It is no longer news that Singapore is spearheading its digital transformation efforts and have spared no expense in building a fully digital, ever-connected Smart Nation. Government agencies are making way for major technological advancements to improve the lives of its citizens. For instance, most recently, air taxis will soon take Singapore’s skies for the first time with flight trials set to happen this year.
This active push in smart nation initiatives were echoed by Singapore Prime Minister Mr. Lee Hsien Loong, when he spoke at the Smart National Innovation Summit last month on his hopes for the Singapore society to embrace and not fear technology.
The power of geospatial data
Singapore has digital technology embedded across all city functions. The soon to be implemented Smart lamp posts with sensors and cameras are set to track autonomous vehicles in real time, collect temperature and rainfall data, detect and report speeders on personal mobility devices (PMDs), and recognise faces and match to database – all these involve the use of geospatial data.
The power of it all should not be underestimated. Through advancements in geospatial technology, Singapore can soon expect to see the development of hyper-localised maps that better reflect what ‘real’ people find useful as they travel around the city landscape. In other words, location data may soon be seen to allow maps to understand Singapore’s unique spaces and environment, such as void decks or other communal spaces, for the benefit of their citizens.
Disruption across all verticals
As Singapore gets increasingly connected, there becomes a need for technology to organise and make sense of data, and this is where geospatial technology comes in. From healthcare to transportation, industries are now tapping on geospatial technology to gain insights into customers and leveraging that to improve their business activities.
With the transportation industry in mind, the Singapore Land Transport Authority has been pioneering efforts with big data and advanced analytics to tackle growing urban issues such as congestion, crowd monitoring in a mass rapid transit (MRT) network, and the analysis of the congestion impact as a result of train faults. Geospatial technology allows not just the organisation and identification of key patterns from location and time data, but also its predictive functionalities that follow.
Rising talent gap in the technological space
Being a relatively new field in the tech landscape doesn’t come without its challenges. The more advanced Singapore becomes, the greater the demand for individuals with specific skillsets. Finding the right people with relevant skillsets will always be a challenge faced by players in the geospatial industry. Although the Government is already deploying advanced technologies to generate and manage data, the human touch is still integral in converting such data into actionable insights.
The Singapore government has addressed this issue by establishing an initiative to create an estimated 10,000 new tech-related jobs over the next three years. Through an increase in training and education, the initiative aims to equip the next generation with the right talent, skill and understanding of new technologies, as well as encourage them to upskill and reskill in order to stay relevant as Singapore transforms fully digital.
Geospatial technology is the
future, and the future is now. New technologies are leading advancements, such
as using time and spatial data to improve public transport, in time for
citizens to be future-ready. Government initiatives are already making way for
geospatial data to improve the lives of many – be it to disrupt, challenge or
benefit citizens. As every great idea is a little bit ahead of its time,
Singapore must embed a digital mindset and increase its risk appetite to
embrace new technologies without fear.