Map Middle East 2010 highlights geospatial opportunities for the region

Map Middle East 2010 highlights geospatial opportunities for the region

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Abu Dhabi, UAE: The 6th edition of the annual Middle East conference and exhibition on geospatial information technology and applications, Map Middle East 2010 (MME 2010), got to an elegant start at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) here today.

The inaugural ceremony was graced by several national and international dignitaries including HE Majid Al Mansouri, Secretary-General, Environment Agency, Abu Dhabi; HE Rashed Al Mansoori, Director General, Abu Dhabi Systems and Information Centre (ADSIC), Abu Dhabi; HE Engr Muhamad Alrajhi, Assistant Deputy Minister, Land and Surveying, Ministry of Municipal and Rural affairs, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; Dr Joo Jin, Lee, President, Korea Aerospace Research Institute; Prof. David Maguire, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Birmingham University, UK; Dr Khalid Rahman Al Haidan, Director, GIS Directorate, Central Informatics Organisation, Bahrain and Col. Ali Al Shehhi of Space Reconnaissance Centre, UAE.

Organised by GIS Development Pvt. Ltd. and strategically partnered by Space Reconnaissance Centre, UAE and Environment Agency, Abu Dhabi, the three-day conference and exhibition brought all the geospatial stakeholders in the Middle East region to share and update themselves with the latest technological advances and explore business opportunities.  

Briefing on the purpose of Map Middle East in his introductory remarks, Sanjay Kumar, CEO, GIS Development said that the conference complements all the existing campaigns in the region to raise the profile of geospatial technology. He elaborated that the event provides a platform for the geospatial community to interact and share their experiences and also facilitates geospatial companies, who bring in the technology and applications, to position themselves as an important stakeholder in the community.

Highlighting the importance of geospatial data and technology for the development of the region, Sanjay Kumar said that the region is showing tremendous appetite for these technologies by developing innovative applications. Geospatial information is at the core of several large projects, a number of which are underway. He stressed on the urgent need to bring in more coordination and user interaction by national mapping organisations to expand and connect with national and regional strategy.  

Presenting the guest address, President of Korea Aerospace Research Institute, Dr. Joo-Jin, Lee said that ties between Middle East and Korea date back to the 7th century. Business delegations from the Middle East started to settle in Korea in the 9th century, introducing new technologies and culture to the natives. He hoped that the conference provides an ideal platform to share ideas in the use of geospatial information and to enhance collaboration between the two countries to understand the Earth better.

Geospatial awards
The inaugural also witnessed the presentation ceremony for Geospatial Excellence Awards, constituted by GIS Development to recognise the contributions made by individuals and organisations towards the growth and use of geospatial technologies in the region. The awards were given away by Prof David Maguire in the following categories:  
– HE Majid Al Mansouri, Secretary General, Environment Agency, Abu Dhabi – Geospatial Pioneer Award  – for his valuable contribution to geospatial technologies for the past 15 years
– HE Engr Muhamad N Alrajhi, Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs (MOMRA), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – Geospatial Pioneer Award – for steering MOMRA the geospatial way and incorporating several innovative ideas
– Dr Khalid A Rahman Al Haidan, Director, Central Informatics Organisation, Bahrain – Geosptial Pioneer Award – for his foresight in utilising geospatial technologies to build the Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) portal for Bahrain
– HE Rashed Al Mansoori, Director General, Abu Dhabi Systems and Information Centre (ADSIC) –  Geospatial Excellence Award recognising the Abu Dhabi Spatial Data Infrastructure (ADSDI) initiative
– Col Ali M Al Shehhi, Space Reconnaissance Centre, UAE – Geospatial Excellence Award recognising the efforts to develop capacity in technology.

Source: By Our Correspondent