Microgeomatics – You want it; you just didn’t know what to call it.

People ask me, “Just what exactly is ‘geomatics’?” You can look it up if you’d like, but the short answer is that it’s a one-word alternative to ‘collection, interpretation & analysis of geodata’ that was conjured up by some spatially-savvy Canucks. You could also probably use it instead of ‘GIS’ in most grammatical situations if you’re not into acronyms.

One of the 1st things that really captivated my interest in geomatics in general is the scalability. Most people talk about GIS down to a municipal level, but there are users (probably many if you took a poll) that need their GIS to be even more precise. In other words, the need has arisen fo Microgeomatics.

In the realm of public service for example, first responders want GIS that includes building schematics, and if they can get positional awareness of their units in the building as well, that’s just gravy. Likewise, asset management for organizations with large or even multiple campuses like schools, large corporations and county government could be significantly enhanced; saving time as well as money.

Well, people are finally starting to listen. It appears there just needed to be some financial incentive to grease the wheels of progress. This article in Geospatial Solutions talks about a firm that’s integrating WiFi, RFID, GIS, & CAD (acronym madness!) to determine shopping habits of the mall-rat crowd.  Although there are questions of privacy here, in my observations, people will always give up a little freedom for a larger trade-off in convenience (just look at that grocery store fob on your keychain).  Just watch – microgeomatics is poised to be the killer-app to make geospatial information ubiquitous & necessary for everyone.


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