Why does spatial data analysis matter now?
Spatial analysis is really at an inflection point at this point in time. Prior to, say over the last 10 or 15 years, customers had to manage their own infrastructure, or when they were loading their GIS software, they had to install it in a particular machine. And maybe that machine was a laptop, maybe it was a desktop, maybe it was a mainframe. But in any case, it was the customer’s responsibility to figure out how big that computer should be, or how much CPU cycles they need, or how many bytes of storage etcetera.
So the part of that inflection point so, one part is that by bringing BigQuery and GIS together, we are bringing very big data infrastructure to spatial analysis. The part that CARTO adds, that’s very exciting, is adding prepared data sets that folks need and use all the time. Right? These are the things that are hard to go and find, and then you have to prep them. By having CARTO do this for you and use your long expertise in the industry, we can have all of these assets ready for people to just simply include in their analysis with no time penalty, no cost penalties. Google is actually going to foot the bill for the storage, so folks can just use the data.
What does it mean for a company like Google?
BigQuery is Google’s enterprise data warehouse. Our strategy with the product is to make it as useful to as many different kinds of people as we possibly can, which means we want to have as many different kinds of analyses that we support. GIS plays exactly into this strategy. We want GIS professionals to be able to use our product and use it effectively and get great value out of it. The conference and the collaboration with CARTO is a major step forward in providing that ease of use because, with the data observatory, customers don’t have to load and process and prepare their own data. It’s there CARTO and BigQuery are doing that for them. It’s like as Javier said earlier, it’s like getting a gift with the batteries included. Right? You’re just ready to run.
What are your thoughts on the 2019 Spatial Data Science Conference?
This is my first time attending the conference and I’m very, very impressed with how excited everybody is. You can hear the noise in the background, right? There’s no shortage of conversations. But really what’s most fun is the problems that people are solving, there are folks solving problems for public health and public good. There are hedge funds solving it strictly for monetary gains and that breadth is interesting. Whether your personal values align more with one or the other. The work that people are doing is incredibly interesting and ultimately incredibly valuable.