Keeping an Eye on Emerging Technology

Keeping an Eye on Emerging Technology

GIM International Interviews Steven Berglund

Positioning and navigation company Trimble has been on a shopping spree, buying several companies – including remote sensing solutions business Gatewing – in what appears to be part of a general ‘vertical integration’ trend in the high-tech industry. GIM International spoke to Steven Berglund, president and chief executive officer of California-based Trimble, to find out more about how the company is helping to make field and mobile workers more productive, and what the future holds for the broader geospatial industry.

Why did you buy Gatewing?

Gatewing provides a unique opportunity for us to broaden our geospatial solutions with lightweight unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for photogrammetry and rapid terrain mapping applications. UAS represents an exciting new technology for surveyors, mappers and geospatial professionals. I believe that the combination of UAS and low-altitude photogrammetry can open up new opportunities as it fills the void between traditional photogrammetry and typical terrestrial technologies. UAS enables a step-function improvement in productivity for certain applications. I think that UAS will become part of the everyday toolbox for surveyors and geospatial professionals.

In what way was this acquisition aligned with Trimble’s strategy?

Trimble provides the latest technology to the market to help transform the way surveyors and geospatial professionals do their work. UAS is one of the past year’s most interesting new technologies that is maturing to the point of commercialisation. While there are a variety of UAS manufacturers, very few have specifically targeted the surveying and mapping market. Both Trimble and Gatewing realised very quickly how well we were aligned: it was an ideal fit for our surveying portfolio. 

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