Geo, Earth Imagery, location awareness and Machine Learning — Where to next?

While the traditional mapping in 2D and 3D earth, raster and vector and serving them to consumer and enterprises for core scenarios are here to stay, so will stay the open source products and solutions around those technologies and crowd sourced map data. What will change ? Where are we headed?

My story of map trends:

So I have Google Maps and “other maps” and I have offline maps and the navigation on offline maps — is this all I can ask? really, I want “more” of this :

  1. Where are Indoor Maps ? why cannot we get rid of those conference maps hung on some remote wall of our office buildings ? And mall directories that are impossible to find.
  2. Intelligent Maps — discover whats trending at a place depending on where people are navigating around what day/time of week of that place region. Summarize what 3 hours of research on different websites lead you to by simply summarizing it in context of location search — no research needed.

Now feels better, I have the map of the mall and the train station and my location search is also intelligent that it shows me the train platform ( or airline departure gate) depending on my “Google Now” alike personal agent without searching for it. Now what ?

3. How about the place where I can go and see all the trends like education, salary, job, environment, weather, preschool tuition, nanny rates, colleges nearby and their ratings, gasoline rates, car trends, garden and vegetation trends anythings and everything for my day to day decision making. There is no common platform for municipalities and cities to showcase that. Trend will be wherever there is open data , there would be common platform to show case it.

4. Enterprises still depend and outsource their “map the globe” mission. Most of them are dependent on the on-premise secure data solutions that are handcrafted to their needs.

From IBM Maximo Asset tracking to physical audits to locate and correct assets to some beacon and sensor technology and some imagery ( in-house or not) and some Maps software( read ArcGIS, Google Maps API for work, OpenGeo, AGI STK alike) all baked together but cannot possibly be standardized to other organization or other department.

There has to be some relief there — to be able to scale,use cloud and AI and crowd sourcing momentum. Wouldn’t some plug and play for their customers would be great to have. And better yet what if their employees can build the experiences themselves.

5. VR and better 3D technology — for immersive experiences of visiting a site, a place or even planning for infrastructure. Its cruel for IKEA and other big establishment stores to ask all customers to trip the entire store to find the cheap batteries on the way to exit. If technology allows to design the delightful experience and save time for customer why be merciless?

6. Whats packed in those pixels? — Niche, but daily imagery updates and earth trends like identifying calamity from the imagery trend is still very ambitious, companies like Planet and descarteslabs are shooting for the stars.

6. Considering point 4 above about making enterprises independent, Geo Computing and designing experiences around them should and must become mainstream in computer and IT training and degrees like Machine learning and AI has picked the momentum — Thanks to online courses and corporate run universities.