Frankfurt hosts INTERGEO 2002; and a new chapter for FIG.

Frankfurt Hosts INTERGEO 2002

Contrary to the expected decrease of attendees to the 2002 INTERGEO conference held in Frankfurt, Germany, this October, the show’s organizers hosted a trade show and Congress to 16,000 visitors, equal to last year’s numbers. The 86th annual meeting of the DVW, the German Society of Geodesy, Geo-information and Land Management (an organization with approximately 10,000 members) from October 16-18, sustained its status as the largest of its kind for the geomatics industry in the world.

The exhibition/trade show featured 479 vendors and exhibitors from governmental and non-profit organizations—50 more than last year. The majority of exhibitors were German companies with German products, but a great many international and U.S. exhibitors familiar to Americans have a long history of exhibiting at INTERGEO. Also, a few enterprising companies familiar in the United States exhibited as part of their plans to expand their market bases to Europe. Regardless of their origins, there was something for everyone in the geomatics spectrum. The international aspect of this show was demonstrated not only by the homelands of the attendees—certainly many from all over Europe, as well as from the rest of the world—but also the almost 20 percent of exhibitors who came from 23 different nations in addition to Germany. The exhibits in the 220,000 square feet of exhibition space reflected the trends in geomatics, with 55 percent of exhibitors specializing in geo-information and 30 percent specializing in surveying and geodesy. The show organizers announced that 60 new products were being demonstrated or shown at the exhibits. Most of these were in the areas of mapping, GIS and CADD, and were intended for the German markets. Most exhibitors had people in their booths who could converse in English as well as several other European languages. Quite a few had literature available in English as well. The conference part of the show, called the Congress, with a session or two of papers presented in English to accommodate the international makeup of the attendees, continues to attract a much smaller proportion of attendees, as most are content to take the CD with papers home or access the same information on the Internet.

INTERGEO 2003 is scheduled for Sept. 17-19, 2003 in Hamburg, Germany. This comprehensive professional meeting for practitioners in the geomatics industry is a significant show dedicated to being an important resource for the world’s surveyors, mappers and GIS professionals. The high interest it attracted from geomatics practitioners in its native Germany, as well as from around the world, might summon a positive outlook about the economy’s robustness as well. Geomatics professionals in the United States wishing to taste a more international perspective of their profession coupled with an interesting experience in European culture may want to put the 2003 INTERGEO on their calendars. For more information about INTERGEO see www.intergeo.de and www.dvw.de.

A New Chapter for FIG

The opening ceremonies for the 2002 INTERGEO conference included the handover of the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) administration and presidency of U.S. Council President Robert W. Foster, responsible for the last Congress in Washington, D.C., earlier this year, to German Council President Holger Magel, responsible for organizing the 2006 Congress in Munich. Professor Magel, a current FIG vice president, will be president from 2003-2006 and will chair the German Council as it officially starts its work Jan. 1, 2003. Chaired by Hagen Graeff, president of the German member association of FIG, DVW, the handover ceremony included music presented by the Band of the U.S. Army (First Armoured Division) and presentations by the cheerleaders of the Frankfurt Galaxy football team.

In his address to the assembly, Foster summarized the main achievements of the U.S. administration of FIG, including the significant change of elected officers, providing for ”a true democratization of the Federation”; the efficient operation of the Federation through its permanent home in Copenhagen since 1999; the benefit of a reserve fund to be passed along among administrations; the progression of the FIG Education Foundation with support from ESRI (Redlands, Calif.). Foster also highlighted a growing membership and cooperation with several United Nations agencies. Foster then handed over the President’s chain to Prof. Magel.

Incoming Council members led by Magel are Vice Presidents Dr. Andreas Drees and Dr. Ralf Schroth of Germany and T.N. Wong of Hong Kong, China; Congress Director Thomas Gollwitzer and Commission Representative Gerhard Muggenhuber of Austria. DVW will name the remaining vice president by the end of the year.

Associate Editor Emily Vass compiles “The Latest News.” If you have a timely, newsworthy item, contact her at 248/244-6465 or E-mail vasse@bnp.com. Also visit www.pobonline.com for daily news updates.