In a historic development, worldwide geospatial industry leaders have come together to announce the formation of the World Geospatial Industry Council (WGIC). The official announcement and introduction of the council was made on Aug. 1 at the 8th session of the UN-GGIM (United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management) by Jack Dangermond, founder and CEO of Esri and chairman of the WGIC.

“With WGIC, we have the vision to create a new institution that brings together participants from around the world in the geospatial industry. This will allow new kinds of partnerships to emerge, enabling companies to help each other, and will also allow the geospatial industry to collectively work with big global initiatives such as the World Bank and the UN,” Dangermond stated.

The WGIC, as it intends to be known, aspires to be a collaborative platform for advancing the role of the geospatial industry and strengthening its contribution in the world economy and society. The organization endeavors to facilitate the exchange of knowledge within the geospatial industry and co-create larger business opportunities for the industry. With policy restraints limiting private sector participation and commercialization, WGIC also seeks to raise awareness among policy makers and advocate for a better environment and investments in the geospatial sector.

Sanjay Kumar, secretary general and CEO of the WGIC, says, “With the geospatial industry valued at around $300 billion in 2017, its economic impact is estimated to be seven times that. Today, the value of ‘where’ is fueling innovation and entrepreneurialism as the convergence with emerging technologies is enabling geospatial capabilities for diverse applications. Given the rapid change, we felt there was a strong need for collaboration within the industry to help realize the true potential of this technology.”

WGIC has been created and co-founded by a group of 21 companies, named in alphabetical order: AAM Group, AGI India, Autodesk, Bentley Systems, Cyient, Data World, DigitalGlobe (a Maxar Technologies company), e-GEOS, Esri, FARO, Geospatial Media, GeoTech Vision, Ground Truth, Hexagon, IIC Technologies, Oracle, RIEGL, Rolta Group, Trimble, To mTo m and Topcon. Additionally, the WGIC will be opening up membership options in approximately one month for other interested geospatial companies.

RIEGL, one of the aforementioned founding members of the World Geospatial Industry Council, says being a part of this exciting new venture allows them the opportunity and privilege to help further the geospatial industry and the public’s knowledge and perception of it.

“The rising importance of geospatial information in our daily lives has led to the dramatic growth of our industry. It is RIEGL’s duty to be a responsible member of the geospatial community and to provide our perspective on important issues facing the world. The introduction of WGIC at the UN-GGIM is the start of a global conversation, which will have a positive impact for citizens around the world. As a founding company of WGIC, we invite every member of the geospatial community to join us in this important dialogue,” said James Van Rens, who serves as RIEGL representative on the patron board of the WGIC, together with Johannes Riegl, Jr. on the executive board of the WGIC.