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GoGeomatics Picks the Most Important International Stories of 2023

  1. Saeideh’s pick: Interactive map shows where your food comes from
  2. Jonathan’s Pick: Canada’s National Geomatics Expo
  3. Jake’s pick: Mapping the conflict between farming and biodiversity
  4. George’s pick: The most detailed and comprehensive publicly available large-scale solar facility database to date
  5. Crystal’s pick: AI maps icebergs 10,000 times faster than humans
  6. Kruti and Farzaneh’s Pick: What is geospatial intelligence?

Saeideh’s Pick

Interactive map shows where your food comes from

Why it’s important:

Climate change has a significant impact on the global system, including the food system. The world’s food security has been aggravated due to the rapidly changing environment. It is crucial for decision-makers to access reliable, accurate and real-time information.

A sample GIF of the Food Twin map for Cook County, IL

This story outlines researchers’ efforts to create reliable data tools that greatly aid stakeholders in the food system during their decision-making process. This user-friendly map also helps raise awareness among the public.

Jonathan’s Pick

Canada’s National Geomatics Expo

Why it’s important:

The GoGeomatics Expo in Calgary, Canada, is internationally significant in the geomatics field due to several factors. It acts as a showcase for Canadian innovations in geomatics and GIS/BIM technologies, attracting global attention. The expo facilitates vital international networking by bringing together professionals and academics from across the world, promoting the exchange of ideas and fostering collaborations. Additionally, it highlights the latest research and developments in the field, influencing industry trends and standards worldwide. Educational sessions and workshops at the expo also contribute to the professional development of attendees from various countries. Furthermore, the conference’s focus on addressing global issues like climate resilience through geomatics solutions underlines its relevance on an international scale. Sign up for updates on the 2024 expo October 28th to 30th here.

Jake’s Pick

Mapping the conflict between farming and biodiversity

Why it’s important:

The study in this article focused on the complex conflict between agricultural development and biodiversity protection efforts. In the study the authors note that a lot of attention has been given to the climate impact food production has through emissions but how an equal if not greater impact  comes from clearing land and biodiverse areas to grow crops. One of the authors is quoted as saying “Food productions remains the main cause of biodiversity loss,” and with an ever-growing biodiversity crisis on our hands, this is obviously a huge issue.

A snippet of the map displaying regions of conflict between agriculture and biodiversity priorities.

The research divided agricultural regions into four tiers of conservation priority and found that one third of all farming occurs in areas that would be considered highest priority under their classifications. This is hugely important research as both biodiversity and food production are critical for our survival on Earth. The geospatial research behind this study is critical to make informed judgments and approach this complex conflict with as much data as possible to work towards critical decisions. Head straight to the map here.

George’s Pick

The most detailed and comprehensive publicly available large-scale solar facility database to date

Why it’s important:

Solar is on the rise and the US is taking advantage of it. With the US’ ability to manufacture, install, and maintain solar panels and associated power terminals, it’s clear that solar is now at the point where it can be a viable source of renewable energy.

From a geospatial perspective, using mapping to find the most variable solar farms and most efficient transmissions routes will be crucial in making this new system integrate with the existing grid.

Crystal’s Pick

AI maps icebergs 10,000 times faster than humans

Why it’s important:

AI was a topic of interest this year, and one story that I enjoyed reading was how it’s being used in Europe to map icebergs 10,000 times faster than humans. It’s important to locate and monitor these giant icebergs, as they have an impact on ocean physics, chemistry, biology, and maritime operations.

Using AI to measure the size of an iceberg.

AI not only has the capability to map the extent of these icebergs in just 0.01 seconds but can do so even with challenging conditions present; this will significantly help improve the speed and accuracy of mapping iceberg extent.

Kruti + Farzaneh’s Pick

What is geospatial intelligence?

Why it’s important:

2023 has seen an increase in the significance of geospatial intelligence due to severe climatic issues. Communities were at risk from storms, flooding, wildfires, and record temperatures. With the use of data from mobile sensors, satellites, and other sources, geospatial intelligence provided real-time maps that aided in threat detection. It became clear how important it was for military intelligence, environmental monitoring, and disaster response.

The Environmental Protection Agency publishes air quality maps that are particularly useful when smoke from wildfires spreads across large parts of the U.S. Credit: EPA

The industry’s growing importance is shown by projections that it will reach over $209 billion by 2030. Geospatial intelligence becomes essential for understanding the present, predicting the future, and recreating the past as temperatures increase, metropolitan areas get denser, and calamities approach, all of which contribute to a society that is safer and more informed. The article underscores the critical role of geospatial intelligence in addressing and mitigating the impacts of extreme weather events, emphasizing its diverse applications and the increasing demand for its services in the face of climate change and urban development.