Is Big Data Really the Problem?

Big Data, Big Data, Big Data. This term has been bandied around for years now, and we still don’t know exactly what to do about it, except collect more Big Data. In the geospatial realm it’s no different. UAVs, airborne scanners, Geiger-mode LiDAR, minisats. More data, more problems. But what is the biggest problem with Big Data?

I think that that main Big Data problem facing the geospatial industry today is not how to store and access all this data—although that is a problem for sure. The main problem is how we communicate this data in a way that makes sense.

Ultimately, we are in the business of communicating information. If the form that communication takes is not, clear, then the data—however much it cost us to collect, catalog, store, extract, and analyze—is of no value.

The second point about the communication is that is has to be timely. The rate of change that we see in industry today is astounding. The speed of business approaches near-real-time.

For too long, we have focused on making maps that can do as much as possible. We had to, really, because maps were expensive to make. A good map took time and effort to parse the data, analyze it, design the form, and produce the map. Then next year – or next month – when new data comes in, you have to start all over again from the beginning.

This can’t keep pace. We need maps that answer a specific problem, and that can be prototyped and built in a matter of hours, not weeks. And then, when we get new data, we simply plug it in and get a new answer.

You need your data to give you insights, to communicate information about the world as it changes. Hexagon Geospatial is helping you shape that change. We are building award-winning technology that helps you make sense of your data, whether that be tracking chemical plant incidents in Texas, or any from any number of other applications.

Effectively communicating information from Big Data – now that’s shaping smart change.


Mladen Stojic
President of Hexagon Geospatial

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