The International Symposium for Digital Earth is one of the world’s largest and most important events using digital images of our planet to make current and societal problems measurable, understandable and solvable. In a unique way, the symposium builds bridges between politics, science and society, and also purposefully invites companies and NPOs. For the first time ever, the symposium took place in Austria. Organizers of the event from July 6-8, 2021 were the University of Salzburg and the Department of Geoinformatics – Z_GIS

As part of ISDE12, the Data Intelligence Offensive (DIO) hosted a forum for exchange and debate on the topics of the emergent data economy and the challenges for politics and business to implement the technically feasible solutions for the benefit of society, the environment and nature – as formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals – in accordance with the strictest ethical and legal standards. Topics included presentations of the Austrian data strategy, current projects on the intelligent use of data in innovative GIS application areas, lightning presentations of solutions offered by start-ups, discussions on the development of GIS data spaces, and various exchange formats with international experts and researchers. In the spirit of ISDE12, the DIO Forum was designed to build bridges between politics, science and society.

Spatial Intelligence and Data Driven Value Generation Starting up

As part of ISDE12, the DIO hosted a lively session in the afternoon covering spatial intelligence and data driven value generation starting up for key business challenges and innovative solutions. Forty participants were carefully listening when nine start-ups introduced themselves and their innovative ideas. Prof A. Bruck explained, “There are 3 things to look for: (i) clarity of challenge, (ii) originality of solution and (iii) business viability of the course of action.”

Gerald Spreitzhofer, CEO of MetGIS, started his pitch discussing weather APIs for high-resolution weather maps. The challenge, Spreitzhofer explained, is that APIs for high-resolution weather maps offer huge business opportunities, because there is a vital use of digital maps. However, there is little to no competition. Two US companies that offer these APIs dominate the market – this is why, MetGIS is working on an original communication strategy and collaboration with (potential) distribution partners.  

Andrea Geyer Scholz, Founder of Smart City Consulting, followed as the next speaker. She discussed the goal of producing a global database of all digital and physical services in order to co-create for local solution strategies in regard of resilience and sustainability and the challenge of bringing stakeholders on board. 

The best pitch according to criteria “spatial intelligence“ and “data-driven value generation“ was then chosen by Thomas Blaschke, Professor for Geoinformatics, and awarded to Jan Kinne, Co-Founder of Istari.aiJan Kinne demonstrated how to keep web data constantly updated making hidden company data visible automatically, without rigid sources and in real time. In order to get to this information, the webAI searches millions of websites at high frequency to analyze them with artificial intelligence. The challenge is, to increase the accuracy by using automated reasoning. 

Blaschke particularly mentioned as providing the most innovative solution according to the criteria mentioned above and congratulated everyone to the high level presentations and use cases. 

Read part 1 of the report here