Sunday, October 7, 2012

GIS plus! What more can one say! It is important in todays world!

Image above: Circular Quay, a hub of energy.

Related sites to the Spatialworlds project

Email contact

Where am I?? 
Melbourne, Australia: S: 37º 47' E: 144º 58'

The Geospatial Industry continues its upwards projectory.

 The following information has been gleaned from a Literature review recently completed by Dr Joel Roache, Faculty of Education, La Trobe University.  Thanks to Professor Margaret Robertson for permission to use some of this work for this posting.
Such work full of statistics and quotes from authorities and academics is always useful fodder for our arguments to include spatial technology in the school curriculum.

“The business of looking down is looking up” (Gewin, 2004).

Geospatial technology has been defined as a rapidly growing and changing field. The term geospatial technology (GST) refers to geographical information systems (GIS), global positioning systems (GPS), remote sensing (RS), and emerging technologies that assist the user in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of spatial data.

It has been argued that geospatial technologies are to spatial sciences what the microscope was to biology or the telescope to astronomy, they represent a fundamental change in the way we use, imagine and understand spatial information (Phoenix, 2004).

As previosly discussed in Spatialworlds blog, Geospatial technologies, particularly GIS and GPS, have some form of application in and for almost every professional field, every business, industry, government agency, school, and home.  These technologies have become indispensable to almost anybody who needs or wants to explore, evaluate or consider the scope of human activity.

"GIS has transformed the way we describe and study the earth. We strive to understand the surface of the earth as the living environment of human populations and the forces of change that alter the earth’s environments. The environment affects our health and well-being and we, through our activities, reshape the environment. Geographic Information Systems are computer-based systems for integrating and analysing spatial data, and therefore provide a digital lens for exploring the dynamic connections between people, their health and well-being, and changing physical and social environments." (Cromley & McLafferty, 2002, quoted in Kidman & Palmer, 2006, p.290)

Some stats to convince

"In 2004, the U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) identified geotechnology as amongst the three most critical developing technological fields, alongside nanotechnology and biotechnology, with continually growing and diversifying career opportunities." (Gewin, 2004). 

Global sales of geospatial software alone grew 10.3% in 2010 to a level in excess of USD$4.4bn, with an additional 8.3% estimated for 2011 – the USA accounts for almost half this growth, with a compound growth rate of 11% for the period 2002-2010, followed by the Asia-Pacific region on 8.7% and Europe on 7.9% - sustained by a growing worldwide need for geographically correlated information which is estimated to continue growing at a rate of just under 10% until at least 2014 (Spatialsource 1, 2011; Lawrence, 2011).  Satellite remote sensing, another form of geospatial technology, is estimated to have a global market worth USD$16bn by 2019, with an additional 100 satellites ear-marked for launching to help meet this demand, particularly for government and military agencies, but also for private-public partnerships and private business (Spatialsource 2, 2011).

The worldwide market for geospatial technologies rose from an estimated USD$5bn-$30bn between 2002 and 2005 (split 2:1 between RS and GIS) (Gaudet et al., 2003).  The market for geospatial technology in India has been valued at AUD$213m in 2008–09, with an projected growth to AUD$610m by 2013, and is believed to have surpassed AUD$15bn in China in 2011 – with over 300 000 people working in over 10,000 companies and institutes engaged in the industry, produced by an estimated 200 of the country’s universities that offer GIS-related majors (Lawrence, 2011). 

In Australia, the joint Commonwealth and States’ run company PSMA published revenues of AUD$6.5m in their most recent accounts, which combined with the financial results of the four major States, indicates a revenue base of under AUD$20m per year in Australia, well below the potential for this sector, and a by-product of a lack of training and resourcing in geospatial technologies (Lawrence, 2011).  This skills shortage will need to be addressed if Australia is to realise the full potential of geospatial information and technology as we move further into the 21st century.

The breadth of the geospatial industry around the globe

Over 140,000 organisations use GIS worldwide, mostly governmental agencies, with environmental, civil government, defense and security, and transportation as the most active.  Moreover, and crucially, there are already signs that this rapid industry expansion is unable to be met.  NASA, for example, has had over 26% of its most highly trained geotechnology staff retire in the last decade, whilst the U.S. National Imagery and Mapping Agency sought to expand its GIS workforce by over 7000 in the three years between 2004 and 2007 (Gewin, 2004).  The American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing estimated annual growth rates in the geospatial industry of between 9-14%, with predicted revenues in the U.S. alone topping USD$6bn by the end of 2012, whilst employment trends in industries hiring surveyors and mapping technicians were projected to increase by 23% in the U.S. in the ten years to 2012, and in the same period job openings in cartography and photogrammetry were to increase by 15% (Trautmann, MaKinster & Edelstein, 2007).  In fact the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the ‘architecture and engineering occupations group’, which includes surveyors, cartographers, photogrammetrists and surveying technicians, all key geospatial occupational categories, is an occupational group projected to have the fastest occupational growth rates in the decade leading up to 2012 (United States Department of Labor, 2005).

So, what more can one say, the geospatial is important in today's world!

No comments: