The 20th Asian Conference on Remote Sensing (ACRS) was held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from 22-25 November, 1999. It was organised by the Asian Association on Remote Sensing (AARS), the Association for Science and Technology and the Ministry of Science and Technology, China. The conference had over 450 participants including officers, leading researchers and scientists from more than 40 professional associations from Asia and other parts of the world, to exchange views on the development of Remote Sensing and GIS in Asia.
Distinguished persons like Prof. John C. Trinder, Secretary General, ISPRS, Australia, Prof. Chen Shupeng, Hon. Director, Institute of Remote Sensing Application, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China, Dr. Marc D’lorio, CCRS, Canada, Prof. Armin Gruen, ETH, Switzerland and Prof. John L. Van Genderen, ITC, Netherlands attended the general conference.
Shunji Murai, Secretary General, AARS, released the memorial book of ACRS on this occasion. In his opening speech, he proposed to the AARS members to design, develop and fabricate RICESAT as a friendship satellite to comemorate the 20th anniversary of ACRS. The details of the proposed satellite were distributed among the participants. He also proposed the formation of an Asian Remote Sensing Research Information Network (ARSRIN), an NGO, devoted to promote information network among research institutions and researchers in the Asian region to strengthen research capabilities by fostering exchange and sharing of information, experience, expertise and benefits through internet, publication of journals, video conferences, workshops/seminars/symposiums and other necessary activities. Further, the Hong Kong Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing was inducted as an ordinary member and the Institute of Photogrammetry, Hannover University has confirmed to become an Associate Member from 1999. Mr. Jack Dangermond, Founder and President, ESRI, USA and Prof. N. Chen Shupen delivered keynote speeches on ‘GIS future in 21st century’ and ‘Digital Earth and Geoinformation Science’ respectively.
Three different educational workshops were held on three consecutive days. The first workshop conducted by the Hong Kong GIS Association stressed application of Remote Sensing Images. The Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors conducted the second workshop and it dealt with the use of artificial satellites and GPS on GIS and Remote Sensing. The final workshop related to remote sensing and its uses was conducted by the Hong Kong Institution of Engineering Surveyors. In all, four technical workshops on Radar, Hyper Spectrum, Digitisation and Digital Earth and Disasters were conducted. Business meetings by NRSA, ESRI, Hong Kong, ERDAS Inc. and Earth Resource Mapping Pvt. Ltd. were also held. Besides, three special sessions were also organised. The first session was on 3-D Measurement and Modelling in which 10 papers were presented. The second session on Hyper Spectral Image Processing saw the presentation of 10 papers. The final session was on Airborne Remote sensing in which nine papers were presented.
The remote Sensing and GIS Association (RESGA) of Thailand announced the presentation of Dr. Boon Indrambarya Gold Medal at the 20th Asian Conference on Remote Sensing. This was the second time Thailand gave the honour to those indiviuals who have contributed substantially to the advancement of remote sensing technology and the practical application through active participation, support or coordination. The first presentation was made during 16th ACRS at Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, to two individuals: Professor Shunji Murai of Japan and Associate Professor Kaew Nualchawee of Thailand.
At the 20th Asian Conference on Remote Sensing, the following outstanding persons were awarded:
- Professor Chen Shupen, China,
- Dr. He Changchui, China,
- Professor B. L. Deekshatulu, India,
- Mr. Nik Nasruddin Mahmood, Malaysia,
- Dr. Heng L. Thung, USA,
- Professor Dr. Ir. Harsano Wiryosumarto, Indonesia,
- Dr. Ryutaro Tateishi, Japan,
- Mr. Kenji Maruo, Japan,
- Dr. Salim Mehmud, Pakistan,
- Associate Professor Pongpit Piyapongse, Thailand,
- Mr. Manu Omakupt, Thailand and
- Dr. Suvit Vibulsresth,