Professionals identified trends at a roundtable discussion in Karlsruhe, Germany, on May 2, and those discussions will result in focal points for the 19th Intergeo conference scheduled for Oct. 8-10 in Essen, Germany.

Experts from the worlds of science and business attending the event agreed that it is only possible to tackle the complex challenges facing society with precise, well-prepared geoinformation and geoservices.

The roundtable identified four industry trends that will also be the focal points of the conference: new services based on geodata for specialists and end users alike; open data and new applications based on this information; 3D models and their significance for both urban planning and the energy revolution; how geodata creates smart cities.

For some time now, specialists have not been the only ones to use geoinformation as a matter of course. As Eva Klien from the Geoinformation Management Department of the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD stressed, apps have opened up the market. End users now also take mobile data completely for granted.

“That’s why it’s now more important than ever to offer data to each user group in the appropriate format,” said Ralph Humberg, Trimble’s director of software business.

“We therefore see it as essential that a general GIS platform be available that can be used for various scenarios no matter whether by experts, developers or end users,” added Gert Buziek, Esri Deutschland’s head of corporate communications.

Athina Trakas, the Open Geospatial Consortium’s director for European services, explained that the integration of data from a wide range of areas was of great interest to society, generating completely new information of social relevance. Experts see excellent opportunities in the open data initiatives that exist throughout Europe.

Intelligent processing of this public data could produce valuable new findings. The benefits of this information also increase the willingness to pay for services obtained from such data, but it is less important whether or not the public data is made available free of charge.

All roundtable participants agreed that clear graphical presentation will remain essential in the future, too – for both end user apps and geospatial services aimed at experts.