Differentiate with digital

AI Takes Location To A New Level

Jennifer Belissent, Ph.D.
Principal Analyst
June 5, 2018

I’m really excited to join VentureBeat today for the webinar: “AI-powered location: A step closer to the future?

This isn’t my first foray into the spatial and mapping world. In fact, I’ve been a big fan of maps since my days in Africa, where my map of the world was the only decoration I had on my wall. Ask me a country capital, and I’ll likely be able to recover it from the depths of my memory. Just ask my kids how much pleasure I get from whupping them at the capitals game. (Yeah, I likely shouldn’t admit that.)

A few years ago, I mused on the value of maps as a way to convey information and insights in my blog, “If A Picture Paints A Thousand Words, Maps Are Just Off The Charts!

Everyone Loves Maps

Some have them on the walls — I still do. Others have shower curtains that are maps of the world — I used to. Whether it’s for the bright colors and patterns or the particularly insightful information, we are fascinated by maps. The map to the right here is a lightning intensity map. But it’s more than just a pretty picture: It tells us that we might want to be more careful the closer we are to the equator.

Maps are cool. They help us organize data and put it in the perspective of a particular location. And everyone recognizes the value of location. We’ve all heard the exclamation “location, location, location . . .” Who said that? Just about everyone, in every context, everywhere.

Location Is Relative, Not Absolute

Location is not just points on a map, though; it’s context. Yeah, your geospatial coordinates are absolute. You are physically where you are, but that location offers different experiences to each of us. What is the geography like: urban vs. rural, built environment vs. natural environment, agricultural vs. wilderness, crowded vs. empty? Is it night or day? Dark or light? What’s the weather like? What events are taking place? What language are people speaking? Does the location evoke certain emotions? Is there risk? Is there beauty? And, of course, can I get from one place to another? And is there a Starbucks somewhere along the route? Location can be complex, rich, and extremely insightful. And maps help visualize those insights.

Company decision makers realize the value that they can deliver. Forrester asked decision makers about their plans to adopt location technologies: 69% have implemented solutions to improve their location data, and 57% have implemented solutions for location analytics. Clearly, leaders today want to map out their business using the new data, new technologies, and new services available to help them do that.

And that’s what today’s webinar will talk about. Maps and the location information they contain are a way of organizing and presenting data and insights. Breakthroughs in artificial intelligence have taken maps and location to a new level. It’s no longer “Where’s the nearest Starbucks?” or “Where do they use the metric system?” Now AI can recognize patterns in satellite images to answer:

  • Is the forest near my house going to burn down?
  • What are the risks of natural disaster, and what could be the estimated loss?
  • What changes in commercial activity have happened over a period of time?
  • Do we have an adequate food supply?

If a picture paints a thousand words, AI-powered maps are off the charts.

Tune in to the VentureBeat webinar to learn more.

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