Cape Town: The two-day Africa Geospatial Forum witnessed experts from the geospatial industry and user agencies discuss the extensive usage of geospatial technologies in various verticals across Africa.
Addressing the gathering during the first plenary on ‘Value Proposition and Benefits of Geospatial Applications’, Aida Opoku Mensah, Special Adviser, Post 2015 Development Agenda, UN Economic Commission for Africa, described the mission and goals of the Post 2015 Development Agenda and also highlighted the tremendous role that geospatial technologies are playing to ensure the effective implementation of these goals.
Dr. Bolaji Taiwo, Chief Technical Adviser, United Nations Population Fund, described how Rwanda has been using GIS & SMS seamless systems to deliver accurate censuses and surveys. The presentation highlighted several aspects including census enumeration area delineation, population & housing census enumeration management, routine surveys data capture and dissemination, demographic and health surveys and agricultural census.
Erik J. Arvesen, Vice President, Geospatial Division, Trimble highlighted the kind of benefits that the usage and applications of geospatial technologies can offer in various verticals. He stressed upon the need for greater application of the technologies for overall growth and development.
The second plenary of the day on Emerging Geospatial Trends saw experts from the industry talk about the latest developments in the field of geospatial technologies. Stephen Lawler, Chief Technology Officer, Microsoft Bing Maps, highlighted the tremendous power of the ‘where’ dimension as an organising principle for people’s lives. He pointed out that with the ever increasing focus on the ‘what’ and ‘who’ aspects; there is a lot of work left to be done to build location intelligence into our real and digital worlds. He said that the future will bring a lot more innovation at the intersection of people’s real and digital worlds.
Subsequently, Jim Steiner, Vice President, Product Management, Oracle Server Technologies, pointed out that the difference between geospatial and information technologies is fast diminishing. He also explained how geospatial technologies can play a key role in the integration of various Big Data sources using geocoding, geographic hierarchies and geospatial analysis for query and aggregation.
Andrea Smith, Senior Regional Sales Manager – Africa, Digital Globe gave an overview of the company’s activities and how it has revolutionised the satellite imagery industry. She explained how accurate and high resolution satellite imagery can help decision makers better understand Africa’s changing climate, environment, population, resources and economies, and thus help save lives, resources and time.
Source: Our Correspondent