This week’s GITA conference in Tampa confirmed to me that the blurring of lines between traditional GIS and other disciplines is accelerating. The focus on the “SmartGrid” and the impact that is going to have on the business and mapping systems was pervasive. These systems are going to have to find ways of getting along, and find those ways quickly.
(On a personal level, I’m also quite excited about technologies like Google PowerMeter – Lord Kelvin may say that “If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it”, but I’m a bigger believer in Tom Peters’ variant “What gets measured gets done”.)
Also very interesting was the discussion about the impact of Electric Cars on the overall grid. The nervous look on some folks’ faces told me that the infrastructure to deliver the increased demand for electricity that the widespread adoption of electric cars will demand is going to take a while to get in place, but then again so will the widespread adoption of electric cars.
The interest in true 3D objects that better reflect the real world being modeled, stored, and interacted within mapping and business software also continues to grow, together with the recognition that the disciplines that typically have been or should be working in true 3D need to be working more closely in concert with the geospatial world, and vice versa. Several of the geospatial vendors have recognized this and are well underway to delivering environments that will allow interaction, storage, visualization and analysis with true 3D integrated completely.
But one of the most concrete in-my-face examples of how worlds are colliding came from an attendee of one of my talks on 3D and Spatial ETL. His job title is “Manager of Geomatics and Building Operations”. If that isn’t convergence, then I don’t know what is…