Inspire the younger generation!

Inspire the younger generation!

Two initiatives aimed at encouraging young individuals to pursue a career in mapping and surveying are highlighted by Wim van Wegen in this column. He hopes that they will trigger other similar initiatives across the globe to inspire a new generation of geospatial professionals.

In today’s rapid evolving world, the fields of mapping, surveying and geospatial technology play a pivotal role in shaping our understanding of the Earth’s physical and social landscape. However, as we have regularly highlighted in GIM International in recent years, attracting young talent to these disciplines can be a challenge. While it is important to keep drawing attention to this challenge, it is more fulfilling to report on initiatives that could help to turn the tide. As covered in more detail in the ‘Headlines’ section of the latest issue of GIM International, two inspiring examples have emerged recently.

The first is a German campaign called ‘Weltvermesserer’ aimed at getting the younger generation excited about mapping and surveying. The interactive social media campaign introduces geospatial technology to school pupils and students. By demonstrating the real-world applications of mapping and surveying in various industries, such as urban planning and environmental management, the campaign hopes to motivate youngsters to pursue a career in this field.

Meanwhile, in Singapore, a collaborative initiative has been launched to harness the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) in geospatial solutions. The alliance of academia, industry experts and government agencies is organizing a geospatial-oriented AI challenge which encourages participants to develop innovative AI algorithms and models that can enhance mapping and surveying processes. The initiative seeks to improve the efficiency and accuracy of geospatial data collection, analysis and interpretation by leveraging AI’s capabilities, such as image recognition and data analysis.  

As both of these examples show, when it comes to encouraging young people to enter the geospatial industry, it’s all about inspiration! By actively engaging students in interactive activities and hands-on experiences, the German campaign creates an environment that sparks curiosity and highlights the relevance of our profession. Meanwhile, the initiative in Singapore demonstrates the power of collaboration, with the added benefit of providing a platform for talented individuals to showcase their expertise and innovation in the realm of AI.

Above all, both initiatives recognize the importance of attracting young people to geospatial disciplines. Because ultimately, sparking the younger generation’s enthusiasm for mapping, surveying and geospatial technology is crucial for driving future advancements and ensuring sustainable development and progress in our interconnected world.

In my view, we have a clear message to get across: Capturing, processing, modifying, analysing and utilizing geospatial data is diverse, dynamic, challenging and – most importantly – indispensable in our rapidly changing society. And thanks to the wide range of applications for geospatial data, our industry offers talented professionals a very varied and rewarding career with an abundance of prospects. I hope that the two examples mentioned above will trigger other similar initiatives in countries across the globe, paving the way for a brighter future by inspiring many more young individuals to join us!

The German campaign ‘Weltvermesserer’ is aimed at getting the younger generation excited about mapping and surveying.
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