Every day, millions of users utilize spatial computing applications such as ride-sharing apps, GPS, e911 systems, social media check-ins, and even Pokémon Go. Scientists and researchers use spatial computing to map the ocean floor, watch the behavior of endangered animals, and produce real-time election maps. Drones and self-driving vehicles use different spatial computing technologies. Understanding the physical environment, knowing and communicating our relationship to specific locations within it, and navigating through those locations are all necessary for spatial computing to function. It has drastically altered our lives and infrastructures, signaling a substantial change in the way we navigate the world. The technologies and concepts behind spatial computing are explained in this MIT Essential Knowledge series volume.
The book provides readable explanations of GPS and location-based services, such as the use of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and RFID for position determination outside of satellite range; remote sensing, which employs satellite and aerial platforms to monitor a variety of phenomena, such as global food production, the effects of climate change, and subsurface natural resources on other planets; geographic information systems (GIS), which store, analyze, and visualize spatial data; spatial data; and spatial data visualization.