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What five women mapmakers think of the future of geospatial services


In honour of Women’s Month, we’d like to shine a light on women at Google making a difference in the geospatial industry and on Google Maps Platform. Google Maps Platform asked a few of their mapmakers to share their thoughts, insights, and unique perspective on the future of mapping and geospatial services.


We asked some on the women in the 28East office the same questions. Here are their answers.


Angela Yu, Developer Relations Engineer, United States


What excites you most about the future of mapping or geospatial services?

In my role in developer relations I am always thinking about how to make developers' lives easier - especially breaking down the learning curve so that more people can create the experiences they imagine even if they don't consider themselves a "developer" or an "engineer". I'm excited that in the future, people might be able to build the mapping and location experiences they need without coding. Imagine telling a bot to "build me an Android app for rating dishes at restaurants I visit so I can remember what to order or avoid next time" and it automatically manages Android OS location permissions and combines the Maps and Places SDKs for Android with a Cloud Firestore and Firebase Authentication to save my ratings. Way more people will truly be empowered to make use of geospatial information to improve lives.


What’s one implementation or use case you’d like to see more people adopt and why?

I'd love to see more people and governments combine open data with maps to visualise the state of their communities. At Google, we value data-driven decision making. Seeing data visualized on a map can make it much easier for cities and states to make decisions and changes that bring our everyday experiences in closer alignment with our ideals. One of my favorite tutorials is a codelab that teaches you how to export public datasets from BigQuery to a map using the deck.gl visualisation framework to make powerful and beautiful maps that show, for example, the distribution of bike rental stations or density of trees throughout a city.


Nadia Smith, Data Analyst & Product Manager at 28East


What excites you most about the future of mapping or geospatial services?

One thing that I'm really excited about is something called "analytics in mapping." It's an area that's changing really quickly and has a lot of potential for the future. Basically, it means using advanced computer tools to analyse maps and location-based information. With all the data that's available these days and the tools we have access to, we can learn a lot from maps. For example, we can figure out how many people live in an area or how land is being used. We can also use maps to understand things like climate change and natural resources. All of this information can be really useful in making decisions about things like city planning, managing resources, and responding to disasters. It's a really exciting area that's just getting started!


How do you see mapping or geospatial services changing customer or business experiences and operations in the near future and/or long term?

Mapping and geospatial services can transform how businesses operate and interact with customers, with real-time information and more efficient decision-making processes. As technology advances, new applications will emerge, such as location-based advertising and promotions that provide businesses with more targeted marketing opportunities and a more personalised customer experience.


Anjusha Sandeep Nair, Principal Architect, Singapore


What excites you most about the future of mapping or geospatial services?

I am most excited about the potential of geospatial services to transform the way we live, work and play. The increased availability of high quality geospatial data both in 2D and 3D, advancement in AI & machine learning capabilities coupled with massive computational power at scale through cloud can truly help people, businesses, and communities unlock their potential. It can also help create new transformative experiences, and open up new opportunities that could significantly improve billions of lives. I am incredibly excited to see what the future holds for us.

How do you see mapping or geospatial services changing customer or business experiences and operations in the near and/or long term?

This is a very special time for all of us as geospatial practitioners and spatial problem solvers. The continued development of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning coupled with cloud computing, is making it possible to collect and analyze geospatial data more easily and efficiently. This helps deliver improved consumer and business experiences such as using real-time geospatial information and services to reduce cost, improve service quality and increase operational efficiency. I would love to see a future world where anyone can access and use geospatial data to unlock new opportunities and make informed decisions about their lives and communities.


Yanda Nhlapo, Remote Sensing Specialist at 28East


What excites you most about the future of mapping or geospatial services?

It's amazing to see all the progress we've made over the years! What's even more exciting is that as the world keeps changing, we'll be able to solve problems even faster than we can now. As a Google Earth Engine specialist, I've seen firsthand how this technology can be used to solve environmental and social problems. It used to take a really long time to find solutions, but with Google Earth Engine, we can do it much faster. In the future, we'll be able to solve these problems more efficiently, and we'll come up with even better solutions too!


How do you see mapping or geospatial services changing customer or business experiences and operations in the near future and/or long term?

Google Earth Engine is a powerful tool that can gather data and analyse it to provide valuable insights. It would be great to see more businesses recognising the value of this tool for making better decisions and improving their operations. By using this technology, businesses can analyse data to identify advancement opportunities and stay ahead of the competition.


Marina Afonso, Partner Sales Manager, Brazil


What excites you most about the future of mapping or geospatial services?

What excites me most is how we will connect even more AI with geospatial information, to help our customers succeed in their digital transformation. By providing real-time geospatial data and high-resolution mapping, these technologies can enable immersive and interactive experiences that blur the lines between the physical and digital worlds. The potential to help solve complex global challenges, such as climate change, improve disaster response, and address public health challenges are countless. Our products will help businesses save money and make more sustainable, reliable and faster choices.

How do you see mapping or geospatial services changing customer or business experiences and operations in the near and/or long term?

I believe in an omnichannel strategy. Businesses can use geospatial services to provide users with personalised experiences that start in digital channels and can be finalised in physical locations. This approach has become even more important during/after the pandemic, as businesses have had to adapt to changing customer behaviors and preferences. By leveraging geolocation intelligence, businesses can optimise logistics and supply chain operations, improve safety and security, and make better decisions based on real-time data. This can lead to increased efficiency and productivity, and enhanced customer satisfaction with a better experience.


Ulrika Gunnari, Sales Manager, Sweden


What excites you most about the future of mapping or geospatial services?

I am most excited about all the current and future work around how maps and geospatial can enable both consumers and businesses to make more sustainable choices. How do we travel or deliver packages in a more eco-friendly way? How can a business make sure they source materials in a sustainable manner? To be able to answer these questions and support sustainability in many more ways now and in the future is both a very exciting and important mission.

What’s one implementation or use case you’d like to see more people adopt and why?

We have done a lot of work lately to enable our developers to build more customised and immersive mapping experiences for their customers. It would be awesome to see more implementations utilising for example WebGL, 3D and AR to create even more engaging customer experiences for many industries.


Madiha Chan, Engineering Director, United States


What excites you most about the future of mapping or geospatial services?

Making places accessible for people across the world, regardless of where you are, what you may need and what language you may choose to use is super exciting to me. We are powering mobility for everyone all around the world in an ever-dynamic environment.


If you could fast forward 10 years, what would be the state of geospatial? What’s new, what’s different?

Ten years from today, I believe there will be no stress around traveling and commuting. Every mode of transportation will be able to adapt to traffic, road or data changes. Most importantly, society will have made significant improvements towards building sustainable modes of transportation that are more accessible to people everywhere.



Start Benefiting From Google Maps Today

Let’s grab a coffee today to discuss how our team at 28East can help you implement Google Maps into your business today.






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