Next-Gen Geospatial Data for Creating Business Models


Geospatial data provides information related to location, time, and attributes of the events or objects that are vital for any revenue model starting from establishment through to its growth.

While there are a number of entities within various industries that are actively involved in generating geospatial content, there is also a good appetite for the consumption of that information.

The second session focussed on this topic through the lens of various industry players.

Moderated by Clinton Heimann, Deputy Director General Spatial Planning and Land Use Management, National Department of Agriculture Land Reform and Rural Development, who started the session saying, “Through this session we are going to look at leveraging geospatial industry expertise and integrating emerging technologies and developing next-gen geospatial content.”

He explains the Spatial Economic Activity Data: South Africa, which is a new initiative led by the National Treasury providing granular spatial data to help answer vital policy and research questions about urbanisation, uneven development, territorial disparities, productivity and economic conditions of municipalities, cities, towns and suburbs/wards.

He says, “Coming from Africa, there is a lot of work that needs to be done and we do not want to create a geospatial Trojan, where everything is superficial, there is not spatial data from the ground, what I mean is providing training to just the top officials would not create a value impact unless it reaches to the grassroots levels, the local people.”

Digital Landscape in Europe

Sharing and collaboration around national data and downstream applications and services will not only create value but also forge new business models, benefiting both NGAs and the industry at large. Collaborative efforts between geospatial, digital, and user industries can co-create enhanced geospatial knowledge services tailored to user demands. Therefore, Geospatial Knowledge Infrastructure involves not only traditional geospatial stakeholders but also participants from digital and user ecosystems.

Jani Kylmaaho, Director, Development and Digitalization, National Land Survey of Finland explained on the about Location Innovation Hub – Geospatial Knowledge Accelerating Digital Transformation in Europe.

He said, “In the heart of Europe’s digital revolution lies the European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIH) Network, which is on a mission to reshape the digital landscape for SMEs and public sector organisations (PSOs). It is a beacon of digital knowledge, charting the course for SMEs to navigate swiftly through the changing currents of today’s technology-driven world. EDIH Network’s commitment goes beyond digital prowess, it is rooted in a conscious, responsible approach to delivering services that nurture environmental sustainability.”

“Location Innovation Hub promotes the importance of geospatial data, through their platform Location Europe, where they connect national data sources to support the creation of location-based services in Europe.”

Map Data creating new business opportunities

Amy Rose, Technical Director, of Overture Maps Foundation, presented the Open Map Data with Stable IDs for creating new opportunities for mobile Businesses, Governments, and People.

She says, “Through Open data project we want to build a global map data ecosystem on a stable, accurate, open basemap, which will help to improve, maintain and expand the open basemap data. We want to build an ecosystem of associated data that can be easily and consistently used on the open base maps for those who want to use geospatial or non-geospatial data.”

Emilio Lopez Romero, Director of, National Center for Geographic Information (CNIG) spoke at length on collaborations between NGAs and other entities and business models and revenue streams in Spain.

He said, “Spanish National Geographic Institute cannot provide the best possible official Geographic Information by itself, because we do not have enough human and financial means, technical resources and editorial structure or regulation to do it. That is why we have no choice but to work with other organisations and private companies.”

“We need to change the focus of our actions, historically mapping agencies have had the main role in the production of maps. Our aim now is to create more and more datasets, web services and metadata. We need to focus on our users to create more use cases to solve current problems of our citizens.”

“Free and open data doesn’t mean it is worthless.”

Sara Taibo, Client Manager, National Agency for Geospatial Development, Mozambique through a detailed use case video explained the use of geospatial tools and applications to identify business opportunities for the financial sector.

She explained how back in 2016, the Mozambique Government approved the National Financial Inclusion Strategy 2016-22. They created a platform using GIS mapping technology provided by the Spatial Development Program of the Ministry of Transport and Communication to survey access points of financial services in order to implement an action plan among various activities.

That platform allowed them to monitor previously defined specific financial inclusion goals and served as an analytical tool for planning and defining priority actions. In terms of policymaking, that tool represented an asset due to its ability to combine analysis of data on access points to financial services with other data on the country’s socio-economic potential. Thus it resulted in improved formulation and monitoring of both public and private policies to expand financial services to rural areas.

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