Often we tend to be focused on the data, in fact the data collection, but the real value and return on investment comes when that data is turned into actionable information that can be easily used to support better decision making.
A friend of mine works for Three2N, a Toronto-based company that is focused on turning geospatial data into information, although they also promote the use of data on their website instead of information. But not in the following video where they describe three scenarios – security, plant safety and 3D GIS where they use Lidar and other 3D data in real time to provide situational awareness.
Yes that sounds like the military, but I think there are some very important lessons to be learned from this kind of focus on using data to solve problems. All too often we still tend to focus on data collection. That really does not even need to be discussed.
The real value is in providing timely, accurate information that is easy to access by people without a lot of training. Think car navigation, not GPS.