Caribbean GIS Community to Gather in Barbados

Des Plaines, IL USA (July 26, 2016) -  The Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA)  is pleased to present the Eighth Caribbean GIS Conference in Barbados this September 4-8, 2016. The conference is organized by a committee of Caribbean GIS experts, who dedicate considerable time and energy to developing an important educational program. The conference features more than 60 speakers, an exhibition and a number of valuable professional development and networking opportunities. We are particularly pleased to host the  UN-GGIM International Forum on Geospatial Information and Services for Disasters during the conference this year.

An abundance of education will be featured during the conference, including a one-day (Tuesday) focused program track, developed in partnership with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) that will explore best practices for utilizing GIS and other tools to prepare, respond, and manage disasters:

Improving Caribbean Disaster Preparedness and Response through Geospatial Services : Bringing disaster management specialists and geospatial professionals together under one roof, this is a fantastic opportunity to match mapping and analysis practice against the challenges faced to be more resilient before and after disasters. Through presentations, discussions and hands on experience, this offers practical IM solutions in a one day focused program track and complements strategic issues discussed at the UNGGIM special meeting, all to help the region to use GIS effectively to be better prepared against natural disasters. 

A program outline follows, but take time to review the entire conference program, including speaker profiles and session details, online:  

Optional pre-conference courses and meetings begin on Sunday, September 4 and Monday, September 5.

  • From Sensor to Internet: Processing, Analysis, Compression and Distribution in the Geospatial Information Life Cycle - Sponsored by Hexagon Geospatial
  • Modernizing Land Administration Systems - Sponsored by Esri
  • Mobile, Web and Server GIS: Field to Finish (Two-day workshop) - Sponsored by Spatial Innovision
  • Introduction to Smart M.App - Sponsored by Hexagon Geospatial
  • Half-Day Workshop: Intro to Python
  • Half-Day Workshop: Mastering the Spatial Analyst Extension
  • Cartography and Geo-Visualization
  • Mobile, Web and Server GIS: Field to Finish (Day 2 of 2) 

The conference is excited to host the   URISA Caribbean GIS Mapathon. This activity will support Missing Maps and the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) in mapping vulnerable areas of the Caribbean. 

Tuesday's agenda features a keynote address delivered by  Chris Sheldrick, Co-Founder and CEO of What3Words. His talk "The World Addressed with 3 Words," will discuss how poor addressing around the world hampers the growth and development of entire nations. 
In addition to the Disaster Preparedness and Response all-day track, the conference will showcase these sessions: 

  • UAV: It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane…
  • Marine Mapping and Navigation Technologies
  • Participatory GIS for Better Decision-Making and Communication
  • It All Starts with the Data
  • Trending GIS in 3Ds – Data Capture, Data Storage and Data Visualization
  • Using GIS to More Effectively Manage Today’s Utility Companies
  • Geospatial Technologies – Protecting Our Heritage, Shaping Our World
  • Why is Engaging the Public So Important?
  • Young Professionals: How to Move Forward in a GIS Career (Special note: YPs in the Caribbean are making a distinct impact on the profession. We are pleased to support their discussions in Barbados!) 

Wednesday begins with a keynote address from  Tyler Radford, Executive Director of Humanitarian OpenStreetMap, on the topic of Crowdsourced Mapping for Disaster Response. 
Then, take advantage of breakout sessions including: 

  • Current Trends in GIS and GIS for Land Administration
  • Implementation of Enterprise GIS for National Security from Start to Finish
  • Utilizing Geospatial Strategies to Benefit Coastal Resources Management in the Caribbean
  • Enhancing Social and Economic Development Strategies with GIS Technology
  • Geospatial Mapping Tools for Habitat Mapping, Analysis and Decision Support
  • Mapping the Future with a Look from the Past 

The day will end with an engaging panel to discuss some of the challenges and opportunities that Funding Agencies face working with local governments and consultants throughout the Caribbean before the always memorable Evening Social Event. 

The conference continues on Thursday morning with the  Caribbean GIS High Level Forum and more breakout sessions:

  • Addressing the Social Needs: GIS—A Powerful Enabler
  • Applications of Geospatial Technologies in Disaster Management 

URISA's 2016 Caribbean GIS Conference will close with a discussion to address strengthening regional collaboration and the always-energetic URISA Caribbean Ignite! 

Exhibitors and sponsors are an important part of the conference with enthusiastic conversations about technology solutions. In particular, we appreciate the generous sponsorship of  EsriSpatial InnovisionGeoOrbisHexagon Geospatial and  GeoTechVision

The conference is taking place at the Hilton Barbados and discounted sleeping rooms are available until August 15 or until the block sells out, whichever occurs first. Register for the conference and make your travel plans right away!

Click here for complete conference information.



Wendy Nelson
Executive Director - URISA

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