Skip to main content

Guest post - GIS Technology - Future Perspective by Huma Irfan

            Today we have a post from a guest blogger. Hope you enjoy it!

About the guest:

           Huma Irfan, the owner and CEO of Geonergy Ltd., a GIS company based out of London, UK.

           Here is what she shares with us!

GIS Technology – Future Perspective

©Huma Irfan
Founder & CEO, Geonergy Ltd.

           There is no human activity on Earth that is not impacted or impacts a location or space, thus the spatial element’ is an integral part of all human action. Geographical Information Science (GIS) or ‘Spatial Science’ has evolved through decades into a discipline in its own right, amalgamated from the very fundamentals of Geography, Computing, Statistics and other related fields in the broadest scenario. The role of GIS is increasingly recognised and accepted throughout all major disciplines in public and private sectors.

            A picture speaks better than a thousand words; it is aptly proved to be true through GIS. GIS has helped to achieve ‘knowledge’ from merely ‘data’ and ‘information’. Spatial analysis is becoming an imperative force as more and more of the remarkable possibilities of its application, integration and interoperability are recognised due to the fast-paced materialisation and advancement of technology. With the availability of affordable and cost-effective computing hardware and advance developments in software technology, mobile computing and flourishing open-source initiatives, crowd-sourcing, mash-ups, cloud computing and unlimited access to dynamic and real-time data through internet and employing GNSS, the possibilities are everlasting and endless. Having acknowledged its enormous potential in the past and present, and recognising that geographical information is in its most effective and powerful form in a digital environment, we seek to envisage how can GIS change our world in the future?

            The outlook grasps that the primary use of GIS technology in the information age may not change greatly, such as to manage and analyse data, but its relative importance is likely to be impacted and the implementation capacity accelerated and shifted manifold. The world is apparently liable to be adversely affected in future with factors such as population explosion, shortage of food, climate change, increase in energy demand and novel technology and information outburst, we seek to envision how GIS can embark upon to tackle these problems. We have witnessed the GIS journey from description to simulation, virtual and augmented reality, from basic 2D to 3D visualisation and 4D capability through integration of ‘time’ via agent based modelling such as fire, pollution, traffic, Geohazards etc. How far can we perceive the path of possibilities for 5D, 6D, 7D and 8D or more through incorporating other media/sensors/transducers using temperature, pressure, speed, texture, touch, sound, smell etc. into simulation and modeling environments? Technology has limitless boundaries, and so it is the moment to think about which avenues can still be explored and new ideas be implemented into reality. When we think of GIS, we think of our world and all its astounding data, information and knowledge, whereas the path of GIS may lead us beyond the precincts of Earth in future such as planetary and space GIS; for GIS - The world is not enough!

Recommended for You

Geodesic Polyline

Today we will have a look at a very interesting polyline example - "The geodesic polyline". Now the first question that will pop is "What is geodesic?". Mathematically, geodesic means the shortest line between two points on a mathematically defined surface, as a straight line on a plain or an arc of a great circle or sphere.

    The next question after reading the above definition is clearly, "Why do we need geodesic polylines?" and that would be followed up with "What is this Great Circle?". We will discuss this first, before we move on to the actual example today. The example is very very similar to the normal polyline example, with just a small change.

    Having said so, I will now try to explain why we need a geodesic polyline? The shortest distance between two locations on the earth is rarely a straight line as the earth is roughly spherical in nature. So any two points on the earth, even if they are very close lie on a curve and not …

Difference between word-break: break-all versus word-wrap: break-word

The 2 CSS properties word-break: break-all and word-wrap: break-word appear to work in the same way or generate the same output, but there is a slight difference between the 2 and we will be discussing these differences today.

    Take a look at the example above. The difference is quite evident, however I will try to explain it further.

word-break: break-all Irrespective of whether it’s a continuous word or many words, break-all breaks them up at the edge of the width limit even within the characters of the same word
word-wrap: break-word This will wrap long words onto the next line.break-word adjusts different words so that they do not break in the middle.
    So if you have many fixed-size spans which get content dynamically, you might just prefer using word-wrap: break-word, as that way only the continuous words are broken in between, and in case it’s a sentence comprising many words, the spaces are adjusted to get intact words (no break within a word).     In case you want to exp…

Where does Google get it's live traffic data from?

Referring to a post that I wrote earlier, Google’s - Live traffic Layer, ever wondered how Google collected this data? I was wondering the other day, how Google received live data to display it on their maps as a layer! I looked up the web and found something very interesting and am sharing the same with you all.As we all know, the traffic layer is available most accurately in several states in USA. Most major metro areas in the US have sensors embedded in their highways. These sensors track real time traffic data. Easy to miss at high speeds (hopefully anyway, traffic permitting), more commonly noticed may be the similar sensors that often exist at many busy intersections that help the traffic lights most efficiently let the most amount of people through. The information from these tracking sensors is reported back to the Department of Transportation (DOT). The DOT uses this data to update some of the digital signs that report traffic conditions in many metro areas. They also…

jQuery Mobile's Next Big Step

Spatial Unlimited changes to The UI Dev

After being hosted on blogger 😣 for the last 6 years 📆, this page has finally been moved to
This means a few things for you, dear reader!

You will be redirected to the new page shortly! ⏩ ⏩ ⏩

Once crapy HTML is now better looking Markdown! 😍 😍

The entire blog is a Github repo! 😍 😍

Spatial Unlimited is now The UI Dev 😍 😍

Ground Truth - How Google Builds Maps

Todays's article is cross posted from The Atlantic's Tech section. The article was posted by Alexis Madrigal who is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Technology channel. So, thanks to The Atlantic and Alexis Madrigal, we will have an exclusive look inside Ground Truth, the secretive program to build the world's best accurate maps.

    Behind every Google Map, there is a much more complex map that's the key to your queries but hidden from your view. The deep map contains the logic of places: their no-left-turns and freeway on-ramps, speed limits and traffic conditions. This is the data that you're drawing from when you ask Google to navigate you from point A to point B -- and last week, Google showed me the internal map and demonstrated how it was built. It's the first time the company has let anyone watch how the project it calls GT, or "Ground Truth," actually works.
    Google opened up at a key moment in its evolution. The co…