Expanding GIS Horizons

Expanding GIS Horizons

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1 – 2 December 2005, Radisson MBD Hotel, Noida, India

Expanding GIS horizons for India” was the theme of the Eigth Annual India ESRI User Conference. The conference deliberated on different ways and means of increasing the usage of Geographic Information Systems in India. The two-day event was attended by close to 700 ESRI software users from India and abroad.

The conference began with a warm welcome by Mr. Rajesh Mathur, President, ESRI India. The plenary session was graced by Mr. Arvind Thakur, Director, NIIT Technologies, Mr. N Vijayaditya, Director General, NIC, Mr.Dean Angelides, Technology Strategist, ESRI and Mr. Joseph Arokiadas, Head, NDC, NRSA. Mr. Mathur, President, ESRI India, gave a brief about the evolution of GIS in India during the plenary session. He then spoke about the current status and the trends in GIS in India. He also touched upon a few GIS projects that are implemented in India like the Multi-layer GIS for Planning developed by NIC and the Andhra Pradesh Micro-Irrigation Project etc. He also highlighted the achievements made by ESRI India in the past twelve months.

Giving the keynote address during the plenary session of conference, Dr N Vijayaditya, Director General, National Informatics Centre, talked about the growing use of GIS in the government and also how GIS is enabling the government. Further he stressed on making the technology cater to the needs of the citizens. Dr Vijayaditya, Director, Dr Vijayaditya said NIC plays a role within the government to create a system that caters the technology needs at various levels of governance. Several applications developed by NIC have infused the system with tremendous vigour and transparency.

Arvind Thakur, CEO, NIIT Technologies, on talking about ‘GIS offshore outsourcing’, said “Offshoring is witnessing a mega trend, and what’s driving it is the phenomena of globalization.” He further opined that outsourcing is creating free markets, opening up economies and enabling work mobility. Changing demographics in India predict that by 2020, we would have 47 million surplus workforce, which would be a tremendous opportunity for services industry in India.

The highlights of the conference were the technology sessions- Desktop Products and Server Products, Quiz, Map Gallery, Workshops, Exhibition and Paper Presentations Sessions on Natural Resources, Infrastructure, Technology, Utilities etc.

The two-day conference ended with the valedictory session by Prof K K Agarwal, Vice chancellor, I P University, New Delhi, followed by the awards distribution. Prof Agarwal stressed on the growing use of GIS in various fields. He felt that the vital factor is the actual use of technology in fields like resource planning, urban planning, rural development and many more such areas. He further said that he foresees the most important and a speedy growth of GIS application in pre-disaster warning system as well as post disaster mitigation effects.