abhijit sengupta here

Interview: Mr. Abhijit Sengupta, Senior Director and Head of Business – Southeast Asia and India, HERE Technologies

The onset of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) has paved the way for technological disruptions across every significant field. How is the Geospatial industry poised to advance, grow, and fit into this 4IR-led transformation? 

The geospatial industry, which encompasses collecting, analyzing, and visualizing location-based data, has been undergoing a significant evolution in recent years. The convergence of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), big data analytics, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things (IoT) has unlocked new opportunities for the geospatial sector to flourish. 

One of the key drivers of growth for the geospatial industry in the 4IR is the increasing availability of high-resolution satellite imagery, aerial photography, and remote sensing data. These rich sources of geospatial information, coupled with advancements in computer vision and image recognition algorithms, enable us to extract valuable insights and derive actionable intelligence from vast amounts of geospatial data. This capability addresses critical challenges across various domains, including automotive, urban planning, transportation, agriculture, climate change, and disaster management. 

Another significant advancement in the geospatial industry is the proliferation of location intelligence platforms that combine spatial data with advanced analytics capabilities. These platforms empower businesses and organizations to unlock valuable insights from their own data as well as external geospatial datasets. By leveraging location intelligence, companies can optimize their supply chains, target customers with personalized marketing campaigns, identify optimal store locations, and make data-driven decisions based on spatial patterns and trends.  

In essence, the combination of emerging technologies, expanded data sources, and the increasing demand for location intelligence drive innovation and enable us to address complex challenges in various fields.  

HERE has steadily built a robust legacy in mapping technology over the last three decades, enabling rich spatial intelligence insights and dynamic map content with layers of information and insights. How does HERE Technologies integrate DeepTech, 4IR, and Geospatial technologies to render its business solutions? 

At HERE, we recognize the immense potential of DeepTech, which encompasses cutting-edge technologies like AI, ML, and advanced analytics. DeepTech plays a pivotal role in transforming how we process, analyze, and extract insights from geospatial data, empowering us to offer robust solutions that drive business growth. 

Through the integration of DeepTech, we leverage AI and ML algorithms to analyze vast volumes of geospatial information. These algorithms have been trained on extensive datasets to identify spatial patterns, detect anomalies, and predict future trends. Combining these insights with our location intelligence capabilities provides our customers with valuable business solutions that address their specific needs. 

For instance, in the logistics and supply chain industry, we integrate location-based technologies with advanced analytics to optimize routes, improve delivery efficiency, and reduce operational costs. Our intelligent systems leverage real-time location data to dynamically adjust logistics operations, leading to streamlined processes and enhanced customer satisfaction. The combination of DeepTech and geospatial technologies helps our logistics and supply chain customers gain a competitive edge in today’s dynamic market landscape. In addition, our solutions make extensive use of advanced analytics to extract actionable intelligence from geospatial data. We generate valuable insights that drive informed decision-making by applying sophisticated algorithms to diverse datasets.  

HERE’s commitment to innovation and research allows us to stay at the forefront of technological advancements. We actively explore emerging trends, collaborate with academic institutions and industry partners, and invest in research and development initiatives. This ensures that our solutions remain relevant and aligned with the ever-evolving landscape of DeepTech, 4IR, and geospatial technologies. We are dedicated to pushing the boundaries of innovation and driving meaningful change through our unique blend of technology integration. 

Digital Twin technology has become the centre of attention for the industry with 4IR facilitating its growth. How is HERE leveraging this technology to deploy cross-sectoral solutions for its customers? 

Digital twin technology has emerged as a powerful tool for bridging the physical and digital worlds, allowing organizations to create virtual replicas of physical assets, systems, or processes. At HERE, we recognize the immense potential of digital twin technology and its ability to transform various industries. By leveraging this technology, we can deploy cross-sectoral solutions that deliver value to our diverse customer base. 

One way we utilize digital twin technology is by creating virtual representations of urban environments. These virtual replicas enable our customers to gain a comprehensive understanding of urban landscapes, infrastructure, and mobility patterns. For instance, in the transportation sector, our digital twin technology enables us to monitor and simulate traffic flows, predict congestion, and optimize route planning. By integrating real-time data from various sources, including connected vehicles, sensors, and public transportation systems, we create dynamic digital twins that provide accurate and up-to-date information. This empowers our customers to make informed decisions, improve traffic management, and enhance the overall transportation experience for citizens. 

In the logistics and supply chain industry, our digital twin technology allows us to create virtual replicas of warehouses, distribution centers, and entire supply chain networks. By modeling these complex systems, we can optimize inventory management, simulate different scenarios, and identify opportunities for efficiency improvements. Our customers can leverage these digital twins to streamline operations, reduce costs, and enhance supply chain resiliency. 

At HERE, our commitment to cross-sectoral solutions means that we apply digital twin technology across various industries, including retail, energy, and environmental management. Through our innovative use of this technology, we strive to empower our customers across industries and contribute to a more efficient, sustainable, and connected future. 

With 4IR being underway, and the focus of both governments and businesses shifting towards “smart”, sustainable, customer-centric solutions and services, what are some top trends the Geospatial industry can earmark for the decade? 

The geospatial industry can expect several exciting trends in the coming decade as the 4IR progresses. It will witness increased integration of AI and ML techniques to extract valuable insights from vast amounts of geospatial data. AI-powered algorithms will automate the analysis of spatial information, enabling faster and more accurate decision-making processes. ML models will continuously learn from geospatial data to improve prediction accuracy and optimize resource allocation in various domains, such as urban planning, logistics, and environmental management. 

Additionally, the proliferation of IoT devices and sensor networks will generate an unprecedented amount of geospatial data. The geospatial industry will play a crucial role in collecting, integrating, and analyzing this data to create real-time situational awareness, monitor infrastructure health, and optimize operational efficiencies. The integration of geospatial data with IoT will enable the development of connected vehicles, smarter cities, intelligent transportation systems, and efficient supply chains. 

With increasing environmental concerns, the geospatial industry will play a vital role in addressing sustainability challenges and mitigating the impacts of climate change. Geospatial technologies will be utilized for monitoring and managing renewable energy resources, optimizing land use planning, assessing environmental risks, and facilitating precision agriculture. The integration of geospatial data with climate models and predictive analytics will enable proactive decision-making for sustainable development and resilience planning. 

Lastly, as the geospatial industry continues to grow, there will be a greater focus on privacy, ethics, and responsible data governance. Stricter regulations and frameworks will be implemented to protect individual privacy rights and ensure the ethical use of geospatial data. Companies in the geospatial industry will prioritize transparency, data anonymization, and the secure handling of sensitive location information. 

Lastly, please share with us some developments in the pipeline for HERE Technologies that would excite the Geospatial and broader tech community in India. 

We have several exciting developments in the pipeline that would undoubtedly excite India’s geospatial and broader tech community. We are actively working on expanding our location data coverage and enhancing the accuracy and granularity of our datasets for the Indian market. This will provide businesses, government agencies, and developers access to comprehensive and up-to-date geospatial information, enabling them to make more informed decisions and build innovative location-based solutions.  

Secondly, we invest in developing advanced analytics capabilities tailored to the Indian market. We understand the diverse needs and challenges businesses face in India, and we aim to provide them with cutting-edge analytics tools to extract actionable insights from diverse datasets. By leveraging AI and ML algorithms, we will enable businesses to derive meaningful intelligence from location-based information, drive operational efficiencies, and unlock new growth opportunities. 

Furthermore, we are actively exploring partnerships and collaborations with local startups, academic institutions, and government bodies in India. These partnerships will foster innovation, knowledge sharing, and the co-creation of location-based solutions that address the unique requirements of the Indian market. By leveraging the expertise and capabilities of the broader tech community in India, we aim to create a vibrant ecosystem that accelerates the adoption and impact of location-based technologies across various industries. 

Lastly, we are working on enhancing the user experience and accessibility of our location intelligence platforms and APIs for developers in India. This will enable developers to easily integrate location intelligence into their applications, fostering the creation of innovative solutions and services that cater to specific needs in various sectors.  

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