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AGIForesight _2020_MJP Article

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AGIForesight _2020_MJP Article

  1. 1. AGI Foresight Report 2020
  2. 2. AGI Foresight Report 2020 201 “The Internet of Things (IoT) remains largely an amorphous construct with many different meanings to many different constituents. One thing that is clear, however, is that it represents a next generation set of technologies, systems, networks, platforms, devices, solutions and services that will transform virtually every industry vertical…Big Data and Analytics will increase in importance as IoT evolves to become more commonplace. Data generated through sensors embedded in various things/objects will generate massive amounts of unstructured (big) data on real-time basis that holds the promise for intelligence and insights for dramatically improved decision processes…We see great synergy coming in public and commercial IoT initiatives, but it will take up to twenty years fully develop. Major IoT initiatives will begin to be impactful starting in 2020 as critical adoption points are reached and major issues, such as interoperability and security, are solved initially through preliminary solutions.” “Key Areas of Focus for the Internet of Things”. Telecom Engine, September 2015. Big Data: Opening up a Smart New World for the Geomatics Industry Martin Penney | Technics Geospatial Surveyors Big Data is the latest buzzword amongst industry analysts. Collecting data, storing it and using it to advantage are top of every boardroom agenda. Research on big data in 2001 by global analysts Gartner termed the challenges and opportunities of data growth as being “volume, velocity and variety”, to which has been added veracity1 . Aptly the definition was enhanced in 2012 to include “requires new forms of processing to enable enhanced decision making, insight discovery and process optimization”2 . While aimed towards market data information the essence of the definition has never been more relevant for the Geomatics industry. Today organisations are moving away from viewing data integration as a standalone discipline when necessary, to a mind-set where data interoperability, data quality, speed of transfer, metadata management and data governance are designed and used together. The challenge for Geomatics will be how we define our emerging role and all that entails.
  3. 3. 202 AGI Foresight Report 2020 The State of the Nation There is no escaping that technology dominates our lives. From our everyday work with email and industry software applications to social use for shopping, reading, downloading films, sharing photos and keeping in touch with family and friends, we rely on our phones, IT and internet. At the heart of today’s world is the data that this generates, from operational and transactional systems, scanning and facilities management systems, inbound and outbound customer contact points, mobile media and the Web. The Geomatics industry, as part of the wider geospatial community, is just one area which is on the edge of change, and for which we must prepare for. How data is gathered, manipulated and shared, is now one of the most discussed issues in this and other sectors. New applications, software and hardware, sensor equipment and measuring tools are being developed that will make the collection and analysis faster and more accurate and easier to share. These issues affect all companies and partners who rely on it, whether in construction, transport, utilities, engineering planning and development teams. Joined up data provides a pivotal basis on which to collaborate and make informed decisions. The Scottish Government for example created a deliberate long term strategy for linking data and information to allow better decision making3 . The UK Government is driving the need for technology driven collaboration. The recently realigned Construction Leadership Council launched six new work streams this month to drive construction productivity; with Crossrail Chairman Andrew Wolstenholme leading on “smart innovation”4 . Other Big data initiatives such as BIM level 25 and the Digital Built Britain Vision6 especially in the construction sector have been introduced to encourage the advancement of ‘smart city projects’, whereby social data is collated and interlinked on transport, energy, buildings and infrastructure to provide a holistic picture. With a comprehensive view, developmental issues and plans can be assessed and outlined in a detailed, joined up and transparent way. On a global scale there is ongoing research into FutureCities7 ; processes and standards to allow the effective interaction of spatial and temporal data between infrastructure, human and environmental systems which transcend traditional data boundaries. Building Smart International (bSI) building on its expertise in BIM standards is now also focused on driving positive transformation of the built environment8 through collaborative open standards in conjunction with other agencies such as the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC)9 and the UK Ordnance Survey (OS)10 to enhance the social and civic quality of our cities, through geo-enabling the Web and geospatial standards and allowing straightforward decision making. The OS open source geospatial data base for the Kingdom of Bahrain, producing a city-wide 3D national mapping program provides a suitable international case-study11 . How did we get here? Our industry has experienced significant technology step changes and upgrades before. Every few decade we have seen changes including: • In the 1960s, the introduction of the electromagnetic distance measurement (EDM) to replace survey chains and intersecting theodolite angles • 1980’s, the draught board and ink pen giving way to CAD and today, in 2010+, the proliferation of 3D/ smart modelling and visualisation • The analogue theodolite angle measurement surpassed by the electronic total station (1980’s) and laser scanner (2000’s) • 1980’s and the GPS unit for survey co-ordinate control replaces astronomical observations • 2010’s with airborne scanners and sensors replacing terrestrial equipment, mobile applications and multi sensors, indoor positioning12 and mini drones and scanners13 But these advances have largely been industry specific instrument evolution events, not the vast society advancement in information and data sharing worldwide that we see today. So the data explosion is not new, with dispersed data collection having started as early as the 1970s, epitomised by the perhaps extravagant NASA Voyager program and coinciding with the huge advances in solid-state physics with the introduction of the integrated circuit; it set to propel the survey instrument industry forward14 . What has changed however is the speed of growth and information exchange along with the diversity of the data and the need to make better use of information for decision making. With the Internet of Things (IOT), this speed and connectivity of data and technology is set to increase even more15 .
  4. 4. 203 AGI Foresight Report 2020 Challenges for the Industry For the Geomatics industry, while there are many benefits for this new world in terms of faster working and joined up thinking across disciplines, this Nirvana comes at a price; increasing client expectations, meeting new industry standards and training and development of employees to address changing roles and skill sets. Changing Client expectations Client expectations along the food chain have changed with the new world. There is an assumption that data can be provided instantly, on demand, and that it is the very latest available. Data mining, whereby relevant data can be extracted and manipulated to meet a particular request, is no longer considered ‘innovative’ but the norm. New Industry standards With new data and information collection, collation, modelling and management comes the need to regulate and standardise. Currently the Geo-industry in the UK is assessing current best practice within BIM and wider geospatial community both at home, in the US and around the world; with consortia such as the Open Geospatial Consortium and BuildingSmart (UK) to provide guidance in the UK and to set out the way forward. Training and development Traditional job roles within Geomatics will start to blur, as new technologies speed up routine measurement and data collation and more time is spent on visualisation, evaluation and sharing of big data. While the internet and technology savvy younger generation embrace this fluid way of working as the norm, there will also be a need to structure new resourcing, learning and development in order to accommodate this shift in emphasis. The opportunity A catalyst for change The Geospatial Industry has the opportunity to morph into a new role in this information rich world, but it must take charge of technology and not be its slave and raise its head to view the wider geospatial picture in context. If successful we will be ideally placed to support society and community initiatives. However, failure will see the industry wither within the confines of historic tradition and methods. There are four key areas that we must address if we are to meet the challenges going forward: • There must be a role change - the former Guardians of data collection must now act as new arbiters of data standards, accuracy and interpretation • The Standards and guidance need to reach out to a wider Geospatial community, both National and International such as advocated by OGC and bSI- Start local think global • Industry leadership – we need leaders to champion the cause, help spread the word and show the way • Resourcing – the current status quo will last a while. However, the role of the future surveyor will be very different; as well will be their “type”, aspirations along with the needs of the industry The next steps As an industry we can start the process now to tackle the challenges ahead: • Rally the professional bodies and their membership; combine thoughts and ideas and information cross-party; work out how this fits nationally and internationally • Engage with the up and coming generations on their level as future custodians of the geospatial industry • Collaborate with the wider industry to support richer discussion and exchange between colleagues and professionals locally, nationally and internationally around open standards and guidance About Technics Group Technics Group is a leading utilities and land survey company. We aim to make information transparent. Adopting innovative technologies, we use the latest data mining and modelling software to respond to client requests for land and utilities data. We work for clients and government in large and small construction projects for planning, transport, energy, utilities and buildings. We’d love to hear your views.
  5. 5. 204 AGI Foresight Report 2020 Resources 1 Laney, Douglas. “3D Data Management: Controlling Data Volume, Velocity and Variety” (PDF). Gartner. Retrieved 6 February 2001. 2 Laney, Douglas. “The Importance of ‘Big Data’: A Definition”. Gartner. Retrieved 21 June 2012. 3 The Scottish Government. “Joined up data for better decisions: A strategy for improving data access and analysis”. November 2012. ISBN: 978-1-78256-215-3 (web only). 4 Dr Peter Hansford. Chief Construction Advisor. Reported at “Construction Industry Summit”. St Paul’s London 8th Sept’ 2015 5 6 vision 7 buildingSMART OGC FutureCities Collaboration. July 23, 2015. 8 infrastructure 9 ogc/programs 10 http://www.ordnancesurvey. standards.html 11 international/case-studies/creating- 3d-data-model.html 12 article/nokia-goes-indoors-with-3d- maps-bluetooth-40-and-a-parrot- ar-drone-the-future-of-indoor- mapping_M15943.html 13 autonomous-indoor-navigation 14 Measurement Techniques March 1970 Vol 13 Issue3, Yu Babitskii “Electric measuring devices at the Scientific Instruments exhibit in Moscow” 15 In Telecom Engine, Sept 2015. “Key Areas of Focus for the Internet of Things”