FIG Working Week 2005 and GSDI-8, Cairo, Egypt
The FIG Working Week 2005 was organised in Cairo, Egypt 16-21 April 2005. The FIG Council and the local organisers – the Egyptian Committee for Surveying and Mapping (ECSM) and the Egyptian Survey Authority (ESA) – decided to organise the conference jointly with the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure (GSDI). The joint conference “From Pharaohs to Geoinformatics” combined elements both from the FIG Working Week and the GSDI-8 conference.
The conference attracted more than 900 participants from about 80 countries. During the three and half day technical programme there were 51 technical sessions, several round table discussions (as, the education in Africa, FIG future governance, standards, etc.) and working group meetings. Seven pre-conference workshops (each lasting for a half or for a full day) made the whole programme a one-week event. In the technical programme more than 400 papers, presentations and posters were made.
At the opening ceremony the keynote address from the Government of Egypt was made by HE Dr. Mahmoud Abu Zeid, Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation. The conference enjoyed the patronage of the Government of Egypt and the Prime Minister, Dr. Ahmed Nazif, who was unable to attend the event. The welcome address from the organising committee was given by Dr. Eng. Ahmed Fouad El-Sheikh, Chair of the Organising Committee and President of the Egyptian Committee on Surveying and Mapping (ECSM). The GSDI presentation was given by Dr. Mukund Rao, President of GSDI.
The keynote opening address was about the conference title “From Pharaohs to Geoinformatics – Shaping the Change” presented by Prof. Holger Magel, President of FIG, who also formally opened the conference.
During the first plenary session presentations were made by Dr. Ismail Serageldin, CEO of the Alexandria Library, Mr. Jack Dangermond, President and founder of ESRI and Mrs. Preetha Pulusani, President of Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions.
The other two plenary sessions were on Land Management and SDIs (with Dr. Paul Munro-Faure (FAO), Dr Clarissa Augustinus (UN-Habitat), Ms Dorine A J Burmanje, Chair of the Board of Dutch Cadastre and Eng. Mohamed Mosaad Ibrahim, Ex-Chairman, The Egyptian Survey Authority, ESA as speakers) and on the Future of the SDI / Surveying Communities (with Prof. Ian Dowman, President of ISPRS, Prof. Hans Sünkel, Rector of the University of Graz and Dr. Hisham El Sherif, Chairman of IT Investments Group, Egypt as speakers). The technical programme was fully integrated so there were no separate programmes for GSDI or FIG delegates, neither separation in the registrations etc.
There was a high-level participation from professional partners. Presidents of following associations attended the conference: ISPRS (Prof Ian Dowman), IAG (Prof Gerhard Beutler), ICA (Prof Milan Konecny), IHO (Vice Admiral Alexandros Marathos) and ISM (Prof Yu Changxing, immediate past President).
International Federation of Hydrographic Societies was represented by John McCarthy with whom FIG signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Cairo. The International Steering Committee for Global Mapping (ISCGM) had their annual meeting in Cairo and in addition had two sessions in the technical programme, chaired by Prof. Fraser Taylor, President of ISCGM. One of the pre-conference workshops was organised in co-operation with ISO TC 211. This workshop attracted over 100 participants to each of its sessions during the day. The two gold sponsors of the conference – ESRI and Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions – also had their workshops before the conference started.