Geospatial World Forum 2019 kick starts in Amsterdam

2 April 2019, Amsterdam: Geospatial World Forum (GWF) 2019, the most anticipated event for the global geospatial community, commenced yesterday at the Taets Art & Event Park in Amsterdam-ZNSTD. The event opened with over 1000 delegates from 75 countries who gathered to exchange knowledge on how geospatial is becoming ubiquitous in our daily lives and how to drive innovation in this sector further. The first day of the three-day (April 2-4) forum, which is an annual gathering of professionals and leaders representing the entire geospatial ecosystem, began with a plenary on #GeospatialByDefault: Empowering Billions, the theme of this year’s conference. The conference also saw participation from 45 exhibitors.

Kick starting the conference, Dorine Burmanje, Chair, Kadaster, The Netherlands, the co-host for the conference, underlined that the geospatial community needs more diversity – students, start-ups, women and initiatives from the developing nations to tap the true potential of this technology and make the “Geospatial By Default” movement a success. She also urged the public and private authorities to provide “trusted data” for the sustainable development, and also to enable other important data users.

Highlighting how geospatial technologies are playing an intrinsic role in meeting some of the challenges that the world, Esri President and Chairman of World Geospatial Industry Council, Jack Dangermond, said, “We are moving towards exponentially changing world, creating many problems and threatening our life support. We need to transform our understanding of the world and how we carry out our responsibilities and in this geospatial technology provides the best platform to rapidly scale this work and make our world a better living place.”

The Indian Ambassador to the Netherlands, Venu Rajamony was also amongst the eminent speakers at the opening day. Stressing on geospatial policy framework in India, he said the private industry has a huge role to play here. “India sees development as the primary goal and to make it real there is a need to leapfrog in terms of technology and geospatial has the biggest role to play in it.”

The second plenary session, which was moderated by Geospatial Media and Communications, CEO, Sanjay Kumar, saw an engaging discussion on how geospatial technologies can play a key role in digitalizing the construction sector. The panel of four eminent speakers deliberated on collaborative workflows and business models — future of digital engineering for the AEC Market.

“Spatial Data has been deeply integrated into real-time model centric solutions. A workflow exists between “as-in data” capture to modeling to physical action and back again,” said Steve Berglund, President and CEO, Trimble. Taking the conversation further, B.V.R. Mohan Reddy, Executive Chairman, Cyient, India, said, “Digital engineering is ‘renewing the old’ and ‘building the new’ and it is the new growth engine for AEC market, transforming industries.”

Andreas Gerster, Vice President, Global Construction BIM-CIM, FARO, Germany, said construction projects are becoming increasingly complex and expensive and to simplify them the only answer is technology integration.

The third plenary for the day was focused on 5G+Geospatial — Shaping Digital Cities. Mohamed Mezghani, Secretary-General, International Association of Public Transport, Belgium talked about how transportation bodies around the world are embracing geospatial technologies. Malcolm Johnson, Deputy Secretary-General, International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Switzerland said, “ITU has a crucial role to play in the digital economy; the participants of ITU are looking to collaborate with diverse industries. When it comes to Smart Cities we need to work in collaboration especially in terms of technology and standardization.”

Wim Herijgers, Group Director, Digital Innovation & Technology Fugro, stressed, “The Digital Foundation is a four-dimensional digitized, spatial and geo-data framework; that is aimed at providing clients with a deep understanding of the sites and assets,” he added. Frank Pauli, CEO, Cyclomedia explained how Geospatial Insights are key in network planning for 5G for unprecedented speed as it expedites design, asset management, and provides immersive, overlay and point cloud view for informed decision making.

The final session of the day was focused on Power of Sharing: Geospatial Knowledge Infrastructure Building Sustainable Economies. The panelists discussed that the 21st century is the era of big cities and as we work together to help build smart sustainable cities and villages, geospatial technology can help unlock tremendous opportunity for progress. Dr. Virginia Burkett from USGS and Anna Wellenstien from the World Bank, focused on how information is critical for economic transformation and geospatial serves the economic needs of countries. William Priest of the Geospatial Commission, UK further emphasized on the economic value geospatial adds to their country.  Paloma Merodio Gomez, Vice President, INEGI, Mexico updated on the status of the economic, population and housing census and the critical role geospatial technology has played in it.

The Open ELS project was launched by Mick Cory, Secretary General and Executive Director, EuroGeographics. EuroGeographics launched the first open data services from the Open European Location Services (ELS) Project at Geospatial World Forum. Data from the Open ELS project provides a first step in realizing potential economic and social benefits of authoritative information from EuroGeographics members, the National Mapping, Cadastral and Land Registration Authorities of Europe. 

Over the course of the next two days, 1,000+ delegates, 200+ CEOs and senior government officials from 75+ countries will use the GWF platform to interact and collaborate, and demonstrate the collective vision of the global geospatial community.

About Geospatial World Forum: Geospatial World Forum is a collaborative and interactive platform, which demonstrates collective and shared vision of the global geospatial community. It is an annual gathering of geospatial professionals and leaders representing the entire geospatial ecosystem. This comprises of public policies, national mapping agencies, private sector enterprises, multilateral and development organizations, scientific and academic institutions, and above all end users from government, businesses, and citizen services.

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