Penang, April 21: An overcast sky and rains did not dampen the spirit of geospatial community of Malaysia, who turned out in large numbers for the second Map Malaysia conference and exhibition on Geospatial Information, Technology & Applications here today. The two-day conference was inaugurated to the reverberance of the traditional gong and was well attended by over 200 delegates and dignitaries.
The inaugural session began with a welcome address by Dr. M. P. Narayanan, Chairman, GIS Development India, the organiser of the conference. Dr. Narayanan referred Map Malaysia as a conference for the Malaysians, by the Malaysians and for the Malaysians. He complimented government departments and agencies who are on using geospatial technologies for providing better governance. Dr. Narayanan brought to fore, the fact that the attendees of the conferences was a true cross-section of professionals, academia, industry and government agencies, who are working for the spread of awareness of these technologies in other provinces of Malaysia. He stressed on the need to build capacities of able geospatial professionals to further the growth and emphasised the importance of public-private partnerships in building a better geospatial infrastructure.
The inaugural address was delivered by Y.Bhg. Dato` Zoal Azha Bin Yousof, Secretary General, Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy, on behalf of Datuk Douglas Uggh Embas, Minister of Natural Resources and Energy. Emphasising the importance of Map Malaysia, Dato` Zoal said the conference is an excellent platform for the geospatial community and that the theme of the conference ‘Geospatial for all – All for geospatial’ is much relevant to Malaysia.
He highlighted the milestones in the growth of geospatial in Malaysia, beginning with Penang GIS which was started in 1992 and other initiatives that has led to the formulation of organisations such as MyGDI. He also showcased the technical advancements that NRE has adopted. He agreed with Dr. Narayanan on the importance of trained manpower and the need for adopting new academic curricula to address the needs of the geospatial community. NRE, as a ministry, is working closely with private agencies and academia to build public-private partnership initiatives. He concluded his talk by saying that ‘GIS is a long term investment and it will surely yield results, but they may not be immediately realised.”
The inauguration ceremony concluded with the vote of thanks by Kavitha Seras of GIS Development, who thanked the dignitaries, sponsors, co-sponsors, exhibitors and all delegates for their participation. After the vote of thanks dato Zoal then inaugurated the exhibition. The exhibition at map Malaysia has twelve exhibitors displaying a wide range of latest geospatial technologies.