More than 3,000 people attended the Hexagon 2012 conference in Las Vegas in June, where the theme was “Think Forward.” What does this mean for geospatial professionals? Here’s a brief recap of the event.

Creating “actionable information”--it was a phrase introduced by Hexagon at the group’s inaugural conference in Orlando last year and one that resonated throughout the Hexagon 2012 conference. Held June 4-7 at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, the event brought together user communities from Intergraph, Leica Geosystems, Z/I Imaging, Hexagon Metrology and NovAtel, and drew more than 3,000 attendees from 76 countries.

In his opening address during the general session, Hexagon AB President and CEO Ola Rollén outlined five components of actionable information. He said it must be multidimensional, dynamic, context-aware, mobile and in real time. Creating actionable information requires a forward-thinking approach. “We need to think forward to predict what lies ahead; understand, measure and detect what’s relevant; predict when change will happen; see change as it’s happening; and continuously improve productivity,” he said.

Both in the general session and in the opening address for the Geosystems track, a key point of emphasis was the integration of technologies to enhance visualization. “Leica Geosystems measures the world around us, while Intergraph visualization and communication methods inform those who need to be informed,” said Juergen Dold, president of Hexagon Geosystems. “Visualization is a vital part of what we have to do so people can make decisions based on our measurements.”

The goal is to capture the real world accurately, process that data efficiently and feed it into a digital CAD model, GIS or reference model where it can be displayed and analyzed. Altering, defining and redesigning the digital world leads to action that improves the real world. It’s a constant flow of updated information that enhances quality and efficiency.

Adding tools such as My Virtual Reality Software AS (myVR), which Hexagon acquired in May 2012, provides the ability to merge data from different sources for a 3D view and stream it over the Internet. “The ability to integrate all your data and view it online in any platform, including mobile, is the future of mapping,” Dold said.

Ken Mooyman, president of Hexagon Geosystems NAFTA, said collaboration across the entire Hexagon organization is producing integrated solutions that optimize workflows for geospatial professionals, from the collection of real-world data to models of the real world, and finally to the creation of actionable intelligence, resulting in a smarter approach to the planning and execution of projects. He noted how Hexagon’s acquisition of Technodigit in 2009 and of MicroSurvey in January 2012 is creating synergies that enhance capabilities. For example, surveyors using MicroSurvey CAD can now work directly in CAD to process their field data. And CAD technicians can quickly create stunning, precise, meshed surfaces from point clouds through the integration of Technodigit’s 3D reshaper meshing tool into Leica Cyclone II TOPO software.

“Integrated solutions are enabling decision makers worldwide to see the unknown sooner, more clearly and like never before,” Mooyman said. “By providing our customers with the best measuring, design and planning tools available, we empower your ingenuity and creativity to positively change our collective future. It’s the Hexagon Geosystems advantage.”

Seeing the unknown requires thinking forward and, to some extent, predicting the future. But as Dold noted in his summary with a quote from Abraham Lincoln, “The best way to predict your future is to create it.”

Visitwww.pobonline.comto view video interviews from Hexagon 2012. Video recordings of the complete general session and Geosystems opening session are at Hexagon 2013 will be held June 3-6, 2013, in Las Vegas.