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Forum advocates enhanced use of geospatial tech

Doha, State of Qatar: The Middle East Geospatial Forum 2012 kicked off here on Tuesday with experts from private and government agencies calling for increased usage of geospatial technology to tackle some of the most complex issues facing the Middle East region.

The event started with a welcome address from Eng. Mohamed Ahmed Al Sayed, Director, Doha Municipality. The dignitaries, attending the opening ceremony, included Eng. Ali Abdulla Al Abdulla, Undersecretary, Planning Department, Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning.

The welcome address was followed by a presentation from Chris Gibson, Vice President, Executive Committee Member, Trimble. The presentation titled ‘Integrating Geospatial Information into Infrastructure Projects’ gave an overview of how geospatial information and building information modelling is being integrated into the overall infrastructure project management and how geospatial information links multiple industries. Citing best examples from around the world such as the Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing, it aptly showcased how geospatial technology is being used in the management of large-scale infrastructure projects.

The presentation was followed by a keynote address from Prashant Joshi, Director – sales, Geospatial Media and Communications. Talking about how the geospatial industry has undergone a complete transformation during the past few years from being a niche market meant for a select gamut of users, to encompass each and every sphere of our lives, he went on to touch upon the present state of geospatial industry in the Middle East and what the users can look forward to during the coming few years.

Plenary sessions
The plenary on construction and infrastructure began with a presentation on smart cities and intelligent infrastructure models by Geoff Zeiss, Director Utility Industry Program, Autodesk, Inc. The presentation stressed upon the need to enable more intelligent cities in view of the rapid urbanisation taking place around the world. Highlighting the whopping investment that the GCC countries are projected to make on rail and road projects during the present decade, the presentation described how infrastructure development companies are effectively linking BIM models to project management software to enable 4D and 5D views of projects. Further, it also explained how the convergence of BIM and intelligent digital models of infrastructure networks, GIS and 3D visualisation technology improves productivity and enables a comprehensive approach for addressing the problems associated with increased urbanisation.

David Goedecke, Senior Solution Architect, Public Safety and Security, Intergraph, gave a presentation titled ‘Smarter Decisions and the Smart City’, which explained how smart cities are breaking down the barriers between information and communications technology and improving the way services and resources are planned, managed, delivered and consumed.

The second plenary on Energy & Utilities witnessed speakers from Esri, KAHRAMAA, Qatar Telecom, Qatar Petroleum and Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute talk about the significance of geospatial technology in the utilities segment. The presentation by Dean Angelides, tilted ‘GIS Empowers Energy and Utilities’ described how geospatial technology is helping the utilities industry to tackle various problems such as increasing customer demands, ageing technology, increasing costs and decreasing resources, customer patience and budgets. The presentation went on to describe the use of GIS in various energy and utility industries such oil and gas, transportation and fleet management.

In his presentation titled ‘GIS support for right decision at right time’, Ibrahim Mohd Al Sada, Manager, Water Planning, KAHRMAA gave an overview of the organisation’s mission and core areas of business. He further highlighted the significant role that geospatial technology is playing in helping KAHRAMAA to meet its objectives of enhanced customer satisfaction, maintain supply efficiency and improve the overall quality of its services.

Exhibition

The exhibition held at the Middle East Geospatial Forum 2012 is spread over an area of 1100 square meters and boasts of 33 exhibitors, which include survey device manufacturing companies, government organisations from the Middle East, utility companies, research institutes etc. The major exhibitors include the Ministry of Environment, State of Qatar, Qatar Petroleum, KAHRAMAA (Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation), Public Works Authority (Ashghal), Qatar Telecom, Esri Mannai Trading Corporation, Trimble, Ideal Solutions, Intergraph and Autodesk.

Being held at the Qatar National Convention Centre during 3rd and 4th April, the conference and exhibition event is being organised by Geospatial Media and Communications in association with the Centre for GIS, MMUP, State of Qatar.

Source: Our Correspondent