German geomatics exhibition remains as largest show worldwide.

The 2003 INTERGEO exhibition and conference, the 87th annual meeting of the DVW, the German Society of Geodesy, Geo-information and Land Management (an organization with approximately 10,000 members) was held in Hamburg, Germany, from September 17th to 19th. Countering the U.S. trade show trend of diminishing attendance and overall participation at geomatics-related shows, and in spite of the generally depressed state of the European economy, this show attracted an estimated 15,000 visitors from 26 countries. INTERGEO is organized primarily around attendees to the exhibition, or as its organizers, a private company called HINTE call it, the trade fair. Offering the traditional form of the trade show-attendees in person-coupled with the development of new forms of professional communication like web conferencing, the annual meeting attracts attendees who are involved in the management of associations, technical aficionados, researchers and scientists, and of course, surveyors and mappers.

The INTERGEO exhibition/trade fair featured 476 vendors and exhibitors including government and non-profit organizations, a number that continues to rise each year. Almost 10 percent of this year's vendors were first-timers. The exhibits covered more than five acres spread over two levels of adjoining halls of the Hamburg convention center. In all, more than 100 new innovations were displayed in the booths, many of which had English speakers and English literature.

Because of the increasing importance of this show-it has become the largest worldwide geomatics exhibition-a larger number of exhibitors than ever have chosen INTERGEO to announce major initiatives or display improved or new products for the first time. For example, Leica Geosystems (Heerbrugg, Switzerland) introduced new laser scanner technology under the banner of "High Definition Surveying" (see the feature article in the October 2003 issue, page 10) and Trimble (Sunnyvale, Calif.) announced its acquisition of French laser scanner manufacturer MENSI of Norcross, Ga., in addition to launching several new software and hardware products and enhancements.

As INTERGEO is a show developed for the German geomatics practitioners, the majority of products, companies and customers come from Germany. But with the growth of non-German exhibitors (approximately 100 from 19 countries, including the United States) the event is steadily approaching true international-as in worldwide-stature. Visitors and exhibitors now come from countries as diverse as the People's Republic of China, Japan and Canada, as well as nearly every European nation. INTERGEO seems to be a place where European companies use the intense interaction with an international community to test whether they should expand beyond Europe, while for U.S. companies, it is the undeniable testing ground and often launching pad for a European incursion.

INTERGEO is truly a geomatics show with something for everyone: surveying, geodesy, aerial and terrestrial photogrammetry, cartography, GIS and a variety of other geo-information specialties. By bringing all types of land information together, the show clearly illustrates where the future of geomatics lies-with the information technology economy.

INTERGEO is a show well worth checking out for its comprehensiveness and international setting (a bonus for many U.S. visitors). Next year INTERGEO will be held in Stuttgart, Germany, from October 13th to 15th. For more information, visit and