5 women pioneers of the geospatial industry

5 women pioneers of the geospatial industry


While traveling to work today (March 8), as I received the first ‘Women’s Day’ greetings, my mind started ticking….I wanted to reply differently, and boom! My heart coined a new definition of these lovely beings on Earth; Winning Over Means staying Eternally Nurtured!

Women are known for living for others, and it is the high emotional intelligence quotient that makes them rock as leaders! Being an integral part of the geospatial industry, on this women’s day, we could not resist acknowledging the contributions of the following 5 women geospatial champions in making the world a better place.

Barbara J. Ryan

Barbara J. Ryan, is the Secretariat Director of the intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations (GEO) in Geneva, Switzerland.

During her earlier stint at USGS, she pioneered in opening up millions of satellite images and other Earth observation data to the general public at no charge, allowing scientists, planners and policy makers to make better-informed decisions on problems that transcend political boundaries. Her work addresses critical issues in agriculture, biodiversity, climate change, disaster planning, energy, health and water.

Since becoming Director of GEO in 2012, Ryan has worked to integrate Earth observation systems from around the world into a single, comprehensive system that uses coordinated data to understand how environmental factors impact human life.

Vanessa Lawrence

Dr Vanessa Vivienne Lawrence is a British businessperson, geographer and speaker working internationally.

She was the first woman to be appointed as the Director-General and Chief Executive of Ordnance Survey, Great Britain’s national mapping agency, and held the post for 14 years till April 2014. In January 2008 Lawrence was appointed as a Companion of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath (CB) in the New Year Honours List. She has been elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors and of the Royal Academy of Engineering. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society and a Chartered Geographer.

In 2011 she was elected to be the inaugural Co-Chair of UN-GGIMDuring her career with the UK government she served as the co-founder and inaugural chair of ACE which represented the CEOs of Government Agencies, Trading Funds and Non-Departmental Bodies, was the Chair of the Geographic Information Panel that produced the Location Strategy of the United Kingdom known as Place Matters: the Location Strategy for the United Kingdom and was a Non-Executive Director of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and the Open Geospatial Consortium.

Dorine Burmanjee

Dorine Burmanje is Chair of the Executive Board of the Netherlands’ Cadastre, Land Registry and Mapping Agency, in short: Kadaster. Her main focus is to position Kadaster as a partner in property and geographic information -both nationally and abroad- for governmental, corporate and other stakeholders. In addition to ensuring Kadaster’s core task of legal certainty for all Dutch landowners, she is also active in promoting innovation by developing new IT tasks and services.  Burmanje was appointed the Co-Chair of UN-GGIM in 2017.

Burmanje serves as an Advisor to various associations in the field of spatial information, such as the Geo-Information Council. Prior to her current position, Burmanje was the Director of one of Holland’s Water Boards.

Ingrid H.J. Vanden Berghe graduated as an agricultural engineer at KULeuven, specialized in soil science. She started as a researcher before joining the public service. She was advisor to the minister of Environment, Public Works, Town and Land Use Planning. and worked in the core of Belgian politics as director of the research center of the Christian Democrat parties and first advisor to the president of the party. In 2002 she returned to the world of geographical information as General administrator of the National Geographic Institute, a civil organization under the MOD. She is currently President of EuroGeographics and member of the board of several research organizations and is a part time lecturer at KULeuven.

Anne Hale Miglarese is a seasoned executive with more than 30 years of experience in the geospatial and environmental field. She has an intimate understanding of local, state and federal relationships for the development of geospatial and environmental information and the resulting applications.

Prior to joining the private sector, Miglarese served as chief of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coastal Services Center, where she directed the remote sensing and GIS programs of the organization for 10 years. In 2017, she brought top philanthropists and professionals such the Gates Foundation, Omidyar Network, and Amazon together to support Radiant.Earth… a unique endeavor to answer to the global development community’s call for better access to earth observation data. A veteran remote sensing professional, she currently serves on the board of multiple organizations and academic institutions.