Partner Spotlight: An Interview With Myles Sutherland From GeoCam

This partner spotlight with Myles Sutherland from GeoCam originally appeared in our quarterly email newsletter. Not receiving our newsletter? Click here to sign up!

Kevin Maes: Can you share more about your vision for GeoCam?

Myles Sutherland: Our vision is to help organizations save time, creating efficient processes to work from accurate, current 3D geospatial data. We imagined an approach using simple GNSS enabled cameras and Intelligent Image processing that would allow us to scale up data services anywhere in the world.Our team comes from the geospatial, imagery, and gaming industries, so we were well versed in the complexities that come with using low accuracy smart devices with big teams or in using laser scanning equipment that requires a lot of capital to scale and skills to operate.

We boiled the challenge down to going from sensor to geodatabase as fast as possible to support organizations looking to design, build, and operate infrastructure across city, utility, and commercial real estate markets. What gets us excited is seeing organizations and their teams get excited about applying intelligent imagery and geospatial data to their workflows, that in the past was out of reach or too daunting to dive into.

Today, we speak more about creating Geospatial Digital Twins helping map, measure, and model complex structures like Utility networks and the various components that go into operating them. This is a 3D problem … no more 2D mapping.

KM: Technology wise, GeoCam is making game changing shifts to how wireless and fiber can be executed and managed. How do you see that impacting or potentially impacting the telecom industry and your business model?

MS: One of the big benefits is being able to optimize the field work and allow staff to work on more complex critical aspects of a project rather than taking multiple trips to collect data or validate data from previous visits. We believe that high quality data can be collected really early in a project’s development that carries with it a lot of downstream value.

Today, we can image a city to support an initial design, creating a smarter design. Downstream as the project is being developed the same imagery can be applied to creating precise data to support the construction process. In fact this isn’t a belief … it’s what we are doing working with your team and why we’re excited to help wireless and fiber companies build faster and more efficiently.

KM: What’s been the biggest surprise to you related to the broadband/Internet industry in recent years?

MS: Well I am a Geographer, so learning about the industry has been really fun. I try to relate everything back to a map helping me visualize what the network is, where it is, and how it’s being used. Once you start thinking about the 5G wireless on the street, in buildings, the fiber backhaul, and of course my favorite the microwave networks it really hits home how connected we are and how complex the networks are. Someone showed me the microwave network for Los Angeles in 3D … blew my mind to think about all these links providing redundancy to not just my phone, but the public safety organizations needing to communicate and collaborate.

One of my good friends taught me that there is no wireless without wires. That woke me up to thinking more about where the real costs are and how we could help the process of building these networks. We are not only working on OSP use cases, but also ISP. In buildings this is a really complex challenge esp as we start to think more about the cyber security aspects to the network and the other services that layer onto the networks, including indoor positioning.

KM: What do you think the industry will look like in 5 years?

MS: Well I am still learning a lot about it so I’m not sure I have a valuable opinion! I do hope we have more distributed, equal access to information. Speed is everything and anytime we can access information quicker than before we figure out how to leverage it. It seems to me that it should be everyone’s right to have a base level of access. As we roll out faster cellular networks this is going to be a big challenge. The work being done in partnership with cities and townships on neutral host networks is fascinating to track.

Myles Sutherland is the Founder of GeoCam, a Geographer and a proud Kiwi. Prior to launching his startup he worked for nearly a decade at Esri working with startups. Connect with Myles on LinkedIn.

Interested in reading another interview with an industry expert? Click here for the interview we did with Rebecca Denman from Holtger Bros., Inc.!