In the world of GIS, there is one fact that is going to remain for the next few decades: the datasets which are being collected for both commercial and academic purposes is only going to get larger. In fact, it will become so large that it will now be termed as “Big Data”.
What exactly is Big Data? It can be defined as: “A term that describes the large volume of data – both structured and unstructured – that inundates a business on a day-to-day basis. But it’s not the amount of data that’s important. It’s what organizations do with the data that matters. Big data can be analyzed for insights that lead to better decisions and strategic business moves.” (SOURCE: http://www.sas.com/en_us/insights/big-data/what-is-big-data.html).
In fact, it is projected that just for the GIS market alone, these enormous datasets will reach a market value of well over $73 Billion by 2022. However, as noted in the definition just provided, it is not just the volume of data which is being collected that is of prime importance. But rather, it is the ability to manage, identify, and extract valuable information which continues to be a challenge for the GIS professional.
But, there are other trends as well in the Big Data realm which will keep business professionals and researchers on their toes. These include both the quantitative and qualitative data which can be gleaned from the various social media sites (primarily those of Linked In and Twitter), Cloud Computing, and the various wireless devices.
Amongst these is the Cloud which will become very important. For instance, it is expected also that this will become a huge repository for storing GIS datasets as well. Of course, having the ability to analyze and collaborate upon these datasets via the usage of Smartphones will also become of prime importance as well for the GIS professional as well.
GeoTel is a telecommunications research and GIS mapping firm that researches and provides telecom datasets for more than 6,000 cities in the United States and worldwide. GeoTel’s expertise includes specialists in economic geography, geospatial engineering, web GIS, and telecommunications GIS Data infrastructure.