interview with Arjan Spigt, Head of Sales at GEOJUNXION
GeoJunxion has a strong past in map development, but it evolved into a creator of specialized map-agnostic, value-added geolocated data and services for a variety of industries, markets, and applications. They used to say that, at GeoJunxion, “we simplify data complexity by providing solutions to our B2B clients”. And it's about intelligence about green zones. Around the world, environmental zones restricting vehicle traffic in cities are increasing. AEM interviewed Arjan Spigt, Head of Sales at GEOJUNXION.
written by Han_ firstname.lastname@example.org
Q. Please introduce your company. Although it is a startup, I understand that the company has quite a long history.
GeoJunxion is a Dutch Scale-up with a particular characteristic: it has decades of history. In fact, the Company was founded in 1984 under the brand AND, derived from the names of the owners. At that time, we were among the pioneers of the mapping industry for car navigation competing with major brands like TeleAtlas and NavTeq. During the course of the years, the mapping and navigation systems industries have undergone radical changes, consolidations, and continuous evolutions, with the arrival of global Tech Companies like Google, Apple, and Garmin, just to mention a few of them. Therefore, in the last couple of years, the Company has rebranded from AND to GeoJunxion, with the goal to focus on a new strategy. It added a dynamic new executive management team and is now creating and delivering premium location-aware content and services to corporates and global tech platforms. Therefore, GeoJunxion has a strong past in map development, but it evolved into a creator of specialized map-agnostic, value-added geolocated data and services for a variety of industries, markets, and applications. We used to say that, at GeoJunxion, “we simplify data complexity by providing solutions to our B2B clients”.
GeoJunxion's mission is “to become the market leader in location-aware content for safety on the road, environmental sustainability, and social utility”.
Q. What is the main business?
In this context, GeoJunxion’s business is based on three fundamental pillars: The Location Aware Content - the most traditional part of GeoJunxion’s offering, with global digital maps, administrative areas and other geo-boundaries, map tile services, addresses, Geo-Coder, and ZIP code database, including ZIP+4 in the States.
The Premium Location Aware Content – is mainly represented by Eco Alert Zones and Safety Alert Zones.
Eco Alert Zones is a specialized dataset of smart polygons about all active, permanent, seasonal, and temporary Low-Emission Zones and Traffic Limited Zones that either restrict access or require the payment of a fee to access the area. These zones have been created by local Governments and Municipalities in order to lower pollution levels and traffic congestion and improve air quality with consequential benefits to life quality. Restrictions vary depending on the type of vehicle and type of area enforced. With this dataset, our partners will know what is required before entering those areas, depending on the enforced regulations and type of vehicle. Available for passenger cars and light vehicles up to 3.5T as well as similar information for heavy vehicles above 3.5 T.
Safety Alert Zones are smart polygons, time and weather-dependent, around areas with a higher probability of accidents in certain specific conditions, such as tunnels, bridges, accident-prone areas, Schools, and more. In this dataset, we highlight the School Safety Zones and School Streets; a specialized dataset focused on smart polygons identifying areas around Schools and Kindergartens where, at certain days and times there is a higher density of vulnerable pedestrians. Based on two different concepts: a dataset focused on areas around schools identified through proprietary GeoJunxion algorithms, which take in consideration relevant features on the road, functional for commuting to the final destination, like bus stops, metro and railway stations, zebra crossing - and another dataset dealing with School Streets defined by Local Authorities and enforced by law (similar to the Eco Alert Zones concept). The proprietary algorithms and scripts built for the school zones are utilized for the creation of similar datasets for other areas with a high density of vulnerable pedestrians at certain times during the day, like playgrounds, hospitals, stadiums, event areas, and many more.
GeoJunxion – example of School Safety Zones in Germany
The last pillar in GeoJunxion’s business is represented by the Location Intel agency Services - Custom data search, data collection, aggregation and consolidation, geo-analytics, data normalization, and deployment to enhance the maps of our B2B customers and create a better and richer user experience for their clients.
Under the Location Intelligence Services umbrella, we recently invested in the Last Mile Mapping business: custom outdoor and indoor fully navigable maps of specific locations and venues where other generalist map providers are missing the necessary details. Think about Stadiums and Sports venues, Camping, Airports, Museums, Theatres, Hospitals, Campuses, Holiday Parks, Large Industrial Areas, Festivals, and many other use cases. A hyper-detailed digital map of a venue allows the organizer of the event or the owner of the area to provide visitors and customers with an improved user experience, empowering the business opportunities, taking the right decisions and creating a safer environment for everybody.
Q. Also, please tell us about the software capabilities and expertise of the staff.
As of today, GeoJunxion has a Team in Europe, mainly located in the Dutch headquarters in Capelle aan denIjssel, close to Rotterdam: about 25 employees and long-standing contractors. The Company is built around the R&D and Operations departments, where most of the resources are allocated. In addition, the Company maintains a very solid historical relationship with a Team of contractors in India, where most of the work of digitalization is performed as well as part of the software development.
Q. As we saw in the demo, there are not many eco-friendly promotion areas in Korea….
Environmental Zones are mainly concentrated in Europe. Such a concept started long ago, with the first eco-friendly area implemented in Sweden in 1996. Since then, a lot of improvements and evolutions happened: most of the European countries embraced the challenge of reducing air and noise pollution, in particular in the city centers, through the adoption and enforcement of environmental areas. This approach is becoming more and more relevant in other countries around the world, not limited to Europe, but rapidly growing in North and South America as well.
As of today, in Korea, we are informed about the existence of a single environmental area, which, of course, is digitized and included in the GeoJunxion’s Eco Alert Zones dataset. This Zone is the 'Green Transport Promotion Zone' (녹색 교통 진흥 구') enclosed by the old city walls, located in parts of Jongno-gu and Jung-gu. This is an example of a time-dependent zone as vehicles with Emission Gas Grade 5 are allowed in the Green Transport Zone from 6 a.m. in the morning til to 9 p.m. in the evening. Our dataset always includes information in the Local language and in English.
Q. Please tell us about eco-friendly road policies such as low-emission zones and zero-emission zones in major regions such as Europe, especially the Netherlands.
European countries are leading when talking about the adoption of environmental areas. Depending on the type of restrictions and the goal intended to be achieved, the environmental areas can take different names: Low Emission Zones, Ultra Low Emission Zones, Zero Emission Zones, Clean Air Zones, Congestion Charges Zones, Air Protection Zones, and Traffic Limited Zones. There are areas impacting light and heavy vehicles and others that are specific only for heavy vehicles above 3.5 tons. Of course, each of them may take other names in specific local languages, making the situation even more complex, particularly for tourists visiting foreign countries.
As already explained, an environmental zone is a specific area in a city or a region that is protected by regulations and restrictions to improve air quality. These zones are usually established to reduce emissions of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, which are responsible for poor air quality in many cities. However, the enforcement of such zones produces positive results also in the reduction of noise pollution, reducing traffic congestion, and improvement the quality of life, as well as protection of historical and ancient city centers, designed and built for completely different traffic conditions.
GeoJunxion – example of low emission zone in Frankfurt (Germany)
In these zones, certain rules apply to vehicle access based on vehicle emissions and vehicle characteristics.
This may include enforcing driving bans on certain types of vehicles or requiring the purchase of green passes, to allow access to the specific vehicle. Such a pass (sticker), which must be affixed to the vehicle, confirms that the vehicle complies with the applicable emission regulations and is therefore authorized to drive in the low-emission zone.
Environmental zones might be permanent, therefore always present and enforced respecting clear calendars and timetables. Other environmental zones might be temporary, i.e. activated only under specific conditions, weather, and air pollution dependent. For this reason, GeoJunxion’s Eco Alert Zones dataset is continuously updated, to allow the clients to use the freshest possible data, always up-to-date, respecting the dynamic nature of such information.
AEM_Automotive Electronics Magazine