It can seem like a monumental feat keeping track of the entire world.

You have a massive population to consider. Fluctuating landscapes, emerging cultures, entire industries…that doesn’t even scratch the surface of the unknown future and all the unexpected details it could hold in just the span of a few years. Despite all these variables, location intelligence technology proves it can keep pace time and time again. Demographic reporting tools are more important than ever in uncertain times and give you an edge in determining the best potential for your industry or what to expect from your company’s recent employment ventures.

How does geospatial mapping work and why will we continue to rely on it in the future? Read below to learn more about this incredible feat in engineering and photography.

Let’s first learn about how location intelligence is achieved in the first place. Past attempts at calculating entire populations were inaccurate at best, potentially damaging at worst. Today we use a powerful combination of GPS satellites, photogammetry and a constantly updating digital sphere to inform us of even the tiniest changes worldwide. Google’s data experts recently stated around 15% of this process is data capture, 20% is data reporting and the rest data analysis.

Satellites have proven one of our most reliable tools in making sense of the planet. There are always at least 24 active GPS satellites circling the earth, though this number has started to balance closer to 30. Every satellite goes around the world once every 12 hours, with each one traveling at a staggering 12,500 miles above us at nearly 7,000 miles per hour. Each GPS receiver is capable of determining the current time to a stunningly accurate degree, with some reports claiming within 100 billionths of a second. Without these tools we would be in the dark when it comes to population shifts occurring under our own nose.

Did you know the world’s population will grow by 50% in the next four decades? That’s over nine billion from the six and a half billion we have now. A major function of location intelligence is studying the flow of entire industries and how they’ll respond to population booms or deficits. By the time 2030 comes around, for example, every 100 workers in Europe will have to support 40 people over the age of 65. Compare this to 2008 where this number was closer to 25 pensioners for every 100 people. This was published by Eurostat, the statistics arm of the European Union and just one of many location intelligence companies.

Geospatial data analysis can also be used to help predict the job market. A 2014 global business survey provided by Dresner Advisory Services revealed more than half of all respondents stating location intelligence to be critically important to their business planning. Research company Gartner has also conducted several studies, concluding there will be well over four million big data jobs available in the next two years. They also stated a mere third of them will be successfully filled. This gap in employment is essential to help companies prepare for potential deficits and react accordingly.

What does the future hold for marketing analytics services? To put it simply, the future is brighter than ever. The geospatial industry generated an impressive $70 billion in revenue back in 2011 and continues to help generate over $1 trillion for the rest of the American economy, perfect for helping plan future ventures and provide jobs in of themselves. In fact, the Bureau Of Labor Statistics have anticipated steady growth in jobs that require familiarity with GIS and location intelligence, which includes geographers and mapping technicians. Another report by the MarketsandMarkets estimated geospatial analytics will see a 20% compound annual growth rate by 2020.

It’s often best to keep things simple. That’s the function of geospatial technology for a massive world always on the move.