Geo Week 2024: The Intersection of Geospatial + The Built World

We are back in Edinburgh after visiting Denver last week for SPAR 3D, part of Geo Week 2024. This event is the 'intersection of the geospatial and the built world,' with an estimated 3100+ attendees and almost 200 exhibitors showcasing the newest hardware and software solutions for integration into the built environment.

Kickstarting the event was an interesting talk by keynote speaker Claire Rutkowski, Chief Information Officer at POWER Engineers, whose presentation detailed the future of the built environment, giving insight into what may lie ahead for our towns and cities. This talk was followed by a panel discussion on the current and future position of the infrastructure and AEC space, led by Rutkowski, with Andrea Springer, Vice President of Digital Engineering Solutions at CDM Smith, and Ben Stocker, Senior Construction Technologist at Skender, who spoke about current technologies that organisations should fully implement now and how these solutions, alongside newer technologies, will allow for more efficient systems and workflows for both current and future projects. 

We spent the rest of our time at Geo Week making our way around the exhibition hall, full of innovative companies doing incredible work in the geospatial industry and meeting with new and current connections. This blog post will summarise our key takeaways from Geo Week 2024

Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC)
The opening presentation was titled "The Bright Future Ahead: Navigating AEC, 3D, and Geospatial Innovation and Change," and keynote speaker Claire Rutkowski, spoke about the urgency and importance of updating current infrastructure and designing new, more sustainable infrastructure on a massive scale to keep up with increasing populations, particularly within towns and cities. Rutkowski spoke about an enormous shift towards using specialised technology to make systems and processes more efficient, reducing costs and increasing productivity and profitability within the AEC industry. However, with any change, there always comes a level of nervousness. As Rutkowski explained, people have worked a certain way for some time, and with further changes in the coming years, this could cause further uncertainty. But she explained that while the changes will take considerable learning and effort, they are primarily positive and to be approached with optimism about what can be achieved for a greater future. 

Technological Convergence
While Rutkowski spoke about the challenges we face, she also highlighted the opportunities that await us. Opportunities to take a different approach to design, create, and build newer and more sustainable infrastructure through the innovations and learnings of the fourth industrial revolution as we head into the fifth. In this period, we will see an increase in the convergence of technologies, such as advanced airborne/terrestrial technologies, such as drones, and commercial 3D technologies, such as digital twins. Alongside AI, the continued use and development of AR and VR will be used to improve how infrastructure is designed, built, and maintained further. Rutkowski explained that more qualified people are needed to address the national and global infrastructure challenges as there is currently a shortage. The use of AI, Rutkowski explained, is 'not such a bad thing' and can help bridge the gap until we have more professionals in this field. 

Climate Change
Rutkowski spoke of the seriousness of climate change and the importance of addressing the rising sea levels and melting ice caps and how this affects the infrastructure of our towns and cities. She explained the real and urgent need for newer and more sustainable innovations in infrastructure and how technological convergence can help overcome such challenges, using Singapore as a prime example for the rest of the world. Digital twins can allow for better planning, more innovative solutions, and more environmentally friendly approaches - such as renewable energy sources and sustainable building materials. 

Our Partners
We met with our fantastic partners, Mosaic, who were showcasing their range of Mosaic 360 Cameras. We've had the pleasure of working with Mosaic for a couple of years now, and each time we meet with them at various events across the world, we always thoroughly enjoy chatting with the team and learning even more about their high-quality cameras that capture exceptional data for application in the geospatial, mapping and gaming industries.

These events are as much about networking as they are about learning about the newest solutions and it was great to make new connections with potential partners who were excited to learn all about our Street-Level Data Platform.

In conclusion, with constructed landscapes around us continually changing and evolving, having the correct geospatial technologies is vital for organisations to improve efficiency while achieving key milestones and objectives, both for individual organisations' success and for the welfare of our planet and the generations to come. 

As always, within the Geospatial world, we're forever learning, adapting, and looking to the future. The messaging was loud and clear at Geo Week - that while we should be fully committed to making sustainable long-term changes that help protect the environment, we should remain optimistic, embracing the change that technological advancements can bring us to create a brighter future. 

We thoroughly enjoyed listening to the various talks and presentations we attended throughout the few days we spent at Geo Week 2024, meeting with our current partners and networking to make new connections. 

We thank all event organisers for an interesting few days in Denver and look forward to returning next year. 

About Terra Visus:

Terra Visus is a leading provider of street-level imagery and LiDAR data, supplying some of the world's largest technology companies and organisations.

The Terra Visus street-level data platform is a conduit for global street-level image data, facilitating a professional marketplace for data collectors and buyers looking for specific data sets. 

Founded in 2021, Terra Visus is headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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