European LiDAR Mapping Forum Exceeds Attendance Expectations
"We are delighted with the response to our first outing," stated Versha Carter, Director of the European LiDAR Mapping Forum. "Despite holding the event during a week of extreme weather throughout Europe we were still able to attract 530 attendees who actually walked through the doors. Eighty eight percent of these individuals had never attended a previous LiDAR Mapping Forum which reinforced that we attracted a significant new audience for our European event."
Alastair MacDonald, conference Chairman opened the conference looking at airborne, bathymetric and mobile mapping applications of LiDAR. “Laser scanners are becoming smaller, faster and cheaper, leading to new opportunities,” he said. “Applications are becoming more differentiated as more integrated and complex data comes together,” he added.
MacDonald mentioned that we are seeing data processing become increasingly important and driving a whole new range of applications. Many of the opening day presentations described the capture and data processing efforts ranging from national digital elevation models in Sweden to the need for processing architecture to handle large LiDAR databases. The latest market step change of Mobile Mapping is already delivering exponential reductions in the time and cost of performing urban and highway surveys.
George Vosselman, Professor at the University of Twente, The Netherlands gave the keynote address to a packed out conference room that described many issues surrounding the current use of LiDAR hardware and software.
Other sessions that were so popular there was nearly standing room only included the bathymetric LiDAR sessions and the Data Processing sessions with particular reference to Hugo Ledoux from Delft University of Technology whose paper talked about storing and analysing massive aerial LiDAR datasets in a DBMS.
Many delegates reported their surprise at the number of actual exhibiting companies. The exhibitors reported that their first event experience was a huge success. "The conference far exceeded all of our expectations. We gained a great deal from the well arranged industry sessions and were delighted by the networking opportunities created. Fugro looks forward to next year's event," reported Paul Seaton, Business Development Manager with Fugro Survey.
In addition to the conference and exhibition, attendees had the opportunity to visit seven mobile mapping vehicles which were parked alongside and also view some very informative poster and workshop sessions.
There was a strong focus on networking throughout the week with drinks receptions planned for each night.
The organizers are presently gathering feedback to help determine the best location for the next event which is scheduled to be held in 2011.