“Integration of BIM and GIS is a good place to start connecting BIM and Smart Cities”
Yesterdays CIOB International Inspiring Construction conference (hashtag: #CIOBInspire) in London heard a series of great presentations on a “Smart future”, from Arto Kiviniemi of Liverpool University, BAM Design MD Andrew Pryke, Sellafield’s John Robison and AECOM’s David Philp. Data – some of it open, some of it Big, some in BIM, some of it in need of security – was at the core of all four presentations, but it was also also clear from all four speakers that we still have a lot of work to do to get our data more joined-up and all-embracing.
Foresight report 2020
This point is also a theme in a new report (available here) published by the Association for Geographic Information (AGI) on Monday. With more and more data becoming available to the human race (according to IBM, each day the human race creates 2.5 quintillion bytes of new data – about the same as downloading half a billion new HD movies every day), the AGI says it is critical that we are prepared to understand it and to use it effectively to manage our societies, economies and the environment. Chief editor of the report Anne Kemp says:
Forbes predicts that over the next five years the number of handheld devices in the world will increase from 10.3 billion to 29.5 billion. This will mean a huge increase in data, and a phenomenal surge in the amount of noise we will need to sift through to find the information we need to make good decisions.
The role of the geospatial community in managing this data is vital. The management of big data through geospatial analysis helps us to visualise patterns of information, create better understanding and dialogue, and make more informed decisions.
(The geospatial community refers to specialists who gather, display and manipulate information that has a location attached to it, from an address or coordinates from a GPS. Geospatial specialists display this information in maps that help people analyse large amounts of information – from the damage done by a tornado to the total number of home foreclosures in a specific area.)
The report says a truly connected ‘Digital Earth’ can only be achieved through location intelligence. A common thread through the report is the need for the GI community, and location intelligence, to tackle issues of data quality and data management to enable enhanced decision making in today’s ‘Digital Earth’. The report highlights that to do this the industry requires a fundamental and deep understanding of its relationship with digital data.
Echoing a point made first by Arto Kiviniemi and underlined by David Philp yesterday – “integration of BIM and GIS is a good place to start connecting BIM and Smart Cities” – the report stresses BIM, Smart Cities and the Internet of Things are key areas where location intelligence is being used to underpin decisions and address key social, environmental and economic challenges. Anne Kemp says
There is far more to location intelligence than maps. It’s all about data, what you do with it and what outcomes you can provide that counts. We are seeing an explosion in the volume of sensors and mobile devices in cities, homes and workplaces which are producing torrents of data. The role of location intelligence in the management of these datasets is vital, with it becoming the glue to connect them.
The management of big data through location intelligence enables people, and technologies, to visualise information and draw out insights to inform better dialogue and make informed decisions.
The 2020 report consistently highlights the important role in which location intelligence is playing across a diverse range of markets. I am confident that the geospatial industry has the skills to shape the way in which information is managed in the future. To do this we need to ensure that the technologies, homes and cities of tomorrow are developed with location data at their core.
[Disclosure: I attended yesterday’s CIOB conference at the invitation of the CIOB. Anne Kemp is a fellow member of the ICE’s information systems panel.]