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Geospatial Technology: Important Things You Need to Know

by | Jun 25, 2022 | Technology

Last Updated on September 02, 2022

Just like oils in the 1900s, data is considered the world’s most valuable resource in the 21st century. With the increasing adoption of technologies, digital transformation is taking another leap. Over our heads, there are thousands of Earth observation satellites in low orbit.

And more satellites are launched regularly with sensors to collect information everywhere on earth. Every day a vast amount of data are generated both from orbit and on earth. As of September 2021, there were around 7500 satellites in low earth orbit.

An enormous amount of data is generated from the earth to the sky and even space. This spatial information helps us see better, be smarter and make better decisions. Data insight helps us track, trace, and locate patterns and trends.

The streamlining of data is accelerating business opportunities, reducing the digital divide, and empowering humanity. It is the facilitator of processes and the foundation for building a better future.

Everything is turning digital and becoming more and more connected thus driving innovations and technological convergence. And geospatial technology is one of the systems that is igniting innovation.

Digitization is already impacting life on earth and geospatial science is getting all-pervasive and default in our daily lives. Geospatial technology can be referred to everything that you can see or know about the earth.

Geographical technology is very important to our modern society. Geospatial is changing everything and almost no one realizes how colossal it is. So what are the properties of geospatial technology?

What is geospatial technology?


Geospatial is a term used to define collective data and associated technology that has a locational or geographic component. The term is growing in popularity and it encompasses a broad range of other terms, types, and technology.

Geospatial Technology

Geospatial technology is a range of modern tools used for geographic mapping and analysis of the Earth and human societies. It is a broad range of software, hardware, and device used to gather, and process geographic information to turn it into something useful.  

Geospatial technology is used to collect, process, manage, and present information into visual interactive three dimensions display usually maps. The geospatial technology field includes:

  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Remote Sensing (RS)
  • Global Positioning System (GPS)
  • Geofencing
  • Internet Mapping Technology

Geospatial tools facilitate the collection of earth data for analysis, visualization, modeling, and simulation to acquire insight and enable better decision-making.

Geographic Information System (GIS)

Geographic Information System or GIS is a combination of maps and datasets about environmental events and socioeconomic trends. GIS uses different software to create layered maps for better analysis of complex data. This is made possible through the use of precise data points and locations on Earth.

GIS also allows users to connect the location data they have with things and places within that location. This in turn provides a better understanding and the information needed for their purposes.

Remote Sensing

Remote sensing is a technique used to obtain information about the environment from a distance. It is about collecting imagery and data from space, airborne cameras, or sensor platforms.

Remote sensing techniques include aerial photography, satellite imagery, and land use analysis. This information is used to help scientists understand the environment, assess the impact of climate change, monitor environmental changes, or even spot human rights abuse areas.

Global Positioning System (GPS)

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite-based navigation system that allows users to pinpoint their precise location on earth. A network of satellites gives precise coordinate locations to an individual.

While traditional navigation systems like maps and compasses rely on landmarks and estimated distances to calculate a user’s position, GPS uses signals from orbiting satellites to calculate a user’s location.


Geofencing is the use of technology to define and track the location of a device or person. It can be used in many ways, such as to trigger an action when a person enters or leaves a particular area, or to track the movement of a device.

Geofencing allows businesses to set up virtual boundaries around specific areas and track the movements of people and objects within that area. This is used to monitor the whereabouts of customers, employees, and other assets, and can be activated automatically or triggered by a specific event.

Internet Mapping Technologies

Internet mapping technology is a process of mapping the world’s physical and virtual spaces using computers. It is a tool that allows users to view and navigate maps of different regions, cities, and even specific buildings.

Connected mapping technology is used in a variety of ways, including for navigation, planning, and research. Software programs like Google Earth and web features like Microsoft Virtual Earth are examples of internet mapping technology.

Geospatial technology merges spatial and non-spatial information, remote sensing imagery, and GPS data points to create a single elaborative system as well as collect data. This can also be described as geospatial data.

What is geospatial data?

Geospatial data is data that relates to geographies, such as maps, aerial photographs, and geographic information. The data is employed for a variety of purposes, such as navigation, measuring, assessment, modeling, land management, monitoring, tracing, and mapping.

Every area or location around the world is unique. There are different realities, topography, population, culture, customs, and history. And geo-spatial data is here to provide insight into that with the use of different geospatial technologies.

Type of geospatial data

There are different types of geospatial data, but the two primary forms are:

Vector data

Vector data is data that is composed of points, lines, or polygons. The information can be easily manipulated in software, making it a great choice for graphics and animation.

Vector information can represent features such as mountains, roads, properties, bodies of water, and cities. It produces graphical representations of real-world features by connecting and creating points and lines.

Raster data

Raster data is a collection of pixels, each of which can be assigned a color. It is commonly used in maps, diagrams, satellite images, and illustrations. It can also be gridded cells identified according to row and column.

Raster data imagery is substantially more complex where each pixel has values such as units of measurement, communication information, or color.

Geospatial analytics 

Geospatial analytics is the process of using geographic information and algorithms to solve problems. The analysis is used to understand patterns, extract knowledge, and make decisions using spatial data.

Geo-analytics improve decision-making, identify risks, and improve planning and management. Geospatial analysis is also used to support a wide range of applications, including transportation, land management, environmental monitoring, and security.

It is also used to add location and timing to traditional types of information or to create data visualization. The data visualization can be in the form of maps, cartography, graphs, and statistics that show current events as well as historical events.

The information is utilized for comparison, and analyze changes and shifts to gain insight into the trajectory of an event. This can signal anomalies, changing patterns, extreme value, and even predictive analysis. The data create a complete and accurate picture that allows fast and precise decision-making.

What is geospatial intelligence?

Geospatial Intelligence is the application of spatial technologies for intelligence purposes. It includes the ability to collect, process, analyze, and display geospatial information. Which is then used for better understanding and visually unfolding human activity based on a specific location.

It provides a platform for situational awareness and decision-making. It is used to collect inputs on a variety of topics, including infrastructure, natural resources, pollution, land use,  population, etc… This information is then analyzed to provide insights.

Importance of geospatial technology

Geospatial technologies are used to geospatially depict intelligent models and maps. GIS is used to reveal spatial patterns from large volumes of data. The modern world we are living in is becoming more and more complex and also facing a lot of pressure.

Pressures such as climate change, scarcity of resources, water crisis, global warming, pollution, conflict, pandemics, and a growing population. We are now entering an era where geospatial science is becoming important and prevalent to help the world navigate through all the crises it is facing.

The information generated by geospatial tools are important since they provide an image of the growing challenges the world is facing. Policymakers, managers, leaders, and businessmen are leveraging spatial data to improve decision-making and management.

The information also stimulates innovation and increases transparency. And by managing, integrating, analyzing, and visualizing large and complex geo-data, users can tackle pressing issues to create a sustainable future.

Geospatial science is a key to understanding geography and filling in information gaps. It has existed for a long time and it has been crucial for physical surveys, hard-print survey maps, and much more.

It is now a vital tool for preserving natural resources and fighting climate change. The insight gained through geo-spatial data can improve biodiversity conservation, urban planning, and national security as well as provide humanitarian relief.

With geographic information systems operations become much smarter and more precise since everything is measured in real-time and with high level of accuracy through the use of wide arrays of sensors.

And with the internet of things becoming more and more prevalent, more inputs are being collected on earth resulting in better decision making, increase efficiency, and improved communication.

Moreover, governments use geospatial information to improve their operations. For example, geo-spatial data about population density and land use can improve infrastructure decisions, including road and bridge construction.

Spatial data about transportation behaviors help government agencies improve their decisions regarding highways, bridges, and transportation infrastructure. GIS can provide the necessary information about the state of infrastructures.

Geospatial analysis is also valuable to businesses, as companies can use them to determine which brands or products to sell in a particular region as they have an insight into consumers’ interests and demography.

Location-based technologies are used to enhance decision-making in many different industries. They enable better analysis and weighted decisions. They are also affordable to a broad audience. Geospatial technology solutions have the potential to improve productivity and efficiency.

It is a tool that helps people do their work better with the use of geography as a science and visualization as a technology to help them make better decisions, be more efficient or communicate the information well.

Geospatial information is used to plan work orders, manage assets and prioritize tasks. It is also employed for the analysis of present inputs. And it can also compare it with historical events to predict future outcomes.

These tools are also used by insurance companies to analyze risk in flood zones. Insurance rates and policies are generated based on geological risk factors. As the amount of data and information available continues to increase, so do its applications.

The accuracy of data generated by these spatial technologies is a big reason why they’re so popular and it only makes sense. Better accuracy means better analysis and productivity and more informed decisions.

GIS can help institutions with all kinds of tasks, from emergency response planning to public health and national security. Today, geospatial intelligence is being used to improve smart machinery. GPS provides precise coordinates to both military and civilian users.

Likewise, users rely on geospatial mapping to find the shortest route. Through crowdsourced geospatial data, auto-generated route analysis can be used to determine the fastest route from one location to another.

Benefits of geospatial technology

Signal warnings

Through data analysis and comparisons, patterns and anomalies can be detected, giving a head up heads-up regarding incoming events that can affect lives, operations, or activities. Users are able to see the trajectories of their activities and be alert when there are extreme and abnormal inputs.

Provide insight

Using geographic intelligence gives a better understanding, knowledge, progress, movement, and insight into operations and activities. The data also provide trajectories of operations and trends which is very useful for predictive analysis. This also provides information on why certain things are working while others not.

Accurate data

Geospatial analysis provides accurate information to help with tasks such as mapping and surveying. By using satellite imagery and sensors to collect different forms of data, it helps improve understanding of a location and its surroundings.

These mapping technologies collect time-sensitive and location-specific data. This can be used to track changes over time, which can help to better understand how a location is developing.

Increase efficiency

The geographic-specific and time-sensitive nature of geo-spatial data provides accurate and precise information which in turn increases the efficiency of an operation.

Geospatial tools can increase the efficiency of businesses by helping them find better locations for stores, factories, and other businesses. GIS can also help businesses geospatially manage their resources more effectively through the use of accurate place-based information and effective planning.

Better decision making

Geospatial technology allows weighted decision-making through accurate analysis of data. It helps users better understand their surroundings and that can help them make better decisions.


Geospatial tools are becoming more and more available, accessible, and affordable. And the data it generates is freely available for companies, which creates more opportunities for technology innovators. They can be accessed through mobile phones, for instance, Google maps.

Monitor changes

Geospatial mapping can be used to improve navigation and mapping, track changes in land use and environmental conditions and identify important resources and infrastructure.

Improve security

Geo-tools are used in many different applications for improving security. For example, mapping is used to identify possible security risks and vulnerabilities. By understanding the layout of a facility and the surrounding area, security personnel can better plan patrols and security measures.

GIS is important for protecting critical infrastructure. By monitoring infrastructure using satellite imagery, security personnel can detect potential threats and disruptions. Mapping can also detect natural disasters and potential evacuation routes.

Increases productivity

Tracking technologies have long been used to improve productivity and accuracy. In recent years, geospatial analytics has become increasingly important in fields such as business intelligence, marketing, and customer service.

One of its most significant benefits is its ability to provide accurate, up-to-date information. By using spatial science, businesses can save time and money by avoiding mistakes and downtime.

Predictive analysis

Geospatial mapping is a growing field that utilizes digital maps, satellite imagery, and other geographic data to provide predictive analysis. Predictive analysis is a technique that uses data to make predictions.

Predictive analysis is used to predict the future behavior of a population, a company, or an individual. It can predict what will happen in the future or make predictions about what will happen if a certain action is taken.

By using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and other mapping technologies, geospatial analysts can identify changes in land use, and water resources, track the movement of populations and goods; and assess the impact of climate change on natural resources. This can give an understanding of future events.

Uses of Geospatial Technology

Today, geospatial data is essential for many applications. Modern military technologies have transformed the nature of war. Increasingly complex weapons and insurgency strategies are changing the landscape of warfighting.

Insurgency tactics, emerging cyberwarfare, and other threats are requiring more advanced military capabilities. For instance, the military uses geospatial mapping and data to protect ground vehicles, ships, bases, and aircraft.

These tools help monitor and predict potential threats and support field operations. Using cutting-edge analytics software and high-resolution sensors, geospatial tools can help the military prepare for upcoming wars.

Moreover, using geospatial mapping can help determine how suitable certain land uses are for specific species. It also helps inform large-scale conservation projects. Mobile scanning, for example, helps map the locations of trees and when combined with other information sources, it can identify threats and determine how best to protect the forests.

Using geospatial intelligence, users can geospatially make maps of changing landscapes. They display political boundaries, street names, buildings, and even water bodies. They also help us identify vulnerable land and provide benchmarks for sustainable development.

Mapping technologies are a valuable tool for helping local communities improve their living conditions. This tool is also widely used in agriculture. With precise location information, agricultural farmers can determine which crops are important in a particular region and optimize their yields.

Geographic Information System in agriculture is a useful tools for tracking soil and water resources. With these tools, users can measure resources beneath the earth’s crust and can even find potential ground wells.

GIS can be used to manage land, water, and other resources. It is a rapidly growing field in precision farming, as GIS help farmers make informed decisions about where to plant, what crops to grow, and where to allocate resources.

The availability of water and other natural resources in a particular region is crucial for crop production. GIS technology is a vital part of agricultural production, with accurate information on the availability of water, organizations can better plan pest management.

Another application for geospatial technology is in the energy industry. Energy and oil companies use geo-intelligence to optimize their workflow. With the influx of data on weather conditions, geography, production, and distribution, this tool has been used to better plan the supply and demand of oil, gas, and renewable energy.

Furthermore, GIS help the logistics industry streamline routes, projects, and tasks. Geospatial mapping is used in logistics to help managers plan routes and optimize shipments, identify potential bottlenecks, minimize downtime and monitor cargo movement.

Moreover, geospatial analysis is playing an increasingly important role in the development of smart cities. It can help cities better plan, manage and monitor resources, assess risks and optimize the use of infrastructure.

Geospatial data is used to monitor traffic patterns, locate pollution sources and track the progress of construction projects. With geographic technology in smart cities, accurate information will be open and available through different services to citizens. These pieces of information can tell the history of the city as well as provide policies and events.

Geo-spatial data can give governments insights into their geographic jurisdictions. They can gain insight into health, safety, traffic congestion, disease, and weather which is very important to take precautionary measures, and better advising the public in case of natural disaster or emergency health events occurs.

Furthermore, electric utility providers can use geospatial information to gain insight into where energy consumption is high and why. This can prevent wastage and even alert them if there is a disruption.

Similarly, it helps to geospatially predict earthquakes and natural disasters. It can even be used to determine where to build dams which in turn helps prevent disasters.

An application of geospatial technology includes risk-based insurance. This technology enables insurers to identify high-risk areas by mapping crime rates, natural calamities, and outbreaks of contagious diseases.

Insurance companies can project risks and warn policyholders about potential issues that may arise. Insurers can also gain insight into the risk level of an area and charge insurance fees accordingly.

Future of geospatial technology

As technology keep advancing, future geospatial technology will become increasingly sophisticated, and even more precise. And with artificial intelligence and machine learning to process data, more accurate patterns and trends can be detected faster.

Artificial intelligence is a field of computer science and engineering that deals with the creation of intelligent agents through data processing. The applications of artificial intelligence in the future of geospatial technology are vast and include mapping, navigation, and data analysis.

Geospatial AI is a new field of AI that uses inputs and information from maps and other geographic resources to improve decision-making. By understanding where things are and how they geospatially relate to one another.

Geospatial AI will help businesses make more informed decisions about where facilities can be implemented, how to manage resources, and how to plan routes. One of the main benefits of this AI is that it can help businesses reduce the time and cost needed to gather information.

One of the most important applications of artificial intelligence in geospatial technology is the development of autonomous vehicles. Autonomous vehicles are vehicles that are controlled by computer programs, rather than humans.

Self-driving cars have the potential to reduce traffic congestion and improve the safety of drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists. Geospatial technology will also be used for autonomous drone delivery systems in urban areas.

Moreover, Machine Learning (ML) in geospatial intelligence will enable process of computerized learning whereby computers are taught to recognize patterns in data and by doing so improve themselves.

With machine learning, the system will better understand spatial data. ML can be used to improve the accuracy of geo-intelligence, as well as to create new spatial applications. And since the system is learning and improving itself by analyzing data, it can detect anomalies and trigger appropriate action without human intervention.

Geospatial AI along with machine learning techniques can derive deeper insights from data in very powerful and innovative ways. This will further expand the power of geospatial technology in assisting humans.

Moreover, automation is becoming an integral part of many businesses, and one of the most common ways to automate processes is with the use of geospatial technology. It automates many different tasks, from mapping and navigation to inventory management and production scheduling.

Mapping and navigation are two applications where geospatial analytics can be particularly helpful. It is used to create maps that show the location of objects and the surrounding area to allow automated parts to navigate smoothly.

And with a large amount of accurate information being made available, digital twins of infrastructure and assets can be created. In today’s world, businesses are constantly looking for ways to improve their efficiency and cut costs. One way to do this is through the use of digital twins.

A digital twin is a representation of a physical system or entity that can be used for simulation and to improve decision-making as well as optimization, and monitoring of an entity. Creating a digital twin with geospatial data can be a powerful tool for businesses.

According to GlobeNewswire, the global market value of geospatial analytics stood at USD 58.2 billion in 2021. A CAGR of 4.8% is expected from 2021 to 2028. The market value is expected to reach USD 77.1 billion by 2028.

The growth is mostly due to increased demand for smart cities as well as AI and ML-based GIS solutions. And as technology keep advancing, geospatial tools will continue to get more precise, provide better quality, increases performance, have higher credibility, and be more secure.

Final words

Hence, all this highlights the effectiveness and efficiency that the future of geospatial technology can bring. Those who do not consider the importance of this technology may ultimately be overtaken by adopters.

Mapping technology can help users navigate faster through complex terrain. Those harnessing geo-technology will gain a critical advantage over others. They will work with more and better data as well as be aware of potential risks and opportunities.

Geospatial information will help companies see emerging patterns before all competitors. Spatial data is getting people to work faster, reducing risk, and providing real value. If used effectively, it can help improve the economic development of a country and the world.

The accuracy of these tools is impressive and they are becoming more and more accessible. The benefits of geospatial technology are numerous and varied. In short, GIS provides users with the ability to understand their environment better and manage human activities more effectively.