Geospatial 2.0. It is a new conversation. One centred on the abundance of new location data, and analytical methods (artificial intelligence) to both process and provide business insight from that data.

Location data has historically be centred on, and leveraged by, the world of GIS (Geographic Information Systems). That has been a world dominated by public sector clients and GIS experts: a $9 billion niche. GIS has been largely used to manage distributed assets.

But narrowing the use of location data to distributed assets realises only a very small part of its usefulness. As the saying goes: everything happens somewhere. Location data has an incredible range of potential uses. And that gave birth to the Geospatial 2.0 conversation.

Location data for all ..

Thanks to new data sources driven by advances in sensor technology (satellite, drone, IoT, IIoT) we now have a tsunami of location-based data. But this flood of data is impossible to process by humans. Not so AI and machine learning.

Now we have the fuel (data) and the engine (algorithms). What do we want to solve?

A new world has opened up. That is far beyond distributed assets (Geospatial 1.0). Welcome Geospatial 2.0.

Geospatial 2.0 Top 100 List ..

We have just published the first 20 companies in the Geospatial 2.0 Top 100 List. Compiling the list has been fascinating. We called out on LinkedIn for suggestions on who should be on this list. We had 80 companies within the first 2 weeks!

We visited and reviewed every company (and solution). Some we weeded out since they did not fit within the definition of Geospatial 2.0.

The promise of Geospatial 2.0 is to improve the speed and accuracy of decision-making. We live in a dynamic, rapidly changing world. These changes all happen somewhere. Geospatial 2.0 leverages new data and technology, moving organizations from reactive to proactive.

Compiling this list was a fascinating process, filled with surprises and affirmations.

What we learned ..

At a high level (and we will dig in deeper in future posts):

  • The range and diversity of Geospatial 2.0 companies is incredible. We split the list into 3 sections:

a) Enablers – Those providing the fuel for 2.0.

b) End-to-end solutions – Those providing 2.0 focused offerings.

c) Frameworks – Those providing the foundational frameworks underpinning 2.0

  • Geospatial 2.0 is a truly global phenomena. Not just companies based in the US or Europe, the list includes companies on every continent.
  • World events are helping to drive innovation and are powering the emergence of the 2.0 universe. COVID-19, wildfires, hurricanes, global warming. The need to make fast decisions by better leveraging (location) data and automation (AI) is today front and centre. On the California wildfires, as Timothy Ingalsbee of the Firefighters United for Safety says: “What you see on the web is not keeping pace with the actions on the ground, because in an hour these fires are spreading through a thousand acres”.

2.0 innovation is changing this picture.

  • Geospatial 2.0 is being powered by small, innovative companies. This is in contrast to the Geospatial 1.0 world which is dominated by big organizations. Companies in the 2.0 space will be the big players of tomorrow. The investment world (M&A, VC’s and private equity) are closely watching, and investing in, those in the 2.0 space.
  • Geospatial 2.0 is being applied across an incredible range of sectors. This includes health, infrastructure, construction, consumer behaviour, risk/hazard, supply chain, transportation.
  • Geospatial 2.0 has little to do with maps. We have been amazed by the variety of so called Systems of Engagement used by 2.0 solution providers: voice, text, SMS, dashboard. Mechanisms for asking questions and getting answers vary in incredibly innovative ways.
  • Geospatial 2.0 need be focused on business problems and not technology. Starting with the problem is where many in the 2.0 space have begun their journeyThe success of individual companies in the 2.0 space will require staying problem focused. As we will next discuss, this will separate 2.0 winners and losers.

The 2.0 Challenge ..

There is one overarching challenge faced by the Geospatial 2.0 community. And helping to overcome that challenge was why we set up Whyofthere.com. That challenge is:

MESSAGING

Compiling the Geospatial 2.0 company list, reviewing web sites and talking to business leaders in the 2.0 community, has made us realise that too many are enamored by their own technology and solutions.

Old style selling & marketing are a fail. Shared purpose (see Simon Sinek and why) is key. Geospatial 2.0 is about a shared goal:faster/accurate decision-making using location data and AI = Win:Win

In today’s fast moving world, if a prospect cannot see the value you offer to them quickly. They are gone. Nobody cares about your how (“using location-based technology”) or what (“we map fires”). They care about your why. As an example:

“We are in business to help save property and lives from wildfires by providing early warnings of fire danger. As an example, we warned authorities about the xyz fire 30 minutes before the first 911 call was received. Allowing authorities to take fast action to prevent the fires spread”

Now that is powerful.

If your 2.0 messaging is not short, sharp and value focused. Leveraging the right channels through the best mediums. Your 2.0 potential may go unrealised.

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