China: The output value of the geographic information industry has been expected to reach CNY 100 billion (about 14.6 billion USD) this year, according to China Association for Geographic Information System (CAGIS). “The geographic information industry has entered a stage of fast development in recent years,” said Cong Yuandong, secretary general of the association.
In an interview with Xinhua, Cong said that contrasted with the booming industry, China was lacking in professionals with relevant GIS skills. China started to encourage study related to GIS, which integrates hardware, software and data for capturing and managing geographically referenced information, in 1998 in higher education institutions. To date, nearly 200 universities had set up majors related to GIS.
In response to the growing market, the CAGIS has been hosting an annual GIS software development contest with the Beijing branch of ESRI, since 2004. The contest is dedicated to spreading GIS technology and encouraging more professionals to join the field.
Source: People Daily