POB gives you an inside look at the first day of the show.

Amidst the chants from mobs of protesters here in the metro Washington, D.C. area were vibrant green foliage, colorful tulips and sweet smells.

Oh, and don’t forget the surveyors, mappers, photogrammetrists and the rest. These folks gathered for the well-organized and combined conference of the three most prominent organizations serving geomaticians: FIG, ACSM and ASPRS.

With attendees, speakers and exhibitors from 84 countries, the show we at POB have dubbed “The Big Show” promises to be the biggest and greatest of the year for the industry.

Though the sun has given in to its cousin rain, the weather hasn’t dampened the spirits of the conference attendees, some of whom are visiting Washington and the United States for the first time.

Visitors took time to visit the memorials and monuments, and experience the Capitol city.

The exhibit hall bustled with manufacturer representatives and union workers moving crates and boxes, drilling together booth panels and creating attractive displays.

The sight of dust and debris was accompanied by the inevitable sounds of, “Hey! Have you seen the ______?” that goes with erecting an exhibit.

Students, business owners and the like attended forums and courses in the quieter areas to learn, network and, of course, to earn their PDHs and CEUs. Courses for the day included orthophotography, mapping and GIS with GPS, ALTA/ACSM surveys, LIDAR, ethics, and remote sensing and GIS of wetlands.

We at POB took a walk to the National Geographic Museum to check out the 17 solid terrain models of sites including Earth and Mars, Hurricane Floyd, Mount Everest, the Grand Canyon and San Francisco Bay.

Each model is cut from high-density plastic foam and printed with a satellite photo of each site directly onto the model. Ranging from 5.5 feet by 4 feet to the huge 52 foot by 6 foot Grand Canyon model that hung from the hall ceiling, these displays were nothing short of awe-inspiring. For more information about the solid terrain models, click here.

Monday’s activities promise to offer more wonderful opportunities and experiences for all present. Stay tuned!