2018 Trends in GIS

2018 Trends in GIS – Revisiting the “Knowledge Pyramid”

“Maps are a simple and efficient way to understand and communicate rapidly. Looking at a spreadsheet, we see rows and columns of data. Using charts and graphs, that data can be seen as a pattern. But when that same data is presented on a map, we suddenly have context for the information” – Jack Dangermond

Most of our readers will be familiar with the “Knowledge Pyramid” in one form or another. How does the Knowledge Pyramid apply to GIS and how does this relate to current trends in GIS?

GIS leverages data using spatial analysis to reveal information. Traditionally hardware and software constrained GIS implementation. With technology evolving rapidly the focus has shifted to the data, methods and procedures for analysis.

In the context of the Knowledge Pyramid above and GIS Trends:

  • Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence will impact the “Information” level
  • Live Data will add value to the Knowledge level, not just the data level (eg. live sensor data, weather feeds, vehicle tracking)
  • As always, People (Users + Specialists) drive the analysis requirements, impart Knowledge to refine the output and process.

Jack Dangermond lists Advanced Analytics and Big Data Analytics as two of his top 5 GIS trends. But what are other experts saying?

“Those organizations poised with know-how and budgets to harness the available data sources and this arsenal of tools will quickly dominate” – Chris Tucker, Chairman of the American Geographical Society and Founder of MapStory

“The GIS industry is constantly changing and evolving, however, there’s always been a heavy focus on data and data being ‘King,’ and I don’t see that changing – GIS is all about the data.” – Glenn Letham, Co-founder of GISUser

“The value of location-based data lies in its integration with other information. Whether you’re ordering a parcel online or navigating by voice to your nearest toy shop, as a user you don’t need to know that there’s a whole geospatial stack sitting underneath.” – Thierry Gregorius, Principal Strategic Consultant at Exprodat