Industry loses visionary

Industry loses visionary

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Canada: The geospatial industry lost a visionary and a mentor when Dr. Robert Moses, President and Chief Executive Officer, PCI Geomatics passed away on May 3 in Quebec, Canada, following a heart attack. He is survived by his son, two daughters, two grandchildren and his companion Bonnie Harris. Dr. Moses was also the Chairman of the Global Advisory Council for Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC).

A medical doctor by training and profession after receiving an MD degree in 1973, Dr. Moses soon turned to artificial intelligence. With his team, he created the music synthesizer McLeyyier, an innovation in 1979-80 and invented a methodology to allow the computer to provide musical scores based upon parallel processing. He founded the computer science company Syntronics in 1979. At the height of Cold War in early 1980s Syntronics joined PCI, which was an offshoot of the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing, after receiving a research contract from the Canadian government to take satellite images and process them in parallel. In 1990, the company dropped the name Syntronics and Dr. Moses took over as the CEO and President of PCI Geomatics.

It was under his leadership that PCI Geomatics grew from a single office, single product company into one of the world’s top geomatics solution providers. In the early 1990s, Dr. Moses led PCI away from proprietary, hardware-based systems to non-proprietary, open systems software development. In addition to his commitment to PCI Geomatics, Dr. Moses was also engaged in the development and technology work through advisory positions to several government bodies. In addition to his involvement with OGC, he was also on Board of Trustees for International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS), Vice Chair of Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), Conference Board of Canada – Leaders’ Panel on Innovation-Based Commerce, and a member of the York University Advisory Board (Engineering).  

Until 2007, Dr. Moses served as Chair of the Ministerial Advisory Council on Science and Technology for the Ministry of Natural Resources, Government of Canada; Member of the Council of Science and Technology Advisors for the Government of Canada; Chair of the National Advisory Board on Earth Sciences for the Ministry of Natural Resources, Government of Canada; and on other similar bodies.  

David Shell, Chairman of the OGC, expressed grief on the loss and said,“Bob was a generous man and a visionary without whose faith and constant support OGC would never have come to be. His pride in our collective accomplishment and his constant faith in our capacity to make a difference helped us to accomplish more than we had dreamed.”

Dr R Siva Kumar, CEO NSDI & Head NRDMS Division, Department of Science & Technology, Government of India, felt that it is a bolt from the blue, more so for him. He said, “Bob was a dear friend and the warmth and affection he showed to us during his many trips and our visits to Canada are unforgettable. It is a great loss to the geospatial community, OGC, The Global Advisory Council and PCI.”    

GIS Development traced the journey and vision of this indomitable spirit in a feature dedicated to him a year ago. Sanjay Kumar, CEO, GIS Development, prayed to God to rest his soul in peace and said, “I personally feel that I have lost a mentor and a guide. Dr. Bob Moses was above all a great human being and all through his life he had been directly and indirectly a mentor and a guide to many around the world. In addition to having provided leadership to PCI, he has been a great champion, ambassador and statesman for OGC and geospatial technology. Like a warrior, he took his last breath while working for the geospatial industry. He would be missed deeply by all of us.”

Source: By Our Correspondent