Map Asia 2004 was the 3rd Annual Asian Conference and Exhibition in the field of GIS, GPS, Aerial Photography, Remote Sensing and related technologies. After Bangkok in 2002 and Kuala Lumpur in 2003, this year Map Asia went to Beijing and was concluded successfully with amplified notice and participation. Map Asia, yet again, was a response to the strong need in the Asian region for a platform that brings together government departments, industries, research communities and policy-makers.
Map Asia 2004 was organized by the Chinese Academy of Surveying and Mapping (CASM), GIS Development, Centre for Spatial Database Management Solutions (CSDMS), India and Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Thailand. From government, it was sponsored by the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping, China and the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. It took place at the Beijing International Convention Centre (BICC), Beijing between 26 – 29 August. The event received a big support from government institutions and industry of China. There were 6 gold sponsors and 2 co-sponsors along with many supporting organizations. Aeromatex, ESRI, Hewlett Packard, Intergraph, Leica Geosystems and Oracle were the ‘gold sponsors’ of the event, while Bentley and NTT Data were the co-sponsors.
Boundaries are creations of the mankind. So are laws, religions, professions and governments. However, the resources that we use are global and so are our needs. Unfortunately today, our concerns and threats are emerging to be global of nature – one that calls for a collective conscious for utilization of resources and solving issues. In such an era, it is important to have information flow that doesn’t recognize boundaries – a world with seamless data and information to manage our reserves and solve our issues. g-Lateral ties is a need of the day. Collaboration amongst nations, amongst professionals and amongst researchers of a common cause is requisite.
In this backdrop, Map Asia 2004 had a theme to explore and enable ‘multi-lateral geospatial ties’ or that are possible and that exist in various latent forms in Asia. It aimed to converge and initiate talks amongst key geospatial organizations in Asia, so that they share their strengths, experiences and expertise, and eventually develop a multi-lateral agreement that put forth a geospatial strategy for the region’s development.
Map Asia 2004 witnessed 614 delegates attending the 3-day conference and about 150 visitors. Around 330 papers were accepted and a total of 134 papers were presented on the floor, during the conference. Forty six exhibitors displayed their products and services. Map Asia 2004 also had the opportunity to have a large Canadian delegation with large government and industry representation that reinstated the emerging Canadian ties in the domain of geospatial sciences and services in Asia. Delegates represented 38 countries of the world. In all 320 organisations visited the conference.
Map Asia 2004 opened on 26th August at 4pm in the evening in the grand Convention Hall of Beijing International Convention Centre (BICC). Over 500 people gathered on the evening ceremony. The floor was filled with policy makers, scientists and industry leaders. The ambience was informal and the inauguration preceded dinner and a cultural programme. There were 6 dignitaries on the dais for the Inaugural. Each spoke briefly on various facets of g-Lateral as below.