Point of Beginning

Registration Opens for URISA's 4th Caribbean GIS Conference

May 22, 2008

May 20, 2008 (Park Ridge, IL) – Registration has opened for URISA’s 4th Caribbean GIS Conference. The conference will take place August 25-29, 2008 at the Ritz Carlton Resort on Grand Cayman and will feature workshops, keynote presentations, dozens of educational sessions, an exhibition, poster session and networking opportunities.

Preconference events begin on Monday, August 25 with an ESRI user group meeting and an ArcGIS training course, and URISA Certified Workshops will be presented on Tuesday, August 26 on these topics:

  • GIS Program Management
  • GIS Enterprise Architecture & System Integration
  • An Overview of Open Source GIS Software

During the opening session on August 27, the “Status of Caribbean GIS” will be explored through on-stage interviews of key GIS professionals in the region, followed by a keynote address from Dr. David Maguire, Chief Scientist at ESRI. For this Fourth Caribbean GIS Conference, URISA is pleased to announce a second keynote address on Thursday morning from Vanessa Lawrence CB, Director General and Chief Executive of the Ordnance Survey.

The Program Committee has organized an educational program based upon abstracts submitted through the Call for Presentations within these topical program tracks:

  • Disaster Management, Law Enforcement, Public Health and Safety
  • Standards, Policy and Management
  • Land, Environment, Planning and Natural Resources
  • Utilities, Business and Organizational GIS
  • Hot Topics

Some featured sessions include:

National and Regional Case Studies in Disaster Management
This session will look at examples of Disaster Management Applications using GIS around the region.

  • The Caribbean GIS Community and its Response to Disasters: Lessons Learnt from MapAction LAC Vijay Datadin, Caribbean GIS, Georgetown NIL, Guyana
  • A Case Study: Tropical Storm Noel, The Bahamas Sharon Griffith, Ministry of Works & Housing, Nassau, Bahamas
  • Geographic Information Systems and Their Employment In The Management for Risks Reduction of Disasters in Cuba Silvio Rodríguez Hernández, GEOCUBA Investigation and Consultancy, Playa, Havana, Cuba

Enterprise GIS Systems and Their Profitability
Developing a successful Enterprise GIS is not an easy task and it certainly requires significant investment. This session examines how to put the right systems in place and how to leverage the same in order to generate self-sustaining revenue.

  • The Issues Involved in the Establishment of a National Clearinghouse for Jamaica Damian Graham, Spatial Innovision Ltd, Kingston, Jamaica
  • Towards an Enterprise GIS System for the BVI Kyron Adams, Town and Country Planning Chief Ministers Office, Tortola, British Virgin Islands Lisa Kay S. Lewis, GISP, National GIS Coordinator, Office of the Premier, Tortola, British Virgin Islands
  • Making Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Profitable Karen Edwards and Sharon Patterson, National Land Agency, Kingston, Jamaica

Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI)
SDI is being touted as the new “hot thing” in GIS. This session will explore ways in which SDI might work for the Caribbean and provides two examples of SDI projects underway in the region.

  • In Search of Policies to Support the Implementation of SDIs in the Caribbean Garfield Giff, Delft University, Delft, The Netherlands
  • Spatial Data Infrastructure for the Republic of Cuba – IDERC Tatiana Delgado, SDI in Cuba, Havana, Cuba
  • Creating a Framework for Data Sharing and Access with the Jamaican National Spatial Data Infrastructures (NSDI) Damian Graham, Spatial Innovision Ltd, Kingston, Jamaica

      Conservation Planning: Systems and Methods
      In this session, a non-governmental organization and national governments will present innovative systems and methods that are being developed and employed for conservation planning.

      • Conservation Information System in the Meso America and the Caribbean Steven Schill, The Nature Conservancy, Orem, Utah, USA
      • GIS and Conservation in Bermuda: Challenges and Solutions Mandy Shailer, Bermuda Government, Flatts, Bermuda
      • Using GIS to Conserve the British Virgin Islands’ Marine Environment Nancy Woodfield-Pascoe, National Parks Trust, Tortola, British Virgin Islands

      The previous three Caribbean GIS Conferences took place in the Bahamas (2006), Barbados (2004) and Jamaica (2001). The chair of the 2008 conference committee is Alan Jones, Director of Lands & Surveys for the Cayman Islands. The committee is comprised of well-respected GIS professionals from across the Caribbean region, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

      As in the previous conferences, the conference objectives are:
      1. To inform broad cross-section of Caribbean users about GIS technology and applications
      2. To share experiences regarding GIS implementation and management issues
      3. To establish new relationships with the vendor/consultant community
      4. To provide workshops and sessions that are application driven, and are relevant to the Caribbean community of GIS users
      5. To foster a Caribbean GIS network

      Visit www.urisa.org/conferences/caribbean/info for detailed conference information.

      Caribbean GIS Snapshot ( caribbean-gis.blogspot.com/2008/04/gis-snapshot.html ) - Caribbean GIS professionals are also asked to participate in a survey to include country information in an overview of the 'status of GIS' in the region. The results of the survey will be presented at the URISA Conference on Grand Cayman.