Or so says Hexagon President and CEO Ola Rollen in a recent interview with Geospatial World.

After attending this past week’s Hexagon 2011 conference in Orlando Florida, it is clear that this organization (which is a bringing together of Intergraph, ERDAS, and Leica Geosystems – among others), is all about capturing reality digitally, working that data up the value chain through a variety of software stacks, and ultimately creating what they term as “actionable intelligence”.

Stated another way, on the show floor we saw a variety of scanning devices, which produce data to be used by processing and visualization software, and then cumulating in vertical software solutions such as Computer Aided Dispatch or Plant Design.

Given this context, it is not surprising that there is such an emphasis on 3D from this organization. The world we live and interact in is a three-dimensional world, and as such if our reality is to be measured, it needs to be measured in 3D. As Jürgen Dold, President of Hexagon Geosystems, stated during the keynote, “The third dimension helps to better understand and plan.”

We noted this trend almost two years ago on this blog, but since then an incredible torrent of sensed 3D (and 2D) data has been unleashed upon GIS software and GIS users. Slashgeo’s take on a recent GeoIQ blog about “The Challenges of Scope and Scale that Face GIS” highlighted the data explosion (his workplace alone pumps out 450GB per week of new public geospatial data!). No wonder we had users telling us “they had more data than time” during our recent FME World Tour.

From the devices I saw on the Hexagon 2011 show floor, and what my colleagues saw at SPAR 2011, I’d say the future holds way way more data than time, and most of it 3D. The challenge for GIS software vendors and professionals will be to figure out how to tame this data and turn it into something actionable in a relevant amount of time. Why? Ola closed by saying “The world is getting tougher, and we need to smarten up.”

It is truly an exciting, challenging, scary, and yet rewarding time to be in this industry.

Kirk is drowning in data

Kirk looks like a modern-day GIS Professional drowning in sea of 3D Laser Scanned Data, um, Tribbles.

3D About Data GIS Hexagon Intergraph

Dale Lutz

Dale is the co-founder and VP of Development at Safe Software. After starting his career working spatial data (ranging from icebergs to forest stands) for many years, he and other co-founder, Don Murray, realized the need for a data integration platform like FME. His favourite TV show is Star Trek, which inspired the names for most of the meeting rooms and common areas in the Safe Software office. Dale is always looking to learn more about the data industry and FME users. Find him on Twitter to learn more about what his recent discoveries are!


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