The defense sector has been one of the leading advocates for – and financiers of – geospatial solutions in the past decade, employing the technology for such varied tasks as coordinating disaster relief efforts to modeling battlefield strategies. But as government-wide budget cuts loom on the horizon, geospatial industry players may be forced to widen their perspective and apply their solutions in new areas.
According to Directions Magazine columnist Mladen Stojic, the past 10 years have been a period of unprecedented growth for geospatial solutions. This rise may soon be stalled as government agencies – which have traditionally expressed the highest demand for geospatial technologies by a wide margin – enter into a new era of austerity.
Though many geospatial solution providers are fearing the worst, market conditions could be ripe for some important new opportunities.
"The most viable industries are known for reinventing themselves during changing circumstances, embracing challenges as opportunities. For an industry defined by the changing Earth, this truly seems to be the geospatial industry's defining moment," Stojic wrote.
The most viable vertical markets would seem to be transportation, real estate, oil and gas and utilities. But as geospatial solutions enter the consumer consciousness through mobile applications, entirely new possibilities are likely to emerge.