The geospatial industry overall will continue growing strong in 2017. Some big trends like IoT, Self-driving Cars, Location based Consumer apps and space will keep pushing the industry to new areas.
The separation between different areas in the geospatial industry will become more apparent. GIS will remain niche, but I expect strong growth in the Data Analytics space and Location Based Services (LBS). The usage of geospatial technology will increase very significantly within enterprises as they continue to become more data-driven; this will help solidify the Location Intelligence segment. The next 1 Million users to start using geospatial technology in 2017 will not even know what GIS is. Location Intelligence will be delivered seamlessly via their apps, embedded in Data Analytics space, as a new software segment, or integrated on general purpose tools and platforms. This is the segment where CARTO will be focused the most.
In terms of specific trends within the geospatial community, I believe the following things will happen or continue happening on 2017.
- Commoditization of Location Based Services with value-added services on top of traditional LBS.
- OSM and Open Data will keep getting space and will become the inevitable 3rd option after Google Maps and Apple Maps.
- GIS will capitalize on IoT trends, but will be replaced often with software capabilities on other products.
- More and more products will include geospatial technologies taking it mainstream. Concepts of Spatial Analysis will be more natural to a much larger audience.
- Predictive analytics on Spatial Data will start becoming much more common and Machine Learning techniques will be much more clearly applied to Location Data.
- Some core companies will continue absorbing incredible geospatial talent (Uber, Google, Facebook…) and startups (like CARTO!) will specialize in certain type of analysis and data.
- We will likely continue talking about counting cars in Walmart parking lots from space.
- There will be more technology sector consolidation in 2017 than in 2016 as different platforms keep adding spatial capabilities and big companies augment their pool of talent.