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A well-deserved honor for a visionary leader

For Ms Dorine Burmanje of the Dutch Kadaster, the recent Royal Dutch Decoration was a well-deserved honor. It would be an understatement to say that she has contributed immensely to the global geospatial community.

There is a saying in Sanskrit, ‘Vasudhaiva kutumbhakam’, which means that the entire world is one big family; and this thought lies at the heart of the Indian philosophy. It would be appropriate to say that Ms Burmanje truly embodies this ancient maxim.

With a focus at the larger picture, Ms Burmanje has always sought to transcend all differences and overcome all barriers. I have been a witness to her internationalist outlook and have been inspired by her on numerous occasions to think clearly with emphasis on inclusivity. Her dedication towards global development through a mix of a cosmopolitan vision and cultural wisdom has been a guiding principle for several important members of the geospatial ecosystem.

Ms Burmanje has been at the forefront of promoting geospatial technology globally. Under her leadership, the Dutch Kadaster has enabled geospatial technology uptake in many developing countries in Asia and Africa through both partnerships and consultancy work. She has successfully transformed Kadaster into a knowledge organization that strives to address some of the most pressing social issues of our times.

As the Co-Chair of United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management, she has consistently provided the direction required for using and sharing geospatial knowledge for meeting the Sustainable Development Goals. Ms Burmanje is a visionary and a great leader, and her leadership played a key role in the formation of the World Geospatial Industry Council – a global industry trade body based in The Netherlands.

Ms Burmanje has the unique ability of thinking out-of-the-box while being close to the core values and goals. Her foresight has enabled the convergence of creativity and innovation. Her contributions in social, economic, technological and human development in The Netherlands and overseas are unparalleled.