How Deep Technologies Are Transforming the Mapping Industry in 2020-21

By Cristy Menzie, Published on: 25th November 2020

Given current circumstances, the world is becoming more and more interconnected than ever before. In addition, the ongoing pandemic is changing the way we work, play, learn, shop, and do business, among other things. All this creates a great demand for mapping technologies of varying forms. An earlier RMSI blog post,  Acknowledging the Significance of Maps in Times of Pandemics, spoke about how companies are publishing innovative maps that are helping in managing and controlling the outbreak. There is further need of mapping technologies that will focus on improving the world in more ways than one. A great example of such a mapping technology is deep technology.

Understanding Deep Technology

In its simplest sense, deep technology is an umbrella term that pertains to all kinds of innovations that do not focus on end-user services. This means that unlike most companies within the tech industry, those involving themselves with deep tech are not focused on churning out inventions at a fast pace just to meet insatiable customer demands. Deep tech can also refer to advancements based on tangible engineering innovation, scientific improvements, discoveries and solutions that will make the world a better place for all.

Given its broad and extensive nature, corporate investment and incubation firm BCG Digital Ventures highlighted that deep technology might come with sizeable engineering risk. Ironically, this risk is one of the many reasons why deep tech is such an exciting field for innovators and investors alike. The organization divided deep tech into two primary schools, which are the following:

  1. Visionary tech, which focuses on tech that has the potential to change the world. This kind of technology is typically limited to tech titans or even nation-states.
  2. Pioneering tech can be utilized by entrepreneurs, is scalable and can be operated. UK-based online supermarket Ocado has developed autonomous delivery vans, which can fall under this category. The development of autonomous vans highlights how deep tech innovations and the mapping industry will work closely.

All in all, working with deep technology is a waiting game. The potential payoffs of this technology have the power to change societies, but we must also be well-aware that they might take a lot longer than expected to roll in.

Using Maps in 2020-21

Mapping is a critical component of business operations. Case in point, digital mapping is necessary for increasing the efficiency and safety of mobile logistics workers. A case study on live mapping published by Verizon Connect cites seeing drivers in real-time as a huge benefit of this technology, along with the ability to track incidents that go against company policy. With safety and efficiency being a huge focus in terms of post-COVID success, logistics companies will need to revisit their operations to ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible.


The BBC has also reported the dire need for businesses to address climate change’s effects into the New Year. Geospatial mapping is crucial in monitoring energy usage, and the findings of this research can help create deep tech solutions. Indeed, addressing climate change is a perfect example of the waiting game that deep tech brings along with it.

The nature of deep tech means that we can only imagine what these developments will look like in coming future. However, mapping solutions will play an increasingly important role in developing tech solutions that will benefit future societies for years to come.

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