing at alarming rates.

Hexagon has a strong legacy in the geospatial realm. Our technologies are equipping thousands of customers, enabling them to produce data, find answers and build on our platform. We are committed to bringing these customers the highest quality solutions with the latest innovations.

Outside our traditional customer base, new businesses are recognizing the value of location-based data. They understand that everything happens somewhere: every earthquake and purchase has a location from which we can glean analytics and insights to navigate new areas of focus for what might and will be.

The world is not just changing, it is evolving into many facets; so many, we can’t keep track of them all. And the traditional geospatial market cannot keep pace.

In an increasing number of cases, the traditional map can’t keep up. Making a good map takes time, effort and expertise. It could take weeks to build a map that helps elucidate a problem, but by the time we have created it, the map (and the supporting data) is already out of date! That’s not good enough.

We see the need, but how can we create the solutions? As Schopenhauer noted, how do we think what nobody has yet thought?

The good news is that we don’t need to.

The world is full of innovators and dreamers. We need to provide tools that they can use to solve problems and make their ideas reality.

In the past year, we launched the Hexagon Smart M.App, an award-winning platform that provides entrepreneurs the tools they need to develop, test, market and sell their own geospatial solutions. They also can create Smart M.Apps to distribute securely inside their networks with M.App Enterprise.

We seek to empower them to foster their unique perspectives in their industries and revolutionize the maps (and apps) they need. To jump-start some of these developers, this year we held the IGNITE competition, which challenged innovators to connect real-world challenges to fresh ideas that could be implemented in a Hexagon Smart M.App. We are proud of all our finalists and will announce the winners on December 15, so stay tuned!

This is the shape of progress. This is shaping smart change.


Mladen Stojic
President of Hexagon Geospatial


Going Fast Together – IGNITE Your Imagination with the Hexagon Smart M.App


In Africa they have a saying, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Collaboration is often the crux of successful endeavors. But we often cannot afford to slow down.

In November 2015, we had the privilege of launching the Hexagon Smart M.App at HxGN LIVE Hong Kong. My keynote was less about the technology and more about the partners and customers that have already realized the power of this platform. This includes IMAGEM working with the Antea Group, GEOSYSTEMS Germany working with Redcatch, Ordnance Survey and more. With the Hexagon Smart M.App, our development partners design, build and publish their own industry-specific apps. These targeted, information services combine fresh geospatial content and workflows to deliver an interactive experience that includes the map and an engaging dashboard of insightful analytics.

The Smart M.App platform enables you to utilize geospatial information to make business decisions. For business leaders in a variety of industries, this is a completely new way of communicating and experiencing geographic information.

After launching the Hexagon Smart M.App, we also introduced a way to infuse new ideas, engaging a broader audience to provide creativity and problems to solve. IGNITE is a competition to create an innovative Hexagon Smart M.App that will explore real-world issues in a smart, fresh way. It is aimed at generating a new developer community in new markets, as well as stimulating fresh ideas within our traditional domains. Innovating around the six core themes of Finance, Food, Safety, Infrastructure, Health and Conservation, IGNITE ultimately seeks to attract entrepreneurs and new businesses eager to take advantage of targeted and relevant information experiences.

IGNITE launched in January 2016, with the opportunity to submit ideas through May 1, 2016. During this time, we will host IGNITE sessions around the world to kick start your imagination, teach you to use the technology and enable you to work alongside Hexagon Geospatial staff. Be sure to join us at HxGN LIVE Anaheim in June for the announcement of 20 finalists who will move on in the competition to build and deploy unique, revolutionary applications.  IGNITE will conclude in early December with the announcement of winners and distribution of over $250,000 USD in prizes. First prize is $100,000 USD!  As a participant, you will retain your intellectual property and be invited to participate in an ongoing revenue share model with Hexagon Geospatial as we promote, socialize and distribute these new information services to the world.

We believe the strength of the Smart M.App is in your understanding of real-world problems – and your ideas and ability to build something dynamic and valuable to address these. Ultimately, I’d like to go fast and go together. With IGNITE, we are inviting you to share your ideas and work with us to build a Smart M.App. The founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, once said, “Move fast and break things. Unless you are breaking stuff, you are not moving fast enough.” I believe the Hexagon Smart M.App captures the essence of these sentiments as a true game changer, ultimately providing a platform that enables you to create something meaningful, quickly.

Breaking industry expectations and standards for how geospatial software and content can work together – that’s shaping smart change.


Mladen Stojic
President of Hexagon Geospatial


The Changing Geospatial Landscape in 2016


As the year turns, we always look forward with a sense of wonder and anticipation. What lies ahead? What can we expect to see the next year? How will the world change, and how can we adapt to that change to forge a better world? Personally, I love change. I realized this when I studied Calculus for the first time and discovered the mathematics of change. When these beautiful principles are applied to understanding how our earth changes and that we are actually active participants in shaping change, I quickly discovered that change also means growth. It means we have the chance to revolutionise. It’s an occasion to disrupt and improve. And quite simply – change means opportunity. An opportunity to influence and shape a better world.

So what does all this mean for the geospatial industry this year and for the future? I see big things happening this year following through on the progression of activities we saw last year. But specifically, three areas will be very exciting to watch as they impact and influence 2016: greater utilisation of the cloud for computing, the continued rise and innovation of UAV/UAS use, and customized information services via the Hexagon Smart M.App®.

To the Cloud: The Evolution of MApping

The history of mapmaking has taken many interesting turns. From the first hand-drawn exploration maps to the digital map with attribute data about the objects and features on the map, we have had many innovations.

As the cloud adoption increases, people want their geospatial capabilities to keep pace. This is why we cloud-enabled our flagship products, such as the Producer Online. Leveraging the power of Native as a Service (NaaS), it delivers IMAGINE Online and GeoMedia Online from the cloud to the remote system, allowing the user to work on their geospatial data locally, instead of having to upload it to the cloud.

Interestingly, some users will actually encounter the inverse problem: instead of seeking to keep their data local, they will need a better way to organise, store, save, and access their data—and they will turn to the cloud for the answer. Our cloud-based M.App Chest application can do just that. As a matter of fact, customers are already using M.App Chest to save time and simplify customer interaction. While similar to other cloud-based storage sharing devices, M.App Chest provides streaming and many delivery services as well!

Eyes in the Sky: From Microsatellites to the Proliferation of UAVs

A key criteria for success in being able to understand and shape change is the need for content that reflects activities and events on the earth’s surface as they happen. But more importantly, the key advantage will come down to the frequency and accessibility of content sources that provide a fresh snapshot of our changing landscapes and geographies. What’s awesome about the industry is the new frontier where we already see an explosion of new companies working on building and deploying hundreds of small micro-satellites into space, providing daily fresh content for any location on the earth’s surface. This will help us to better understand change – but more importantly, it allows us to deliver dynamic information services that will actually shape change. Connecting to these ‘live’ and ‘growing’ databases of content enables the next generation of geospatial applications to access and deliver information that can then be communicated and used to make decisions.

With the increasing number of UAVs and UASs in the market, organizations have access to a great source of content that allows them to operationally ‘do it themselves’. Many of these users will come from a non-geospatial background. In order to flourish their business, they will need easy, accessible, and intuitive ways to process and correct their UAS data and then provide the product to customers so they can collect, prepare, and use the content for applications and information extraction.

When talking with a number of UAV businesses, our German partner Geosystems GmbH recognised an opportunity to make life easier for these users. Their solution was to take the processing to the cloud and alleviate the operator’s need for photogrammetric expertise altogether. With GeoApp.UAS, the data collected from the mission is uploaded to the cloud, and pushed through a series of processes that not only orthocorrects the data, but also creates some value-added products such as 3D point clouds. In some cases, they can even upload the data from the field and have it fully processed by the time they get back to their office!

Design Meets Dynamic Communication: Moving Beyond Analytics to Information Services with The Hexagon Smart M.App

Historically, maps have had two shortcomings: they are static reflections of an area in the past and they abstractly communicate data about ‘where.’ This requires you to do the necessary analysis and interpretation before you get some tangible piece of information. When you are looking for answers to specific questions, you want the map to help you, but you need to quickly see patterns, behaviours and more importantly, results. In the past, this has not been easy. This is where the Hexagon Smart M.App changes the game. We, within the mapping industry, have been too focused on creating the map. There has been less attention to designing a dynamic experience that provides an ongoing information service that not only reflects what was, but what is, what can be, and what ‘should be’. To do this effectively, we need to think beyond maps and really fuse the art of design and communication with the tradecraft of mapping. And when combined within innovation technology, we can begin to experience the Map of the Future.

The Hexagon Smart M.App is the Map of the Future. Through the Smart M.App platform, we are making the technology behind our years of industry-leading software available to development partners and customers, empowering them to build cloud-based applications that harness fresh content and industry-leading analytics to provide a dynamic information experience. By making this technology available and intuitive, we empower non-geospatial business experts to tap into the power of geospatial content to answer their own, focused, specific business questions and problems.

I am also excited to announce IGNITE, the “M.App of the Future” challenge. This is your chance to build a Hexagon Smart M.App that addresses global problems with targeted solutions and win $100,000 USD. To jumpstart your Smart M.App, we are hosting global IGNITE Sessions, one-day events where Hexagon Geospatial experts and partners will gather to help you form your business plan and introduce you to the M.App Studio. We hope to discover the next geospatial superstar and give them a head start on solving some of the major world problems.

This year has a lot in store for us, both changes we have foreseen and many things that will surprise us. But what I most look forward to is creating change with you, seeing you at HxGN LIVE 2016, and finding out how you are making the world a better, more understandable, and more sustainable place- now that’s shaping smart change.


The Art of Information with the M.App of the Future


Our senses capture our experiences, shaping the elements of our environment through sights, sounds and distinct impressions. With all that is captured, we seek to provide clarity, structure and, ultimately, form so we may convey the information to others.

In the geospatial arena, the art of this form has traditionally been a map, largely two-dimensional, providing context for connections, and at times, attempting to illustrate an element of change. We can instantaneously look at the different light and dark patterns of square pixels and extrapolate an aircraft, car or shed.

We are so skilled at identifying patterns that we have invented different ways of looking at data to make those patterns more obvious. Pie charts, bar graphs, tables, matrices, histograms—all these convey meaning through different visualisation principles.

We need to creatively question the standard approach to displaying and interpreting information. This means taking a step back and allowing ourselves to process information from a fresh perspective.

I believe at times less apparent patterns exist, which helps us model the world better. Changing the lens can completely change the meaning that emerges from the data.

The M.App of the future may not be a map at all, but rather an app that creatively conveys the location-based information you need. As Hexagon Geospatial, we want to give you the flexibility to visualise your experience in different ways.

At HxGN LIVE in Hong Kong, we will launch a new form for envisioning, experiencing and communicating geographic information. The Hexagon Smart M.App is a dynamic experience, enabling you to design, develop and deliver online information services through the fusion of fresh content sources, 360° analytics, targeted workflows and meaningful visualisations. Join us as we celebrate the launch of the Hexagon Smart M.App, introduce game-changing applications from partners and extend a special invitation to create, innovate and experience the M.App of the future.

Providing a new perspective on the way we capture the world – that’s shaping smart change.

Mladen Stojic
President of Hexagon Geospatial



Reaching Geospatial 4.0 at INTERGEO


I was recently at dinner with a friend, sharing old stories and catching up on the news in each other’s companies. As she was telling a story about travelling around Atlanta during her previous position in a distribution company, she shared one particularly entertaining antidote about getting lost around the I-75/I-85 split in North Atlanta. If you’ve ever driven in this region of the United States, then you know how tricky it can be to navigate. During her story, she made the comment, “… And this was before we had GPS.”

This statement got me thinking just how dependent we’ve all become on geospatial data. How many times have you been on your way to a new location without even looking up the directions until you got in your car or arrived at the train station because you knew it would take only a matter of seconds to input your destination into a GPS? Or how many times have you instantly shared your location on social media posts, especially Instagram, with hundreds or more of your followers? There is even personalised geospatial data in mobile apps, used to help college students get home safely.

What Is Geospatial 4.0?

More and more, geospatial data is being drilled down to the individual user experience. No longer is the one-size-fits-all approach to supplying data sufficient; today’s professionals expect solutions customised to their specific needs.

Hexagon will present these types of solutions at the world’s leading conference and trade fair for geodesy, geoinformation and land management, INTERGEO, 15-17 September in Stuttgart, Germany. Focusing on the theme of the event, Geospatial 4.0, Hexagon’s brands will showcase solutions for surveying, engineering and construction professionals that support their specific data processing, interpretation and analysis needs so they can make more informed decisions.

How Hexagon Is Moving to Geospatial 4.0

For the past several years, Hexagon has been strategically positioning itself to provide geospatial solutions that support professionals from concept to maintenance. Today Hexagon technologies encompass the complete geospatial information life cycle – from data capture to industry-specific information delivery. Now our solutions are even more focused on the smart networking of our industry-leading sensors to data and services customisable to the individual user.

As Hexagon President and CEO Ola Rollén explains, Geospatial 4.0 isn’t just another wave in technology, but a completely new concept in perspective for the industry.

“People – our access to and use of geospatial technologies – are the revolution, creating maps that tell stories with the ability to shape the future rather than merely respond to it.”

What to Expect From Hexagon at INTERGEO

At INTERGEO Hall 4, stands F4.049, D4.035 and D4.045, Hexagon brands will provide hands-on demos and expert Q&A about customisable solutions that are leading the industry into Geospatial 4.0:

  • Leica Geosystems will present the newly released Leica Captivate Experience that allows users to interact with revolutionary touch-technology software to create the most realistic 3D models unique to each user’s individual needs.
  • Aibotix will introduce its latest GNSS technology on the Aibot X6, enabling pilots to orient their exact positions.
  • Hexagon Geospatial will feature the Hexagon Smart M.App, a targeted, lightweight map application that solves real business problems. Each Hexagon Smart M.App combines multi-source content, sophisticated analytics and tailored workflows fused into a dynamic user experience.
  • Intergraph SG&I will showcase the new Green GIS initiative, critical infrastructure protection software, an asset management system for public transportation, a web-based planning tool for FTTB networks and smart solutions for municipalities and utilities.

Along with these demos on the trade show floor, Hexagon executives will give thought-provoking presentations on Geospatial 4.0 trends in the industry on 16 September:

  • Geospatial Information – A Key Element for Emerging Markets
    Rollén will join a panel of CEOs led by Bengt Kjellison of the United Nations Initiative on Global Geospatial Information Management to discuss the global significance of geoinformation.
  • From the Sky Into the Cloud
    John Welter, president of Leica Geosystems Geospatial Solutions Division, will share how the Hexagon Imagery Program (HxIP) is taking the geospatial industry into a new on-demand model of business with crowdsourced aerial imagery.
  • Big Data – Even Bigger Answers
    Mladen Stojic, Hexagon Geospatial president, will explain how geospatial availability and analytics are key to unlocking the potential within geospatial big data.

Sharing our portfolio of smart customisable solutions and learning how to better support geospatial professionals from around the world as the industry embraces Geospatial 4.0 –now that’s shaping smart change.  

Monica Miller Rodgers, APR, is the senior writer for Hexagon Geosystems Marketing Communications. She holds a Master of Science in Communications Management from Syracuse University. Follow her on Twitter at @MonicaMRodgers.


Discussing the Vision of Smart Cities at the Geospatial World Forum


For years now, executives from the public and private sectors have been discussing the future of the smart city. Hexagon and Hexagon Geospatial believe that many cities are already embracing this movement.

Hexagon on-site at Geospatial World Forum

Plenary 2: From Smart Data to Big Answers
Tuesday 26 May: 11:30-13:00
With Ola Rollén

Measuring Progress: Achieving Smarter Cities
Tues 26 May: 15:00-17:30 – Claudio Mingrino
Wed 27 May: 15:00-17:30 – Harmut Rosengarten

Earth Observation
Thursday 28 May: 11:00-12:30
With Ruedi Wagner

A substantial number of cities from across the globe utilise information collected and processed by social intelligence for enhancing construction, security, traffic, infrastructure and energy management, and emergency response.  These cities are already smart.  What excites us is the key role of geospatial technologies in helping smart cities become even smarter.

Smart cities will be a key point of discussion at the upcoming Geospatial World Forum, held 25-29 May in Lisbon, Portugal.  Ola Rollén, Hexagon president and CEO, will speak in a plenary session focused on geospatial technology trends on 26 May at 11 a.m. Claudio Mingrino, executive director, EMEA for Hexagon Geospatial, and Dr. Hartmut Rosengarten, director, Airborne Sensors, EMEA for Z/I Imaging (a Hexagon brand) will speak on the “Measuring Progress Achieving Smart Cities” panel.

Mingrino will discuss how Hexagon and Hexagon Geospatial support today’s smart cities in their challenges and projects. This includes describing a unique co-design and management methodology built upon a geospatially based framework and DSS, which enables planners, policy makers and city users to collaborate more efficiently.

Rosengarten will highlight the latest smart city solutions and workflows for geospatial data production, with a focus on airborne and mobile mapping technologies. This includes how to leverage highly intelligent 3D information for a wide range of geospatial applications such as infrastructure management within smart cities.

It is clear that actionable geospatial data will play a key role in helping smart cities become smarter. As our global cities continue to evolve into critical hubs that provide next-generation citizen services – all grounded in technology and energy-saving efforts – we eventually will live in a world where every city is a smart city.

Hexagon and Hexagon Geospatial look forward to helping cities and municipalities continue to organise and extract actionable information from their data to achieve their vision.

Best regards,

Mladen Stojic
Hexagon Geospatial




In only a few days, many of us will gather at HxGN LIVE in Las Vegas. With so many preparations finally coming to fruition, I am energised about what we all will experience. Why do we put so much emphasis on this conference? Why is it so important that we go?

For me, it’s simple – we go because we’re passionate about what we do. We are passionate about sharing firsthand looks at new technologies that utilize geospatial data in game-changing ways. We are passionate about learning from each other, from customer-led sessions packed with innovative success stories to hands-on training with subject matter experts, and especially in conversations with partners and customers at networking events.  Truly, this is a one-of-a-kind event to aggressively broaden our knowledge and understanding.

We’re eagerly awaiting your arrival so we can share our vision and goals and spotlight new, transformative approaches that make sense of the dynamically changing world. This year, we are excited to reveal game-changing technology that simplifies your geospatial experience through targeted applications, new content sources and more meaningful analytics. We’ll also present leading-edge cloud service platform technology that streams robust toolsets so you can optimize your usage and quickly ramp projects up or down.

During our time together, we also will highlight cross-Hexagon initiatives including our participation in the Hexagon Imagery Program (HxIP). HxIP provides yet another access point for creating actionable information within our Power Portfolio of products. Here, we’re leveraging streams of valuable, professional-grade imagery to support reliable analysis, measurement and decision making.

Passion for learning, sharing and changing the world – these are our goals as a business and our defining motivations for HxGN LIVE. So get ready to share in our energy and excitement.  You’ll leave empowered to fearlessly experience change, filled with a hope that together, we can embark on a new paradigm to transform the geospatial industry.

Best regards,

Mladen Stojic
Hexagon Geospatial


2015: The Year of the Map


Georg Gartner, president of the International Cartographic Association (ICA), recently sent a letter to ICA national delegates, commission chairs and affiliate members announcing that 2015 marks the start of the International Map Year (IMY), an initiative to celebrate maps in our lives, their place in society, their role in history and their importance to our future. This celebration will run through December 2016, with the official inauguration taking place this August at the International Cartographic Conference in Rio de Janeiro.

As an affiliate member, Intergraph has been involved with the ICA since the late 1980s, with personnel serving continuously on the United States National Committee for the International Cartographic Association. Several of us have also been involved in many of the ICA commissions and working groups over the years, working with customers and fellow ICA affiliate members around the globe on issues ranging from map generalization to map production.

As one of the U.S. National Committee members representing the commercial sector, it is my pleasure to participate in this global initiative. While Intergraph corporate headquarters may be in the United States, Intergraph has offices, partners and affiliates worldwide that also can participate in this initiative based on their own local perspective. On the IMY web site, you can find information about the program and suggestions on how to set up events and activities in your country. There also is a list of participating nations and primary contact persons. ICA delegates and members may have seen references to the IMY in last year’s biannual newsletter, ICA News (refer to page 7 for details).

You can see from the list of activities planned, that there are plenty of opportunities for mapping and GIScience professionals to get involved. As part of this effort, I would expect many of our colleagues and customers to get more involved in the commissions and working groups. I look forward to promoting more of the International Cartographic Association and its related activities with you in the coming year.

Creating alliances to promote the importance of maps and geospatial information around the world- that’s shaping smart change.


Jon Thies
GeoMedia Product Planning
Hexagon Geospatial Division

Blogger Profile: 

jon thiesJon Thies has been with Intergraph for 27 years, serving in assorted roles associated with cartography and GIS. His early years focused primarily on map production global implementations for private mapping companies, as well as government mapping agencies. Jon’s recent focus is aligned more along functional design and an improved user experience for the GeoMedia-based products. Jon currently serves as a member of the United States National Committee for the International Cartographic Association, serving his second term. Prior to Intergraph, Jon spent 10 years as a cartographic technician with several federal government agencies including the USDA Forest Service and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.


Unlocking Passageways to Big Data


Imagine working on a project and all the data you need is right at your fingertips… from different systems and in different formats… and the ability to search and navigate so simple that what you’re looking for seems to almost find you. Well, you get the picture. This is closer to reality than a dream if you’re navigating through geospatial data with the  2015 release of the Power Portfolio from Hexagon Geospatial. It unlocks passageways to data sets, offering new benefits to our customers.

I’m no expert in photogrammetry, remote sensing, GIS or cartography technologies, but I know a good thing when I see one. And this suite is just that. For the technical crowd, it comes with optimised workflows, data organisation and automated geo-processing – the kind of tools that make users shine.

The Power Portfolio enables users to understand change and derive information required to make business-critical decisions. It harnesses data production and big data management. It customises and easily interprets geospatial analytics while delivering it through the cloud and mobile.

The Power Portfolio by far is the smartest way to make sense of a dynamically changing world – that’s shaping smart change. 


Kristin Christensen
Vice President, Corporate Communications


Bringing Smart Cities to Life in Barcelona


The concept of the smart city is fully coming to life, and today’s geospatial solutions are playing a critical role in making this a reality.

Smart cities utilise information collected and processed by social intelligence in smart construction and other areas of city development such as security, traffic, infrastructure management and energy, as well as emergency response.

Innovations from Hexagon Geospatial strengthen the entire smart city process by storing and distributing data and translating that data into action-specific information.

We will have an expanded presence at the Smart City Expo and World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, 18-20 November. In addition to showcasing our solutions along with Intergraph SG&I and Leica Geosystems, I will present a unique and new concept, “Rinascimento (Renaissance) 2.0: The Method and the Machine.

The presentation will show how this smart cities co-design and management methodology is using a geospatially based framework and DSS, and how the  “machine” allows planners, policy makers and city users to collaborate with each other.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to learn more about this unique smart cities co-design and management methodology! The presentation will take place during the “Solutions for Better Governance” session on 20 November in Rooms H 11 and 15.

In addition, we look forward to seeing you at the Hexagon Geospatial booth (#616), where you can see our solutions for enhancing smart city efforts firsthand.


Claudio Mingrino
EMEA Executive Director
Hexagon Geospatial

Guest Blogger Profile:

Claudio Mingrino_Right_Portrait with tie_BW Claudio Mingrino graduated in Information Sciences and has more than 30 years experience in the IT market. He joined Intergraph Corporation in 1994 and in January 2012 he became EMEA Director for Hexagon Initiatives and together with the creation of the new Geospatial Business Unit inside Intergraph SG&I, he took the operative responsibility of EMEA Regional Director for Geospatial in Southern Europe. Since April 2013 he’s also responsible for the EMEA Geospatial Central-Eastern Europe Region.

In January 2014 he became the EMEA Executive Director of Hexagon Geospatial.

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