Uses for Geospatial Analysis


The world is a lot smaller of a place than it was twenty or even ten years ago. Younger readers might not know or remember but there was a time in very recent history when getting lost was a real and serious problem. Back before the advent of geospatial analysis, the location intelligence market and geospatial mapping in general, the world was a lot bigger of a place. It was the same actual size, of course, but it felt far bigger because the only thing you had to navigate with was maps. There was nothing else that you could use to find out where you were if you were lost. Beyond having very detailed maps, there really was nothing you could do. This sounds like a big deal and it was but younger readers might not realize just how different of a time it was when you couldn’t find where you were. It wasn’t just a matter of getting lost once or twice. There were many aspects of life that were entirely different because activities and meeting up just took more planning. It wasn’t like you could just look up the nearest grocery store and go there. If you were moving, you had to study maps for weeks to know where you were going. If you wanted to go on a trip, you had to plan it out meticulously beforehand or else the whole thing go could belly up if just one wrong road was taken. The geospatial information system changed everything but it didn’t do it overnight. Let’s take a look at the history of the geospatial analysis system and what it can do now for you.
The History of the Geospatial Analysis System
The Geospatial Anaylsis system might be a little older than a lot of people think it is. It actually first came about in the early seventies and then the early eighties as a result of the testing of a government agencies and independent laboratories. At first, it was little more than a crude tool than worked like basic sonar. It actually came in part from technology that NASA was using to guide the space shuttles on their various missions and was later co opted for private use. For most of this decade and the eighties, what passed for GPS was used mainly by bigger businesses for surveying and land acquisition. It was really only useful for that much and nothing else. It wasn’t until the mid nineties that it actually became a thing you could sort of use for other purposes. The early internet was rife with sites that would charge you for taking black and white satellite photos of various areas. You could even see your business or home for the right price.
How Geospatial Analysis Got Where It Is Today
In the early aughts was when GPS positioning really took off and became something that people use more of. For most of the early aughts, it was a clunky dashboard tool to get to basic places if you had the right signal. The screen displays were still pretty choppy and it would often cut out. It had come a long way from just being a tool for space exploration and official land surveying but it still had a long way to go. It would also only lead you to places that were already marked on their internal maps. It was useful but only useful in certain better populated areas.
GPS and GPS tracking today
GPS tracking today is much more nuanced and useful than it was for all of its history. Today we all have GPS on our phones as a matter of course. Since phones run off of satellites anyway it wasn’t a big intellectual leap to add GPS to early, then later, cell phones. Geospatial Analysis really took in the later aughts and is now pretty ubiquitous. All phones have it and we use it without thinking to find our movie theaters, our grocery stores, our homes and businesses and gas stations. Who knows where our tracking and mapping technology might lead next? We’ll find out as the future continues to unfold quickly.

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