How to transform business with geospatial data

It promises better decision-making intelligence and streamlined logistics

Today’s global marketplace is defined by logistics. Moving products, connecting people, and developing technology for advancing business practices all rely on some form of logistical development. In the United States, we are potentially facing a renewed focus on developing the domestic infrastructure that can ultimately have a positive impact on business operations.

When we think about infrastructure, we tend to think in terms of physical items: bridges, roads, Internet cabling, city planning and the like. Each of those pillars is important on its own; in fact, it could be argued that they are even underrated in terms of overall importance. Should any one fail, the repercussions are either immediately acute or require years and years of work to fix. Interestingly, though, the infrastructure that must develop in parallel might prove to be even more important – and much less readily visible.

Invisible Infrastructure

The people that are tasked with rebuilding these tangible aspects of our infrastructure have a common thread: geospatial data. Civil engineers, city planners, the boots on the ground out in the field, all rely on the collection and modeling of geospatial data to improve decision making and streamline project deliverables. However, the use of geospatial data is not unique to these businesses alone. Any company that requires parts, products, or people relies on hiccup-free logistics to deliver. Either directly or indirectly, businesses in nearly all fields are investors in logistics powered by geospatial data.

With that in mind, the invisible infrastructure referred to earlier is critical for companies that sit at the top of the geospatial Data Value Chain. Sensors, 3D data and the Cloud are beginning to coalesce into a scalable system capable of capturing 3D data in real time and communicating that data to the Cloud where companies can use a variety of software and services capable of turning that data into actionable intelligence.

With that intelligence, businesses are capable of streamlining workflows both in the office and out in the field, where applicable. Each day, more and more sensors are deployed across the country; roads, buildings and vehicles are all loaded with the potential to capture geospatial data in real-time, enabling businesses to track shipments, monitor assets and solve problems without spending extra money and time.

New geospatial hardware is on the market that is capable of quickly collecting high-accuracy 3D data that can be used in a wide range of applications when combined with modeling software. The Cloud has allowed companies to manage data and assets in real time – a valuable tool for those that rely on remote work forces. When connected, each of these tools can streamline the collection of geospatial data quickly and, essentially, without limitation.

Decision-Making on the Go

Whether we like it or not, the nature of business in the global economy is going to continue to reach frenetic heights. But the future is bright. The technology, both hardware and software, is evolving almost daily, and the continued integration of geospatial data into business practices promises better decision-making intelligence and streamlined logistics.

Notably, much of this evolution is taking place in the palm of our hands. The mobility that has come with the growth of this invisible infrastructure means that we can leverage the decision-making power of geospatial data from anywhere in the world at any time. Our phones and tablets are continually connected to both the networks we need for data transmission, as well as the Cloud and the analytics software we need to turn that data into actionable intelligence. It may take a few years before we start to see the widespread benefits of this invisible infrastructure that is coalescing around us, but the transformation is taking place.


Ron Bisio joined Trimble in 1996 and has held several marketing, sales and general management positions prior to taking over worldwide responsibility in 2015 as Vice President of Trimble Geospatial. He holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Denver; a Master of Regional Planning from the University of Massachusetts; and an undergraduate degree in Geographic Information Systems & Cartography from Salem State University.

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