Spotlight Interview : Emapsite

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In our latest Spotlight Interview, we spoke to Daniel Clements, Business Lead at Emapsite. Daniel talks about their journey so far, data integration and interoperability and the future of geospatial data and insights. “We’re seeing businesses of all sizes warming to the idea that geospatial makes competitive advantage a reality. The more complex the real estate, or location-connected enterprise, the smarter the decision-making can be.It may be something as simple as individual searches at property level, or more complex, such as portfolio modelling across a wide area, on or offshore, but the benefits are tangible”


Q1. Emapsite has been operating for over 20 years, can you tell us what the journey has been so far and changes you have seen in the industry when it comes to geospatial data and insight?

The whole world is waking up to the power of location data in general, the proptech industry in particular. It’s nothing short of phenomenal. Our own journey’s been full of milestones marking the changes in technical capability – we’ve pioneered some of them, and are quite proud about that. Geospatial isn’t an option any more, it’s an essential part of every progressive organisation’s focus on differentiation and efficiency. What’s most exciting perhaps, is the choice between embracing the basics that have such a huge influence on, say, ESG drivers and customer service quality – or going all out in search of competitive advantage with AI-powered geospatial solutions.


Q2. Can you provide examples of how Emapsite’s geospatial data solutions have been integrated into real estate companies’ existing workflows and systems to streamline processes and enhance operational efficiency?

Yes, we offer the mapping and data that shows not only precisely where things are – onshore, offshore, underground – but where they used to be, and where they could be in the future. Having that information in granular, authoritative details means that disparate databases can all be linked, with confidence. No more confusion or queries about ‘which building is it?’, or ‘which plot of land, exactly’? That means teams can get the answers to standard or bespoke queries incredibly quickly. Entire workflows become faster and, because this is all location-oriented, visualising the results is easy. Integrated geospatial data leads to infinitely better decision-making.

In fact, our property-level intelligence enables any proptech business (any business) to divine what’s here and what’s there, what’s nearby, what’s underground, what used to be here. Telco companies, for example, can isolate and analyse potential areas for operating in or marketing their services, based on a multi-faceted analysis of business properties and their owners. Businesses can appraise, manage and futureproof their assets by making better business decisions, using the location of their portfolios or operations to shape more efficient work models. Ultimately, it’s location data that leads to far greater efficiency, lower costs, and much better customer service.


Q3. How does Emapsite address the challenge of data integration and interoperability for real estate companies that may be using multiple data sources and systems?

From experience, we know this is a concern. Mainly because integrating geospatial data is seen as a distinct specialism. It is, but it’s so worth it – the savings and the differentiation are worth their weight in gold. And yet the questions we’re often asked first are, will it be possible? What impact will there be for us, if lots of different data sources are going through this ‘improvement’ programme at the same time – will people need training? Will whole systems need upgrading? We walk customers through this at their own pace, bringing a wide variety of stakeholders in to the same conversation at the right levels. It’s one of the great advantages we have, being part of the Idox Group. Our own team of location data specialists is supported by a plethora of other, relevant and related expertise.

The reality is, when a single, verified point of truth is linking all of your own data together authoritatively (that’s precise location), it opens up huge possibilities. And it doesn’t mean a huge change in operating models, either. Location data can be accessed via an online platform or direct, from web services. Plugin APIs are a tried and tested, and very popular option for in-house tech teams – and of course, having the granular source data hosted and curated elsewhere by dedicated specialists removes the headache of hosting and ongoing management. We become an extension of in-house teams, really.


Q4. Can you tell us briefly how real estate companies can use Emapsite’s geospatial data to help with achieving their ESG goals?

This is such a rich seam of potential competitive advantage. ESG goals and ESG-geared operating models are contributing not only to society but also to the bottom line. End consumers are putting ethical decision-making into their financial planning. Historically, the focus was mostly on the obvious – carbon emissions and reducing impact on climate. Now though, as organisations are embracing ‘full-on’ ESG as part of their long-term strategies, the gaze is shifting to future proofing assets, and minimising risk profiles. Organisations must adapt if they are going to endure. In terms of ‘how does location data help?’, the answer is simple: it makes it much easier to find the answers to questions prompted by ESG concerns.

Our work to date with the proptech industry shows us the questions are often quite similar – to minimise our impact, where do we build? to satisfy our shareholders’ environmental criteria, what do we acquire? to better-operate our own portfolio, what should we change or diversify? – but those answers are all available. It requires a deep understanding of the situation, but location data has a transformative effect on sustainability strategies, in particular. The datasets are extensive and varied, with innumerable benefits. Tree data, for example – where trees are in a portfolio, and how that impacts maintenance. Or purchase. Or value. Or the way in which environmental scoring is calculated across the business. Cabling and pipelines, waterways, green spaces, land boundaries, the risk of subsidence – location data is multi-faceted, and every one of these data sets holds myriad, untapped insights, and (because location is so specific), they can all be interlinked and integrated with proprietary information, too.


Q5. Looking ahead, how does Emapsite envision the role of geospatial data and insights in shaping the future of the real estate industry, and what steps is the company taking to innovate and stay ahead of the curve in this regard?

We’re seeing businesses of all sizes warming to the idea that geospatial makes competitive advantage a reality. The more complex the real estate, or location-connected enterprise, the smarter the decision-making can be.

It may be something as simple as individual searches at property level, or more complex, such as portfolio modelling across a wide area, on or offshore, but the benefits are tangible. Naturally, AI is high on the agenda. For businesses that are set-up to explore innovative or bespoke solutions, it’s a very exciting time indeed. Everything that proptech might use AI for, without exception, has a fundamental connection to location – and already, we’re seeing text based analysis with geospatial insights that’s delivering exceptional result. We provide that current, authoritative, and accurate data on which those AI models are being trained today, and we’re developing datasets – our own, and with client’s data too – that will deliver even more valuable results in the future.

Anyone who’s working in proptech knows, it’s essential to find answers for real-world questions that are backed by quality, hardcore data. Whether it’s an internal stakeholder or an external customer who’s prompted the query, the better the data, the faster and more valuable the results.

In fact, the opportunities are increasing so fast, one of our present challenges is simply helping people to know more about ‘easy wins’. Location data is far more accessible and consumable than people realise. And just as ESG-activity has become second nature, so too will location-powered decision-making and the more intuitive use of location data, throughout.


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