What is geomatics? What is the geospatial industry? These are questions put to Wim van Wegen, editor of GIM International, quite regularly. To him, this says a lot about the current status of the sector. At GIM International, we're on a mission to make geomatics more attractive – will you join us?
My friends and family are interested in what I do in my daily life. They know that I work for a publishing company, on occasion they even know that we write about some kind of technology, and even rarer are those friends who remember that I “do something with geomatics”. OK, that’s nice! But doesn’t this say an awful lot about the status of the geospatial sector? Doesn’t this necessitate us to bridge the gap between the man on the street and geomatics?
Over the past years I’ve interviewed many people for GIM International and education was often the topic of at least one of the questions. In many countries there is a lack of new geomatics professionals. I was discussing this with the people of Hexagon Geospatial and Leica Geosystems during their media roundtable at this ISPRS Congress. I touched a sensitive subject of the geomatics community. Why don’t young talented people at college decide to study geomatics or related subjects? Probably because they have no clue as to what it entails. And if they do, surveying – unless they know how great the job really is – sounds like a dusty word to many youngsters. Not appealing at all to young people. The truth can be hard to swallow, but let’s face reality!
Creating 3D worlds is already much more exciting. The links between the gaming and the geospatial industry are getting stronger. Students use Google Maps and many other geo-applications are becoming intertwined with everyday life. Actually, Pokémon Go also has a geospatial element in it! I’m sure we can make the geospatial sector much more attractive. This will result in many more students at the geomatics departments. It’s time for a transformation, it’s time to make use of the great opportunity being offered by the smart phone revolution. Geospatial has become so visible to the citizens of our wonderful planet, but they’re not aware of it. They are living a geomatics life without knowing what geomatics is. We’re on a mission – will you join us? Let me know! I’m sure GIM International can be perfect platform to help this operation succeed!
Wim van Wegen
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