Stuttgart hosts INTERGEO 2004.

The southern German city of Stuttgart-headquarters of Porsche and Daimler-Chrysler-hosted the 2004 INTERGEO conference and exhibition (known as the trade fair) October 13-15. This year marked the 10th anniversary of the event and the 88th annual meeting of the DVW, the German Society of Geodesy, Geo-information and Land Management. Stuttgart has been recognized across Europe as the leading hi-tech region of Europe. INTERGEO itself is regarded as the core event of the geo-information industry.

Since many interested parties now obtain technical information from the Internet, the conference portion of INTERGEO attracted a mere 1,700 people. The exhibition, however, which is consistently regarded as the greatest attraction of the event, welcomed a record 16,500 visitors (approximately 1,500 more than 2003). Of these, more than 30 percent were first-timers, an impressive number compared to the diminishing attendance at most U.S. tradeshows. To attract attendees from other organizations, partnerships with other societies have been created for special events within INTERGEO. This year, EU Day was established and included a forum titled "Geo-information-The European Business Dimension." This forum was conducted as part of the German Cartographic Convention. EU Day will tour to various countries annually following this year's event. Industry representatives across Europe join in cooperation to identify deficiencies of geo-information and its applications, discuss varying policies among the countries, and design a plan to stimulate sustainable economic and ecologic development in Europe. The countries' representatives share best practices and exchange knowledge of geo-information used in their areas of the continent. These strengths can be complemented to design effective geo-information applications.

The exhibition, which covered more than five acres on two levels of three adjoining halls of the Stuttgart convention center, featured 470 vendors and another 212 co-exhibitors who were present as partners or affiliates of the principal exhibitors. These exhibitors included government departments, educational institutions, associations, publishing houses and non-profit organizations. As a German show, INTERGEO had mostly German exhibitors, but the international component is steadily increasing. In 2004, 20 percent of the exhibitors came from other corners of the world; exhibitors from the United States were among the almost 100 foreign exhibitors from more than 20 countries. Visitors and exhibitors now come from countries as diverse as the People's Republic of China, Japan and Canada as well as most European nations.

Professional areas covered at INTERGEO regularly include: surveying, geodesy, aerial and terrestrial photogrammetry, cartography, GIS and a variety of other geo-information specialties. Products varied across the range from drawing media to monuments and accessories, from vehicles to enterprise software for GIS. The event represents the future direction of geomatics and joins all types of land information, information management, information analysis and information collection systems, demonstrating that there truly is a geo-information technology (GIT) economy.

INTERGEO is a show U.S. surveying professionals will find well worth attending just for its comprehensiveness (its international setting is a bonus for U.S. visitors). Next year's event will be held in Düsseldorf from October 4-6. Looking ahead, the 2006 show will be held in conjunction with the FIG Congress in Munich, and is likely to be even more international in flavor. In addition, the exhibition will be a golden opportunity for U.S. companies that want to expand their sphere of trade outside U.S. boundaries. INTERGEO 2006 is expected to be the biggest international show for the geomatics industry.

Because of the success of the INTERGEO conference and trade fair exhibition, the organizer HINTE GmbH exported its successful concept into the prosperous markets of southeast Europe in the spring of 2004. The first INTERGEO EAST took place in Belgrade, Serbia, at the beginning of March 2004 and was a huge success. Planning for the INTERGEO EAST 2005 in Zagreb, Croatia, has already begun-another example of how this event is a "must-see" for anyone in the geo-information market.

For more information on INTERGEO, visit www.intergeo.de; for more information on the German Society of Geodesy, Geo-information and Land Management, visit www.dvw.de.

Joseph V.R. Paiva, PhD, PS, PE, contributed to this report.

Sidebar: Product Spotlight

Reflecting on the increasing international significance of this show, Topcon used this venue to launch its GPT7000i video camera-equipped total station. The implementation of imaging technology with the total station allows the image seen through the telescope to be viewed on the display screen of the instrument. This makes it easy to point the telescope to the required object for measurement, and instead of only the traditional map view of the surveyed points on the screen, users can now see the measured points and lines appear on the real view of the area being measured. Users can also "capture reality" by storing the digital image along with the measurement data.

This technology allows surveyors to: easily identify measurement points with prism or non-prism measurement; remove the strain of looking through the telescope to identify every point; see the view through the telescope easily on steeply inclined shots normally requiring an additional eyepiece attachment; and easily view the points already measured and those that may have been missed.

Users can also: see stakeout points superimposed on the real view of the site before setting out; easily verify that stakeout has been completed by the indication on the real view screen; verify site conditions and features to improve survey documentation; visualize control points captured at the time measurements are recorded to aid relocation; collect visual records of site features to aid office processing of survey data; reduce the need for site sketches by having true digital images showing the measured points recorded at the time of the survey; and select wide-angle view or measurement point view, and record either or both images at the time of measurement. The GPT-7000i is based on the standard Topcon GPT-7000 series reflectorless total stations with the addition of the digital imaging technology and includes TopSURV-On Board software; the image capabilities are enhanced in a special software module. The GPT-7000i is available in four models with angle accuracy 1" (0.3 mgon), 2" (0.6 mgon), 3" (1.0 mgon) and 5" (1.5 mgon).