Map India 2001: A Report

Map India 2001: A Report

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Overview
Map India 2001 – the 4th annual International conference and exhibition on mapping technologies was held between 7-9 of February, 2001 in New Delhi. Map India is the largest conference and exhibition in Asia in the field of Geographic Information System (GIS), Global Positioning System (GPS), Remote Sensing (RS) and related technologies held in succession since the last fours years. The conference was organised by Centre for Spatial Database Management and Solutions (CSDMS). There were over 1,000 participants to the conference and exhibition, which included top decision makers from government and private sectors, existing as well as prospective users, academicians, vendors, policy makers and representatives of various international organisations. Autodesk India, Hewlett Packard, Mappls, Rolta India and Tata Infotech were the Industry partners for the event. The theme of the conference was “Mobile Mapping”.

The Chief Minister of Delhi, Sheila Dikshit delivered the inaugural address at the conference and emphasised on the need of mapping as the solution for the holistic rural and urban planning. The keynote address was presented by the Union Minister for Rural Development, M. Venkaiah Naidu who stressed on the need for GIS in rural development and land information system. The presidential address by Minister of Power, Suresh P. Prabhu focussed on the need of GIS as an integrating tool for infrastructure development. The President of CSDMS Dr. M P Narayanan delivered the welcome speach for the conference.

Technical Sessions
This three-day conference provided a common international platform for professionals to exchange new ideas, technologies and their application in GIS and related fields. The conference brought together eminent personalities such as Peter Holland, General Manager, AUSLIG; Prof. Karl Harmsen, Former Director, ITC, The Netherlands; Bob Samborski, Executive Director, GITA; Dr. Tania Maria Sausen, INEP, Brasil; Julie Binder Maitra, USGS; Randy Fusaro, Census Bureau US; Clare Hadley, Ordnance Survey, UK ; Prof. M. J. P. M. Lemmens, Delft University, The Netherlands & Editor GIM International, which made this conference unique in itself.

The occasion was also graced by the prominent dignitaries from various organisations such as Dr. David Maguire, Director, ESRI Inc.; Trevor Westlake, Vice President, MapInfo-Asia Pacific; Bradford P. Sharp, Director Autodesk Inc.; Preetha Pulusani, Executive Vice President, Intergraph Corp.; Dr. A. K. S. Gopalan, Director, Space Application Centre (ISRO), Ahmedabad; John Allan, Director, ERDAS Inc. and Ajay Seth, Leica Geosystems Ltd. They exchanged ideas and discussed emerging technologies in the field of GIS, GPS and RS, as they delivered their Keynote Addresses during the keynote sessions. The highlights of the sessions were on advanced technologies like Mobile Mapping, Internet GIS and High Resolution Imagery and thus the information generated provided a learning opportunity for aspiring professionals. Several technical sessions were organised in the conference which highlighted relevant technologies and applications of GIS in the myraid fields of health, earth sciences, natural resource management, agriculture, urban planning, transportation, agriculture, urban planning, education and training infrastructure, Internet GIS application, business GIS, emerging technologies for urban mapping and rural development.

The highlight of the conference was the showcase of Indian success stories using GIS, GPS, Mobile Mapping for the common man usage. The sessions were chaired and co-chaired by various eminent personalities. This facilitated interaction amongst experts and senior decision-makers in the country to use Mobile Mapping as the tool for data collection, distribution and increase usage in government, public and private sector.

Valedictory Session
The conference included an interesting panel discussion among the experts. The panelist were Amitabh Pande, Joint secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Ajay Lavakre, CEO, RMSI; Mukund Rao, Dy. Director, ISRO; R. K. Verma, CEO, CE Info systems and it was coordinated by Dr. M. P. Narayanan, President, CSDMS. The awareness surrounding the new technologies in GIS, its growth into new regions and an expanding client base was realised in this conference. The new opportunities, ideas and potentials that were discussed during the course of the conference were formulated into a list of recommendations, which were adopted after a detailed discussion among the panelists and the participants. The recommendations were presented by Ravi Gupta, Director, CSDMS.

DevInfo was launched during the valedictory session – a common database on social development indicators prepared by the UN System in India, in collaboration with the Government of India. It was formally launched by Shri B. S. Rawat, Hon’ble Minister of State for Science & Technology, Government of India in presence of Shri Ashok Yadav, Hon’ble Minister for Tourism of Government of Uttar Pradesh who presided over the function. Guest of Honour, Dr. Brenda Gael McSweeney, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident representative were present to grace the occasion.

An overwhelming presence by over thousand delegates and thirty five exhibitors representing a cross-section of entire GIS community including Government, Corporate, NGOs, Academia made the occasion India’s largest ever gathering of GIS professionals.