August 22 – 25, 2005. Jakarta, Indonesia
“Empowering people is about empowering ourselves” – Dr Kusmayanto Kadiman mentioned at the opening ceremony assertively, thereby setting the pace and mindset of the international conference, Map Asia 2005. Extended debates, viewpoints and discussions that relate geospatial information with citizen’s empowerment took shape during the conference along with various other aspects of geospatial application, technology and information.
Map Asia 2005 was the 4th Annual Asian Conference and Exhibition in the field of GIS, GPS, Aerial Photography, Remote Sensing and related technologies. After Bangkok in 2002, Kuala Lumpur in 2003, and Beijing in 2004, this year Map Asia conference took place in Jakarta, with a strong participation and representation from Asia and beyond. The conference was, again, a response to the need in the Asian region for a platform that brings together government departments, industries, research communities and policy-makers in the geospatial domain.
Map Asia 2005 was organized by GIS Development, Centre for Science Development and Media Studies (CSDMS) in collaboration with Bakosurtanal (National Coordination Agency for Surveying and Mapping of Indonesia), the Association of Indonesian Survey and Mapping Enterprises (APSPI) and Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Thailand.
The event took place at the Hotel Mulia Senayan, Jakarta between August 22 – 25. The government sponsor of the event was RISTEK. There were 4 gold sponsors – Hewlett Packard, Oracle, Digital Globe and Leica Geosystems and 4 ‘co-sponsors’ – ESRI, ER Mapper, OGC and GITA. The event was supported by many other organisations.
Map Asia 2005 had the primary theme of ‘Empowering People through Geospatial Sciences’. The idea was to explore processes and paths that leverage the movement of geospatial information closer to the common man thereby enabling them to act based on this information. The Asian region, as felt by many, is on the verge of a revolution in geospatial usage and development. One of the key factors that directly affects or will affect this is the level of information democracy prevalent. Since it is common today that geospatial information generated through rigourous analysis is no longer limited to just the organisation domain but trickles down till the end user makes this understanding more relevant and critical.
Map Asia 2005 also took up two more sub themes to enable in-depth discussions. They were ‘Regional Cooperation’ and ‘Disaster Management’. Various papers were presented in each of these sub-themes bringing out crucial viewpoints of the need and prospective manner of cooperating to reduce impact of disasters and natural calamities in these regions with the use of technology.
Map Asia 2005 witnessed a total participation of over 657 individuals attending the 4-day gathering. Around 334 papers were accepted for the conference and a total of 96 papers were presented on the floor, during the conference. 34 exhibitors displayed their products and services. Participation from 32 countries took place in Map Asia 2005.
Map Asia 2005 opened on 22nd August at 4pm in the evening in the Grand Ballroom Hall of Hotel Mulia Senayan, Jakarta. Over 500 people gathered at this evening Inauguration ceremony that comprised policy makers, scientists, research scholars, working professionals, engineers and industry leaders gathered in the evening. The ambience was somber and the inauguration preceded a formal dinner. There were 5 dignitaries on the dais for the Inaugural.
Rudolf W Matindas, Head of Bakosurtanal spoke first giving the welcome address. Wishing everybody a good stay in Indonesia he threw light on the status of the mapping application in Indonesia in the government sector. He also gave a positive idea of the market size and the trends in the growth of the technology. His emphasis was on the fact that most of the needs and demands of Asian countries are similar. Hence, he visualized a harmonized scenario for the future where the mapping agencies of the entire region work hand in hand leading to a ‘secure, lawful and prosperous Asia’. He mentioned that the professional group of geospatial domain experts has the primary task to take these technologies to the common man.
Dr M P Narayanan, the President of CSDMS, India remarked next on Map Asia as a conference that has increasingly reinstated positive and constructive scientific deliberations aimed at development of the mankind. He wished the same for 2005. He mentioned about the highly technical and advanced nature of the papers that would form the content of Map Asia 2005 touching upon critical applications that are needed in the region.
Dr Kusmayanto Kadiman, Minister for Research and Technology, Government of Indonesia gave a short speech, where he emphasized the importance of such conferences in building capacities and empowering a group of people who would and can further empower the masses. He stated that Indonesia understands the growing need of GIS and is open to collaborate for solution development and technology exchange. He talked about the important and potent role of GIS in National Food Security, natural resource monitoring and agriculture programmes as important applications relevant to the Indonesian economy.
This was followed by the official opening of the ceremony by a traditional ceremony of hitting a gong to release an auspicious chiming sound.
Suvith Vipul Sreshtha, GISTDA, Thailand spoke next where he mentioned of the different levels of government coordination in the geospatial arena. He also talked about how a well-coordinated system within a country can enable people to start taking decisions. Bebas Purnawan, Head, PSJSDS, Bakosurtanal gave the official Vote of Thanks to end the ceremony which was followed by the official inauguration of the Exhibition by the Minister and other dignitaries.