TwinGEO Magazine - 5th. Edition

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Interviews with QGIS Spain Association and Industry Leaders





The global pandemic has significantly impacted all our areas of life. From the way we make purchases of basic supplies, to the use of data infrastructures to provide efficient and accurate answers even from a distance. In recent months, the use of Geotechnologies has come to light more than ever, becoming visible by providing multiple tools and solutions, with which any crisis can be managed. These tools were not only limited to the use of professionals or analysts, but were also opened to the general public, making the mobility of the emergency visible in real time, and in turn contributing to appropriate decision-making. This global situation forged a much closer relationship with spatial data through all kinds of mobile devices, computers and sensors. It is tangible to see people in confinement feeding the need to know what is beyond their limits, from photos with data location, real-time order tracking, e-learning, location of healthcare centers, and even the use of drones for exploration. All these has caused an avalanche of spatial data, which necessarily requires the integration of other technologies such as BIM, ioT-internet of things, virtual reality, augmented reality or AI-Artificial intelligence, for its creation, collection and management. Therefore, we could say that we are witnessing an important geospatial evolution and revolution. From now on, people, organizations, and large companies will change the way they see and do things, giving way to new scenarios where geotechnologies will be essential tools. In this 5th edition of Twingeo Magazine, the Geospatial Perspective is highlighted, raising questions such as, what will be the growth levels of the Geospatial sector? Will new technologies or advances emerge? Will there be more people interested in studying geographic space? What is the future of GIS? Perhaps it could be considered a great challenge to identify where Geotechnologies can go considering the volatility of technological advances. Some will say that it is a challenge and others will take it as an opportunity. However, as a good reflection exercise, Twingeo contacted leaders in the geospatial industry to provide us with their valuable perspective on this topic. We look forward to your comments, and once again, welcome to Twingeo.


Editor in Chief

THE TEAM Editor-in-Chief Golgi Alvarez

Consulting Editor Jisell Alvarez

Spanish Journalist Laura Garcia

Graphic Designer Adams Kazeem

Published by: ZatocaConnect Bogota, Colombia Phone: +57 312 279 6581 E-mail: Disclaimer TwinGeo does not necessarily subscribe to the views expressed in the magazine. All views expressed in this issue are those of the contributors. TwinGeo is not responsible for any loss to anyone due to the information provided. TwinGeo aims to create awareness about everything Geo-engineering in an unbiased way. We do not claim to be experts, so feel free to correct us if something needs correction.


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• AUTODESK Introduces ‘The Big Room’ For Construction Professionals • BENTLEY SYSTEMS launches Initial Public Offering (IPO) • China To Set Up Geospatial Knowledge Center • ESRI and AfroChampions Launch Partnership to Promote GIS in Africa • ESRI enters into Memorandum of Understanding with UN-Habitat • NSGIC announces new board members • TRIMBLE announces new integrations with MICROSOFT 365 and BIMcollab

ARTICLE POINT CLOUDS: LITTLE KNOWN DATA SOURCES AND UNCONSOLIDATED 3D MODELS Point clouds are a type of data very unknown to the general public. Its integration into the world of autonomous vehicles has been the key to the rise of LiDAR technology, as its mass manufacturing has lowered manufacturing costs and made it economically accessible to more people....

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THE GEOSPATIAL PERSPECTIVE It is easy to predict what will happen in a week; the agenda is usually drawn, by far one event will be canceled and another unforeseen will arise. Predicting what could happen in a month and even in a year is usually framed in an investment plan and quarterly expenses which vary relatively a little bit, although it is necessary to abandon the level of detail and to generalize....


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GEOSPATIAL NECESSARY FOR REIGNING THE UNKNOWN Location, place and geography, in the form of spatial data, GIS technology and geospatial expertise is one such supportin infrastructure, the use of which allows us to plan for the more reasonable ‘known unknowns’ enabling us to recognise potential problems before they become emergencies, or at the very least, minimise the effects of an ensuing disaster...


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The Big Room is open to all Autodesk customers, whether new to the Autodesk Construction Cloud portfolio or a seasoned power user of ...

Autodesk Construction Solutions recently announced the launch of The Big Room, an online community that enables construction professionals to network with others in the industry and connect directly with the Autodesk Construction Cloud team. The Big Room is an online hub dedicated explicitly for construction professionals to expand their network and knowledge with others in the construction industry. The Big Room is open to all Autodesk customers, whether new to the Autodesk Construction Cloud portfolio or a seasoned power user of Assemble, BIM 360, BuildingConnected or PlanGrid. By joining The Big Room online community, members can: • Grow their network with construction professionals from all over the world:With over one-third of new opportunities being borne out of simple casual conversation, The Big Room takes the face-to-face interactions of the jobsite and office to a new virtual platform. • Ask questions and learn more about the industry: Autodesk’s online community 6

helps professionals broaden their horizons, gain input from other experts in their field and gives members access to the latest construction articles to stay on top of updates and developments in the industry. • Harness the full potential of Autodesk Construction Cloud: With candid insights on how others are using Autodesk Construction Cloud, members can get tips and tricks from product experts to get the most out of their solutions and be the first to know about updates and new features. • Learn and connect with others anytime, anywhere: Whether at home, in the office or in the field, members can participate in discussions, read articles or complete surveys anytime, across any desktop and mobile device. • Gamifying the community: The Big Room also offers challenges that allow community members to compete with their peers, accumulate points and earn rewards like swag, memorable experiences and other exciting prizes.


Bentley Systems launches Initial Public Offering (IPO) Bentley Systems announced the launch of the initial public offering of 10,750,000 shares of its Class B common stock. The shares of Class B common stock to be sold in the offering will be sold by existing stockholders of Bentley. The selling stockholders expect to grant the underwriters in the offering a 30day option to purchase up to an additional 1,610,991 shares of Class B common stock from the selling stockholders. The estimated initial public offering price is between $17.00 and $19.00 per share. Bentley has applied to list its shares on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “BSY”. Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and BofA Securities are acting as lead book-running managers and RBC Capital Markets is acting as a book-

running manager for the proposed offering. Baird, KeyBanc Capital Markets and Mizuho Securities are acting as co-managers for the proposed offering. The company’s shares rose 52% in their first day of trading. The stock opened on Wednesday at $28 and closed at its high, $33.49, in Nasdaq trading. Greg Bentley, chairman, CEO, and president said that he is gratified on behalf of the company on accomplishing this milestone. He added that they hope that the IPO will catch the attention of the civil and structural engineers who build the world’s wastewater systems, airports, roadways and airways.




GEOSPATIAL KNOWLEDGE CENTER China recently announced a series of measures to support the UN in playing the core role in international affairs, including setting up of a Global Geospatial Knowledge and Innovation Center. Chinese President Xi Jinping said in an address delivered via video link to the General Debate of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly that the country will provide additional financial support of 50 million U.S. dollars to the COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan of the UN and establish a third-phase South-South Cooperation Trust Fund with the Food and Agriculture Organization totaling 50 million U.S. dollars. Xi announced a five-year extension to the China-UN Peace and Development Fund, which had been due to expire in 2025. He added that China will also set up a UN Global Geospatial Knowledge and Innovation Center and an International Research Center of Big Data for Sustainable Development Goals, which will facilitate the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


The Chinese president said that China will continue to be a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development and a defender of the international order. His exhortation urged for global solidarity and commitment to common values of mankind such as peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy and freedom.




Esri and AfroChampions Launch Partnership to Promote GIS in Africa

Esri, the global leader in location intelligence, recently announced a joint initiative with AfroChampions, a Pan-African non-profit that aims to promote policies that foster private-public collaboration for Africa’s economic transformation. The goal of the initiative is to engage leaders in business, governments, the African Union, and other regional economic communities through dialogue and potential partnership building in applying geospatial technology and solutions. This new partnership with AfroChampions seeks to contribute to sustainable economic development in Africa and promote the benefits of a shared geospatial infrastructure throughout the continent. As a majority of Africans still live in rural areas, geographic information system (GIS) technology can create new opportunities for growth, especially in critical fields such as health


and telemedicine, land agriculture, and mobility.


This initiative will offer African governments and other organizations streamlined access to Esri’s world-leading GIS technology and expertise, in addition to a broad network of regional partners. “Given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and related crises, African leaders must fasttrack the African Continental Free Trade Area [AfCFTA], which is our own recovery plan,” said Dr. Edem Adzogenu, executive director of AfroChampions. “However, we need technologies, such as geospatial solutions, to operationalize the AfCFTA.” Over the long term, Esri’s solutions will advance projects retained as part of AfroChampions Trillion Dollar Investment Framework, a 360-degree road map officially endorsed by the African Union and in which core enablers of the AfCFTA are transportation and connectivity; the removal of nontariff barriers; low-cost power; and enhanced value and industrialization in a modernized digital economy. “At a time of economic uncertainty, we consider it part of our company’s mission to coordinate and collaborate with partners like AfroChampions for initiatives that promote sustainable global development,” said Sohail Elabd, general manager of Esri Middle East and Africa. “With the help of a network of action-oriented business and political leaders spreading across the entire continent, these initiatives can be instrumental in advancing the use of geospatial solutions for the public good around the world, from healthcare coverage to infrastructure support.”


Esri enters into Memorandum of Understanding with UN-Habitat The Leica Absolute Tracker ATS600, from Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division is a new product that can accurately locate a point in 3D space with metrologygrade accuracy without the need for a reflector at the point of measurement. Based on the established Wave-Form Digitiser technology behind some high-end surveying tools, the ATS600 is powered by the first ever Scanning Absolute Distance Meter, a metrology-grade iteration of this technical principle that can locate a point to within 300 microns from up to 60 metres away. By measuring a series of such points across a user-definable measurement area, the ATS600 can quickly produce a measurement grid defining the target measurement surface. The density of that point-grid is also customisable, putting the operator in complete control of the balance between process speed and the level of detail that will feed into your metrology software.

With the Leica Absolute Tracker ATS600, objects that previously required significant time investments to digitise, or which were even beyond the realistic possibility of efficient measurement, can be quickly brought into the world of 3D analysis by a single operator. With the world’s first ‘direct scanning laser tracker’, productive quality control is primed to expand into entirely new areas of production, powered by a fundamental shift in the way we think about 3D measurement. The ATS600 also delivers many of the features familiar from the rest of our Absolute Tracker product range, including reflector measurement at up to 80 metres distance, with full PowerLock capability. Combining reflector measurement and direct scanning capabilities delivers impressive all-round performance for large-scale measurement tasks, with scanning quickly describing surfaces and individual reflector readings used for alignment and defining features.



NSGIC announces new board members National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) announces the appointment of five new members to its Board of Directors, as well as the full slate of officers and board members for the 2020 – 2021 term. Frank Winters (NY) makes the move from President-Elect to assume the presidency of NSGIC, taking the reigns from Karen Rogers (WY). Frank is the Executive Director of the New York State Geospatial Advisory Committee. Frank has a Master of Science in Geography from the University of Idaho and has been involved with GIS in New York State government for 29 years. New NSGIC President Frank Winters mentioned in a press release that the COVID-19 pandemic has created new grand challenges for their nation and highlighted the need for continued coordination of and investment in their geospatial data, technologies, and workforce. He is thrilled to have the opportunity to serve their NSGIC family as president. He is confident that the nation’s geospatial community will play an even more impactful role in the challenges that lie ahead. Jenna Leveille (AZ) has been elected President-Elect to the 2020-21 Board of Directors. An Oregon State University graduate, and Arizona State Land Department (ASLD) employee of twelve years, Jenna has more than 15 years of GIS experience. She is currently a Senior GIS Analyst and project leader for the Arizona State Land Department.


Jenna has served as the Arizona State Representative to NSGIC since 2017. Megan Compton (IN), Indiana’s Geographic Information Officer, has been elected as Director. Megan leads the Indiana Geographic Information Office and provides strategic oversight of the state’s GIS technology portfolio, as well as leadership on GIS governance for the State of Indiana. She has been involved with GIS projects and applications since earning her MPA from Indiana University in 2008. Jonathan Duran (AZ), re-elected to the Board of Directors, joined the Arkansas GIS Office as a GIS Analyst in 2010 to support the ongoing development and maintenance of framework data programs, primarily road centerlines and address points. In October 2016, he was promoted to Deputy Director and assists with project management as well as the day-to-day operations and strategic planning for the agency. Jonathan has been engaged in practicing and learning GIS for almost 20 years. Mark Yacucci (IL), Head of the Geoscience Information Stewardship Section at the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS), has also been elected to the Board of Directors. Mark coordinates data management and sharing across the ISGS and supervises the development of the Illinois Geospatial Data Clearinghouse, the Illinois Height Modernization Program (including lidar acquisition for the state), the Geological Records Unit, and map standards coordination.




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TRIMBLE announces new integrations with MICROSOFT 365 and BIMcollab Trimble recently announced new integrations for Microsoft 365 and BIMcollab with its Trimble® Connect™ cloud-based collaboration platform. The integration with Trimble Connect provides users of both platforms with a common data environment for connecting project stakeholders with the data they need to inform decisions and improve team efficiency. In real-time, project stakeholders can share, review, coordinate, and comment on data-rich constructible models, schedules, and critical project information— eliminating costly miscommunication that keeps projects from finishing on time and on budget. The integration with Microsoft 365 streamlines and accelerates workflows by removing the extra step of downloading Microsoft Office files from Trimble Connect to edit them in Word, Excel, or PowerPoint. Users with a Microsoft 365 license now have the ability to use Microsoft software applications to edit project data such as documents, presentations, and spreadsheets directly through Trimble Connect. “The Microsoft 365 integration is a welcome addition to Trimble Connect,” said Jeremy Sibert, technology director at general contractor Hensel Phelps. “The ability to create, edit and distribute documents directly from Trimble Connect will not only save us a lot of time, but it will also allow us to track updates, monitor version control and manage document security much more efficiently using tools our users are already familiar with and use heavily.”

BIMcollab is a cloud-based platform for building information modeling (BIM) that simplifies issue management and provides integrated model validation, offering a structured way of storing, sharing, and solving issues. Trimble Connect’s integration with BIMcollab enables users to collaborate in real-time. Trimble Connect’s easyto-use features reduce the learning curve and give BIMcollab users, including those without access to a BIM authoring tool, a common data environment for visualizing project data and collaborating across the project lifecycle. “Our goal is to integrate BIMcollab with as many BIM tools as possible, whether they are model-authoring, model-checking, or modelsharing solutions,” said Erik Pijnenburg, CEO of BIMcollab. “The integration with Trimble Connect offers our mutual users one of the most advanced solutions available to share and improve models.” “Because no one vendor can be expected to have all the right point tools, an open and agnostic space for sharing models and construction data is imperative for project efficiency, profitability and timeliness,” said Marcel Broekmaat, product director for Trimble Connect. “Integrations with Trimble Connect and other industry solutions are critical as we continue to drive construction’s digital transformation by enabling project stakeholders to unlock the real value of data throughout the construction lifecycle.”



POINT CLOUDS: LITTLE KNOWN DATA SOURCES AND UNCONSOLIDATED 3D MODELS... Point clouds are a type of data very unknown to the general public. Its integration into the world of autonomous vehicles has been the key to the rise of LiDAR technology, as its mass manufacturing has lowered manufacturing costs and made it economically accessible to more people. In autonomous driving, LiDAR technology is key for any process dependent on 3D geometry and strongly independent of light conditions, such as obstacle detection, road limits, trajectory calculation, traffic sign detection, etc. Even so, this technique has been used for decades in other fields, such as geomatics, civil engineering, heritage, or robotics; fields that it has also revolutionized allowing the acquisition of 3D environments quickly and accurately. But when you ask a person who does not work directly with point clouds “what are they?” the most common response is that they relate it to cloud computing and that they try to explain it based on other more common data. Even in autonomous driving, point clouds are forgotten and the images take all the glory, especially when they are combined with the famous Artificial Intelligence. This may be because images are a source of data that we can all produce, modify and interpret, something we do on social media every day.

CLOUDS AND IMAGES Although the comparisons are obnoxious, the introduction into the world of point clouds is done by comparing them with


images (and point clouds do not seem to do very well). A very abstract and completely wrong first definition of clouds is to say “Point clouds are like 3D images”. This can be useful to introduce the clouds as a three-dimensional piece of information, but the structure is completely different and they bring to the mind of the reader the typical medical 3D images, which tend to appear from time to time in news reports announcing advances against diseases. Expanding the definition of point cloud as a 3D image, a “but” is usually added to automatically indicate that they are a type of data with some peculiarity (and worse, subliminally). The “buts” focus on three key features: data structuring, occlusions, and visualization. The fundamental difference between point clouds and images is their structure. In the images the pixels are arranged in rows and columns, and the color channels are stacked. This structure implies that neighborhoods between pixels can be found quickly by jumping between indexes. In point clouds, each point corresponds to a column and each row to a spatial coordinate or an attribute, therefore, to search for neighborhoods, you must use searches for spatial neighbors by distance range or by k neighbors. In comparison, these searches are slower and more expensive than image index searches. But this structuring of the cloud, which is framed as something negative, in turn hides the main advantage: the cloud is not structured in a 3D mesh. This implies that we can have more density of points and


detail in our areas of interest and that the search for neighborhoods is not limited to a search in multiples of four. Occlusions in point clouds are a poorly studied problem. An occlusion implies a lack of information. When our objective is to acquire an environment to study it, not having information from certain areas is very harmful. Occlusions can be minimized in point clouds with acquisitions made from various points of view, increasing acquisition time. But occlusions are not an exclusive problem of point clouds, we also find blind spots in images. A photographic image is a 2D data that represents a 3D environment. Objects in an image are superimposed on other objects, therefore, behind the objects closest to the lens, there is also an occlusion. Regarding visualization, it is often argued that clouds are difficult to visualize and require a longer adaptation period for the human eye. This argument is very difficult and subjective to refute. It is clear that it is easier for the human eye and the brain to visualize a photographic image than a point cloud. But if we talk about 3D images, satellite, thermographic, multispectral or hyperspectral images; the visualization and

interpretation of these is not so clear. In addition, to visualize an image, or a printed point cloud, the author is the one who decides the best perspective to show the environment.

CLOUDS AND 3D MODELS We have seen how these three limitations of point clouds can be easily disproved compared to imagery, but it seems that point clouds do not find a niche as a widely recognized data source by the general public. Its place may be next to other 3D data models, such as CAD models. We can even introduce point clouds with a more accurate comparative definition “Point clouds are like 3D CAD models exclusively made up of points�. At first glance, this definition is more realistic than comparing it to a 3D image, but can point clouds be sources of data and 3D models at the same time? It is clear that clouds are a source of raw data as they are acquired directly from a LiDAR scan, although they can also be generated using photogrammetry. In addition, they contain noise, bad points and occlusions. These three characteristics, some already 17


mentioned above, seem typical of a raw data source and incompatible with what a 3D model should be. And for more derision, we can add in comparison with CAD models that its disk storage is greater and its visualization and management is more difficult. All these problems make point clouds not look like a good 3D model, but apparently, point clouds do seem to be good enough input data to generate 3D models as it happens in many jobs, does this make sense? Acquisition of point clouds using LiDAR is sensitive to rain, airborne dust, polished surfaces and windows that cause unwanted returns. The raw data acquired needs a processing for its improvement and correction, not very different from that necessary to convert a point cloud to a CAD model. When we generate CAD models from LiDAR data with occlusions, we do not generate incomplete CAD models, we complete the final models according to


our prior knowledge of the environment. Similarly, occlusions in point clouds can be regenerated with points to obtain complete models. Therefore, we can differentiate between point clouds as a source of raw data acquired directly from the environment and process them to obtain a refined and realistic point cloud with the same characteristics of a 3D model. Point clouds are larger on disk than an equivalent CAD model. This problem is merely temporary and its solution is computer-related. The size of the information increases over the years, for this reason there is a constant evolution in data storage and transfer technology. The size of USB sticks and hard drives increases every year. The same happens with the memory access speeds, an example is the updates in the USB standards (version 2.0, 3.0, 3.1) and the connections to the hard disk (IDE, SATA, NVMe). In addition, in telecommunications, network standards (3G, 4G, 5G) and the

TWINGEO: ARTICLE data limit offered in telephony rates are also increased. Although point clouds require more space than their CAD equivalent, they also contain more information. The problem of its storage and transfer begins to be already obsolete. Finally, the visualization and management of 3D models is essential for their use. CAD models represented by solid color surfaces are very easy to visualize, certainly much more than a set of points scattered in space. But recently, there have been great advances in the handling and visualization of point clouds that are based on new conceptualizations of point clouds. Following the Smart point cloud concept, the selection of points can be done by planes and objects, not individually as was usual and facilitating the management and selection of elements in the cloud. The use of a continuous level of detail (cLoD) allows a constant number of points to be displayed on the screen according to the size of the object and its position. When viewing the cloud with Eye-Dome Lighting (EDL), an unrealistic lighting model is applied to the cloud, allowing better outlines and generates artificial shadows. Another advance is to implement changes in the level of transparency of the points, allowing to change the relevance of the points and highlight the most relevant without losing information on positions between the elements of the scene.

the visible spectrum. Even a few years ago we did not expect to have a high resolution digital camera in our pocket, much less that a machine could automatically recognize objects in them. In recent years, constant advances have been made in the handling, processing and visualization of point clouds. Its applications have multiplied, combined with other data sources and integrated into autonomous driving. The limitations are specific, we cannot get stuck in them, some are only a matter of time before they disappear and others require a direct study. In the coming years we will see if point clouds are better known by the general public, if they are no longer considered only as data sources and are definitely converted into 3D models.

JESĂšS BALADO FRĂ?AS Postdoctoral Researcher, Applied Geotechnologies research group, University of Vigo

In a way, point clouds today are reminiscent of early photographic images. Those first photographs were expensive to acquire in price and time, difficult to visualize, their use was scarce and many people preferred the alternative: realistic painting. Of course, the photographers of the beginning of the century did not expect that advances in that analog technology used for portraits, could be taken to obtain instantaneous photographs within the oceans, or in outer space, or of a microorganism, of an entire continent, and much less of objects outside





published in the MAPPING 200 special edition. 20

TWINGEO: ARTICLE It is easy to predict what will happen in a week; the innovative paperspace that nobody the agenda is usually drawn, by far one event understood. If you expected to enter 3D will be canceled and another unforeseen additionally it was necessary to pay ACIS. will arise. Predicting what could happen in a month and even in a year is usually framed in • It would still be a year before the first an investment plan and quarterly expenses intuitive interface of ArcView 1.0 was born, which vary relatively a little bit, although it is so in 1990 the one that knew about GIS necessary to abandon the level of detail and did it with ARC / INFO in command line. to generalize. • As for free software, it would take 2 years Predicting what could happen in 30 years, is for GRASS 4.1 to appear, although all these simply reckless, although it will be interesting technologies had the maturity of a journey in the overview of all the articles in the since 1982. 200 edition Mapping Magazine. From the geomatics side, we could propose aspects Regarding global communication, in 1990 in relation to technology, the information ARPANET would formally disappear with storage media or the academic offer; however, 100,000 computers connected; the term in the long term there are unpredictable world wide web would appear until 1991. variables such as cultural change and the The remotest thing in education was the influence of the user in the market. correspondence courses because Moodle gave its first steps until 1999 and the only way An interesting exercise is to look back to buy something was to go to the store or on how things were 30 years ago, call the printed catalog phone number.

what they are like now and where industry trends are heading, the role of government and the academia; to have an approximation of the role of geomatics in the management of information and operations in human activity in social, economic and environmental areas.

RETROSPECTIVE 30 YEARS BEFORE Thirty years ago it was 1990. So a tech-savvy user had an 80286, with a black screen and orange letters behind a filter, Lotus 123, WordPerfect, Dbase, Print Master and DOS as the operating system. At that time, users with more access to CAD / GIS design software felt like kings of the universe; if they had an Intergraph because normal PCs drained the patience and ridicule of paper draftsmen. • We are talking about Microstation 3.5 for Unix, Generic CADD, AutoSketch and AutoCAD, which that year won the Byte Magazine award for the first time, when the buttons were simulated icons and

THE CURRENT SCENARIO OF GEOMATICS AND EARTH SCIENCES Seeing how things were 30 years ago, we are aware that we live in glorious moments. But not only for the free and private software that we use, but for the entire industry. Geolocation and connectivity has become so intrinsic, that a user navigates on a mobile, requests a delivery service, reserves a room on another continent without having to understand how an UTM coordinate works. An interesting aspect is the merging of the entire Geo-engineering environment. Disciplines that managed data grew with separate routes and where forced to converge in the operation management, simplifying themselves and reluctantly accepting standardization. This convergence of disciplines around work flows requires that professionals expand their spectrum of knowledge in function of a company that seeks to be efficient. The 21

TWINGEO: ARTICLE geographer, geologist, surveyor, engineer, architect, builder and operator need to model their professional knowledge in the same digital environment, which makes important both the subsoil and the surface context, the design of generic volumes as well as the detail of infrastructures, and the code behind an ETL as the clean interface for a managerial user. As a consequence, the academia is going through a critical stage to maintain an offer that matches the needs of industry innovation and market evolution.

PERSPECTIVE IN 30 YEARS IN THE FUTURE In 30 years our best glories could look primitive. Even reading this article will cause the feeling of a hybrid between an episode of the Jetsons and a movie of The Hunger Games. Although we know that trends such as 5G connectivity and the fourth industrial revolution are just around the corner, it is not so simple to determine the changes that culture will undergo in relationships studentteacher, citizen-government, employeecompany, and consumer- producer.

There are cycles of explosion in innovation. Right now we are about to see one start. If we refer to trends that are currently driving the industry, government and the academia, these are my particular perspectives.



The adoption of standards will be a norm regional or national system; with geolocated of responsibility. Not only for purposes of objects, mathematical models and artificial technology or information formats, but on the operation of the market. It will be very normal to standardize fulfillment times for the provision of services, environmental guarantees, and construction guarantees. The geomatics industry will have to include more the human factor, since it will have an important role to connect the real world with digital twins, beyond modeling representation, contracts for the interaction of people, companies and government.

By 2050 blockchain will have been the primitive http protocol, not as a solution but as the alert to a bigger problem, where standardization should be a norm of responsibility. Usability will be decided by the end customer. The user of a technology,

product or service will have a role not only of consultation but of decision; thus, aspects such as urban design and environmental management will be opportunities for the disciplines associated with the land. This will involve instrumentalizing overly specialized knowledge from disciplines such as geography, geology, surveying, or engineering into solutions where the end user makes decisions. The profession must turn its knowledge to tools, so that a citizen decides where he wants his house, chooses an architectural model, adjusts parameters to his wish and immediately receives plans, licenses, offers and guarantees. From the decision-making side, these types of solutions will work both on an asset scale, as a network of connected infrastructures, a


Connectivity and interaction with real time will be intrinsic. In 30 years,

geographic information such as images, digital models, environmental variables, and predictive models will be very accurate and accessible. With this, sensors for receiving information from satellites and devices at lower altitudes will move to more everyday uses once they overcome the complications of privacy and security.

All education will be virtual and the complex will be depreciated. Many

areas of human interaction will be virtual, inevitably education too. This will lead to the simplification of knowledge that is unnecessary for practical life and the standardization of aspects that today are barriers such as borders, scale, language, distance, and access. Although borders will continue to be of great importance, in the virtual environment they will die as a consequence of the market and the fall of the cult of the absurd. Geomatics surely could not die, but it will evolve from being a professional elite discipline to a knowledge close to the new challenges of humanity.

For now, feel satisfied of having been part of the “30 years before�, witnessed the current moment and the emotion of entering a new cycle where only the ideas that facilitate decision-making and present a better end-user experience will survive.




No matter what your race, creed, colour, gender, age, politics, social class or title, COVID-19 has taken the world by surprise. Why? Primarily because of the ‘unknown’, but more likely due to the lack of preparedness on a global scale, the likes that has never been seen before (at least in my lifetime). Of course, I fully accept that we will never know what we don’t know; in ‘risk management’ parlance this would be akin to trying to plan for the ‘unknown unknowns’. But equally, and as challenging as that can be, it should never ever absolve us of our responsibility to lay down the basic support infrastructures, in preparation for any worst case scenario that might play out, if things were left unconsidered and unchecked. Location, place and geography, in the form of spatial data, GIS technology and geospatial expertise is one such supporting 24

infrastructure, the use of which allows us to plan for the more reasonable ‘known unknowns’ enabling us to recognise potential problems before they become emergencies, or at the very least, minimise the effects of an ensuing disaster. And while one might (hopefully) argue that the current COVID-19 pandemic is a oncein-a-lifetime occurrence, what is definitely not a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence are incidents such as hurricanes, tornadoes, winter storms, famines, civil unrest, drought, tsunamis, oil spills, human displacement, earthquakes, landslides, volcanic eruptions, wildfires and floods, all of which require proactive emergency planning, emergency management and emergency response. In fact, in some parts of the world these such incidents have become a fact of life, or, dare I say it, the ‘new normal’. These




TWINGEO: ARTICLE cause significant human displacement, heartache and pain; they adversely impact and influence the environment; and they contribute to a massive economic upheaval for individuals, businesses and local & global economies. However, given the Worlds current state of digital connectedness, nearly all of these incidents can be prepared for now, if we were to take the time and effort to do so. Creating safer, less vulnerable communities in this “new normal” requires a modern approach to understanding threats and hazards that are more complex, costly and devastating than ever before. For many agencies around the world, Location Intelligence is at the heart of this modern approach. With location intelligence we develop a deeper understanding of risk and maintain real-time real-world insights to help plan for and mitigate complex threats and hazards and coordinate response and recovery efforts when disasters and emergencies occur. Unfortunately, the frequency and intensity of emergencies today are unlike anything seen before. Agencies need real-time integrated location-aware solutions for emergency operations to help prepare, plan and support mission-critical decisions. These solutions must help emergency management professionals maintain situational and operational awareness; quickly carry out impact analysis; assess damage; locate, commission & deploy needed resources; and, educate, inform and warn the public and stakeholder communities. Knowing ‘where’ matters in all of these areas. Maintaining situational awareness is critical to response efforts for any emergency or disaster. Processes that involve the manual collection and sharing of data are not only siloed and slow but are also immediately out-of-date; keeping emergency response teams in a reactive, disconnected state. With an integrated, real-time, location-based

solution at your fingertips, maintaining situational awareness makes it easier for emergency response managers and first responders to monitor changing conditions as they happen, brief their teams immediately, and make better-informed decisions that can ultimately save lives and property. Location Intelligence enables emergency professionals to be more agile and informed at all points during their emergency management response efforts, providing powerful mapping and analytics capabilities that allow them to monitor incidents as they unfold. Armed with this information, disasters and large-scale emergencies can be managed with a high degree of foresight and agility. With Location intelligence we have the world’s most advanced data science, ‘the Science of Where’ for visualising and analysing risk; for modelling, predicting & designing mitigation strategies; and for collaborating & communicating with the whole community to build resilience from the ground up. However, while this general acceptance is clear; there is still evidence of a sluggishness that exists within local stakeholder communities that, for me, creates a vacuum of geospatial leadership at a high level, sometimes resulting in a slowness to act, and, possibly most concerning of all, a reticence to share, co-ordinate & collaborate for the greater good of business, government and society in general. During times of calm, this potential lack of energy and enthusiasm is a massive problem when it comes to the chaos and urgency associated with emergency management and response; particularly in our ability to react quickly to the dynamic ever changing scenarios that tend to unfold before our eyes in emergency situations. There is little doubt that today’s business and political leaders are confronted by a consumer and citizen that is deeply 25



TWINGEO: ARTICLE concerned about fraying communities, rising inequality, unsafe and unsustainable industry practices, and a climate change crisis that is manifesting itself in an ever increasing frequency of emergencies and natural disasters all around the world.

across the globe, since the current COVID-19 outbreak took hold. In their world’s it would seem that everything will be OK ... until it’s not.

As geospatial professionals, and people who fundamentally understand the importance of location, place and geography to all of these challenges, we must help business and political leaders to join the dots between the work that is done at a local customer & community level, to that required to manage the economic, social and environmental fallout when natural disasters and emergencies occur at local, regional, national, international and global levels.

In my experience those who will are those who truly believe in the value of what we (the geospatial community) can do together to facilitate, enable and help any emergency situation. Together as a community the choice is within our hands. Knowing what we now know, and acting on the learning we’ve already had in the last 6 months, we must ensure that the value of what we are doing now, in this time of need, remains long after this is over.

In times of emergencies we won’t always be able to choose what happens, but we sure can choose how to prepare and how to respond. And, unfortunately, there are those who won’t prepare and respond in the most effective way, examples of which we’ve witnessed from leaders locally, and

But thankfully, there are those who will.

And when the calm returns ... and it will return ... we must use that time to take what we have learned and enrich the way we share, collaborate and co-ordinate for the greater good of all in society, so when the next big thing happens ... maybe, just maybe, Everything will be OK!



GERSÓN BELTRÁN LÓPEZ Geographer (PhD) Geographer (PhD). Doctor in Local Development and Territory. Doctor in Local Development and Territory from the University of Valencia. Graduated from the University of Valencia and Master in Geographic Information Systems from the University of Girona. Consultant, disseminator, writer and professor of geospatial technology, currently at Play & go experience. President of the Valencian Delegation of the College of Geographers for 5 years and director of the Master of Digital Marketing and Social Networks in Valencia (CMUA) for 2 years. Member of the Clustergis Association, the Professional College of Geographers, the International Geocritical Network and the Masscience Association, evaluator in the Harvard Deusto Business Research magazine of EAE Business School, member of the editorial board of the magazine InterEspaço: Geography and interdisciplinarity magazine and the editorial board of the Interactive Mapping magazine.


1) From the beginning the geographer is being pigeonholed in the field of action of cartography, in this century we still find people who do not understand what a geographer can do, and generally make the statement “Oh, you will be a teacher”. Could you explain the importance of the geographer, that is, are we only limited to “making maps”? Obviously not, in fact, in a strict sense, those who make maps are ancient surveyors or geomatics engineers, we geographers interpret them, for us they are never an end, but a means, it is our language of communication. A geographer works in five main areas: urban planning, territorial development, geographic information technologies, environment and the knowledge society. From there we could say that we are the science of where, therefore, we work on all those aspects in which the human being is related to the environment that surrounds him and that has an eminently spatial component. We have the ability to see projects from a global perspective to

TWINGEO: INTERVIEW integrate the sensitivities of other disciplines in order to analyze, manage and transform the territory. 2) As professionals we are interested in understanding geospatial dynamics in a natural way, however, in the last 10 years the inclusion of geospatial study has become present in other disciplines. For example, we see companies like Bentley Systems that are not only creating engineering-oriented products, but have defined the importance of studying the environment for any project. In accordance with the aforementioned, do you consider if these professions or the geospatial field are being embraced in the present and what do you expect for the future? I think they are no longer a promise of the future or anything similar, they are a present reality. The geospatial industry groups all disciplines around the earth sciences. Today all companies use the spatial variable, although some don’t know it. They all have a treasure that is geolocated data, you just have to know how to extract it, treat it and get the value out of it. The future will continue to be more and more spatial because everything happens somewhere and it is essential to introduce this variable to have a complete vision of any field. 3) What is the importance of interdisciplinary work for any geospatial project? I would say that for any project in general, life in watertight compartments is not understood as in the past, it must be analyzed for what it is, a polyhedron with multiple faces, different visions of different professionals for what, apparently, is the same thing. Simplifying a lot and so that I am understood, a city is buildings and roads for architects, trees for biologists, people

for sociologists, emotions for psychologists, memory for historians, a learning space for educators, an outdoor circuit for athletes, a product for traders, an ecosystem for geographers, etc. All visions are correct as long as they are put in common with the rest and we are able to understand that everything adds up and that there is no single reality or absolute truth and that the best way to do things is by mixing with professionals and enriching ourselves, the territory and the environment do not understand artificial borders, they demand global interconnected solutions and this can only happen with interdisciplinarity. 4) We know that the 4th digital age brings with it the goal of shaping smart cities in the near future. In your opinion, how does GIS allow the effective management of smart cities? since there are still a number of people who feel that BIM is the most appropriate to manage the data related to them. If there is a tool that currently allows the management of smart cities, it is, without a doubt, GIS. The concept of dividing the city into interrelated layers and with a huge amount of information is the basis of GIS and spatial management, at least since the 1990s. For me, BIM is the GIS of architects, very useful, with the same philosophy, but on a different scale. It is very similar to what it used to be working with Arcgis or Autocad. 5) In addition to the above, do you consider that the GIS + BIM integration is ideal? What are the benefits that come from this integration? Are Digital Twins included in this benefit? In the end, the ideal is to be able to integrate them, because a building without a context is meaningless, as is a space without buildings (at least in the city). It’s like integrating Google Street View into the streets with Google 360 inside the buildings,



point of view, the benefits always depend on the objectives, I have carried out analyzes, visualizations and presentations with free GIS and, depending on the objective, using one or the other. It is true that it has advantages over proprietary GIS, but also disadvantages, since it requires knowledge and programming time and, in the end, that turns into money. In the end they are tools and the important thing is to know what 6) If you could choose working with a free you want to use them for and the learning GIS tool, could you tell us, which one in curve necessary to do it. You don’t have to your experience offers the most benefits? stand on one side or the other, but rather allow both to coexist and choose the best Right now I don’t work with free GIS, so it tool for each project, which will ultimately would be unfair to comment on something provide the best solution for each problem. I don’t know. But it is true that, through colleagues and reading a lot, seems that 7) How do you consider the evolution of QGIS is imposed, although GVSIG remains free GIS in recent years and geospatial in Latin America as the GIS par excellence. technologies in general? Considering that But there are numerous very interesting currently most technologies are fused alternatives such as GeoWE or eMapic in with Machine Learning, Virtual Reality, Spain. Developers who are not so much Augmented and Artificial Intelligence. from the geo world work with Leaflet and others directly through code. From my Enriching and wonderful. Indeed, the fusion there doesn’t have to be a break, it has to be a continuum. It would be ideal for a map to take us from the Milky Way to the Wi-Fi in the living room and everything would be interconnected by smart layers. As for digital twins, they may or may not be within this benefit, in the end it is a different way of working and, as I have said, this is more a matter of scale.


TWINGEO: INTERVIEW with other technologies is what has led them to other areas, to leave their “comfort zone” and add value in other disciplines, they have been enriched thanks to this hybridization, the best evolution is always the one that mixes and it does not discriminate and this also applies to geospatial technologies. As for free GIS, the neogeography that began many years ago has reached its maximum exponent in which anyone is capable of making a map or a spatial analysis based on their needs and capabilities and that is something magnificent, since it allows to have a wide spectrum of maps depending on the needs and capacities of each organization. 8) The data acquisition and capture methods and techniques are now being directed to obtaining information in real time, implementing the use of remote sensors such as drones. What do you believe could happen with the use of sensors such as optical satellites and radar bearing in mind that the information is not immediate? That it will continue to be used. I am a big fan of real-time maps, but that does not mean that they are going to “kill” the generation of non-immediate information, although it is true that society voraciously consumes information, there is it that requires those times and yet another pause. A Twitter hashtag map is not the same as an aquifer map nor does it have to be, they both have coordinates and geographic information, but they move in very different time coordinates. 9. Many times the inhabitants of the spaces are left aside, what they want or need in their environment. What do you think about the inclusion of society for the contribution of spatial data, related to the roots and territorial identity? Logically it is essential and is not taken into account as much as it should. Maps continue to be instruments of power and space is used and manipulated at the whim of “decision makers”, whether public or private. The most truthful information that exists right now is the local one, because it is what one knows firsthand and has credible sources, it is more difficult to manipulate (although it is done) because it is real


TWINGEO: INTERVIEW and, at the same time, it is inimitable. We where it happens, generate models, identify all know what happens in the big capitals, trends and, with this, carry out simulations but on the corner of my neighborhood my and predictions of how it can evolve. people know it, with whom I interact every 11) Do you think that the professions day. The local is the only way to compensate related to Geomatics and Big Data (even combat) the global. management will be revalued in the near future? Why? 10) Today we have mobile devices that provide very specific user information, I am convinced that yes, but not so much starting with the Geolocation data that there is an explicit assessment, which storage, do you consider that this data perhaps is what all professionals expect, but that we all generate through the use rather implicitly, the fact of having to use of a mobile phone can be considered a the tools and functionalities of Geomatics double-edged sword? What benefits and Big Data already implies a revaluation does this information provide in your of the same. In return, it must be taken into opinion? account that there is also a certain bubble, Naturally they are a double-edged sword, for example around Big Data, as if it were the like all weapons. The data is very interesting solution for everything and it is not like that, and I am convinced that it helps us, but large volumes of data in themselves have no always under two precepts: ethics and value and few companies are turning that legislation. If both are met, the benefits are data into knowledge and intelligence that very important, since the proper treatment helps them make decisions and improve of the data, anonymized and aggregated, business efficiency. help us to know what is happening and


TWINGEO: INTERVIEW 12) In countries like Venezuela, for example, where technological resources for generating spatial information are extremely limited or perhaps nonexistent, what strategy would you use to avoid neglecting the acquisition of geospatial data. It is a complex issue, but I don’t want to leave it all to technology. Venezuela has great professionals of geographic information, the important thing is training, that people have training and possibilities to improve it and information, that they have access to sources of information that, at the moment, we could centralize on the Internet (even if there are others). If you have both, there are infinite tools, tutorials, databases and contacts on the Internet to obtain spatial data and be able to work with them and this is extensible to all countries. 13) Could you tell us what is Play & Go Experience? What does this project offer and what does it mean to you? Play & go experience is a Spanish startup that helps organizations in their digital transformation processes through technological solutions. We work in all sectors, although specialized in services (tourism, environment, education, health, etc.). At Play & go experience we carry out the design, programming, exploitation and analysis of project results to improve the user experience through gamification and improve the results of organizations through intelligent data. Gamification allows users to be motivated to perform certain actions, geolocation encourages displacements and augmented reality to connect the physical and digital world. The data generated, anonymized and aggregated, is collected to convert it into intelligence that answers business questions.

We have two types of services that include the different products: Gamification: motivate users to take actions through gamified guides, training platforms and digital games. Intelligence: transform the data obtained through technological platforms into knowledge and intelligence to help decisionmaking in organizations through online maps and Artificial Intelligence platforms. For me, this project is almost my Ikigai, that intermediate point between what I do best, what I’m passionate about, what I contribute to the world and what I’m paid for. The company is not mine, I am hired, but I feel it as mine and the founders trust me as if it were, which allows me to put forward ideas and proposals and carry them out. I also have total flexibility to reconcile with my personal life, which is essential. In addition, working with a startup mentality makes us very flexible and active, so that at all times we are up to date with what is happening in the market: identifying future trends, rethinking services, testing, pivoting, failing and succeeding but, above all, learning without ever losing focus, our mission, which is to help organizations in their digital transformation processes by combining geolocation technologies, game dynamics and augmented reality. 14) Are you working on another project or initiative that you would like to share? Not right now, because I’m focused on Play & go, online training and keeping my blog. But I have an outline of a new book that I would love to be able to write, I don’t have time to do it at the moment nor is it a priority, although in the medium term I want to write and publish it. Naturally it will be related to geospatial technology and it will be something that has not been written,


TWINGEO: INTERVIEW since I always intend to add value to the market and share it. 15) For those who do not know what to choose as a profession, could you gives us a compelling reason to take Geography into consideration. Could you send a motivational message to the relay generation? Geography, as a science, helps us answer questions, in this case related to the planet around us: why are there floods and how to avoid them? How do you build a city? Can I attract more tourists to my destination? What is the best way to get from one place to another polluting less? How does weather


affect crops and what can technology do to improve them? Which areas have the best employability rates? How are mountains formed? And so endless questions. The interesting thing about this discipline is that it is very broad and allows a global and interrelated vision of human life on the planet, which is not understood if it is only analyzed from one perspective. In the end, we all live in a place and in a spatial and temporal context and geography helps us understand what we are doing here and how to improve our lives and of those around us. That is why it is a very practical profession, as we have seen before, those questions, which `may seem philosophical, go down to the realm of reality and solve

TWINGEO: INTERVIEW real people’s problems. Being a geographer allows you to look around and understand things, although not all, or at least wonder why they happen and try to answer, after all, that is the basis of science and what makes us human. 16) Something else you would like to add from your Geographic Perspective. Encourage everyone to study geography, it does not have to be formal or academic, but to be interested in this science. To those who want to dedicate themselves to it, do not think about whether they will have a job, at this time in history the uncertainty scenario is so high that we cannot know what will happen in one or five years. That they study, that they never stop training and learning, if they do something they like they

will be very good and, if they are, in the end they will find work and, if not, they will have to invent it or self-employ. In this sense, as my colleague Jordi DĂ­az taught me, always think that there are only two ways to be in the job market: being an aspirin, solving a problem; or being a vitamin, providing value. The world is too immense and wonderful not to try to understand it and integrate ourselves into it, we have to listen more to nature and follow its rhythm so that everything is balanced and harmonized. Finally, that they always look to the past to know it, but above all, to the future to dream about it and the future is always a place we want to reach.




INTERVIEW BY: LAURA GARCÍA 1) If we look for the term “Legal Geometry” on the web, it is defined as the integration of mathematics into law, more specifically, the use of geometric figures to make delimitations, but ... could you tell us from your perception, what is Legal Geometry? Precisely, it is the integration of Law in the technical processes of property delimitation, since the property, is nothing but a legal act. 2) Could it be said that Legal Geometry and Geometric Cadastre are the same? Is Legal Geometry only framed in the legal field? In a sense, yes, because in Spain there is no geometric cadastre, since the cartography has not been formed by fixing vertices from demarcation. Legal Geometry seeks to adapt, with a five-year delay, to that need to coordinate both worlds. And it seeks it by pretending that the technicians are the ones who lead this coordination, since it is a fit that has its common point in the parcel geometry. Therefore, yes, it is framed within the legal ambit, but with the intention of, through this coordination, to reach the fiscal-tax ambit by making the latter dependent on the former.


4) In all this, is the Property Registry integrated or is it an isolated process? It is an academic proposal of the Univesitat Politècnica of València that, although the registrars have shown their support for it, in global terms it has a technical vocation, and therefore the Spanish Association of Expert Geometricians has been of service as specialist advisers. However, and with the intention of seeking the necessary harmony with the legal operators, an attempt has been made to adapt the agenda to different profiles. That is why the master’s degree is divided into two differentiated university degrees that, although they are interesting as a whole, one addresses the more technical part and the other the purely legal part, with the aim of being able to complement the basic information of both jurists, in the first case, as of the technicians, in the second. 5) What role do cartography and geomatics play, currently knowing that remote sensors are essential for data capture and elements construction in digital format? A fundamental one. It is not possible to define a property geometry, with the implications that it may have in terms of conflict and social peace without having the most appropriate means, techniques and knowledge in this regard, those of Topography, Cartography, Geodesy and Geographic information systems.

3) Does it apply only to public goods, or private goods are also included?

6) Since 2011, many professionals are going for the 3D Cadastre for optimal environment modeling, does the Master address this reality?

It is applicable to both public and private goods. By rotating around property, it can be exercised both privately and publicly and, in both cases, in a wide range of possibilities.

The master’s degree is not oriented towards a cadastral intervention, although it will have aspects that affect it. In any case, and although international organizations, such



TWINGEO: INTERVIEW as FIG, have been favoring the 3D Cadastre model for almost a decade, in Spain it is only beginning to be implemented at the moment, so addressing this specific issue in a whole, would be impossible. What this master does address are the aspects of real rights and administrative limitations that fall on geospatial objects, and therefore giving meaning to the 3D cadastre beyond a mere 3D representativity. 7) In your opinion, what does the term “Precise Delimitation of the property” refer to? To the intervention of a technician who gives certainty, reliability and acknowledges responsibility for the geometric definition work; something that, although it may seem incredible, is not an essential requirement in Spain. 8) What would be one of the major flaws that exist in the delimitation of real estate, and how the knowledge obtained in the Master in Legal Geometries could help the technician to correct these flaws? The fundamental gap to be filled is the lack of a technical profile with extensive knowledge of Law. Something undoubtedly necessary if we take into account that property is a matter that emanates from Law and is constantly affected by it — legal limitations, administrative easements, urban aspects, tax legality, etc.—. 9) What does the Master in Legal Geometries contribute to the 4th digital era and to Real Estate Big Data? Considering the rise of technologies like AI, BIM, IoT, Digital Twins and GIS. It is still too early to say. At first and given that, as has been said, the 3D Cadastre has a limited implementation in Spain, due to the


fact that it only includes 3D objects without the legal definition that interoperates with their environment, and an example of all this is the properties that aren’t within the limits of the site on which it stands, but are exceeding these at some point in its development, for which there is no combined solution to protect them. Likewise, infrastructures, especially underground ones, have a legal and physical impact on both private and public properties, and therefore are very important to take into account in augmented reality applications. Therefore, the integration of legal geometry processes with BIM and similar environments is a space to explore. 10) After knowing the purpose of the “Legal Geometry”, is the data obtained open and interoperable? Are we talking about a territory database that is constantly updated and reliable information properly safeguarded? Legal geometry is the tool for obtaining, processing, and validating physical and legal data. The system that encompasses this information and its dissemination is an application that we assume is the responsibility of governments to develop. This system that, currently in Spain, is dispersed among the different organizations, such as the cadastre, property registers, municipal urban entities, and sector administrations (owners of the public domain). Therefore, one of the key aspects of the content of the master is to provide the skills to know in detail the interoperability of this system, that will not only be valid in the short term, but also to promote improvements in the medium and long term.

TWINGEO: INTERVIEW 11) What was it that prompted this Master’s course to materialize? Who are behind this idea? The Spanish Association of Expert Geometrists proposed a not covered training niche to the Higher Technical School of Geodesic, Cartographic and Topographic Engineering of the Polytechnic University of Valencia, which, as in many other cases and after assessing its viability, raised the possibility of developing a degree within its academic range that explores this market need. 12) Is there financial aid or the possibility of applying for a Scholarship for this Master?

13) Something else that you will want to add about the Course. As it is a Master’s degree to train experts, teachers are experts in the subjects they teach, whether they are university professors (from the Polytechnic University of Valencia and the University of Valencia), or if they come from official organizations (National Geographic Institute, Property Registry, Cadastre ...), or of the job environment. In this sense, to facilitate reconciliation with the work activity of the students, the classes will be transmitted by streaming and will be recorded for possible delayed viewing.

Currently there are no aids of this type, as it is a degree property of the Polytechnic University of Valencia, you cannot apply for official aid.

DR. NATALIA GARRIDO VILLÉN Director of Legal Geometries Master Cartographic Engineering, Geodesy and Photogrammetry Department Polytechnic University of Valencia natalia-garrido-vill%C3%A9n56a5404b/ 39










Geospatial has gained paramount importance in the post COVID world. From identifying hotspots to taking timely actions to curb the spread of the virus, Geospatial has been an important facilitator all through. Let’s hear from Matt Sheehan, Principal @ WhyofThere how location data is helping each one of us live a better life. Q. What role did geospatial play in managing the pandemic? A. Geospatial played a very important role. It helped in not only tracking the pandemic but also taking action to lessen the impact. The pandemic has created raised awareness of the importance of location data and its use in healthcare. Q. Moving forward, what do you think will be the best strategy for rebuilding business and economy? A. The answer lies in digital transformation, that is better use of data. Businesses should: Step 1: Move away from spreadsheets and paper to wider digital sources. Step 2: Move from manual data collection to automation: Imagery/ LiDAR/SAR (satellite, aerial drone), sensors (IoT, IIoT, mobile phones). Step 3: Use AI to improve accuracy and speed of critical decisions.

Many larger organizations today have ‘too much data’. Their challenge is getting started. They need to figure out ‘How to arrive at actionable insight from this tsunami of new data.’ This is one of the goals of my company WhyofThere: to help organizations move forward and derive business benefit from data. Q. What role will geospatial play in the new normal? A. Geospatial (location) data is foundational. Everything happens somewhere. Maps provide a way to visualize patterns in large datasets. 3D digital reality gives a sense of place.


TWINGEO: INTERVIEW Geospatial 2.0 adds an extra dimension: the pulse of change of people and things. 2.0 provides fast, new ways to analyze large datasets, which are impossible for humans to process. Leveraging this aggregated data, businesses will be able to answer very specific questions quickly.

20: dynamic and static data aggregation engine, analytics leveraging AI, machine/ deep learning, ArcGIS location intelligence and a varied system of engagement (maps, dashboards, voice, text). This is a platform/ framework ready to solve a myriad of problems.

Geospatial 2.0 is moving the geospatial industry and location data from the periphery to the core. Away from a niche to an essential decision-making component in all organizations; both public and private.

Q. How can this integration help us manage disasters better?

Q. Integration of Geospatial and AI. What will be the direction moving forward? A. The possibilities are almost endless. Much of the data collected today has a locational component. AI executes tasks against these aggregated datasets and can learn. AI will replace many geospatial analytical tasks manually completed today. AI is not only providing analytics; it is also processing

A. We’ve seen many hazardous events in the US in 2020. From wildfires in the west to hurricanes in the south. A slew of new Geospatial 2.0 companies has been providing help to mitigate the impact of these events. Companies like, and Flamemapper have been providing early warnings of fire hazards and tracking fire events. Others like WatchKeeper International are leveraging Geospatial 2.0 to provide real-time location-based insights into threatening events to help disaster teams move from reactive to proactive. Q. How will the business world benefit from this integration?

and aggregating data automatically. Two innovative companies in this latter space are Pixel8 and Geocam. To help paint this picture, BrAeIn from iSpatial is one of the most complete Geospatial 2.0 solutions I have so far seen. BrAeIn contains all the core building blocks of Geospatial


A. In short, faster more accurate decision making will be there. That means crop commodity traders getting actionable information before their competition. Retailers being able to react quickly to changes in consumer behavior. Utilities taking measures to protect assets before weather events hit. Sustainable energy companies improving both planning and operations using real and near-real time data. New tools for epidemiologists to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic and other health crises.

TWINGEO: INTERVIEW Q. What exactly is Geospatial 2.0? A. The promise of Geospatial 2.0 is to improve the speed and accuracy of decision-making. We live in a dynamic, rapidly changing world. These changes all happen somewhere. Geospatial 2.0 leverages new sources of location-based data and methods to analyze that data, moving organizations from reactive to proactive. 2.0 follows the evolution of technology notably around advances in sensor-based data collection and AI. We differentiate Geospatial 2.0 from 1.0. Geospatial 1.0 is the traditional space geospatial has occupied – map-centric, requiring experts, used in the public sector and largest corps. More focused on what has happened. Geospatial 2.0 is centered on aggregating static and dynamic data, processing these large datasets with AI. It also has a rich and varies system of engagement or how a decision-maker ask question and receive answers e.g. voice, text, web map. Q. Your message to the geospatial industry. A. I would say be both excited and scared. New opportunities are opening up to use geospatial data in new and exciting ways. In many ways the industry is ‘crossing the chasm’ to wider understanding and use of its core data and technology. Incredible opportunities are opening up. But the industry is entering new territory which requires change. Old ways of doing business will need to be replaced. A new nimbler, forward looking approach is needed. The geospatial industry has much of the needed core technology in place. The business promise of that core technology needs now to be the focus. Those who are flexible, nimble and innovative will be the ultimate winners.

“ Geospatial 2.0 is centered on aggregating static and dynamic data, processing these large datasets with AI. It also has a rich and varies system of engagement or how a decisionmaker ask question and receive answers e.g. voice, text, web map.”



“ In The Future, We Will See More And More Companies That Use SIT As A Work Tool, It Will Gradually Become An Office Automation Program That Is Increasingly Common In Work Computers”. CARLOS LÓPEZ QUINTANILLA President of the QGIS Spain Association INTERVIEW BY: LAURA GARCÍA 1) Many professionals in geosciences have an interest in understanding geospatial dynamics in a natural way, however, in the last 10 years, the inclusion of geospatial study has become present in other disciplines. For example, we see companies like Bentley Systems that are not only creating engineeringoriented products, but have defined the importance of studying the environment for any project. In accordance with the aforementioned, how do you consider that the professions or the geospatial field are being embraced in the present and what do you expect for the future?


Certainly there have been several years now that new business sectors are introduced in the world of SIT (Spatial Information Technologies), SIT are cross-cutting tools that are increasingly used by more sectors that see SIT as an effective tool to make decisions in those aspects that affect the territory. In the future, we will see more and more companies that use SIT as a work tool, it will gradually become an office automation program that is increasingly common in work computers. 2) What is the importance of interdisciplinary work for any geospatial project?

TWINGEO: INTERVIEW In projects, the participation of experts in many disciplines used by SIT, such architects, engineers, environmentalists, doctors, criminalists, journalists, etc. is increasingly necessary.

The integration of both applications will bring benefits in the sense of savings by introducing geometry and attributes that come from the GIS and could be used in BIM.

3) How do you consider the evolution of free GIS in recent years and geospatial technologies in general? Considering that currently most technologies are fused with Machine Learning, Virtual Reality, Augmented and Artificial intelligence.

6) Is there a product from the QGIS Association that is specifically intended for smart cities? How is your product different from other more popular GIS software?

5) In addition to the above, do you consider that the GIS + BIM integration is ideal? What are the benefits that come from this integration? Are Digital Twins included in this benefit?

While in plugins, creators have complete freedom to create whatever they need.

I do not know of any tool that can be used Free GIS is a guarantee for interoperability to create smart cities, but QGIS and its more than 700 plugins are, in themselves, are an between applications and libraries. effective tool to have in smart cities. Linking directly with a CRM, making use of an artificial intelligence library is already The great advantage of QGIS over its possible, and it is partly thanks to the fact competitors is the more than 700 plugins that free software programs are combined. that can be installed, apart from the large number of tools that QGIS already contains 4) We know that the 4th digital age brings as standard. with it the goal of shaping smart cities in the near future. In your opinion, how does It is very easy to create new plugins that can be used to give a better service to QGIS GIS allow the effective management of smart cities? since there are still a number technicians and users. of people who feel that BIM is most 7) How has the adoption of the QGIS appropriate to manage the data related Association products been so far? to them. What steps are being taken to increase awareness and adoption of its tools? Smart cities will be completed when maximum interoperability is achieved between all applications, the implementation QGIS is free software and behind this of a free GIS allows cities to be smart. Smart community there are many companies, the cities will be completed when the data is new tools that affect the core of QGIS are of quality and the tools are adapted to the decided in a technical committee, in which QGIS Spain has representation. needs of citizens.

From our association and all the others, we have the objective of disseminating the QGIS program at conferences, presentations, and As of today, it is not ideal, but it could be if forums in which professionals from the GIS there were communication between both sector meet. worlds, it is necessary to get a BIM technology development team that knows how GIS Showing the successes achieved is the best way to educate new users to use QGIS. works in order to get them to coexist. 47

TWINGEO: INTERVIEW 8) What are the most important standards that your software applies for interoperability with the geospatial, engineering and operations industries?

9) Today we have mobile devices that provide very specific user information, starting with the Geolocation data storage, do you consider that this data that we all generate through the use of a mobile phone can be considered a double-edged sword? What benefits does this information provide in your opinion?

Most of the standards come from the OGC (Open Geospatial Consortium), QGIS has the vocation to adapt to the default standards, so that it is very easy to follow them and improve interoperability between applications and It is a double-edged sword when data is servers. used fraudulently and without respecting people’s privacy. Some commercial programs by default use private formats and then adapt to standards, However, it’s very interesting data, and QGIS adapts to standards from the root, it always within the legal framework, they comes innately. must be used for scientific and beneficial purposes for citizens. Perhaps map services (WMS, WFS, WFS-T,) are the most used, but there are others that Open data is data that allows us to do many are also important, such as metadata and very interesting studies. OpenStreetMap data formats (gml, GPKG, etc.). would be a good example.

“ Open data is data that allows us to do many very interesting studies. OpenStreetMap would be a good example.” 48

TWINGEO: INTERVIEW 10) Do you think that the professions related to Geomatics and Big Data management will be revalued in the near future? Why?

12) Do you consider that during the current pandemic, the use, consumption and learning of geotechnologies has had a positive or negative change?

According to the definition of Big Data, it would already be an added value today, this concept is a bit abstract, if we understand Big Data as a very large database, PostgreSQL with PostGIS would be Big Data and combining PostGIS with QGIS would be a good tool to sort, visualize, edit and analyze data.

I think it has been very positive, there have been many online GIS courses, many have taken the opportunity to sign up for courses taking advantage of the fact that there was more time available.

11) Do you think programming is essential for a GIS analyst or professional, especially in this 4th digital age? It depends on the definition of GIS analyst, if we define GIS analyst as the professional who must give answers to complex GIS problems, then Yes, it would be indispensable. However, if we define the analyst as a professional who analyzes projects and makes decisions with a work team, then it is not essential for the analyst to know how to program, but someone from the team, it would be indispensable. Although to be a good analyst, without being an expert programmer, it would be good to know the possibilities, the effort involved in assessing the work required to develop tasks and thereby make planning decisions for the proper development of projects.

“ I am especially excited to see that the Barcelona city council will continue to be a member of the association, it is the only public administration that has taken this step.�

It is not essential, but it is highly recommended, it is not necessary to program, there are many tools that can be executed without programming knowledge, but in relatively complex projects it is always very useful to program some tasks. But it is increasingly necessary and more powerful to have technicians who know how to program and assemble multidisciplinary teams.


TWINGEO: INTERVIEW 13) In countries like Venezuela, for example, where technological resources for generating spatial information are extremely limited or perhaps non-existent, what strategy would you use to avoid neglecting the acquisition of geospatial data.

I would also like to mention the contribution that Víctor Olaya makes, QGIS developer, and author of the GIS Book, Víctor donates his economic margin from the printed books sold to the Association of users of QGIS Spain. A community that works very well is victor-olaya-ferrero/sistemas-deOpenStreetMap, it would be a very good informaci%C3%B3n-geogr%C3%A1fica/ option for citizens themselves to learn to use hardcover/product-76em9n.html and edit OSM and update their cartography. 15) Something else to add from your Geographic Perspective. OSM is a collaborative and open database that allows you to enter many types of spatial The prospects for the future of free TIG are objects. increasing and it is increasingly difficult to justify the use of commercial tools, this will make the free TIG sector grow, we have to 14) Any new alliances, projects or prepare and work collaboratively so as not initiatives that you would like to share? to duplicate efforts, it is for this reason, that associations like ours are important for a We do not have new alliances this year more orderly and fair growth of the sector. from QGIS Spain, we continue with the same ones from the previous year, however CARLOS LÓPEZ QUINTANILLA international QGIS is still a project for OSGeo. President of the QGIS Spain Association A new project from the association will be to launch a new website of the Association of users of QGIS Spain (, more modern and efficient, so that the partners can use it to find out about the things we do from the association and a point of meeting for partners and also for non-partners but who sympathize with the QGIS project. We are very excited that projects that were born in Spain and that collaborate with the association participate in donations to international QGIS, such as GISWater, a tool for smart management of water resources, drinking water, sanitation and rainwater. I am especially excited to see that the Barcelona city council will continue to be a member of the association, it is the only public administration that has taken this step. 50 Developer, coordinator and collaborator in more than a hundred Geographic Information Systems (GIS) projects since February 2000. Using different GIS programs (QGIS, gvSIG, ArcGIS, ArcView, ArcInfo, GeoVisor, miraMon, etc.) and performing all kinds of GIS analysis tasks (data capture, map algebra, GRID analysis, digitization in different formats (Shapefiles, GeoDataBases, ArcInfo coverage, MiraMon vector, etc.), quality printing, cartographic projection management, generation of macros or scripts, and advanced geoprocessing.





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