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Map Middle East 2005

Emergence of the regional forum for the Middle East

Ayon Tarafdar
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The lively and wonderful city of Dubai played the perfect host to all the participants of the first annual Middle East conference on Geospatial Information, Technology and Applications ‘Map Middle East 2005’. Organised by GIS Development (India), Dubai Municipality (UAE) and CSDMS (India) the event was held from April 23 to 25, 2005 at Al Bustan Rotana Hotel.

Under the theme of ‘Geospatial Information and Knowledge Economy’ the event fulfilled the need for a regional forum in the geospatial domain. The stakeholders – academia, researchers, students and the industry – shared their experiences and explored arenas for future geospatial collaboration.

The participants witnessed speeches from top decision makers, from widely acclaimed members of the academia and prominent researchers. The speeches showcased the role played by geospatial technology in the development of the Middle East region. The conference highlighted the need for firmly placing ‘geospatial knowledge’ at the heart of economic agenda of the regional nations. The participants at the event called for developing a GIS that reaches out to the general public.

The event was supported by six Gold Sponsors (Intergraph, BAE Systems, Bentley, Rolta, Global Scan Technologies, and ESRI), and three co-sponsors (Military Survey Department, UAE; Space Reconnaissance Centre, UAE; Town Planning Department, Al Ain City, Government of Abu Dhabi).

The conference was attended by 622 delegates from the entire Middle East region – UAE, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Yemen, Kuwait, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Sudan, Syria – as well as from countries such as USA, Switzerland, The Netherlands.

There were three plenary sessions (Geospatial Information and Knowledge Economy, SDI: International Initiatives, Technology Trends), two keynote sessions (Large Scale Mapping, GIS and SDI in the Middle East), three workshops (Mobile Mapping Systems, GIS and the Law, GPS).
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