The innovations that impact the geospatial profession don’t just raise questions about tool relevance; they raise questions about people relevance. Photogrammetry is just one example of a geospatial specialty that is becoming simplified due to automation in hardware and software.
One example of open data advancement is a project mandated by the Washington State Legislature in 2015, which involves the collection, processing and sharing of LiDAR data with the public by the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The goal is to cover the entire state.
While precision agriculture is fundamentally a science, it can also become an art — especially when the geospatial characteristics of a field don't conform to a perfectly square or rectangular grid in a grower’s or consultant’s geographic information system (GIS), or when field topography is far from flat.
Markets for driverless cars, drones, mobile mapping and industrial solutions are growing and benefitting from LiDAR technology. LiDAR is also being used to meet a variety of needs in mining, geology, robotics, construction, telecom, agriculture and 3D modeling applications.
There is so much potential and there are so many needs on so many levels with respect to open geospatial data that still need to be addressed. It will require some serious forward thinking to make the data as meaningful as possible.