More than 15,000 visitors attended INTERGEO 2008, which was held in the
northwestern part of Germany
in Bremen at the Bremen Exhibition
Center (Messe) from Sept.
30 through Oct. 2. Of the total, about 1,400 attended the conference to hear
papers presented in four different tracks on a variety of topics including
environmental monitoring, laser scanning, polar research, coastal protection,
landslide monitoring, alternative energy sources, urban development, land
policy and 3D city models among many others.
The theme of the conference, “Knowledge and Action for Planet Earth,”
represented the way surveyors and other geomatics professionals are regarded in
society and how they, in turn, view their own roles in society. These
professionals see themselves as one of the lead groups that help deal with
major challenges to the Earth’s environment-whether by simply recording the
changes through mapping or by being actively involved in the processes for
addressing energy alternatives, climate change and risk management. Geodata and
geoinformation are vital to the strategic and political decision-making
process, and the understanding that the geomatics professionals can offer is
increasingly valued by both the providers and the recipients.
An area of constant activity in the exhibition hall was the Open Source
Park, which featured
several companies specializing in open source geospatial data processing. The
participants, especially the developers, view INTERGEO as one of the most
important ways they get feedback and suggestions for new features as well as
entice new developers to join their ongoing initiatives.
A significant development for surveyors and surveying societies around the
world occurred at this INTERGEO. In what the participants referred to as the
“Bremen Declaration,” several German societies committed themselves to closer
cooperation realizing that the commonalities between the societies are more
important than the differences. The declaration commits them to collaborating
in association joint committees, especially those relating to development of
new and young professionals and the developing of better relationships with
governments, politicians and society itself. The societies include the DVV and
DVW as well as societies representing fields of remote sensing, cartography,
photogrammetry, GIS, mining surveyors, publicly appointed surveyors and
hydrographers. To demonstrate their newfound relationship, these groups will
have a joint booth at the next INTERGEO, which will be held Sept. 22-24, 2009,
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Special reporting by Joseph V.R. Paiva, PS, PE, PhD.