| Prof. Arup Dasgupta
In January this year, we published our 150th issue. In the editorial of that issue I wrote, “A linear extrapolation of the past into the present and then to the future is an act of foolishness. Geospatial technologies have grown exponentially and applications have been developed which were unthinkable in the late 90’s”. It is nice to see that my caution was well placed. After months of agonising, debating and discussion, we changed our magazine from GIS Development to Geospatial World from the August issue.
Did we do the right thing? We waited with bated breath for the reaction and heaved a sigh of relief as our loyal readership cheered us on all the way. In retrospect, this change brought in many others. ‘GIS Development’ was geography neutral but ‘Geospatial World’ asserted that henceforth the world would be our oyster. Therefore, our stories and features started reflecting this mood. The GIS Development portal which hosted both the company features and the magazine has been split in two. Geospatial World portal now concentrates on the magazine related matters. A new feature is the showcasing of interviews beginning with the now famous Ola Rollen interview. The GIS Development portal carries on with company matters and our other products like conferences, seminars and training courses.
The year saw many milestones like the acquisition of Intergraph by Hexagon, the humungous remote sensing data contract on Digital Globe and Geo Eye, policy changes in the US and many more. These milestones highlighted the dependence of geospatial on brick and mortar domains and on the financial support and legal framework of the government. Other changes were more subtle but no less significant. Volunteer information has gained a place in the industry. This is perhaps best illustrated by the fact that the founder of Open Street Maps is now a Microsoft employee!
On a sad note, the industry lost a pioneer with the untimely demise of Dr Bob Moses. A visionary and a person with in depth knowledge of the industry, he was keen to promote the technology and its applications.
As 2010 draws to a close, it is time to take stock and gear up for 2011. Our flagship event, Geospatial World Forum takes place in Hyderabad in January 2011. See you there!