Technology / Contributed

Why Does Geospatial Data Matter?

4 Apr 2021 10:00am, by
Ajay Bulusu
Ajay Bulusu is the co-founder of NextBillion.ai, an industry-leading startup in mapping platforms providing software-as-a-service (SaaS) for enterprises. Bulusu has spent the last decade working in mobility, maps, digital advertising, and eCommerce across various roles in the US, Singapore, India, Japan, and the UK. Bulusu formerly worked at Google and led the Geo team at Grab. Bulusu handles investor relationships, APAC customer relationships, and manages the largest early-stage customers of Nextbillion AI.

Geospatial data or “spatial” is more than just location data, it provides crucial insights that drives decision-making concepts across the board. Geospatial data is made up of several layers of information used to describe data that represents features or objects on the Earth’s surface. Anything that has to do with a specific location around the globe, whether it be natural or man-made, is geospatial.

According to SAP, roughly 80% of enterprises have some type of location data. With geospatial analysis, enterprises can locate their customers on a map, see who is closest to them and to their competitors, and where they should put their next location.

Nobel Systems states, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are powerful decision-making tools for any business or industry as it allows the analysis of environmental, demographic, and topographic data. Data intelligence compiled from GIS applications help companies and various industries, and consumers, make informed decisions.

According to GIS Geography, to this day, we use the products of geospatial analysis. Where you are aware or not, we harness the power of geospatial analysis in our daily routines. GPS, for example, in our phones pinpoints where we need to go and the best route to be traveled. In addition, with the daily weather forecasts that deliver the public real-time predictions.

Transportation and manufacturing sectors benefit from geospatial analytics when it comes to logistics and supply chain management. Enterprises are able to visualize the most efficient routing scenarios and various business processes.

GeoSpatial Data Use Cases

On-demand food delivery platforms use spatial data and a range of statistical mapping methods from the pre-order phase to post-order phase to maintain their serviceability standards. Delivery platforms use Geo Filtering to assign deliverable outlets to a customer, rely on OpenStreetMaps to determine the route distance within milliseconds, and have a stress system in place to maintain demand-supply equilibrium.

Insights captured by geospatial data allow delivery service companies to calculate first-mile time, assignment delay, prep time, wait time, and last-mile time. Studying the role of spatial data in managing online food delivery services provides a 360-degree view of its power, value and potential. However, geospatial data is not limited to this business. For the ride-hailing industry, multilayered location data assists in determining pickup, drop-offs, routing, ETAs, and pricing.

Within logistics, geospatial data is relied on for route planning and delivery optimization.

Consumer applications offer the ability to add a map layer in order to browse nearby services, which is helpful in every sphere of social and economic development of an economy. Therefore, the modern digital ecosystem evolved at a much faster rate in countries with liberalized geospatial and mapping policies, such as the United States in comparison to India. Although, India’s recent new guidelines announced surrounding this, are set to have an impactful change.

Future of Geospatial Data

Geospatial data can answer even the most basic questions, which affects businesses governments, and individuals. It can support decision-making at all levels and in the most unheard and unexplored way. On-demand food delivery businesses can calculate accurate ETAs down to the minute thanks to mapping technology. When refined, studying locations and attributes at a granular level, can provide future solutions for critical business issues. NextBillion.ai is a helpful mapping software that provides geospatial solutions for a variety of enterprises, and explores how maps and geospatial data can transform a business.

Feature image via Pixabay.

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