Satellite positioning is part of our everyday life. The operation of power and communications networks and transport services, for example, requires satellite positioning or absolute time information. “Satellite positioning is part of digitalisation,” said Minister of Transport and Communications Anne Berner in her opening address at the 2016 European Navigation Conference (ENC 2016).
The conference focuses on positioning, navigation and timing technology innovations and applications at land, sea and air, with a special focus on challenges in Arctic navigation, positioning solutions using geospatial big-data, and intelligent transport.
According to an assessment made by the European Commission in 2015, the market for satellite navigation is expected to be worth over EUR 40 billion in 2018. People will be carrying most of this growth in their pockets and handbags – in the form of smartphones. Market research suggests that the number of smartphones would be up to five billion in 2016, with satellite positioning in almost each phone.
Geospatial data from satellite systems is used in everyday services, such as map services helping people to find the nearest gas station, or on a larger scale in traffic control to ensure smooth and safe traffic.
The speakers of the opening day of the conference included Minister of Transport and Communications Anne Berner, Director Matthias Petschke from the European Commission, Professor Gérard Lachapelle from the University of Calgary and Professor John Raquet from the US Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT).
The ENC 2016 is held in Helsinki on 30 May–2 June 2016. It is organised by the Finnish Geospatial Research Institute together with the Ministry of Transport and Communications and navigation operators.
Satellite positioning has a key role to play in digitalisation in Finland. The Government’s key project to build a growth environment for digital business operations aims to create a favourable operating environment for digital services and new business models.