Views from Geodata 2014 event at Glasgow Science Centre

Conor Smyth, Head of Research and Geodata Services at EDINA shares his thoughts on this annual event….I attended the annual international Geodata 2014 ‘Innovative Thinking, Creative Solutions’ seminar event series held this week at the Glasgow Science Centre – an excellent (and fun!!) event venue located along the re-developed banks of the River Clyde.

The Geodata seminar series, now in its 12th year, has managed to build a significant following over the years. In addition to being a ‘free’ event – the programme offers delegates the opportunity to hear from those at the centre of geographic information technology, industry innovators, as well as offering excellent networking opportunities. With an adjoining exhibition too, delegates can also gain insight into the latest developments in technology and equipment and even become members of organisations such as AGI, RICS and BCS. To round off the event’s attractiveness, delicious ‘treats’ are always served at the last break before event close – certainly a nice touch that keeps the delegate numbers up to the end!

This year’s event was very well attended, with the usual varied mix of presentations, real life case studies and examples of best practice. In addition to the initial ‘Ignite’ talks, where all exhibitors were allowed 1 minute air time, the event had 13 presentations – across 4 sessions – given by a number of commercial providers (some more known than others) as well as public sector and/or membership organisations (BGS, the British Cartographic Society and the Association for Geographic Information). There were approximately 14 exhibitor stands at the event.

Whilst I did not get the opportunity to attend all the talks, I was suitably impressed with the 1spatial presentation ‘We’ve got a situation. Build us a web-GIS….and quickly’ who demonstrated how map services created by ArcGIS for Server and other external map services can be published as fully operational web-GIS in a matter of minutes, without having to programme. For me, the best presentation of the day was the last presentation presented by the AGI’s Abigail Page entitled ‘Horizon Scanning’. Abigail gave a strong, inspiring and very personal account of developments and trends in geospatial, including key ‘take-aways’ from the AGIs very successful programme of events across the UK this year on the theme of ‘The Big Five’ (that started in Glasgow back in March 2014 on the subject of Future Cities).

I look forward to attending the Geodata 2015 event next year, planned for a ‘to be announced’ venue in Edinburgh. Before then, EDINA staff will be present manning an exhibition stand at the Geodata 2014 showcase London event at the Ilec conference centre in London on the 4th December 2014. Hopefully, another successful showcase event like last years!

About Anne

Anne is service manager for Digimap for Schools, Digimap for Colleges and GoGeo. Having a degree in Geography and an MSc in GIS means naturally she adores looking at maps. But Anne firmly believes Digimap for Schools can be of use across many parts of the curriculum and finds the addition of historical maps particularly exciting! Anne is looking forward to ensuring Digimap for Colleges is a great success in the FE sector also. Having worked in the wider GI industry before joining EDINA she understands the valuable role geoportals like GoGeo can play in the discovery and reuse of geospatial data.
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