Geography and Environment International Conference 2013

Geography and Environment International Conference 2013

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‘Everything happens somewhere’. That was the sentence most heard in October, at Mexico City. During three days, delegates from 21 countries attended the Geography and Environment International Conference – CIGMA 2013 discussing the real value of geographic information. Key speakers shared good practices, experiences and challenges across the main areas of the technologies apply.

In the master lecture, Jack Dangermond, president of ESRI, emphasized that WEB GIS is open and allowing geospatial data empowering the whole community in the world. In his words, we are seeing a massive evolution in this field. “Technology is very powerful and we need to integrate geographic information in everything that we do. GIS is not just visualise but to analyse the information and this is powerful”, he said.

The event had the plenary session with the president and CEO of Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), Mark Reichardt, that focus in interoperability defined as ”the ability of diverse systems and organisations to work together”. To him, interoperability can save time, efforts, money, and help to increase the market. Mark said: ”interoperability through standards underpins spatial data infrastructure worldwide, creating geospatial value”.

The quality of data was discussed in the plenary session as well. To Reichardt, we need better standards and policy to advance in share and application of geoinformation. We need a better understanding of quality to increase and make better decisions. Vanessa Lawrence, director general and CEO of Ordnance Survey, emphasised on ”high quality”, ”highly maintained” and ”high value” of geospatial information. In her presentation, Lawrence stressed the role of accurate, reliable, trustable and updated geospatial data for the economic development. “High quality geospatial information actually can make a real difference in the economics. High quality is not about the scales. High quality is about how add value to data. It is important to understand about why we can transfer geographic information into our economy”, said.

One of the world”s leading authorities on the theme, Fraser Taylor, distinguished research professor and director of the Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre, Carleton University, advocated for 4D cartography. Taylor said that traditional mapping — two or three dimensions –, has been overtaken by the rapid growth of location and mapping systems. Therefore, it is necessary to implement a multidimensional mapping, both technically and conceptually. To him, we are living the age of location and the rapid growth of maps and location can be central but we must extend the dimensions of cartographic and create new models. In his words: “We need to include new conceptual dimensions in more holist way, the multiple dimension of cartography means more than technology. Cartography must be central part of location based technology as geospatial is a property of information processing itself”.

Other topics highlighted in CIGMA 2013 were: programs for climate change mitigation, geosensores, open source software, geospatial information in the cloud, joint between statistics and geography, urban management, land administration, society and environmental policy, geography mobile devices, innovations and directions in big data. In his presentation, the director of the National Geographic Institute of Spain, Sebastian Mas Mayoral, outlined the importance of have uniform information. Therefore, detailed INSPIRE regulatory model that seeks to create an infrastructure for spatial data to provide users integrated services. These services should allow identifying and access geographic information from a wide range of sources, from local to global, interoperable shaped for various uses.

The president of INEGI, Eduardo Sojo said in his closing lecture that the autonomy of the Institute and the creation of the National System of Statistical and Geographical Information (SNIEG) are the elements that characterize the generation of statistical and geographical information in Mexico presently. This, adding the changes in the field of standardization, certification and technological advances, keep the INEGI in the forefront.

You can check more information and the presentations of CIGMA 2013 at www.cigma2013.mx.

Source: Geospatial Latin America