Geospatial technology is a significant scientific finding, which moved the possibilities of humankind to a brand-new level. What is geospatial technology? Unlike ordinary spatial data, geospatial technology innovations allow us to determine the exact location of an object or person on our planet.
We apply them in multiple spheres, from geospatial technologies for maps like GPS navigators for drivers to vast-scope remote sensing by satellites orbiting Earth.
Using geospatial technology is comparatively inexpensive and simple, while its possibilities are next to unlimited. Applications of geospatial technologies are incorporated in almost any sector, industry, or research where the location is important.
Types Of Geospatial Technologies
Geospatial technology correlates an object’s position with its geographic coordinates. The idea is not new and served for observing places with pigeons or balloons first, primarily for mapmaking purposes. However, it is dramatically deployed in the era of satellites and computers
Identification of geospatial data enables monitoring, tracing, measuring, assessment, identification, or modeling. The basic list of geospatial technologies encompasses remote sensing (RS), GPS, and GIS.
Different types of remote sensing as geospatial technology enables us to study objects or surfaces at faraway distances employing their reflectance properties. Sensing them with active or passive systems, measuring and analyzing the response, experts can assess the target’s properties and make corresponding conclusions.
Satellites revolve our planet and generate imagery based on several source options and methods of geospatial technology for data collection:
- Electromagnetic impulses (including visible, infrared, and microwave channels);
- Filmed or digital areal imagery from piloted and non-piloted vehicles (e.g., airplanes and drones);
- Radars and lidars enabling to calculate the distance with radio or light signals correspondingly.
Advanced systems distinguish objects of one meter and even smaller.
Global Positioning Systems (GPS)
GPS bases on the geometric phenomenon of triangulation. As the name suggests, calculations ground on three sources. It is a typical situation, however. When it relates to space and signals, scientists have to bear in mind that transmitted energy travels at the speed of light, causing possible calculation discrepancies. To minimize errors and to make the calculations more accurate, global positioning systems use four sources.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
GIS, one type of geospatial technology, merges spatial and non-spatial data, remote sensing imagery, GPS data points to elaborate a single complete system. It allows users to collect, group, and analyze required information on multiple layers, including elevation, vegetation species, forest health, roads, water bodies, animals, etc.
Why Is Geospatial Technology Important?
The innovation helps to find answers to many questions arising in multiple industries and sectors. At the dawn of its development, the data access and its application scale were limited. Nowadays, geospatial technology importance went far beyond cartographic or military needs.
Geospatial technology allows tracking a questioned object and referring it to a specific location. This feature helps people to complete scientific or non-scientific tasks, governmental and non-governmental, military and civil.
The importance of geospatial technology is equally recognized by common people and giant corporations. It serves to fulfill both strategic and minor tasks like tracking atomic submarines or sharing one’s location with a friend.
Applications Of Geospatial Technology
The scope of geospatial data use is vast: it embraces every sphere or industry where geographical position matters. The list includes geography proper, ecology, tourism, marine sciences, agriculture, forestry, marketing and advertising, military forces, navy, aircraft, law enforcement, logistics and transportation, astronomy, demography, healthcare, meteorology, and many others.
Here are some typical examples of how geospatial technology is applied:
- Logistics. Tracking goods and ensuring their quality.
- Transportations. Identifying location and time of arrival, route making, and navigation.
- Meteorology. Referring weather forecasts to particular territories.
- Forestry. Detecting forest fires and deforestation & preventing large-scale wildfires (read more about satellite monitoring of forest fires and deforestation in Brazil Amazon).
- Agriculture. Assessing vegetation state on a selected terrain.
- Healthcare. Monitoring areas of epidemic outbreaks.
- Ecology. Tracing species populations in certain areas, preventing and addressing calamities.
- Marketing and advertising. Targeting ads to relevant regions.
- Real estate. Visualizing and analyzing real estate objects remotely.
- Insurance. Managing risks in questioned areas (e.g., via historical georeferenced data analysis).
Future Of Geospatial Technology
Even though it is difficult to imagine a sphere that does not use geospatial technologies, the finding prospects are even more promising. It assists in making weighted decisions and allows even more accurate analysis.
The technologies find new implementations, and related researches go further. They are affordable for a wide audience, and their practical use inspires a greater spectrum of applications in the future. The reason for their popularity is in data accuracy, which means better precision and, thus, increased productivity.
Geospatial technologies enhance the performance of artificial intelligence and smart machinery in multiple spheres and agriculture in particular. Remotely controlled equipment completes numerous tasks via GPS and digital dashboards. Robots and smart machinery in the fields seem futuristic no longer, and it is not the limit.
Expansion and new application solutions are expected in biosecurity, education, construction, engineering, ecology, food supplies, precision agriculture, financial market, statistics, transportation, to mention a few.
Basically, geospatial data enhances performance in each sphere, outlining specific needs or issues in selected regions. When it comes to farming, for example, landowners can save costs and efforts by treating only critical spots with exact coordinates on the field map and see a big picture of their farmlands at the same time.
Further employment of GPS in the automobile and aircraft industries enables frequent use of driverless vehicles and UAVs as a matter of fact.
The development of geospatial technologies brings quite an interesting correlation onto the scene. New achievements in this branch mean the corresponding upgrade of related industries. So, the improvement process is not likely to stop, ensuring even greater precision, credibility, performance, quality, and security.