Big Data in GIS – Companies Using the Technology and Challenges Faced

Big Data and GIS

Big data has been making a substantial impact on almost every industry today. Surprisingly, big data has significant implications when used in GIS in the way we leverage and acquire spatial information. If we consider the way different organizations are using geospatial technology and spatial science, one thing is clear that the usage has been expanding dramatically.

Going back to a decade or two, geospatial data was just used by government agencies and platforms, but now the technology is adopted by almost every business sector. And, this advancement shows the convergence of GIS with big data in the future, which will make their potential applications limitless.

Who is using big data and GIS/geospatial technology?

The geospatial data analytics around the globe is on a considerable growth. The revenue from geospatial data analytics market has increased from an estimated $69.9billion in the year 2018 to a price of $88.3billion in the year 2020. That is why the aspirants are showing their interest in Geospatial Education. And many has enrolled their name in different institutions for the same.

To take the context into consideration, the total revenue from geospatial analytics back in 2018 can be compared to the software-as-a-service market that had a revenue of $76.6billion. It is evident of the expanding use of big data and GIS around the major developing countries and how it helps various organizations to understand its value in their working process.

In this blog, we have thrown light on the dramatic increase of their combined usage by various organizations.

Usage of Big Data in GIS

Check out these three disciplines mentioned below and how they use GIS and Big Data together with a more sophisticated understanding of the technologies.

Big Data and GIS in humanitarian projects

The United Nation’s SDCs (Sustainable Development Goals) represent a particular framework for achieving a more sustainable future for all of us. Throwing some light on the technology advancements, such as open data platforms, Internet of Things, crowdsourced spatial data and the evolution of big data technology, it has made a huge amount of information available for the countries in helping achieve the SDGs of the United Nation.

Consider this example – DigitalGlobe, a company sourcing satellite data and combining it with other sources like aerial imagery and social media sentiment, leverages a GIS ML algorithm to identify anomalies by tracking activity in particular locations.

The main issues the organization helps to solve include global poverty, disaster response, child trafficking and more. However, the common theme in its working functions is the huge data volume behind the scenes.

Geospatial Data Analytics in the field of marketing

You might not be aware, but geospatial technology also plays an important role in the marketing field. Its most common use in marketing is in the prospect of customer segmentation. Famous brands like Under Armour use the data from fitness trackers to have a proper segmentation of their potential customers based on their daily activities. It helps them deliver timely promotions depending on a specific individual’s level of engagement with the brand and fitness.

With passing years, spatial data from disparate sources is becoming compactly integrated, which makes the usage of geospatial analytics by marketers more complex.

For example, an area of growing interest is to track brand perception in specific regions using social media. Now, a brand like Under Armour can integrate this kind of information using insights from their tracking data (from fitness centers) and this could yield to create better messaging, such as by aligning the way they portray their products with the way their customers actually feel and use them. Another way is to address common customer frustration.

Using big data technology, a complete 360-degree view of the customer along with a spatial component can be extracted. When combined together, these two technologies can help improving the marketing strategies in all sectors.

Big Data and GIS for Business Intelligence in financial services organizations

The third discipline is the banking and finance sector where GIS is most used to determine the branches to consolidate. However, the combined use of Big Data and GIS are now to address more complicated issues in the industry.

Considering the insurance industry, overlaying claim data with weather data can help firms identify the instances of fraud. Apart from the government and telecommunications companies, GIS and business intelligence tools are also used in financial services firms. Geospatial big data plays a crucial role in developing startup companies.

Most financial startups are marketing themselves with their ability to leverage non-conventional data sources like satellite imagery for identifying the potential risks of offering a loan or insurance.

The future of Big Data and GIS

The use of big data and GIS in the above-mentioned fields is just an example of its expanding areas. There are many more fields that use this combined technology advancement. The evolution of big data and its value in the field of geospatial technology is both challenging and interesting. It is less of a hardware issue as it was at the beginning of the trend.

The professionals working in the field of GIS face challenges, such as understanding the plenty of ways ti successfully leverage huge data volumes from several different sources. Moreover, planning on creative ways to collect, capture and leverage data sources is a big challenge.

Now the organization that will be hiring these professionals of geospatial technology/GIS will also face several challenges. Some of these challenges include being able to identify top talent based both on their technical knowledge ad ability to give creative solutions to the technical issues.