This week PUBLIC launched its latest report – ‘Future Technologies Review’ – a survey of the latest technology transforming the geospatial sector, produced in partnership with the Cabinet Office’s Geospatial Commission.
The report highlights areas where technologies such as artificial intelligence, drones, Internet of Things and advanced mapping and scanning technology could transform industries. At the forefront of these developments are tech startups. Here are a few of the best and brightest companies utilising geospatial technologies to shape multiple industries across the UK.
Gyana was founded in 2015 and is currently a global startup based in London using geospatial data generated by human movement to uncover previously unseen insights and aid business decision-making.
Gyana works in a number of sectors including retail, real estate, and financial services to predict competitive market share, reveal customer behaviour preferences, determine physical catchment areas and analyse marketing return of investment. By combining anonymised big data generated by the movement of people with physical locations, Gyana derives consumer patterns, quantifies human behaviour, uncovers hidden opportunities and helps predict financial success.
In The Future Technologies Review report, we predict that with companies like Gyana, the future machine learning systems will be able to find patterns in human behaviour far faster and more accurately if they continue to develop at their expected rate.
Urban Intelligence uses data science to identify inefficiencies in the planning and development sector.
The company was founded in 2014 by Daniel Mohamed, a planning consultant frustrated with the number of unproductive and labour intensive processes required to provide advice on development potential. In order to solve this problem, Urban Intelligence has built an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system which aims to provide a ‘credit score’ for plots of land, based on their sustainability for development. The company draws its data from a range of public and private sources, as well as their own, in order to gain an advanced view of the land market.
Urban Intelligence are driving ‘smart cities’ to be intelligent all the way down to the land they are built on, with data being used to optimise quality of life in UK towns and cities.
Travel AI is one of a number of companies using crowdsourced mobile data to provide transport insights to cities and local councils.
One of the most anticipated uses of geospatial technologies is within the ‘smart city domain’ and Travel AI analyses data to provide cities with insights about how its residents use transportation infrastructure.
The company has launched two apps – Catch and WeCycle. Catch is a journey planner which uses data to give better routing through using live travel conditions on all methods of transport shared automatically by the community. The anonymised community data feeds back into the journey planner to improve results and is available to cities and transport operators to help improve transport services.
Similarly, WeCycle is an app which uses data to make cycling safer for cyclists, drivers and pedestrians. WeCycle gathered data from a survey which was sent out to cyclists using the app who revealed their routes when cycling. This was used to generate a ‘community canvas’ which shows where and when people cycled, and where they had to share space with other road users, demonstrating where investment could have the biggest impact on cycle safety. The technology is particularly innovative as it is optimised to make intelligent use of sensors such as GPS and minimise battery drain.
Hummingbird Technologies apply geospatial technologies to agriculture and farming. The company is an Artificial Intelligence business that provides advanced crop analytics to its customers. The company was founded in 2015 and use geospatial data to provide actionable insights such as weed and disease detection across six different countries: UK, Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, Ukraine, and Russia.
Hummingbird collects imagery of arable fields from satellites, planes, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and then analyses these images using machine learning techniques. From this they can create crop specific maps which provide actionable information to farmers.
Hummingbird’s technology allows its customers to increase their yields, optimise chemical inputs, and make earlier, more informed decisions. Their mission is to improve the efficiency of global crop production and to feed the world’s growing population sustainably.
Slanted Theory is a Sheffield-based startup which offers companies the ability to visualise their operational geospatial data.
The company offers an intuitive interface which allows users the ability to collaborate with team members and perform specialised analysis without the need to code. This is in part enabled by the use of virtual reality (VR) headsets which helps users to create 3D visualisation of geospatial data – a more efficient way than is possible on a 2D screen.
Part of the company’s vision for immersive technology is to communicate geospatial data through storytelling. For example, Slanted Theory used its VR data visualisation to display 100 years worth of UK rainfall data.
Want to learn more about geospatial technologies in the UK? Read the full report ‘Future Technologies Review’ here.