Spatially-enabled services carry broad appeal
Very little exposure has been given to spatially-enabled information services in the past, but this technology sector is on the verge of a booming cycle. In light of this, ITWeb is hosting the Spatially-enabled Information Services Conference on 18 February 2010, at Vodaworld in Midrand.
The aim of the conference is to give those responsible for IT in organisations better insight into the possible uses of spatially-enabled information services. These include services such as geographical information systems (GIS), mapping, global positioning systems, and location-based services (LBS), and how these can be applied in various business environments.
Gartner expects these services to become a market disrupter in the next few years and predicts the LBS user base will grow globally from 96 million in 2009, to more than 526 million in 2012.
“Perhaps the greatest selling point is that geospatial technology is transversal technology that can be applied in almost every single industry, from elections and banking to logistics and the mining industry,” says AfriGIS MD, Magnus Rademeyer, who will speak at the conference.
Rademeyer's presentation will deal with the issues concerning the potential of mobile GIS to deliver location-based services in various instances and industries.
“It's quite possible to add a spatial dimension to any business intelligence solution out there, by representing the data on a map. A picture, as they say, tells a thousand words,” he says.
In terms of spatially-enabled information services on mobile devices, Rademeyer suggests using these devices for tracking purposes, adding that a phone could become another tracking device and be used to display maps. “In terms of asset management, a phone with spatially-enabled services can display the location of a company's vehicles or assets anywhere.”
According to Rademeyer, he will explore how revenue could be made by using LBS on mobile devices and says he will give attendees more information regarding LBS applications and possible market segments to explore.
“The mobile can be the solution itself in terms of LBS or it can simply be the carrier of geospatial solutions,” he adds.
In light of SA's high mobile phone penetration, the opportunities and growth possibilities for spatially-enabled services are huge. “I think it's also important to understand that spatially-enabled information on the mobile should not only be considered in isolation, but can also become a very important component in communication, advertising, mapping, search services and even payments,” Rademeyer says.