Conference Report

Conference Report

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BE Conference 2007, April 29 – May 3, 2007, Los Angeles, California, USA
“It’s time for learning” and Bentley provided more than 100 training sessions to the users during and before the three day Conference at the Los Angeles Convention Center, LA. Malcolm Walter, Bentley COO opened the conference followed by CEO Greg Bentley sharing the corporate news and his insights on the enterprising commercial practices within the Bentley user community during the Plenary session on the 30th May. Keith Bentley, CTO Bentley presented his vision on the future of the Bentley software. Bhupinder Singh, Buddy Cleveland and Gabe Norona, Sr. VPs and other members of the product team viz., Styli Camateros, Shaun Sewell, Rob Whitesell and Brad Workman updated the users with the planned update on the Bentley software. The afternoon session was on the specific verticals and Executive Symposium for the users to interact with peers and researchers. The evening was an event to honour the users of the Bentley software under different categories (See the awardee list in the News section). The event was hosted by Peter Sagal, an eminent theatre and stage artist. As a prelude to the award ceremony, India Media Event was organised on 29th May for the Indian media where they were introduced to the BE 2007 awards nominee from India. Apart from the presentations from the nominee, Bhupinder Singh, Sr. VP, Bentley Software also elaborated on the “Future City” project. The second and third day of the conference was more on the different verticals of Bentley with a Plenary session on 2nd May, when the users peeked through the next product code named “Athens”. The conference was concluded with the Wrap Party at Petree Plaza in the evening.

OSGeo Workshop, May 11, 2007, Noida, India.

“GIS has emerged as an important technology tool. GIS initiatives need to be up-scaled in terms of outreach and this is where OSGeo comes into play.” This was the opening remark made by Dr. P.S Roy, India Representative of OSGeo India Chapter, during the inaugural session of the day-long OSGeo workshop organised by GIS Development. The workshop was attended by a total of 20 participants from the Indian Geospatial Community.

Dr. Roy, in his presentation, spoke about the mission and objectives of OSGeo India Chapter, which was recently inaugurated on January 24, 2007 at the Map World Forum in Hyderabad, India. The primary mission of OSGeo India is to promote free geospatial tools and make them publicly available. Localised GIS (having municipal and village level information) will be encouraged along with the various FOSS GIS mini-projects. It will also seek to act as a bridge between the developers, users, and NGOs. One of the most important objective, from an Indian context, is to convert the free GIS tools like GRASS and MapServer in vernacular languages to create a large interest group. Dr. Roy also elaborated upon some of the noteworthy initiatives taken by organizations in India in the open source domain. For instance, National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA) and National Informatics Centre (NIC) are extensively using FOSS GIS. In the end, he urged all the participants to “join the initiative to take geospatial data to grass-root and bring in transparency in the use of geo-data.”

The second presentation was given by Ravi Kumar, Director (CIMTTI), Geological Survey of India, who is a founder member of OSGeo India. He spoke about various FOSS GIS like GRASS, Quantum GIS, UDIG, Open Jump that are available today. The demonstration on ‘Locating a Nuclear Power Plant’, using Open Jump, was not only interesting but, also testified how FOSS GIS can be equally useful as commercial GIS software. Sridhar Saraswati, representing Autodesk India, helped to answer a vital question- why is Autodesk, a commercial software provider, supporting free and open source software? The second session of the workshop comprised presentations by Satyajit Rath from C-DAC on their initiatives on Open Source GIS’ and ‘Geospatial Convergence with Open Source’ by Amit Jain, of Infosys. He summed up the idea behind FOSS by saying, “Open source and free software provide people with choice.” The workshop ended with Dr. P.S Roy’s remark that “commercial software should invest in open source to make it a win-win situation for all.”

FIG Working Week, 13-17 May 2007, Hong Kong SAR
“Strategic Integration of Surveying Services” was the theme of the 30th FIG Working Week that witnessed participation of over 500 delegates fromall over the world. With multiple areas ranging from disaster management to real-estate management (vis-a-vis surveying) deliberated upon, Stig Enemark, FIG President, mentioned key challenges of surveyors under the purview of reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The bottom line laid out was surveyors should be “proud of their profession”.

The Welcome address was delivered by Hak Chan, Chairman, Organising Committee. During the inaugural ceremony Lu Xinshe, Vice Minister, Ministry of Land and Resources & DG State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping informed about “Digital China” – a geospatial digital framework along with new land laws. Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR H’ble Donald Tsang formally opened the event with the Lion Dotting Ceremony.

Dr LEUNG Chun Ying, GBS, JP, Convenor of the Non-official Members of the Executive Council of the Hong Kong SAR was of the view that never had surveying profession faced so many challenges in a world where globalisation and opening up of trade and political barriers easing up.

300 papers were presented during 60 technical sessions.

The 5-day event ended with the closing remarks as – Secure tenure is not enough: stability and good governance and building the capacity is essential for poverty reduction. Urban-rural interrelationships are to be attended duly while the profession grows.

(Image courtesy:www.fig.net)