Over the past decade, geospatial and location-based technologies have been transforming the way businesses operate and fulfill customer commitments across industries. With innovative solutions like distance matrix and route optimization APIs, businesses have increasingly leveraged location-based technologies to streamline and improve their last-mile and logistics operations.
According to a leading market research firm, the location-based intelligence and analytics industry is expected to grow from $15.7B in 2021 to around $30B in 2026. This roughly translates to an impressive 90% increase in the value of location-based services over the span of four years, clearly highlighting the potential of these technologies.
Location-based technologies will continue to gain mainstream adoption, and as we enter 2023, we’re taking a look at the top emerging trends driving geospatial solutions for businesses and governing bodies alike.
So what are the possible areas of development for location-based technologies and analytics?
Let’s dive in and explore five emerging location-based trends that are poised to transform the way we work and live:
1. Increased focus on smart cities and urban planning
Smart cities require a constant feed of geospatial data to function effectively. With more smart cities being planned across the globe, the scope for using location-based technologies to improve efficiency, security and responsiveness is high, and this potential is expected to increase in the near future.
The applications for location-based technologies and services are immense. Governing bodies can leverage them to:
- Improve transportation and logistics by optimizing routes and reducing traffic congestion.
- Improve public safety through the use of sensors and surveillance systems that can alert authorities of any potential threats or incidents.
- Improve public services by providing real-time information and enabling efficient resource allocation for public services like waste management and emergency response.
- Improve sustainability by collating and analyzing data on the environmental impact of city activities like energy distribution and management, road traffic, etc.
2. More applications of 3D mapping
Advances in 3D scanning and modeling technologies have made it possible to develop highly accurate and detailed 3D maps of physical spaces. There are many potential applications for 3D mapping, including navigation, virtual tours, geospatial analysis, urban planning, immersive gaming and Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality experiences, and even guiding rescue and reconstruction efforts in the face of natural disasters.
3D maps are also expected to drive geospatial analysis of urban cities by accurately visualizing and analyzing data such as population density, land use patterns and environmental conditions. For smart city and urban planning purposes, 3D maps can be used to model and simulate the impact of proposed development projects on the surrounding environment.
3. The emergence of crowdsourced data
Most map providers have already begun relying on crowdsourced data like user-generated content and real-time updates to improve the accuracy and relevance of their maps.
Crowdsourced data refers to information that is collected and contributed by a large number of individuals rather than a single organization or company. In the context of mapping and geospatial services providers, crowdsourced data can include user-generated content, such as photos, reviews, and ratings of places and businesses, as well as real-time updates on traffic, construction and other events that can impact navigation and travel.
Map providers often use crowdsourced data to supplement and enrich their maps, as it can provide valuable insight and information that is more current and relevant than what’s available through traditional sources. For example, a map provider might use crowdsourced data to add new points of interest, such as restaurants and tourist attractions, or to update the hours of operation or contact information for existing listings.
However, it's important to note that crowdsourced data can be more difficult to verify and may not always be accurate. Map providers typically have processes in place to review and validate crowdsourced data before including it in their maps, but it is still important to be aware that this type of data may not always be reliable.
4. Increased integration with emerging technologies like IoT and AR/VR
The proliferation of handheld and Internet of Things devices has created a vast amount of data that can be used to enhance the accuracy and relevance of maps and geospatial services. IoT refers to a network of connected devices that are embedded with sensors and other technologies that allow them to collect, transmit and exchange data. Location-based service providers can use IoT data in a variety of ways, including improving the accuracy and relevance of location-based services and enhancing the customer experience. It can also be used to improve the efficiency of logistics by optimizing routes and reducing fuel consumption, improve the efficiency of public services like energy distribution, and gain insights into consumer behavior and market trends for businesses.
We are also bearing witness to the rise of AR and VR technologies, where location-based technologies (more specifically, 3D maps) can help create virtual immersive experiences.
5. Enhanced asset tracking management
With more businesses relying on logistics and supply chain management to fulfill customer commitments, asset tracking and management is expected to see a rise in demand in the upcoming years. Geospatial technologies and custom map APIs are used to track and manage physical assets, such as vehicles and equipment, as well as to monitor and optimize the use of these assets. This can be particularly useful for businesses that have a large number of assets to manage or that need to track the locations and movements of their assets in real time.
In 2023, geospatial and location-based service providers will focus on enhancing asset visibility in the movement and usage of goods, enhancing security by alerting logistics and delivery teams to any unauthorized movement of goods, and improving efficiency of transportation and logistics systems.
Geospatial and location-based technologies can be very important tools for businesses and governing bodies alike. The potential for transformation is immense, and the areas of location-based technology applications continue to grow.
In short, expect exciting times ahead!