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Map World Forum 2007

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Deepak Patel
Sub-Editor, GIS Development
[email protected]

Coinciding with its 10th anniversary of the annual ‘Map India’ conferences in the field of Geographic Information Sciences (GIS), GIS Development undertook a giant leap forward to organize a conference at global level, ‘Map World Forum’. The meet was held at International Convention Centre in Hyderabad, India from January 22 to 25, 2007.

With the mission of being a medium of convergence for various stakeholders of the geospatial community and its integration with end users, GIS Development through this conference provided a platform to world geospatial community to focus on various domains of GIS and other related technologies.

Department of Science and Technology, Government of India was the patron and principal sponsor of the event.. The mega meet received support in a big way from other government institutions and private industry.

Participation
Map World Forum had 1737 delegates visiting the 4-day conference, representing 64 countries from across the world. Participants included representatives from the geospatial community comprising of map producers, users, educational institutions, technology developers from government, private industries and policy makers. Overall the conference featured 180 papers presented at the conference over, 5 plenary sessions,

11 seminars, 14 technical sessions and 5 workshops, which had an impressive list of national and international speakers.

Inauguration
The glittering inaugural session began with opening remarksby Dr. T Ramasami, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, who touched the right cord by saying that the conference’s objective was to ‘link technology to policy and their use’ and at the same time he said it could well be achieved as “it is a special gathering of the geospatial community with a special purpose”.

Dr. M P Narayanan, President, GIS Development gave the introductory remarks briefly tracing the history of Map India Conference, from 1998, when it was first launched and celebrating the 10th anniversary of it this year. The presidential address was delivered by Y Rajashekhar Reddy, Honorable Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, who exclaimed in his saying how Hyderabad has been home to remote sensing expertise in India since the formation of the NRSA.

The guest address was presented by Dato’ Seri Haji Ajimi Bin Khalid, Honorable Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Government of Malaysia. He mentioned that Malaysia is a huge trading partner of India where one of India’s main exports to his country is “GIS expertise.”

In his inaugural address Kapil Sibal, Hon’ble Minister of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences mentioned that “India has the capacity to capture the outsourcing opportunities in the GIS market”. He also said that Government of India is contemplating a legislation to “revitalize and re-engineer” SOI and provide greater freedom and flexibility to the organization.

Maneesh Prasad, COO and Managing Editor, GIS Development delivered vote of thanks to all the dignitaries and delegates present during the occasion.

Plenary Sessions
The conference had 5 plenary sessions, which had a very impressive list of national and international speakers. The topics discussed at plenary sessions included

  • Geospatial Technologies: Return on Investment
  • Geographic Information as Public Utility Technology Trends
  • Capacity Building
  • Geospatial Information – Emerging Business Models

Seminars
The seminars at the conference proved to be equally diverse and interesting. All the sessions included a discussion of the world-view and perceptions of dignitaries from across the globe covering most of the topics relating to GIS, Remote Sensing and its sub domains. The new idea of panel discussions at the seminars evolved to an informative, interesting and thought provoking discussions.

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