Check out the recording and supporting slides for the webinar Geodata Marketplaces supporting Location Intelligence
Structure of the presentation
- Geodata marketplaces: context and definitions
- Opportunities in the move towards increased location intelligence (LI)
- Ecosystems thinking for LI: the cornerstone of new data marketplaces
- Geodata marketplaces demonstrated
- Key takeaway messages and conclusions
Summary of the webinar
This webinar explored geodata marketplaces and how they support location intelligence. By deep-diving into the context, definitions, opportunities and three case studies of geodata marketplaces, the webinar provided insights into the current state of play of geodata marketplaces and concrete examples of the state-of-the-art solutions.
The first section of the webinar was dedicated to the context and definitions of geodata marketplaces. Key definitions for ecosystem thinking and data marketplaces were provided. The exchange of location information is not new, but new developments building on data as a platform (data, rather than the application, is the commodity being exchanged) and ecosystems thinking are creating increased opportunities for public services and businesses to access spatial information at lower cost and derive new insights that support location intelligence.  This allows unprecedented data availability and accessibility and leads to a new paradigm where users may obtain personalised, domain-specific information and where providers and users meet in the same virtual space.
The second section explored the opportunities associated with the move towards increased location intelligence. Some of the key opportunities discussed were:
- Greater collaboration with other organisations and public-private partnerships;
- Focus on efficiency and deliver cost savings through governmental geospatial “one-stop shops”;
- Improved service quality and effectiveness through better access to information.
- Creation of ecosystems allowing for better access to data;
- Increased efficiency and cost savings in delivering new and innovative products, tools and business models;
- Engagement of the public through volunteered information.
To understand the positive implication of such opportunities, the concept of location intelligence and how this is linked to ecosystems thinking and geodata marketplaces was explained. Ecosystems centred around sharing, exchanging, using, and reusing data are essential to provide an environment for creating, managing, and sustaining such geodata marketplace initiatives. Location intelligence is derived from processes boosted by new technologies that allow diverse inputs to be turned into location intelligent outputs. By collecting, connecting and protecting data through sustainable ecosystems, we can derive new and deeper geospatial insight. As a result, both private and public actors are picking up on this, and new and innovative tools, platforms and business models are growing. In sum, geodata marketplaces encapsulate ecosystems thinking and serves as an enabler for location intelligence.
The third part of the webinar focused on Esri’s living atlas, presented by Jill Saligoe-Simmel, product manager for SDI and INSPIRE. She explained that their living atlas comprises a curated collection of 8000 different types of datasets, where much of the data is publicly available, some are subscriber content, and some are premium content. The living atlas is a marketplace enabled by geospatial infrastructures such as cloud storage and web services. Moreover, geospatial infrastructures govern access and enable a kind of social network for data.
The living atlas is integral to ArcGIS software, which is the basis of field apps and business apps, and allows for ease of use for community participation. The geospatial infrastructure enables new types of ecosystems thinking and supports data improvements. In sum, the living atlas helps new ways of bringing together data from different sources and keeping such data continuously updated. Therefore, it constitutes a form of geodata marketplace that puts ecosystems thinking into practice.
In the fourth part of the presentation, Geodatahub and Carto presented their solutions that encapsulate the geodata marketplace concept. Geodatahub was initially an EU-funded project. It is run by two partner companies in Estonia and Latvia. Valdis Karulis presented the case study from Geodatahub. The platform focuses on adding value to businesses based on geographic data by providing a self-service portal. This portal has data from different formats integrated conveniently for software implementors via APIs. Companies use the platform for needs regarding location (i.e. for delivery services), maps (i.e. for applications) and directions (i.e. for route optimisation). Geodatahub is an example of a geodata marketplace as the seller and buyer come together in one virtual space where the commodity is sold.
Carto built a location intelligence platform to let actors solve geospatial problems themselves. Javier Perez Trufero presented their marketplace and data observatory. He explained that the marketplace provides different interfaces for different users (data scientist, data analyst, developers) and datasets from multiple sources and a wide range of categories. The data observatory allows users to save time on gathering and cleaning data, and the aim is to provide a one-stop-shop for spatial data and supporting technology. The platform integrates data from a range of third-party providers, from Vodafone to Mastercard.
Key messages and conclusions
The conclusions of the webinar were as follows:
- Geodata marketplaces is a concept building on developments over the past decades; virtual marketplaces, digital platforms and more have paved the way for new and improved ways of exchanging, providing and using data.
- Geodata marketplaces are powered by ecosystems thinking. New and innovative models, creating interactive and living marketplaces, are made possible by sustainable ecosystems of actors working together.
- Geodata marketplaces encapsulate ecosystems thinking and serve as an enabler for location intelligence. By exchanging data through geodata marketplaces, we can derive new and deeper geospatial insight.
This webinar focused primarily on digital transformation and innovation. By highlighting the opportunities for both the private and public sectors when applying geodata marketplaces, the uptake of new innovative solutions such as geodata marketplaces is promoted.
The development, deployment and uptake of new technologies is a cornerstone of the European Digital Strategy, and state of the art solutions developed by large companies and SMEs alike can play a key role in pushing such transformations forward. In this context, the study provided concrete examples of how such solutions are brought to the market and emphasised the opportunities associated with collaborative networks and ecosystems. Location interoperability was introduced in discussions on standards and infrastructure and was of particular interest to the audience in the Q&A session.