LATEST ARTICLES

Geoawesomeness Digital Meetup Schedule for 2021

Geoawesomeness Digital meetup is all about bringing the spatial community together and enabling interactions within the community whether it’s for fun and/or profit. And along the way, we hope that the meetup will help us all better understand how location data and technology are transforming the world for the better.

We are quite excited about our digital meetup series and it’s great to see that you are excited about it as well! We promise it’s going to be #geoawesome! In the meantime, if you have ideas/suggestions for us to make this a regular feature on your calendar, do let us know!

Interested in working with us?

Interested in hosting an event together with the team? Let’s talk! Send an email to info@geoawesomeness.com

Upcoming Events

 

Digital Meetup #20 7th December 2021 – Geospatial for Good (proudly supported by Geoawesomeness and our community)

Missed a presentation?

Watch all the presentations on Geoawesomeness YouTube Channel.

Past Events

Digital Meetup #9 on 18th February 2021 – Location, Location, Location: Using travel time and transport data for making business decisions (supported by TravelTime)

Digital Meetup #10 on 24th March 2021 – Location Intelligence and the Counter-drone use case (supported by Carmenta)

Digital Meetup #11 on 8th April 2021 – 5D Location Intelligence and Situational Awareness (supported by Luciad Hexagon Geospatial)

Digital Meetup #12 on 28th April 2021 – Unlocking Geospatial Technology for Game Engines (Supported by Cesium)

Digital Meetup #13 on 6th May 2021 – Common Operating Picture for Real-time Geospatial threats (supported by DataCapable)

Digital Meetup #14 on 23rd June 2021 – Maps, IoT, and Smart Cities (supported by GreyMatter)

Digital Meetup #15 on 28th July 2021 – Reality Capture, Drones and Analytics (supported by DroneDeploy)

Digital Meetup #16 5th August 2021 – Advanced Construction and Engineering (Supported by Cesium)

Digital Meetup #17 23rd September 2021 – Property Data-as-a-Service (supported by LoveLand Technologies)

Digital Meetup #18 6th October 2021 – The Future of Mobility (supported by GreyMatter)

Digital Meetup #19 4th November 2021 – Four stories about sustainable transportation and logistics (Supported by TomTom)

Digital Meetup #1 to #8 were held in 2020 – information and details available here https://geoawesomeness.com/2020-geoawesomeness-digital-meetup-schedule/

Calling Geo-Researchers: Help Us by Blogging Your Work!

We want to bridge the disconnect between Geo-research and Geotech.

Geographic information systems (GIS) was once a mere concept of quantitative and computational geography. Thanks to Michael Goodchild, research on key topics such as spatial analysis and visualization were formalized.

While serving as an assistant professor, Roger Tomlinson worked as the manager of the computer mapping division at Spartan Air services. His pioneering work to plan and developer the Roger Tomlinson’s pioneering work to initiate, plan, and develop the Canada Geographic Information System resulted in the first computerized GIS in the world in 1963. Both of these legends were working in the university when they changed the future by creating what we today call GIS.

Fast forward to today, What are scientists and researchers doing with location data? What are the biggest research projects in the universities concerning geospatial data and analysis? Once finished with our studies or academic careers, it is easy to be distanced away from the research world. At Geoawesomeness, we would like to do our part to bridge the disconnect between Geo-research and Geotech and help usher in further innovation and collaboration in the industry.

So far…

At Geoawesomeness, we’ve previously helped researchers with their work by sharing information about their research surveys and by blogging about the state of GIScience. Knowing that there are so many research institutions working in the domain of GIScience and that many other topics are becoming inherently location-based, we have barely scratched the surface when it comes to showing our audience what’s going on at the forefront of science! No one knows about the latest happenings in the research world better than you researchers working in the field!

Hence, we have decided that we are actively going to invite more people to write about their work and research with the rest of our community. We’re very curious about what problems you’re trying to solve, what approaches you’re taking, and what you’ve learned so far. Writing about your research will help you reach a wide and enthusiastic audience, with Geoawesomeness reaching over 170 000 page visits each month! It will also help accelerate the adoption of geotech across the world, positively helping impact our communities. We hope that our Georesearch initiative can also expose you to other areas of research and get connected to other researchers and geogeeks.

We are passionate about exploring the intersection of science, technology, and location and usually write about all topics where we see such a connection. While the definition of a geo-topic is open by nature, just to give you a better example,

We’re interested in

  • AR/VR,
  • autonomous driving, computer vision, navigation,
  • big data (geospatial),
  • blockchain, decentralization
  • citizen science
  • drones, remote sensing, photogrammetry
  • location intelligence, location data analytics,
  • machine learning, AI
  • mobility as a service, smart cities, and many more!

If you are working as a researcher either at the university or at a research lab, this is your chance to share your work outside the academic world. Who knows? Perhaps your work is going to change the industry just like how Michael Goodchild and Roger Tomlinson did in the past century. Send me an email or say hello to us via Twitter 🙂

Global Top 100 Geospatial Companies 2022 – 31st Jan 2022

6 years ago, Aleksander Buczkowski and I created the 1st #GlobalTop100Geo companies list with the objective of helping our community understand the industry ecosystem better and to enable collaboration and innovation.

When we first published the list Aleks and I had little idea that it would turn into an annual tradition and one of the biggest projects that Geoawesomeness and the team will undertake each year.

2022 is a really special year for us and for the #GlobalTop100Geo list. We have a powerhouse panel (Nadine AlamehDenise McKenzieJustyna RedelkiewiczCarly Morris, Eldrige De Melo, Olivia PowellSives GovenderJonathan NeufeldOsamu OchiaiSiau Yong NG 黄晓勇) working to create the list!

Hope you will benefit from the list and enjoy reviewing it as much as we have and a huge thanks to our panelists for their dedication and enthusiasm, the whole process wouldn’t have been possible without them.

The 2022 list will be published on 31st January 2022. Hope you will join us for the live event – register here.

Trends for 2022 in geospatial data – Ordnance Survey

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What do I think is going to be new in 2022?

The government’s got three high-level objectives – sustainability, levelling-up and the third is being a scientific superpower. All of which require a significant amount of data to underpin effective policy making and delivery, both from a government perspective, but also to achieve economic growth.

In 2022, we need to ensure that sustainability is at the core of every single business decision. The reason being is that sustainability is going to be a key driver in ensuring that we tackle the global challenges surrounding climate change and achieving net zero – helping us all see the world as a better a place.

Location data is going to be critical over the next twelve months and beyond in supporting green finance and reducing our carbon footprint.

What’s going to stay the same between this year and 2022? 

The last twelve months has highlighted the importance of location data and the benefits of being able to join different data sets to gain the insights in order to make better decisions and deliver significant outcomes, such as the government’s response to the pandemic. Good quality data equals better decisions for government’s, organisations, for everyone, and we’ll see the value in location data continue to increase in 2022.

What’s going to take off in 2022?

At OS, we’re already thinking about how we can better utilise innovative techniques to enhance and improve the data we provide to our customers, as well as ways of capturing that data, that supports our team of over 200 surveyors on the ground. The big focus for 2022 is around satellite imagery and earth observation data. The frequency with which satellites pass over the country, enables us to provide a more rapid view of change. At OS we’re investing in AI and machine learning, which teaches machines to extract certain information from imagery using algorithms, supplementing the accurate data from our surveyors, which enables us as an organisation to quickly and more efficiently capture up-to-date data, providing the insight needed for positive change.

What would you like to change in 2022?

Sustainability is a big focus right now and we need to ensure that sustainability is at the core of every single business decision. However, there needs to be more recognition in the value of location data and drawing on the power of trusted and authoritative geospatial information in helping to hit net zero targets. Location data gives the world a vital lens to assess the impact of the climate crisis and it’s vital that location data is recognised as a fundamental enabler in solving common challenges and supporting sustainability plans globally.

A short tale about how I wanted to buy satellite imagery and how difficult it was

I have spent over a decade in the geospatial industry and thus know a lot about how things work here but I was shocked when recently buying satellite imagery for a project. I wanted to share with you my experiences and confirm whether it was a rule or an exception.

So I wanted to buy high-resolution satellite data of a few hundred sq. kilometres over Asia. My estimated budget was under 10K USD. The project had a short deadline so I had a maximum time of two weeks to get the data.

I thought that in the third decade of the XXI century and all the marketing budgets from satellite data providers, the whole process will be as simple as finding the data, paying, and downloading the selected imagery. Apparently, the purchase process is much more difficult and it seems that in reality, nobody is interested in selling you the data!

Finding the needle in a haystack

The first challenge is already at the first step of the process, how to find the data I need? As I found out, that there is actually no data catalogues pertaining to which satellite imagery is available and where you can get it! And I realized that, until and unless you are ‘fluent’ in satellite imagery and you have time to learn from your own mistakes, there is absolutely no way around.

The situation was so ridiculous, that I decided to make an open-source project to help things out with data discovery. Here is an excel file that has a list of all the satellite data from the majority of earth observation satellite systems with resolutions and key parameters.

This list also helped me discover that, other than the key players like Airbus and Maxar, there are several smaller players that can offer me the data I need e.g. in China.

The ‘journey’ to buy the data

My project team didn’t have much time left and thus to mitigate the risk, I asked the team to visit the website of every major satellite vendor to see what data is available and verify the purchasing processing. Simultaneously I had already discovered that there was no ‘website system’ to buy the data from the Chinese satellite companies. So, instead, I started exploring my professional network for the same.

Thus, my team started visiting the websites and online portals of Maxar, Airbus, Harris, Planet, and many others. And to our dismay, no website had the option to buy the data directly. All of them would somehow redirect you to direct contact with the sales department at some point.

So, my team wrote an email to every company, stating the area of interest and other details. And after two days, only Harris replied… (and although we are a few weeks later no other vendor has yet replied to our query).

The time had really flown by and the project deadline was approaching. And soon before the conclusion of the deal, this Harris representative started sending ‘Out Of Office’ emails which pointed out to another person. And this nice guy also gave no reply as apparently there was a typo in the email address provided.

So much happened and a lot of time went into this. But by God’s grace, we hit the right spot and after another 24h got in touch with the right person.

Simultaneously, I was able to contact a few vendors in Europe that were offering Chinese satellite data. I conveyed my area of interest and signed NDAs. Soon we were talking business. But we hit another dead end because they said that it will take another two weeks to get the processed georeferenced data for my area of interest.

Although, as much as I wanted to explore this thread, I just did not have the required time. I had less than a week!

On the other hand, my team was in talks with Harris. We had agreed on the terms and conditions and the prices. Also, we received a payment link the next day. The timer was ticking and it was already 4 days to the deadline!

We were supposed to get the processed data within 1-3 business days (just in time for the deadline). After 3 days, we’ve learnt that the initial time calculation has been underestimated and we need a couple of more days. Eventually, we have received the first data after 5 days and the entire order after 7 days…

To be fair, I must admit that even though my frustrations has been huge, in the end, the communication with the Harris team regarding the delay was good and has been clearly communicated.

Conclusion

This whole experience shocked me! I have learned that there is no one who wants to sell this data. I mean, these companies have set up some really expensive infrastructure, but they’ve clearly done it with huge clients in mind. If I am not the government, military, or Google there is nobody who is interested in me. Nobody wants to sell the data to an individual project.

P.S.

While I was reading more about the topic, I came across this really interesting post by Joe Morrison. The fact that it is written from the perspective of somebody who is working inside one of these big vendors, makes it special. I recommend you read this post.

 

Top 15 maps and charts that explain Christmas

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It’s that time of year again. Christmas time. The time when millions of people around the world celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, meet with family and friends, give and receive gifts. But was is it all about? We try to answer that question with these 15 maps, charts and infographics.

1. Christmas around the world

source: InfoKart

2. Christmas around the world

3. Bethlehem map – The Birthplace of Jesus

4. Map of Countries that do not recognize Christmas as Public Holiday

source: Wikipedia

5. Percentage of Christians per country

source: Wikipedia

6. Animated map shows how Christianity spread around the world

7. The history of Christmas

source: BalsamHill

8. Christmas Dinner Around The World

9. Where do your Christmas trees come from?

source: WashingtonPost

10. Probability of White Christmas

source: NOAA

11. The Origins of the legend of Santa Claus

source: Kremp

12. What Does it Take to Prepare for Christmas

source: Fantastic Services

13. The Top 50 Christmas Toys of the Past 100 Years

source: Cash Generator

14. The Business of Christmas

15. Map of America’s favourite Christmas artists by state according to eBay

source: eBay

Location intelligence platform Carto raises a $61 million Series C round

Location intelligence platform Carto has raised a $61 million Series C round, led by New York-based venture capital Insight Partners, as well as Accel, Salesforce Ventures, Hearst Ventures, Earlybird, and Kibo.

Founded in 2012, CARTO provides enable end-to-end analytics workflows and location-based service, allowing hundreds of thousands of users to display locational data on interactive maps to compare, optimize, balance, and make decisions. Whether it’s optimizing billboard sites, balancing sales territories, or designing supply chains, Carto helps its clients create maps and visualizations out of disparate data points.

The main target clients of Carto come from business industries such as Real Estate, Financial Services, Telecoms, Government, and many more.

Above: Carto: Example demo
Above: Carto: Example demo

According to the data management needs of the GIS developers, data scientists, and analysts, Carto offers cloud-native, on-premise, and hybrid deployments to support them connect their various data sources, including data warehouses and business intelligence (BI) tools. Carto supports the data format from multiple sources. Users can connect to cloud data directly, but also upload local files for historical data.

With support for data warehouses (Amazon Redshift, Google BigQuery, or Snowflake), databases (PostgreSQL, MySQL, or Microsoft SQL Server), or cloud storage services (Dropbox, Box, or Google Drive), Carto provides a fully cloud-native approach to spatial analytics. This solution is more scalable, interoperable, and cost-effective for working with spatial data through Spatial SQL. Spatial SQL uses same kinds of elements and structure as regular SQL, which is compatible with all modern analytics stacks.

After that, Users can operate and enrich their data using SQL queries. Carto also provides their own data catalogue for its clients. The company has compiled around 10,000 data sets from both open data sources and private providers. Carto’s spatial data consists of road traffic, human mobility, financial, housing, points-of-interest (POI), and other public and premium datasets.

After data enrichment and management, users can conduct spatial analysis and perform spatial analytics using Carto’s self-service Carto Builder in the cloud, which can help teams create maps in a short time period. All of the spatial extension from Carto runs on top of all the major data warehouses, giving users a complete, performant, scalable, and secure suite for geospatial analysis. Furthermore, a Python package called Cartoframes can be used to integrate Carto into existing workflows, which is convenient for data scientists.

Carto has built a business relationship with lots of customers, such as Renault, JLL, Bumble, DHL, T-Mobile, Coca-Cola, and Mastercard. Besides, Carto also participates in Europe’s NextGenerationEU program.

Except for USA and Europe, Carto also raises the interests from China. With a 1.6 billion population, China has the biggest potential location intelligence market. However, there are some potential competitors from China existed, including Geohey, GeoQ, and Changjing.AI.

After 9 years of development, CARTO has established a team with more than 150 employees spread across the US and Europe. The headquarter of CARTO is located in New York, with additional offices in Madrid, Seville, and London. Carto had raised some $31 million before now, including its previous $23 million Series B round in 2015.

2022 Global Top 100 Geospatial Companies – Nomination status and deadline

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2021 is slowly inching to its grand finale and so is the deadline for nominating your company to the #GlobalTop100Geo list aka ‘Top 100 Geospatial Companies’ compiled by Geoawesomeness since 2016. Many of you have written to us in the last days requesting for clarifications and a short extension in the deadline for nominating your company.

In order to make it easier for you who haven’t yet had the opportunity to nominate your company – we have decided to extend the deadline for nomination from 15th December 2021 to 24th December 2021.

NOW is the chance for you to nominate your company and present it in all its glory to the wonderful panelists 🙂 Quite a few new companies in the geospatial sector have taken the opportunity to nominate themselves. Double-check that your company is nominated and if not, make sure to do so.

Here is the link to check if your company has already been nominated.

Here is the link to the official nomination form.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I ensure my company is considered and potentially makes it to the 2022 list? 

As the age old saying goes ‘out of sight, out of mind’ – if you don’t nominate your company then its very likely that your company isn’t considered. Therefore the best chance you have to ensure that your company makes it to the 2022 list is to ensure that you or a member of your company nominates it via our form.

When will the list be published? 

31st January 2022 – Join the geoawesomeness team and the panelists in our live event where we will announce the list and more (register for the 2022 #GlobalTop100Geo reveal).

Who decides the list? What is the process?

The list will be decided based on the votes by 12 Geospatial experts. Here are the experts who will decide the 2022 list:

  • Dr. Nadine Alameh, CEO of Open Geospatial Consortium
  • Denise McKenzie, Chair of the Association for Geographic Information in UK
  • Justyna Redelkiewicz, Head of Section Consumer Solutions, Market and Technology at the European Union Agency for Space Programme (EUSPA)
  • Carly Morris, Head of Geovation at Ordnance Survey
  • Eldrige de melo, Director at Satellogic
  • Olivia Powell, International Lead at The Geospatial Commission in Cabinet Office and Co- founder and Director at Women+ in Geospatial
  • Sives Govender, Research Group Leader, CSIR, South Africa and Co- founder and coordinator of Environmental Information System-Africa
  • Jonathan Neufeld, CEO of TECTERRA
  • Osamu Ochiai, Senior Engineer, Manager for Satellite Applications and Operation Center at Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
  • Ng Siau Yong, Director of GeoSpatial and Data Division & Chief Data Officer at the Singapore Land Authority

and

Whom do I contact in case of questions or clarifications? 

Please send us an email at info@geoawesomeness.com

What are the key barriers and challenges in achieving sustainability in Transportation and Logistics?

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Transportation and logistics account for over a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions around the world and plays an essential role in the current climate crisis. Still, for many industry players, it is still hardly uncharted territory. Sustainable transportation and logistics aim to lower the ecological footprint of its tasks, such as CO2 emissions, noise pollution, and accidents. To achieve it suppliers must look for a balance between financial growth, environment care, and the health of society.

Many companies in the sector have set sustainability objectives but typically fall far short of their potential. At the same time, the environmental regulations are becoming more and more strict and transportation and logistics companies must make their tasks increasingly more sustainable to meet these regulations, net-zero commitments and improve their social responsibility to consumers.

During the recent Geoawesomeness Digital Meetup on sustainable transportation and logistics, we have invited four speakers representing different industry players to discuss the key barriers, challenges and solutions relevant for achieving the ESG objectives.

Our first speaker was Andrea Schön, Head of Business Sustainability and Customer Consulting from DB Schenker. Andrea shared some insights on ESG corporate strategy and roadmap to achieving carbon neutrality by 2040. She discussed challenges related to the introduction of various eco-products and services as well as barriers related to carbon reporting, carbon accounting and green fuels.

The second speaker was Maciej Starzyk, Vice-director from PwC focused on Transportation and Logistics. Maciej discussed top forces transforming transportation and logistics in the post-lock-down reality. He discussed ESG aspects and the role of technology and digital transformation in achieving the sustainability objectives.

Out 3rd speaker was Anna Nijhuis, Product Marketing Manager from TomTom who talked about the location technology aspect in the sustainability-driven supply chains. She discussed in detail the most relevant industry trends and technology solutions. She analyzed methods of mitigating some of the major urban logistics challenges including digitalization, drivers’ shortage, congestion, emissions and infrastructure changes.

Our last but not least speaker was Roy Matalon, Head of Business Development
@Fernride. He analyzed teleoperations solutions and their impact on sustainability in Transportation and Logistics

Geo Climate Risk Solutions (GCRS) Startup – Women In Geospatial+ Writing Competition

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With an aim to make earth a better and safer place to live in, Geo Climate Risk Solutions (GCRS), India was founded in the year 2014 and offers its solution in areas like geo spatial services, environment and spatial planning, disaster and climate risk reduction amongst many others. Their mission is to engage in principle of Risk Reduction and Resilience Building with a core agenda of building solutions for environmental, Industrial, Agricultural, Water and socio-economic sustainability to the development challenges.

GCRS is a solution provider, consultancy and advisory services organization primarily focusing on challenges related to environment and sustainability and offering solutions to governments, institutions, corporates, industries and multi-lateral, bilateral funding partners and donor agencies, and non-governmental organizations. They derive its strength from a pool of highly experienced human resources with in depth knowledge on issues related to environmental risks and geo hazards, management of natural resources, sustainability safeguards, policy frame work and capacity building. Core strength of them is also in spatial data analysis, interpretation, reporting and monitoring and evaluations. Their designs and operates for itself and the clientele geospatial technologies based user-friendly tools and solutions for easy access, retrieval, trend-analysis, updating, understanding and prediction of a wide range of natural and environmental issues risks and natural hazards and it extensively uses geo-spatial tools and satellite imageries for data interpretation and analysis. The company focuses on innovations and spatial platforms to address the issues in climate change, disaster risk reduction, integrated water resource management and other developments. It does so by conglomerating geographic information systems and information technology to provide innovation and cutting-edge solutions.

As mentioned above, they provide various solutions through various means- by industry, technologies/Functional and through various sectors.

Solutions through

  • Industry includes Governments- Public Sector Units, Oil & Gas, Corporates, Industries and Mining, Multilateral/Donor agencies and Non-government Organisations.
  • Technologies/Functional- Geospatial Technologies and Information Technologies, Catastrophe Modelling, Hazard Risk Analysis, Resilient building, Sustainability Analysis and Reporting and Satellite image processing and interpretation.
  • Sectors – Environment, Natural Resources, Water Sector, Biodiversity, Land and Soils and Climate Change and DRR.

SERVICES– This company provides various benefits for country which includes Master plans for governments, institutions and large industries to assess their share of the resources, recent trends in depletion and contamination and suggesting short-term and long-term interventions, control and conservation measures including governance, regulatory compliance, capex and opex for management and institutional capacity building and many information regarding Water, Land, Soil, Agriculture, Bio diversity, Advisory services on above for industries, infrastructure and large development projects, Environmental Risks Emissions, discharges & contamination, Geo Hazards, Societal risks, Bio diversity losses, Due diligence for new and contaminated sites Regulatory exposures, including changes in environmental laws requiring responses to pollution, Supply chain risk, Operational exposures that result in the discovery of existing pollution conditions or new conditions related to spills and releases, Legacy exposures resulting from divestitures, acquisitions, plant closings, non-owned disposal sites, or company restructuring, Clean-up projects that can absorb significant financial resources and often result in expensive cost overruns, Helping the MEME sector in meeting environmental safeguards Pollution Control Capacity Building & Monitoring Policy framework Recycling and reuse Training Awareness Support services to Corporate and Institutions Sustainability Reporting Sustainability Performance Evaluation Action Plans to meet SDGs.

Geospatial Expert Panel – Ng Siau Yong – 2022 Top 100 Geospatial Companies

Geoawesomeness team is delighted to announce Ng Siau Yong, Director of GeoSpatial and Data Division & Chief Data Officer at the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) joins us as an expert on the panel for the 2022 Top 100 Geospatial Companies.

Ng Siau Yong is the Director of GeoSpatial and Data Division & Chief Data Officer at the Singapore Land Authority (SLA). He is responsible for driving and establishing a collaborative geospatial environment in Singapore. He oversees the formulation, design and management of the policy and programme for geospatial information governance, infrastructure and technology development, capacity building, and the use of geospatial systems in data analytics.

Under his stewardship, various important geospatial initiatives have been implemented. Among them, OneMap (www.onemap.sg), the Singapore Government’s geospatial information and services portal, has won many international accolades. GeoWorks, an industry centre has been set up to promote geospatial business growth, drive geo-innovation, and foster a well-connected geospatial community. Siau Yong initiated the setting up of the Singapore GeoSpatial Scholarship to strengthen the building of geospatial workforce. He has been actively involved in the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UNGGIM) and chaired the National Institutional Arrangement Work Group until recently.

Trained as an urban planner, Siau Yong started his career with the Singapore Urban Redevelopment Authority. He later served the Ministry of National Development and the Ministry of Law in various capacities. Upon joining SLA, he first assumed the position of Director, Strategic Planning and Policy and later Director, Land Asset Management Services, prior to taking on the current portfolio.

Apart from his professional work, Siau Yong had been actively involved in tertiary education for more than 17 years. He taught Urban Development, Urban Planning and Urban Policy in undergraduate and postgraduate programmes as Adjunct Associate Professor with the Department of Real Estate of the School of Design & Environment, National University of Singapore (NUS).


Since 2016, Geoawesomeness has been publishing this annual list to enable the community to identify companies across the world working on geospatial topics and to foster collaboration.
In case you’d like to nominate your company, please do so via this form.