Spatial Information Industry Emerges as ‘Blue-Ocean Sector’
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Spatial Information Industry Emerges as ‘Blue-Ocean Sector’
Some 100 Korean and foreign exhibitors will participate in the upcoming Smart Geospatial Expo 2013

29(Thu), Aug, 2013

A view of the Smart Geospatial Expo 2012.(photos: MOLIT)

   The global spatial information market, whose size was estimated at 89 trillion won in 2010 with an annual average growth rate of 11 percent, is an up-and-coming “blue-ocean” market forecast to surge to 150 trillion won by 2015.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport (MOLIT) will host the Smart Geospatial Expo 2013, the sixth of its kind, which will take place at COEX in Seoul from Nov. 13-15. The following are excerpts of an interview with Park Moo-ik, director general of Spatial Information Policy at the MOLIT in which he spoke of his ministry’s policies to nurture the spatial information industry into a future growth engine of the creative economy.

Question : Will you tell our readers the gist and significance of the Smart Geospatial Expo 2013?

Answer:  The Smart Geospatial Expo has been held since 2008, not only as a comprehensive exhibition of spatial information to take a look at advanced technologies related to spatial information and products in one place, but also as an international event that coincides with an international conference to obtain the latest academic information. 

The Smart Geospatial Expo 2013, the sixth of its kind, will be hosted by the MOLIT and organized by the Korea Cadastral Survey Corp. (KCSC), Korea Land & Housing Corp. (LH), Korean Association of Surveying and Mapping, Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements (KRIHS), and the Spatial Information Industry Promotion Institute. The exhibition will take place at COEX in Seoul from Nov. 13-15. 

Major events of the Smart Geospatial Expo 2013 include an industry exhibition in which advanced technologies and services in the spatial information field are displayed and experienced, a high-level forum in which ministerial-level officials participate, and an international conference in which globally renowned experts give lectures, and spatial information technology, experiences, and knowledge are shared. 

The upcoming Smart Geospatial Expo 2013 will likely contribute to the development of the global spatial information industry through spatial information technology and academic exchanges, but also to pursuing the co-prosperity of participating countries through diverse events designed to ramp up international cooperation.

Q:  Will you speak about the exhibitors and display items of the Smart Geospatial Expo 2013?

A:  Approximately 100 Korean and foreign spatial information companies and organizations participate in the annual exhibition. The exhibitors of the Smart Geospatial Expo 2012 included global players, including Google and Esri; major Korean companies such as Samsung SDS, KT, Daum Communications, and Naver Corp.; SMEs with diverse convergence technologies; and public organizations including LH and KCSC. Most of the exhibitors are expected to participate in the Smart Geospatial Expo 2013 as well. 

The exhibition will be divided according to such categories as IT convergence technology, location-based services, surveying technology, and smartphone applications. There will also be such theme booths as the Spatial Information Future Pavilion, Big Data Pavilion, Smart City Pavilion, and Start-up Business Pavilion in which spectators can experience diverse spatial information content and services. A space at the entrance of the exhibition will be created to give spectators a glimpse into the past, present, and future of spatial information, a move designed to help the general public get a better grasp of spatial information and quench their thirst for spatial information.

The Smart Geospatial Expo 2013 will serve as an opportunity for the general public to get a glimpse into the lives and experiences of the diverse people using spatial information, for the industry to do business, and for government officials to publicize policies on spatial information. The exhibition will also serve as an occasion for Korean and foreign spatial information industry experts to take a look into spatial information trends and share views.

A view of the Smart Geospatial Expo 2012.(photos: MOLIT)

Q:  Will you explain a plan to develop and distribute a walking navigation app?

A: Our ministry has decided to develop and supply a walking navigation app offering people on the move with faster, more diverse walking routes in order to make walking part of daily lives and improve people's convenience. Unlike the conventional navigation app for motorists on the move, the walking navigation app provides voice support to walkers, bicycle riders, and quick service deliverymen about the shortest routes, even including narrow alleyways, overpasses, pedestrian crossings, and underpasses where vehicular traffic information may not be available.

The walking navigation app will be test-operated by the end of the year before it is put into service in Seoul next year. The walking navigation app service will be expanded to cover all parts of the nation by 2015 when a nationwide database is built up. 

Q:  Will you elaborate on way for your ministry to explore the overseas spatial information market?

A:  The global spatial information market, whose size was estimated at 89 trillion won in 2010 with an annual average rate of 11 percent, is an up-and-coming “blue-ocean” market forecast to surge to 150 trillion won by 2015. With global attention focusing on the development of scientific policies to utilize spatial information and coping with damage caused by disasters, developing countries have been launching efforts to build a spatial information infrastructure. 

Korea has experience and expertise accumulated through diverse state-initiated spatial information projects since 1995. MOLIT aggressively provides support to Korean spatial information companies’ inroads into foreign markets and strives to nurture the spatial information industry into a new growth engine of the creative economy.

We continue to promote international cooperation projects for transferring Korea’s spatial information technology to developing countries and suggesting spatial information policies tailored to meet their needs as part of efforts to help Korean spatial information companies enter foreign markets. The ministry is striving to make the Smart Geospatial Expo an international fair to make each Korean spatial information maker’s technologies and systems recognized globally, and it is jointly holding road shows with the ubiquitous-city (U-City) industry to provide support to Korean firms’ construction of overseas networks. 

Of late, a spatial information test-bed has been established and is operated to help Korean spatial information software makers enhance their standing through national certification and secure a track record of performance.  The ministry plans to come up with a systematic regime of support for Korean companies’ inroads into overseas markets, such as the establishment of ways of making a joint market entry in advanced land and transportation fields, including spatial information, U-City, and intelligent transportation system (ITS).

Q:  Will you speak about the necessity for the establishment of national spatial information infrastructure?

A: First, spatial information is a kind of social overhead capital. It serves as a foundation for economic activities such as production, logistics and consumption like such infrastructure as roads, railways, and ports. For instance, the location of major facilities like factories and department stores are determined in consideration of access to roads and markets. Advanced countries commonly use the term “infrastructure” as the National Spatial Data Infrastructure policies of the United States indicate. Spatial information involves a huge capital inflow and long-lasting return of capital, with governments spearheading investments.

Second, spatial information is a foundation for future growth engine industries. Like the emergence of urban experimentation simulation services incorporating spatial information and virtual reality, the spatial information industry can have spillover effects, creating new added values by combining and converging with other industries.

Third, spatial information serves as national decision-making and communications tools for people.

Fourth, spatial information is essential for ensuring people’s safety. For example, two gas explosions in the mid-1990s were not only caused by human errors stemming from crew members’ failure in locating gas pipelines, but also it has been learned that spatial information serves as a key role in repairing damage caused by natural disasters.

Q: Will you speak the value-added effects of the national spatial information infrastructure?

A: The opening, utilization, and convergence of spatial information will contribute to the promotion of the Government 3.0 Vision and the creative economy by creating added values and jobs. 

First, diverse services for improving people’s safety and welfare can be made available by combining diverse spatial information, shared by the government, and IT technologies. One of the examples that create added values is the ‘Smart Rescue Squad’ app in which people can transmit or call their location to related organizations such as police in case of emergency.

Second, the government’s production and distribution of 3D spatial information and indoor spatial information to the private sector can lead to creation of new businesses, like screen golf, a convergence of golf exercise in virtual reality and IT technologies, that has been evolving into a business of 4,700 dealerships and creation of 23,500 jobs in five years. Anyone can access to V(virtual)-World-based national spatial information services. Organizations from the public and private sectors alike provide their own latest map services. Public bodies such as the Cultural Heritage Administra-tion as well as entities from the private sector offer services such as branch office management, vehicle location-based services and kiosk tourism information services by utilizing the open-platform, V-World services. 

Third, spatial information can be utilized for revamping administrative duties so that such national policies as land and urban planning can be established in a scientific fashion. For instance, the Korea Planning Supporting System is in place for analyzing sunshine and prospect-related rights in the course of urban planning examination. Linkage of spatial information and government information create new added values such as the revamping of a process for residents’ reporting their moving. 

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