Hyderabad, India: On second day of pre-conference programme of Geospatial World Forum 2011, hosted by GIS Development, Dr. Vanessa Lawrence CB, Director General and Chief Executive, Ordnance Survey highlighted initiatives of the organisation towards enabling easy access to and facilitating ease of use of geographic information along the value chain to facilitate user help themselves. Vanessa also stressed upon the need for Ordnance Survey to remain sustainable and the initiatives of the organisation in this direction.
Dr. Vanessa was addressing the session on national mapping initiatives in Europe. The session was chaired by Ben Eazzeta, Director and President – International Operations, Rolta.
Natalie Marthe Bismuth, General Manager, IGN France International, France, highlighted the activities and initiatives of IGN, the national mapping agency of France. Natalie informed that IGN is an active contributor to initiatives in European mapping, aiming towards more open space and cooperation. She highlighted IGN’s contribution to the GMES, the environmental information service and informed that IGN is an active member of EuroGeographics, the European association grouping its national mapping agencies.
Bismuth also highlighted the organisation’s initiatives towards partnership with industry in fields of exports and distribution of satellite data and an exclusive official partnership with National Defence. She gave information on the range of new products offered by the organisation, ranging from maps to portable products for general public.
The status and initiatives of mapping in The Netherlands were shared by Kees de Zeeuw, Director, Kadaster International who talked about innovation and collaboration as policy issues of the Dutch Kadaster. While detailing the wide range of products and services offered by the Kadaster beyond cadastre-related services, he shared information on policy issues 2011, where emphasis is on focus on customers and creating value for them, collaborating with partners, cost reduction, flexibility, quality and continuity and having an international perspective. The approach required in this process involves collaboration including strategic dialogue with companies, use of third party data, new joint cross border Web services and forging new partnerships.
Kumar Navulur of DigitalGlobe offered an industry perspective on public-private partnership. Observing that satellite and aerial industry is a great example of PPP, he stated that in creating nationwide databases through PPP model, data and processes need to be co-located and computing methodologies need to be exploited faster. Cloud can be taken advantage of in both computing and storage.
The two-day forum concluded with a panel discussion of session chairpersons who aimed to identify the key takeaways from the session and key issues to be identified. The panel observed that the government needs to complement authoritative data with crowdsourced data but with great care as appropriate to a respective culture, preserving and archiving data, need for NMOs partnership among themselves, NMOs to re-examine their business models and to be sensitive to national realities. There is also requirement for interoperability, not only technical interoperability but human interoperability.
According to the panel, it is also important for NMOs to share successful case studies with policy makers to convince them towards funding. It was also observed that with rapid advancements in technology, the technology vendors are the best sources of information regarding taking decisions on technology deployment. It was also observed that there is a need for NMOs o reach out and find new audiences and show them the importance and power of their work. It is important to talk to others in language that they understand. Finally it was stressed that there is a need to involve and interest children in the geospatial arena.