BeGeo 2019. After attending an incredibly captivating Geo-Gathering, the moment arises when you go home with a head buzzing with thoughts, ideas and the question of how these little pieces of the puzzle fit within the Ultimate Connection.

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The essence of this day was clear. Geo is Hot. Geo is everywhere around us, well established and much needed in the most evident things, without constantly being aware of it. Geo-applications range from searching for the nearest bakery to hunting for Pokémons. But they can also involve how to better organise our mobility or how to ensure safety in our country? Important themes, such as mobility, economy, sustainability, safety, … were discussed. This with a great emphasis on the following issues: Overview, integration, cooperation and the need for strong data quality.

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Overview ? In many use-cases there is a need for overview in order to correctly evaluate a complex situation. Think of a dangerous situation, such as a fire, where various factors must be taken into account in order to estimate the impact, but also to determine how this impact can be limited. Good planning and management depends on the sources at your disposal and how you can combine them into a single and clear framework.  

But no overview without integration. We are constantly bombarded with information, but also with countless applications and ways to process, consult and use this information. This causes us to lose the overview, and isn’t that the goal to be achieved? Integration of different applications in one platform, with the necessary filter on relevance, seems a difficult, but crucial exercise to strive for overview in an efficient way.

Overview of different entities that form a whole. Besides overview, cooperation between the different parties involved is always needed to come to a solution. This is a challenge for our sector, by striving for conformity and conventions on the one hand, but also offering a platform where these parties come together and can interact.

But all these efforts can be nullified if the quality of the offered data is not monitored. Everything depends on data quality. It will not be the first time that a restaurant has gone bankrupt, as Google Maps incorrectly indicates that it is permanently closed. Or more fatalistic, if the emergency services arrived at the wrong location, and the fire can no longer be extinguished.

If you add up the above, you inevitably come to the conclusion that Geo-Sector still has enough social and technical challenges on its plate.

We can confirm: It is a captivating time for the Geo-Informatist to be alive.

Gaëlle Seffers

Gaëlle Seffers

Junior Geo-ICT Consultant (Eagle / GIPOD)

Gaëlle Seffers has a Master in Geographic Information Science and Cartography from the University of Ghent. She started in the Eagle Team where she is responsible for Functional Analysis, Testing and Support.