Location is an increasingly important source of value creation. Cloud computing, mobile devices and sensors, data analytics and machine learning have allowed companies to leverage geospatial data and services to build new multibillion-dollar businesses, fueling a step change in geospatial investment.

The real world changes constantly and the opportunities for exceptional customer experience when the real and digital worlds are aligned are significant. Understanding the evolving and increasingly complex geospatial ecosystem, and executing against a constantly shifting world, are key to ensuring that geospatial becomes a source of competitive advantage.

An industry being reshaped

With geospatial as the fabric that underpins new business models, there will be some fundamental shifts in geospatial technology, its availability and use.

The prevailing paradigm

  • Separate mapping suppliers and consumers
  • Anonymous aggregated GPS traces
  • Manual editing of content
  • Asset tracking
  • Location apps
  • Human readable
  • Single purpose 'active' fleets of sensors
  • Refresh cycles in months
  • Multi-meter level positioning and accuracy

The new normal

  • Consumer as creator, strong feedback loops
  • Unique data sets via behavior
  • Data extraction via computer vision
  • Asset orchestration
  • Ambient location
  • Machine actionable
  • Mass scale 'passive' AVs with low-cost sensors
  • Refresh cycles in minutes
  • Centimeter-level positioning and accuracy

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Geospatial’s time is now: How will you navigate?

Click on the pins to navigate the map and explore how the cities of tomorrow have taken advantage of the potential of geospatial technology. If you get lost during your journey, try zooming out to see all the places to explore or refresh the page.

The choices on how and where to deploy geospatial are sizable strategic investment decisions that involve maps, but also machine learning, content, and data about the real world, including user data. If an organization is critically dependent on a third party for its geospatial needs, that may highly constrain its customer experience, product and business innovation strategy. Making the right moves early and with the flexibility to grow could be a significant competitive advantage as market dynamics unfold. As geospatial integrates deeper with other major technological disruptions such as cloud computing and artificial intelligence, organizations need partners with a deep understanding of geospatial business opportunities and associated technological challenges, and the ability to execute at scale.

In this fast-moving space there are many new frontiers to explore, from the great indoors, to the more elevated world of drones, to smarter cities. In each of these areas there are new opportunities for geospatial to unlock.

Geospatial data is key. The amount and quality of data and the ability to derive insights and create new products and experiences from it form a competitive moat that will only deepen.

In many growth businesses, data quality and use rights will be important competitive advantages.

Those with access to data, who can put it to use most effectively and constantly adapt, will be well positioned to follow the great explorers in securing new and profitable beachheads.

The value of geospatial has never been higher, the importance of a robust strategy and execution capability designed for scale never greater.

Matthew Quinlan

Managing Director – Software & Platforms

Samir Mohan

Senior Manager – Accenture Strategy, Ecosystem & Growth Strategy

Nick Ksiazek



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