Redlands, California-September 4, 2008-More than 200 attendees listened to a wide range of speakers discuss how remotely sensed data has been used successfully at their organizations-as well as what challenges the industry faces in the future-at the inaugural Remote Sensing and GIS Summit held in conjunction with the 2008 ESRI International User Conference in San Diego, California, this past August.

Keynote speaker Dr. Bradley Doorn, remote-sensing program manager at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), discussed the importance of focusing on end users' needs when exploiting raster imagery. Working with the USDA to monitor the world's food supply, Doorn has made the information derived from remotely sensed data a key economic indicator for global crop analysis. "The data is perfect for deriving valuable information for this as well as other industries," he explained, "due to its timeliness, reliability, objectivity, accuracy, global nature, and efficiency."

This sentiment wove through the remainder of the user presentations during the day, which included addresses from Berik Davies, global GIS and spatial coordinator at Shell International Exploration and Production, and Dr. David Zilkoski, director, National Geodetic Survey, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Dr. Devendra Pandy, director general with the Forest Survey of India, provided a powerful case study of remotely sensed data use by discussing India's management of forests including using the imagery to legally combat encroachers and accurately inventory India's precious forests.

Presentations by key ESRI staff, including Dr. David Maguire, chief scientist, and Peter Becker, imagery product manager, rounded out the day with in-depth information sharing with attendees on how to integrate an effective workflow with imagery including solutions for data collection, management, production, and exploitation of the data. "ESRI's solutions help organizations realize the value of imagery," says Mark Cygan, map, chart, and data production and spatial data infrastructure (SDI) industry manager, ESRI. "The fact that remotely sensed data is the primary source for many agencies in their geospatial production and maintenance makes it very important that we come together and explore the best ways to utilize such an important data type."

The last session of the day was an informative panel discussion led by publisher/managing editor of Imaging Notes magazine, Myrna James Yoo. The panel consisted of top vendors in the remote-sensing arena as they presented their visions for improving access to imagery and what the future holds for the data. Panel presenters from GeoEye, ITT VIS, BAE Systems, DigitalGlobe, ESRI Canada Limited representing PurVIEW, Overwatch, and ESRI were on hand to answer questions from Myrna and the audience.

For more information about the Remote Sensing and GIS Summit, as well as the concurrently held 2008 ESRI International User Conference, remote.html. To learn more, contact Mark Cygan at 909-793-2853, extension 1-2333, or e-mailmcygan@esri.