Hyderabad: The day one of the Geospatial World Forum 2017 featured the India Geospatial Awards. The event was organised to recognise and encourage innovations, and excellence brought forward by geospatial technology developers, professionals, end users and policy makers that have fostered the geospatial industry in India.
The awards were given in two categories – Geospatial World Excellence Awards and Geospatial World Leadership Awards, which proceeded by a gala dinner.
Winners in Geospatial World Excellence Awards category are:
Geospatial Ambassador of the Year
Rolando Ocampo Alcántar is the vice president of Mexico’s National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), Co-Chair of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) and the Chair of the Regional Committee of the United Nations on Global Geospatial Information Management for the Americas.
Rolando, an actuary-cum-statistician by profession, has created a significant impact in promoting geospatial technology globally. From taking up the vital role of liaising with the UN-GGIM Secretariat on topics of interest and major developments, facilitating regional development and discussion, and formally feeding into the UN Committee of Experts, Rolando Ocampo has continuously strived to develop the connections and network within the geospatial ecosystem by bridging gaps between government bodies, private sector and academia. He is currently championing the cause of strengthening the geospatial data infrastructures in the Caribbean nations by developing capabilities and installing infrastructure for mapping and integrating it with development agenda.
Content Platform of the Year
Data Cube is an unmatched programme providing decades of satellite data on standardized and gridded platform, supporting research and policy makers to unlock the value of data worth billions of dollars to undertake planning and management of natural resources at national, regional and local levels in Australia to meet the needs of the continent-nation’s growing population in a time of increased climate variability.
The Data Cube is a series of structures and tools that calibrate and standardise datasets, enabling the application of time series and the rapid development of quantitative information products, such as Water Observations from Space. It uses open source standards and is designed to help both government and private industry make informed decisions.
Before the Data Cube, satellite imagery and other gridded geospatial datasets were downloaded, analysed and provided to users on a custom basis. This took a long time to produce at a high cost, for a single purpose. The Data Cube calibrates this information to make it more accessible, easier to analyse, and reduce the overall cost for users.
This is the first time in the world that an entire continent’s geographical and geophysical attributes have been made available to researchers and policy advisors. Data Cube is a collaboration between Geoscience Australia, National Computational Infrastructure, Victorian Partnership for Advanced Computing and Lockheed-Martin.
Geospatial Solutions Company of the Year
Established in 1991 by engineering visionary BVR Mohan Reddy as an engineering services company for global markets, Cyient, formerly known as Infotech Enterprises, is one of the earliest companies in India to identify opportunities in the GIS space at a time when the technology was still in a nascent stage not just in India but globally. And it hasn’t looked back ever since it went public with an IPO in 1997. A steadfast competence, unwavering professionalism, and a dogged determination to succeed have seen Cyient emerge as a leader among global engineering service providers.
Cyient’s reputation in the Indian market can be gauged by the fact that in 2015 Reddy was elected the chairman of NASSCOM, the body that represents and sets the tone for public policy for the Indian software industry. This is the first time that an engineering services industry veteran was selected for this prestigious position.
Geospatial Professional Society of the Year
The Open Source Geospatial Foundation or OSGeo is recognized for its efforts towards collaborative development of open source geospatial software and promoting its widespread usage and adoption by larger community. The Foundation is committed to activities beyond software development, such as promoting more open access to government produced geospatial data and completely free geodata, such as that created and maintained by the OpenStreetMap project.
OSGeo has extensively helped the geospatial community in developing a variety of open source desktop applications, geospatial software libraries, metadata catalogue tools and web mapping products. A unique model adopted by OSGeo is to provide financial, organizational and legal support to individuals and organizations working in the Open Source GIS space.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Dr. Johannes Riegl has made significant contributions in the fields of scientific research, education, technology innovation, product development, and eventually entrepreneurial leadership, which gave birth to RIEGL – a company which redefined laser scanning technology offering greater value for geospatial industry globally.
An innovator, a businessman, and a qualified pilot, Dr. Johannes Riegl is a multifaceted personality for those who have known him personally.
Dr Riegl studied radar and communications engineering at the prestigious Vienna University of Technology from 1964 to 1969. In 1972 he developed the first miniaturized laser distance meters. In 1975, at a time when GPS was not yet available, he developed and designed a rangefinder for use in hydrographic surveying.
Three years later, in 1978, Dr. Riegl formed his own company with a handful of university colleagues. And has not looked back since then. Cutting-edge innovations followed an astute business strategy as Dr Riegl and his close-knit dedicated team pushed the boundaries of laser scanners in terms of size and cost, making Riegl one of the biggest trend setters and best-known names in this field.
Sustainable Development Agenda Award
Global Geospatial Information Management (GGIM) is a unique initiative of the United Nations to bring together its member nations to work together to address larger topics of global relevance, like policy and legal frameworks, geodetic reference systems, geo-statistical integration, and fundamental datasets, enabling development of global geospatial information platform, offering solutions for achievement of sustainable development goals.
GGIM Secretariat has overcome numerous hurdles to ensure acceptance of Earth Observation and Geospatial Information and their inclusion for monitoring and implementation of Sustainable Development Goals at local, regional and global levels.
Today, GGIM has evolved and aligned itself and brought consensus between diverse groups of stakeholders and has quickly matured to an extent to deliberate on GGIM 2.0 within a span of 5 years from its inception. This spirit itself is an indication of the critical need and relevance of this program.
Making A Difference Award
Jacqueline McGlade has been a very vocal advocate and champion of geospatial information and technology throughout her professional career serving in different positions worldwide. Her leadership in promoting deployment of geospatial infrastructure and capacity has laid robust foundation, providing much required recognition to power of spatial analytics in information modelling. Her advocacy has been instrumental in creating awareness about geospatial value and practices at high levels of decision making which has been very evident at European Environment Agency (EEA), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Eye on Earth programs. Her charismatic personality has inspired many in geospatial industry which has, in turn, brought together significant value to our community.
Winners in the Geospatial World Leadership Awards category are:
|1||Lifetime Achievement Award||DR. JOHANNES RIEGL, Founder and CEO, RIEGL, Austria|
|2||Ambassador Of The Year||ROLANDO OCAMPO, Vice President, INEGI, Mexico|
|3||Solutions Company Of The Year||Cyient|
|4||Content Platform Of The Year||Australian Geoscience Data Cube|
|5||Professional Society Of The Year||OSGeo|
|6||Sustainable Development Agenda||UN-GGIM Secretariat|
|7||Making A Difference||Jacqueline McGlade, Chief Scientist, Director, Science Division, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Kenya|