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Monday, January 5, 2015

Revisiting My Predictions for the 2014 Geospatial Marketplace

Last December my then colleague Joe Francica and I made our predictions (podcastarticle) for what might happen in 2014 in the geospatial marketplace. We've both moved on from Directions Magazine, but I wanted to wrap up the loose ends and see how I did in my predictions.

1) Remote Sensing Gazelles Become Darlings

I suggested that the new players in remote sensing (organizations like Planet Labs, Urthecast and Skybox Imaging) would be the new geospatial darlings. Specifically, I said one of them would announce deals with three well-known government or commercial clients.

A quick look at the companies' news pages reveals that:
I was bit aggressive with my rubric for measurement, but I was certainly in the ball park.

2) Indoor Positioning will be Compelling and Useful

We agreed that 2013 was the year of preparation for indoor positioning and I declared that 2014 would be the year the technology would actually useful and thus used. I'd deem my predictions successful if someone Joe or I know let us know about actual use of indoor positioning in a retail or other scenario.

I kept my ears open all year and even interrogated my most likely user of the technology (my well-dressed, iPhone toting master shopper friend Victor). No, no one I spoke to all year mentioned using indoor positioning anywhere. So, that's a big miss.

3) IFTTT as Programming Environment for Location-based IoT

At the end of 2013 If This, Then That (IFTTT) a programming environment for non-programmers to create "recipes" with social media and other tech data sources, announced support for geofencing. That led me to suggest that IFTTT would become the location based platform of choice for regular people to manage their lives via the Internet of Things. I have no evidence that happened and confess that I heard exactly nothing further regarding IFTTT's geofencing announcement since the end of 2013. I think perhaps IFTTT, the IoT and I were all a bit ahead of the technology and consumer base. The big news in that space in 2014 was the announcement of developer platforms from various players.