NACIS Conference 2011

Madison, the capital of Wisconsin, was the site for the North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS http://bit.ly/10FIw6) annual conference for 2011. Madison is home to the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, home of some of the great cartographers and geographers of the 20th century http://bit.ly/8Y3Szd , such as Arthur Robinson and Yi-Fu Tuan http://bit.ly/92NX3u. One of the great experiences of the conference was the closing address at the banquet by Yi-Fu Tuan "On the Relationship Between Cartography and Humanism". His talk covered topics as diverse as representations of cities on medieval maps and landscapes in Chinese art, to our sense of place when one feels homesick.

Get Your GIS Strategy Going

Given up on strategic plans because no one pays them any attention?
Can’t get the decision makers to read them, let alone fund them?

Too often I see strategic plans that describe implementing lots of technology but fail to demonstrate successfully how they will benefit the organisation or customers.

Effective strategic plans lay out a vision and a common set of organisational goals (describing how to get there and measure progress along the way). If the plan is going to be successful, it needs to be accepted across an organisation: people need to understand what the plan will deliver and how it is to be achieved.

When the signs on the freeway and at train stations are directing you to a conference, then it must be big, and Intergeo certainly is. Intergeo is billed as the world’s biggest trade fair for geodesy, geoinformation and land management and is the premier geospatial conference for Germany. There were over 500 exhibitors at the trade show with over 17,500 visitors. Now that’s big. In addition, 1,500 people attended the conference.

I came to see what 500 exhibitors of geospatial related services and technologies would look like and was impressed by the variety of offerings. There were three themes that stood out to me: 3D visualisation, data collection vehicles and open GIS.

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