The European-focused imaGIne conference will provide attendees with an opportunity learn what is going on in the geospatial sector and to network with important decision-makers. EUROGI’s “imaGIne: Opportunities Everywhere” Conference will be held October 8-9 in Berlin, Germany.
The imaGIne conference will take place at the same venue and at the same time as the InterGeo trade fair.
A key aim of the conference is to showcase the best that Europe has to offer in the geospatial field, thus the conference subtitle “Geographic Information Expertise: Made in Europe.” The aim has guided EUROGI and its member associations in the selection of themes and speakers, organizers said.
Plenary Sessions and Keynotes
During the plenary sessions, presentations will be given by top European and global experts.
- Roberto Viola, deputy director, Directorate General CONNECT, European Commission, will provide an outline of the European Union’s Digital Agenda Europe, with particular emphasis on geospatial aspects.
- Detlef Dauke, director general, German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy will speak on behalf of the German vice-chancellor, who is the patron for the conference.
Two speakers will provide a view of the state of the European geospatial industry from a global perspective, highlighting its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Other issues which will be covered in the plenaries include the Internet of Things (billions of interlinked sensors across Europe), Linked Data (joining up data which was otherwise unconnected) and Big Data (massive amounts of data from diverse sources and across many fields).
In addition to the plenary sessions, there will be 15 parallel sessions of 90 minutes each, each of which has a specific thematic focus. The themes include Job Creation and Economic Growth, Energy, Environment, Demography, Smart Cities, Copernicus (Europe’s Earth Observation initiative), Open Data, Big Data, and Insurance. The sessions will not only provide interesting insights, but will also feature panel sessions with discussions of pertinent issues, as well as opportunities for audience engagement.
The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre will provide an opportunity to discuss the European Union Location Framework, a set of policies and measures which aim to facilitate the integration of geospatial information into e-government services and to increase alignment in and between existing and future EU policies.
InterGeo Fair. InterGeo is the world’s leading trade fair for geodesy, geoinformation and land management. With over half a million event website users, over 16 000 direct visitors each year from 92 countries and more than 500 exhibitors, it is one of the key platforms for business dialogue in the geospatial information sphere.
Registration for EUROGI’s imaGIne conference will automatically entitle delegates to visit the fair.
More information about the conference can be found at www.imagine2014.eu. The website also provides the opportunity to register. An early-bird discount rate will be available until August 31.
The Geospatial Sector — Huge and Growing Fast
Geospatial information, also often referred to as geographic information, is any information that has a location/position “tag.” The tags can take many forms, including for example, postal codes, street addresses, words that have a location/place reference (such as Barcelona, the Rhine, Slovenia, etc.), north/south coordinates, and more. Organizing and managing tags enables vast amounts of otherwise disparate information to be integrated and new and innovative insights and services to be provided.
According to a report published last year by Oxera, a leading UK economic research firm that was commissioned by Google, at $150-270 billion annually the geospatial sector globally was one third the size of the global airline industry. (See “What is the Impact of Geospatial Services?”)
The report states, “Geo services are making an important contribution to the global economy and to future productivity. The efficiency gains they create are helping to facilitate future economic activity and generate additional consumer welfare.”
Everyone is aware of the airline industry, but very few are aware of the geospatial industry, an industry that to a very large extent operates out of direct public view, but that produces products and services that impact on billions of people worldwide on a daily basis. The insurance, automotive, telecommunications, navigation, marine, agriculture, energy, utilities, tourism, and recreation and media industries are just some of sectors that rely heavily on geospatial products and services.
Apart from the enormous size of the sector, another key point highlighted in the Google-sponsored research report is that the sector is growing globally at about 30 percent annually. With overall global economic growth taking place in the lower single-digit range, growth of this nature can truly be described as explosive, conference organizers said.