Into the Heterogeneous Age of Geospatial Information

Geospatial information is everywhere today and it’s no longer confined to specific departments or projects. It is part of the general flow of information in professional organisations both small and large. In fact, much of the information used today does not even reside inside a GIS; it comes from ERP systems, CRM systems, asset management systems, etc. This transition has not happened overnight, but over the course of a decade. This transition introduced new requirements for how geospatial information is accessed and used.

Because information about our surroundings is no longer ‘cooked to order’ by a specialist, the ability to transform raw data into information should also be available to non-specialists. In most cases, business users do not care about georeferencing, point cloud calculation strategies, or how to extract parcels from a database. They simply want an answer to a business question that on the back-end happens to come from a geospatial-related fusion of datasources.

Being able to connect to the various datasources and feeding into various business-specific systems is vital to deploying a successful architecture. The notion of importing everything into a standard geospatial system and expecting the end-user to get their head around how the software works and what stream of buttons to push to get an answer that’s useable is simply not acceptable anymore. The software needs to follow the user, instead of the other way around.

Hexagon Geospatial effectively addresses this issue, in two distinct ways:

  1. An open architecture that does not constrain an end-user to a specific technology stack or format.
    By decoupling the different components used in GIS, remote sensing and photogrammetry, clients have the option to introduce or replace specific components in their IT landscape without having to touch the other components. For example, some of our clients have replaced their previous raster server with APOLLO Essentials. Because APOLLO Essentials supports a wealth of OGC and other web service protocols, these clients can leave the rest of their architecture in place and immediately benefit from the new component.
  2. Spatial modelling to transcend the different areas of information and create workflows that provide user-specific answers
    By connecting the individual building blocks that constitute a remote sensing, GIS or photogrammetry system or to tap into external systems, users are simply presented with a few questions and automatically receive the answer they want, without ever worrying about how the base information was fused together. This speeds up the process tremendously.

The change in demand for geographic information will continue to progress, and Hexagon Geospatial recognises this with their current technology offering. At Imagem, this allows us to implement the various building blocks for our customers, even if they are not standardised on our portfolio. It creates a best of breed solution, open to interact with other systems. The age of stove piping is over; the age of fusing technologies is here.


Patrick de Groot
Sales & Operations Manager, Imagem

Blogger Profile: 

Patrick de Groot has more than 15 years of experience in the field of geographic information systems having worked for leading geographic software providers. He has a broad overview of technologies, applications and trends in the fields of GIS, remote sensing, photogrammetry and data management. In his current role as sales & operations manager for Imagem, the Benelux distributor for Hexagon Geospatial, Patrick is responsible for all commercial activities as well as day to day operations at Imagem. Twitter: @ImagemBLX

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