Intergeo 2016 Report

Intergeo 2016 Report

News from the latest Intergeo conference in Hamburg.

Intergeo calls itself the "Global Hub of the Geospatial Community". It's a great tagline and one we'd agree with. But for the 3 days last week, we felt like the hub of the whole event!

We say that because we were non-stop everyday showcasing our solutions, sharing ideas, signing deals and making new friends. The stand was never quiet and at some points we were inundated with visitors!

Chris, Tristram and Tom attended as part of the GeoXphere/Getmapping/Geosense/WaldoAir delegation. We'd like to thank Getmapping who did a fantastic job of getting the exhibition stand organised, it looked great. Combine that with the 3D demos on the big screen and three XCAMs on display, we had a great environment to work in. We loved every minute of it, except for the regular muffled announcements and feedback from the conference speaker system, so we'd like to share some of our highlights and key themes.

XCAM's disruptive lease model

We're fully aware of the cost and risk involved in investing in large format aerial survey cameras so we knew that offering the XCAM on a lease model was a good idea and actually quite simple. Reduce the cost and reduce the risk. What we weren't prepared for was just how popular the model was going to be. Introducing the camera and the cloud GIS to people was met with enthusiasm and excitement, but the fact they can start using one from just £1,500 per month really grabbed their attention! Some even went on to describe XCAM as the "the only new thing they've seen at Intergeo". This was great feedback from us, especially considering the geospatial royalty it came from. We're certainly hoping that many of the people we spoke to can become GeoXphere Market Partners and start benefiting from the model.

UAS Operators expanding their capabilities

For anyone who's been to an Intergeo event they'll know that you can't walk for more than 10 seconds without tripping over the 'next best thing' in UAS/UAV/RPAS. They're great devices and have created a whole new market for aerial survey. There are lots of UAS providers and operators out there now and our thought was that XCAM would be met with a frosty reception from those thinking it would challenge their market space. Ok, there were one or two who thought this, but the majority we spoke to saw XCAM as an opportunity. They thought about the number of survey jobs they have had to turn down because they're just too big for unmanned platforms to deal with, and saw XCAM as being able to fill that gap. This has generated a buzz (pun intended) from the UAS operators to expand their survey capabilities and win more work without investing huge amounts of capital in large format sensors and survey aircraft. We're looking forward to working with these operators and seeing what they can do with XCAM.

Issue of scalability

For traditional aerial survey operators, XCAM was met with immediate excitement. It was finally a solution that allows them to scale their business without committing to large expenditure. What was particularly exciting for some operators was the ability to take out short-term leases on a number of XCAMs in order to meet spikes in demand. They told us that with XCAM they have the potential to 'say yes' to the bigger jobs, win more projects and get more survey done during their flying season. By using low-cost Cessna 172s which are abundant all around the world, they don't even have to break the bank on their flying costs. We look forward to serving that demand!

XMAP turning heads

Software solutions often play second-fiddle compared to the big expensive hardware that's on show at Intergeo. We were showcasing our XMAP Cloud GIS, however, and it received some really positive feedback. It's being seen as an opportunity for survey companies to generate revenue through subscription services to their existing clients. This creates a stable value-add revenue stream which can be a welcome addition to a balance sheet, especially with unpredictable flying seasons. By offering a licence to brand and resell XMAP in their own country, it was seen as a no-brainer for entering the solutions space.

Social Events

We'd like to thank everyone who joined us for drinks and snacks on Getmapping/WaldoAir stand this year. It was nice to really get to know our partners and would-be partners in an informal setting (albeit in a massive conference hall!). We also managed to get out the exhibition centre for some food and drink in Hamburg. We won't forget the cocktails!

We look forward to seeing you at Intergeo 2017 in Berlin!