The Geospatial World Forum 2014 came to an end May 9, 2014, after five days of intense discussions on the best practices and success stories, and knowledge exchange at national, regional and global levels on the use and benefits of geospatial information and technologies across businesses.
The Forum, which had 35 collaborative partners, witnessed ministerial-level participations from Ghana, Mauritius, Malaysia, India, Azerbaijan and Philippines, and 405 technical presentations. A total of 1,002 delegates from 78 countries visited the conference, which also had 48 exhibitors from 16 countries, including two country-pavilions.
During the inaugural talk, Jean Philippe Amstein, Director, Swisstopo, Switzerland, the co-organisers of the Forum along with Geospatial Media & Communications, said geospatial data and information have become integral to our everyday functioning now. As professionals, we need to make this information more accessible and simple so that they can be widely used in the world of political and economic world for developmental activities. Switzerland is at the forefront of any new development and Swiss cartographers have been best in the world; a case in point —the mapping of the highest point in the world, Mt Everest. Swisstopo had mapped Mt Everest at 1:50,000 scale as far back as 1991.
Sanjay Kumar, CEO, Geospatial Media & Communications, gave a rundown of the geospatial industry from its evolution to ecosystem, while listing out the trends in the industry and in which direction it is heading. He also pointed out that geospatial industry is growing at an astonishing rate and according to a recent estimate by JP Morgan, the professional market is worth $100 billion while a study by Boston Consulting in 2013 had put the consumer market at $250 billion.
The first plenary of Geospatial World Forum 2014 discussed how geospatial industry is evolving from ”Visualisation to Industrialisation”. Key industry players enumerated their perspective and their solutions to drive the geospatial industry to industrialisation.
Juergen Dold, President, Hexagon Geosystems informed that geospatial technology has evolved into an engine for smart enterprises, driving productivity in decision-making processes by integrating solutions from data capture to creating information. He then went on detailing Hexagon”s solutions for manufacturing, infrastructure, safety and mining.
”Geo-enabling citizens across the world with innovative technologies” was the theme as the second plenary at the conference. Shannon Ulmer, Chief Technology Officer, Tax & Accounting, Thomson Reuters, described how geospatial information and technology can be used in the financial sector such as in commodities trading or taxation. Ulmer also highlighted the use of geospatial technology in land management and how it affects government revenues.
Rolando Ocampo-Alcantar, Vice President, National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), explained how the UNGGIM in Latin America and Caribbean countries are working towards enabling and empowering citizens. He also drew up on INEGI”s work in Mexico towards this.
The GeoAgri session at the Geospatial World Forum 2014 discussed a wide array of geospatial technology and applications available for agriculture lifecycle. It also highlighted several initiatives under the umbrella of the World Bank and several other multilateral organisations.
Elaborating the programmes of World Bank, Daniel Kull, Senior Disaster Risk management Specialist, World Bank discussed uses of geospatial technology in agriculture disaster risk management. Underscoring that geoinformation plays a critical role in improved risk management, Daniel enumerated the work being done under the umbrella of programmes like FEWSNET – a multiagency effort for disaster mitigation and crop sustainability; GEOGLAM – GEO”s global agricultural monitoring programme and LEAP – Livelihoods, early assessment and Protection programme.
Awards – At the Geospatial World Awards 2014, Geospatial Media and Communications honoured the best works and minds of the industry by conferring 14 excellence awards, 10 leadership awards, 5 policy awards and 8 innovation awards.
The Rural Environmental Cadastre (CAR), from the Brazilian Ministry of Environment, and the Green Wave Operation – Kernel density map as an indicator of future deforestation in the Amazon, from Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama) were awarded in the celebration, recognizing the Brazilian excellence in the area.