In which direction is the geospatial industry heading? Which core activities will companies focus on? How will the rapidly progressing technological advances shape the future? The recent edition of HxGN Live Global in Las Vegas formed an important hub for professionals who wanted to get a clear picture of what lies ahead in the field of mapping and surveying – and also, as became apparent during the event, increasingly outside of it.
Hexagon is unquestionably a digital reality solutions powerhouse, so it came as no real surprise that attendees were immersed in the very latest in sensors, software and autonomous technologies at the company’s flagship conference, HxGN Live Global 2022, earlier this year. Everything was dazzlingly showcased, with the packed auditorium being addressed by passionate Hexagon executives on a huge stage supported by stunning audio-visuals. The billion-dollar company’s vision of the future was interspersed with updates, product launches and other announcements. But what is the philosophy behind the technological developments, and how will they influence the surveyor’s work?
HxGN Live Global 2022 was held at The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas, USA, from 20-22 June. The key buzzword this year was definitely ‘metaverse’. One problem with buzzwords is that they often conceal the real meaning rather than conveying it efficiently. However, in Las Vegas, the discussions fortunately went deeper. According to the Open Geospatial Consortium, the metaverse is “the internet transformed by real-time 3D technologies, but the impact of real-time 3D is also transforming geospatial. In the metaverse, the real world and the internet will merge – and geospatial information and technology will be key to that combination.”
In a keynote on this topic, called ‘Where the Metaverse Meets Business’, Hexagon CTO Burkhard Boeckem likewise emphasized that geospatial and the metaverse are intertwined. He described the metaverse as “a journey into the new reality” that is transforming the industry. That journey goes hand in hand with new technology created by Hexagon, he explained, as he zoomed in on all the ingredients needed to create a smart digital reality – ranging from advanced photogrammetry and remote sensing solutions enriched with artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, to GIS and building information modelling (BIM).