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Transforming Geospatial Data through the power of AI

This article uncovers how Getmapping is starting to leverage the power of Artificial Intelligence to deliver intelligent solutions.

Knowing the location of things has always been crucial to understanding our ‘environment’ and what is happening around us. In today’s world, we are generating an increasing amount of data regarding the location of things.

The availability of smaller, more affordable sensors in smartwatches, smartphones and other connected devices has given rise to a wide range of powerful new location-based datasets, allowing us to gain real-time insights into a range of behaviours.

However, collecting this data is costly and time consuming, so organisations are also realising the value that off the shelf geospatial data can bring them and looking to access more and more geospatial data 'on demand' to create actionable insights. A number of factors are driving this digital transformation:

1. The rise in Cloud services is enabling both the storage and remote processing of data, making high-end processing capability accessible to all, which is invaluable for leveraging large national geospatial datasets.

2. As a result of point 1, data providers are becoming empowered to create user-friendly interfaces to access their content, enabling organisations to analyse location data for themselves, without the need for geospatial specialists in-house.

3. Increasingly, Artificial Intelligence is now being added to these platforms to enable rapid and more advanced analysis of location data automatically, enabling the delivery of more intelligent geospatial solutions and actionable insights on demand.

Getmapping has always been at the forefront of geospatial innovation, continually looking at how we can make geospatial data accessible to everyone, and deliver detailed and relevant data tailored to the specific needs of each user.

We have been maintaining aerial imagery of Great Britain since 1999. Today, our NationalView content provides 12.5cm imagery for the whole of Great Britain on a three year update cycle. But thanks to advancements in sensor technology, we can also capture higher resolution datasets faster and more frequently. Our new CityView flying program now captures towns and cities at a resolution of 5cm, providing unparalleled levels of detail, together with increased currency via annual updates.

CityView 5cm imagery of Blackpool Pleasure Beach, June 2023

On the ground, our innovative Mobile Mapping service captures ultra-high-resolution imagery and dense point clouds to engineering-grade accuracy, which is driving an increasing demand for collecting and extracting street asset datasets such as traffic signs, road conditions and pavement assets.

To ensure instant access to the data our customers need, we store and process all of our content in the cloud, before streaming it to them on demand through our new Getmapping on Demand platform.

Getmapping on Demand is empowering users at all levels, from the geospatial novice to the expert, to extract more value from geospatial data than ever before. Through our streaming and visualisation services, they can view, measure, manipulate, and annotate data, gaining valuable insights from their desktops to help deliver faster and better decision making.

However, going forwards, it will be through harnessing AI that we will fully unlock the power and potential of geospatial data. Leveraging computer intelligence, we will be able to automatically extract a wide range of information from our datasets and integrate it with other datasets on the fly, to generate a much wider range of valuable solutions and insight.

Working with AI partners across a range of sectors, Getmapping is harnessing the power of AI to develop solutions that will help organisations solve the challenges and opportunities they face. Some examples of how AI is now being deployed to deliver intelligent solutions include:

1. Atrium Finder: A client needed assistance in identifying all of the buildings in Great Britain with atriums or open spaces inside.

CityView 5cm imagery of Great North Children's Hospital Newcastle, June 2023

By accessing multiple data sources, it was possible to provide them with the footprint of all such buildings, supplied as a shapefile, along with corresponding OS AddressBase addresses.

2. Traffic Signage: Mobile mapping is rapidly becoming established as the solution of choice for capturing street asset data. By leveraging AI algorithms, we were able to automatically extract a range of traffic signage for the entire road coverage of a Local Authority client. Work which previously took months to complete and costs tens to hundreds of thousands of pounds can now be undertaken instantly for a fraction of the price.

3. Historic Change Detection: With the assistance of AI, we can quickly compare datasets over time and identify specific changes. Examples include newly built structures, changes to property footprints and extents, and deteriorations in road condition. As an example, we are currently developing a solution that allows users to identify changes to MasterMap on demand.

We are only at the start of the journey. As we start to capture more and more high-resolution content, and deliver it straight to your desktop alongside powerful visualisation and AI-powered insight tools, the range of solutions and insight you can produce for your organisation will grow exponentially.

To find out more about how you can harness the power that AI and Geospatial data can bring to your organisation, email or call us on 01252 84 9440.


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