Geospatial Data Services

Unleashing the power of open-source geospatial data

Geospatial services have become an integral part of our everyday lives, from individuals finding the fastest route to reach their destination to businesses tracking their assets, and everything in between. Many industries, businesses, and services – like insurance analytics, construction companies, brokers, and real estate professionals – need geographic information systems (GIS) capable of organising, analysing, and interpreting vast amounts of spatial data.

Top geospatial services implementation challenges

Geospatial technology has played a critical role in ensuring that time-sensitive and location-specific data is available to both individuals and industries. This has resulted in the global geospatial analytics market growing rapidly; set to go from $78.5 billion in 2023 to $141.9 billion in 2028 with a 12.6% CAGR. Although the rapid advancements in cloud technologies and accessible data have been key drivers of the spatial analytics capabilities we see today. However, there are still some factors hindering the implementation of GIS and geospatial services, including:

Prohibitive costs

Many businesses still feel GIS is an expensive tool out of their reach. In addition to the hardware and software costs, you would also need expert personnel to manage these intricate and complex systems. Although implementing geospatial services may need significant initial investment, the potential benefits a GIS can offer far outweigh these costs.

Inconsistent data

The efficiency of GIS tools depends on the quality, recency, accuracy, and consistency of the data. The spatial databases supporting GIS face the same challenges as any other dataset when it comes to varied conceptualisation, categorisation, file management, and data cleaning protocols, leading to inconsistent data and inaccurate outcomes.

Lack of standardisation

One of the key contributors to inconsistent data is the lack of standardisation between datasets and the lack of heterogeneity between maps with the development of new GIS tools. This can include anything from loose colour conventions and variations in icons for the same features to inconsistent data layers.

Siloed GIS data

Every GIS tool and the data it uses are extremely siloed. Instead of a single data-enriched system, every country, state, or city has their own GIS tools. The lack of integration between these systems can make it impossible to compare different geographic areas effectively, adding to the challenge of inconsistent data.

Embracing open-source data and standards can be the answer to overcoming these challenges and accelerating the adoption of geospatial services. However, policymakers around the globe have to understand the importance of developing and implementing suitable policies, laws, and regulations to support the adoption of open-source GIS data.

The power of open-source geospatial data

To realise the full potential of geospatial services across many industries, continuous innovation – facilitated by open data – has to be one of the top priorities for global decision-makers. It can help address the issues of interoperability and redundancy between different datasets to help develop value-added services while improving the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the geospatial services.

But how can leveraging open-source geospatial data for GIS tools help?

Data Standards:

  • Defining standards and specification improves the value of GIS data and facilitate development, sharing, and use of geospatial data and services. There are many agencies and consortium like FGDC and NSDI, who in consultation and cooperation with State, local, the private sector and academic, and scientific community, to arrive at Data harmonization and standardisation. Adoption of standards can improve geospatial information sharing, and foster improved decision-making, build business resilience, and lower maintenance and operations costs over time. 
  • By integrating international standards into national regulation like NSDI in India, larger challenges of EXIM policies with respect to Software/Hardware and other technology components can be easily facilitated, thus movement of goods, services and technologies from country to country are well taken care.


Open-source GIS data eliminates the need for expensive proprietary databases, making accurate and consistent data available to everyone.

Wider coverage

Open-source databases can facilitate extensive global coverage, allowing researchers and industry practitioners to explore and analyse geospatial patterns on a much larger scale.


The collaborative and community-driven nature of open-source databases ensures the accuracy and recency of data as contributors can review, correct, or add information to enhance the overall data quality.

Flexibility and customisation

You can easily customise open-source geospatial data to meet the specific needs of your project. It is really easy to extract or filter for data on specific attributes and relevant regions or manipulate the data to suit your machine learning algorithms.

Ease of integration with open-source tools

Potentially, the biggest advantage of open-source GIS data is its ease of integration with a wide variety of open-source tools and systems. This makes it easy for developers to leverage the open-source ecosystem to achieve their goals.

Open data governance

Despite the tremendous potential of open-source GIS data, we cannot use it safely and effectively without appropriate open data governance. The enforcement of regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which emphasize data security and carry substantial fines for non-compliance, has not only raised awareness in the realm of data protection but has also indirectly influenced geospatial preparedness. Most countries are putting open data initiatives in place, with federal governments having to make public data available in machine-readable format in the public domain. However, these initiatives fail to address the use of geospatial data and information, leaving a gap the policymakers must address to ensure open data governance and leverage the full potential open-source geospatial data for efficient geospatial services.

Country like India has, over the past year, producing a rich base of map information and survey, has encapsulated into a Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) to emphasis that Only through common conventions and technical agreements, standards, metadata definitions, network and access protocols will it be easily possible for the NSDI to come into existence.

How can Infosys BPM help?

Infosys BPM offers geospatial services that can help you leverage 20+ years of domain experience and a network of 30k+ global associates to address challenges like provisioning, outage, field/fleet operations, disaster, data quality, and so on. With services like GIS consulting, spatial data management, application support and maintenance, spatial data analysis, and program management, Infosys BPM can help you leverage the power of open-source GIS data and location intelligence to grow.

Recent Posts