Starting today, geospatial professionals from around the world will come together in Tampa, Fla. to learn about the revolution and evolution of cloud computing and other emerging new technologies that impact the geospatial practice at the 2012 MAPPS/ASPRS Joint Specialty Conference to be held Oct. 29 through Nov. 1. Technical sessions during the conference will address pressing technologies and their applications including 3D, mobile mapping, cloud data management, unmanned aerial systems (UAS), LiDAR and the role of cloud computing with these technologies.

The conference will open with workshops covering such topics as mobile LiDAR, remote sensing, cloud computing, contracting for geospatial services, airborne flash LiDAR and other technical topics. Further information on all of the pre-conference activities may be found here.

Exciting networking events for students and professionals will take place throughout the conference and on the exhibit floor. A special UAV showcase has been included with the general exhibits, highlighting the convergence of the new technology in the geospatial marketplace.

Dr. Gerald Bawden, with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), will provide the keynote address on "Ultra-High Resolution Three and Four Dimensional Point Cloud Analysis Spanning the Earth Sciences." Dr. Bawden will highlight how terrestrial LiDAR and laser scanning are enabling 3D site characterization and 4D change detection.

Jerry Johnston, geospatial information officer, U.S. Department of the Interior, will present the results of the National Enhanced Elevation Assessment (NEEA) and outline efforts to develop a national 3D elevation program (3DEP) based on the results of the study.

In addition to a variety of topics covered in the technical sessions, the conference offers a number of special sessions devoted to highlighting emerging trends in technologies that support geospatial applications.

ASPRS will debut its Airborne Topographic LiDAR Manual, a comprehensive manual on airborne LiDAR technology and applications covering best practices and procedures for acquiring, processing and performing quality control and assurance. Also, MAPPS will announce the winners of its annual Geospatial Products and Services Excellence Awards.

The concluding general session features members of MAPPS and ASPRS, who will lead a discussion on the future of the geospatial profession, where the market is going, and how technology and the workforce are expected to evolve.

To view the final digital program, click here. The final program is also available on the conference web site at www.asprs.org/Conferences/Tampa-2012.