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December 18, 2015
UN Expert Committee Outline the Future Trends in Digital Mapping

December 18, 2015 — The report titled, ‘Future Trends in geospatial information management: the five to ten year vision’, is the second edition of the international report, following on from its first publication in 2011.

This visionary report presents the thoughts of leaders in the geospatial world as to the future developments in mapping and surveying over the next decade. The 2016 report has been produced with expert insight and thoughts from 30 contributing UN member states and observer states, seven international organisations and 17 international companies/academics.

The report takes a global strategic view of geospatial, technological and societal trends that are likely to impact the geospatial sector in the next five to ten years. The new trends included within the report are: Smart Cities and the Internet of Things; Artificial Intelligence and Big Data; Indoor positioning and mapping; integrating statistical and geospatial information.

The second edition of the report also recognises the increasing role that geospatial information will play as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

UN-GGIM Secretariat lead Greg Scott observes that: “There are constant and rapid technological changes within our industry. As a result the new development agenda requires new approaches to data acquisition and integration. These improvements to the availability, quality, timeliness and disaggregation of data are needed to support the implementation at all levels. This includes the use of a wide range of different data sources including earth observations and geospatial data.

“We are very grateful to Ordnance Survey for their continued leadership and coordination in compiling and completing this second Future Trends report. This report will be provided as a valuable reference document to our global community, as well as a contribution to the report by UN-GGIM to the Economic and Social Council in early 2016.”

The main aim of the UN-GGIM work has been to highlight the significance of geospatial and location information to policy and decision makers in governments across the globe; and the new document brings together thoughts on trends from many different governments and international organisations. The 2016 report aims to demonstrate to all countries and all governments that location matters, that geospatial information is an essential building block for a country, and city, and that investment in geospatial information will generate returns beyond this investment.

Ordnance Survey CEO, Nigel Clifford, added: “The new report captures the ambition and global importance of the geospatial industry. Location data is playing, and will continue to play, a critical role in most aspects of our daily lives and has become a vital tool for decision making in governments and organisations across the globe.

“I am particularly interested in the emerging trends of Smart Cities and the Internet of Things. Cities across the globe are experiencing similar problems due to growing and ageing populations. However through intelligent geospatial information, governments and organisations are making informed decisions to tackle a range of challenges from transport to sustainability and urban planning to health services.”

Download the report

Further information on the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management can be found on the UN-GGIM website.

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