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Emerging Geospatial Technologies to Watch in 2023

The field of geospatial technology is quickly evolving, and the technologies that will be available by 2023 are expected to revolutionize the interaction with the physical world. By leveraging advances in computing power, cloud-based services, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robotics, geospatial technologies can capture, store, analyze, and visualize spatial information. Discover some of the most exciting emerging geospatial technologies to watch out for in 2023.

  1. Cloud GIS
    One key trend to keep an eye on is cloud GIS. These systems offer the benefit of instant collaboration, faster access to data, a cohesive geo-distributed system, and simplified scalability. As cloud GIS technologies are deployed more broadly across geospatial industry trends, it enables smoother access to real-time geospatial data production while creating opportunities in data processing and analytics workloads.
    Cloud GIS solutions reduce technical complexity as traditional IT infrastructures make way for powerful geospatial engines capable of handling any amount of geospatial information in real-time without being bogged down by tremendous computational demands on hardware resources.
  2. Augmented Reality (AR)
    Augmented reality is a real-time technology that overlaps digital content in the physical world. AR allows users to experience digitally augmented physical environments by combining computer vision with 3D graphics. This technology can be used for navigation and virtual tours of places or objects with an immersive 3D experience. By 2020 it is predicted that 1 billion people will use AR applications daily, which makes it a highly anticipated technology worth keeping an eye out for in 2023.
  3. Internet of Things (IoT)
    The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to internet-connected devices such as sensors that collect data from their environment and transmit it over a network for further processing or analysis. These devices offer opportunities for capturing real-time location-specific information about physical objects or phenomena over vast areas, such as tracking wildlife population changes or measuring air quality levels across cities. IoT will enable businesses to monitor processes remotely through advanced analytics, which could lead to improved efficiency and cost savings.
  4. Drone Mapping
    Drones are crewless aerial vehicles that can be used for remote sensings, such as capturing high resolution aerial imagery or thermography data. Drone mapping involves using drones equipped with cameras/sensors to capture images/data within a specific area which can then be stitched together into a map or 3D model with centimeter accuracy. This technology has numerous applications ranging from military applications such as surveillance missions and search and rescue operations; to agricultural monitoring, asset management, construction progress tracking, and traffic monitoring.
  5. Artificial Intelligence (AI)/Machine Learning (ML)
    AI/ML are two separate but related fields that involve computers being able to make decisions based on datasets they are trained on rather than having humans intervene every step of the way. Geospatial teams for various tasks such as image classification, object detection, image segmentation, surface reconstruction, and change detection have leveraged AI/ML algorithms. With AI/ML being applied increasingly across multiple disciplines, it’s expected that its application within geospatial contexts will continue increasing over the years.
  6. Robotics and Autonomous Vehicles
    Robotics play an important role in gathering spatial data due to their ability to respond quickly within changing conditions like weather or terrain obstacles while remaining low-cost compared to human labor. Autonomous vehicles are becoming increasingly commonplace among research teams due in part thanks due to advancements made in computer vision and navigation systems, enabling them to traverse unfamiliar environments without any human intervention. Autonomous vehicles offer interesting opportunities when collecting complex datasets without human intervention, like performing detailed inspections and maintenance tasks offsite or performing hazardous deliveries.
  7. Quantum Computing
    Quantum computing presents us with yet another powerful toolset for performing computationally intensive tasks at speeds orders of magnitude faster than classic computers could ever manage. Thanks mostly due improvements made in sensitive optics, quantum computing has seen considerable growth over recent years, making developers worldwide excited about its implications within many fields, including geospatial information sciences. While still far from being ready for real-life applications, quantum computing is one interesting field worth watching.

    These emerging technologies offer exciting possibilities for enhancing the understanding of Earth’s environment and resources, from predicting weather patterns using AI-driven solutions through autonomous navigation systems powered by robotics; to gathering large amounts of cloud-based data, streaming AR content, and so much more! With so much potential ahead of us in 2023, these technologies will surely bring further developments that could revolutionize interaction with the planet, opening up new doors for exploration and discovery along the way!