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Organizer: Intergeo to Examine Environmental Change

Karl-Friedrich Thöne says geospatial community must pay more attention to disaster risk management and prevention.

The countdown for Intergeo 2013 has started.

With the conference scheduled to take place Oct. 8-10 in Essen, Germany, POB took time to conduct an email Q&A with Karl-Friedrich Thöne, the president of the German Society for Geodesy, Geoinformation and Land Management (DVW).

The DVW is the organizer of Intergeo, which expects approximately 16,000 attendees from 80 countries.

Here are some thoughts on Intergeo 2013 from Thöne, who took time out from his busy schedule to answer a few questions.

What are the main topics (or areas of focus) for Intergeo 2013?

Thöne: DVW—German Society for Geodesy, Geoinformation and Land Management—acts as the organizer of the Intergeo, which has emerged to become the

Karl-Friedrich Thöne, the president of the German Society for Geodesy, Geoinformation and Land Management (DVW), says Intergeo will focus on "spatial information, environment and energy change."

world's largest event and communication platform in the developing field of surveying and spatial information from a multi-disciplinary perspective. The trade fair is held in parallel to the conference; together, the trade fair and conference provide a broad overview of the key trends and innovations within the sector. This includes the entire value-added chain— from spatial geo-referenced information surveys and data processing to economical, ecological and social applications for a better understanding of the earth systems (at) a local, regional, national and global level.

Spatial information, environment and energy change are main topics on the agenda of this year’s Intergeo. Under the banner of earthquakes and nuclear catastrophe in Japan, the floods this year in southern Germany or other natural disasters, we as geo-experts have to pay much more attention to the solution of logistical problems relating to disaster risk management and prevention. Successful strategies depend upon reliable space and time referenced spatial information and location data.


What role can open geodata have in shaping municipal tasks?

Thöne: The Intergeo conference will face the professional challenges and responsibilities related to globalization, demographic change, reducing poverty, energy supply, climate change, preservation of the environment, the guarantee of security or protection systems for private property. This year Intergeo is located in Essen, in the heart of the Ruhr area where municipality issues play a fundamental role. These societal issues are in direct connection to our professional work and employment today and in the future and they correspond with the thematic agenda of the upcoming conference. Especially the INSPIRE topic is directly connected to open data in Germany. In Essen the II. National INSPIRE conference is embedded into the Intergeo and will focus on municipal tasks!

Moreover, on the national German and European level topics like demography, migration, consolidation of the public budgets. INSPIRE, E-government and the Internet are identified as the future drivers for societal development in the public sector. Without spatial information, nothing will work there because the users of information and communication technologies dependent on digital content involving time and space.


What should attendees expect at the Trend and Media Forum this year?

Thöne: The Trend and Media Forum is an experimental platform focusing on the interface of trade fair and scientific conference. I expect to see new products and applications and especially I expect an intensive communication. The last years’ experiences did prove the demand for this Forum. 


JobShaker will run for two days this year. What are the changes for JobShaker? And how important is it to recruit the younger generation to the geospatial professions?

Thöne: Regarding the multi-disciplinary involvement of geo-experts, it requires a much closer network and stronger communication in the field of environmental protection than currently exists. Intergeo as a communication platform between providers of hardware and software, clients, scientists and practical applications as well as our initiative aims to provide cooperation between the geo-associations help to enable a "connected community" in order to support environmental debate within the agenda of current societal discussions. This communication strategy serves to positively increase perceptions of our profession. This also offers excellent perspectives for young professionals to become engaged and to participate. Once again: The Intergeo is a communication platform for topics and professionals of all ages!


What is the role of the DVW?

Thöne: My understanding of the DVW—German Society for Geodesy, Geoinformation and Land Management—is to promote the sense of bringing together the spatial information community in Germany. Corporate Identity is a highly important presupposition to support our discipline in science, research and practical experience and moreover to present the achievements and the fundamental societal contribution of our profession to our clients and a broader public.

The DVW is successfully working on a closer cooperation between our "sister" associations in the broad field of geodesy, cartography, spatial information, photogrammetry or hydrography in order to establish a connected and networking geo-associations community. This includes a stronger representation of common professional interests and joint activities in the fields of further education, recruiting new young professionals, branding, a close coordination in the specialist work of the association committees and the improvement of cross-industry communication. A visible sign is a joint presentation stand that includes the combined associations in a common so-called "Geo-Associations Park."

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