The 8th South East Asian Survey Congress (SEASC) was held between November 21 – 25, 2005 at The Mall, Gadong, Bandar Seri Begawan, Negara Brunei Darussalam. The Brunei Institution of Geomatics (BIG) in collaboration with Survey Department of Brunei Darussalam hosted the 8th SEASC. The congress was supported by the Asean Federation of Land Surveyors and Geomatics (ASEAN FLAG) and the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG). GIS Development was the Media Partner of the event.
The conference was an important event in the South East Asian region where almost all the major surveying departments of the counties of the region came together on one platform to share their views about the discipline of surveying and mapping. About 300 participants joined the 5-day event where about 80 papers where presented. The theme of the conference was “Geomatics and the Community: Spatial Way to Sustainable Development”.
The inaugural ceremony happened on the 22nd of November 2005 and had a significant gathering of over 200 people. The session was presided over by the Chairman of the Organising Committee and Surveyor General Pg Matusin Pg Matasan. The other key dignitaries in the ceremony were –
- Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Paduka Awang Haji Abdullah bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Haji Bakar, Minister of Development, Brunei Darussalam
- Dato Paduka Dr Haji Mat Sunny bin Hj Mohd Hussin, Deputy Minister of Development, Brunei Darussalam
- Dato Paduka Awg Hj Matasan bin Hj Mohd Daud, Permanent Secretary (Administration & Finance) and Awg Hj Mohd Said bin Pehin Penyurat Dato Paduka Haji Hashim, Permanent Secretary (Technical & Professional) of Ministry of Development
- Dato Paduka Hj Yunos bin Mohd Noh, Vice-President, BIG
- Professor Holger Magel, President FIG
- Awg Hj Mohd Jamil bin Hj Mohd Ali, Acting Surveyor General, Brunei Darussalam
The Minister of Development gave a lucid speech where he described the need of technology in development. He mentioned that computers and technology are tools that have enabled the present generation to take decisions faster and better. He emphasized the role of maps, surveying and spatial information tools in the domain of development for Brunei. The management of natural and human resources is a key factor for Brunei and he hoped that the congress would come up with decisions and directions for better use of spatial information for sustainable development.
The keynote address by Prof Holger Magel, President of FIG, touched upon various issues pertaining to sustainable development, surveying and the relation between the two. He emphasized the need for strengthening capacities in the domains of spatial sciences. He stated that about 80 % of daily decisions on national or local level, either in economy, finances/taxation, demography, spatial planning, environment, hazard areas, security, infrastructure, housing, cultural heritage, sustain geographical names, etc. is spatially or – like we say – geo-referenced. He mentioned about how this international conference can benefit the ‘genius loci’ or ‘spirit of place’. He mentioned that the more the world and its societies are changing, the more the professions of surveying and survey professionals have to be able to change. That is the reason for choosing the motto of FIG as “Shaping the Change”.
Acting Surveyor General of Brunei, Mohd Jamil bin Hj Mohd Ali, mentioned about the manner in which GIS had emerged in Brunei and how the development ministry along with the planning and land department are eventually transforming their decision-making process on these technical and logical platforms. He talked about the history of mapping and GIS in Brunei and how the coming days are going to be challenging yet exciting.
The five days of the conference were packed with many technical sessions to choose from – Spatial Data Acquisition (GPS), Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing, Cartography, Geodoesy, Surveying, Batygraphy/Laser Scanning, Geomatics : The Future, Cadastre, and Spatial Data Management (GIS). The sessions were designed with enough networking and discussions time slots that interspaced the day. Different departments of the Brunei government who deal with spatial data and tools had participation and mentioned about their plans and vision for the future.
Other than the technical sessions there were many other organisation level meetings and workshops that occurred during the SEASC 2005. Oracle, Bentley, PCGIAP, FIG, WHO, ISO-TC 211, and UNGEGN.
The event had a well-managed exhibition of about 16 players in the geospatial industry who are active in Brunei and the region. The exhibition was inaugurated by the Minister of Development of Brunei Darussalam on the day of inaugural where he spent individual time with each exhibitors. The exhibition also had quiz exercises and spatial puzzles organized by Brunei Institute of Geomatics and University students.
The closing ceremony on 25th November was presided by many dignitaries and the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Development. The closing remark was by Prof Holgar Magel where he summed up SEASC 2005 from the viewpoint of FIG, as one of the highlights in the survey calendar of 2005. He thanked the Acting Surveyor General and the Chairman of the Programme Committee for making the South East Asian Survey Congress a success.
In short, the event was a very well knit and worthwhile gathering of experts, demonstrators and end users, who deliberated over the days on the challenges of the geospatial industry and it future. The cornerstone of the event was the dedicated emphasis towards sustainable development and project case study papers. The quality of papers, the discussions and the participation had the event stand off as a very crucial meet for the entire region.
With its strategic geographical position and gateway to Northern Borneo and Asia, Brunei served as the ideal meeting place for professional surveyors of all disciplines, and the 5 days turned out to be extremely fruitful to meet, contribute, exchange and share the experience of surveying technological development for the benefit of sustainable development and for mankind.