Highlights from GISSA Ukubuzana 2012

October 1st, 2012, Published in Articles: EE Publishers, Articles: PositionIT

GISSA Ukubuzana 2012 was a resounding success. Almost 600 delegates and 66 exhibitors attended the geospatial industry conference which was held at Emperors Palace from 2 to 4 October 2012. Delegates were welcomed to the conference by Councillor Bennet Nikani, the MMC for City Planning and Economic Development for Ekurhuleni, and the welcome address was given by the Chief Surveyor General, Mmuso Riba.

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Dean Angelides (Esri), Councillor Bennet Nikani (Ekurhuleni), Mmuso Riba (Chief Surveyor-General) and Herman Booysen (GISSA chairperson).

Other invited speakers included J Kim Fennell (DeCarta); Trevor Taylor (Open Geospatial Consortium), Neil Gyte (Google); Jeff McKenna (Open Source Geospatial Foundation); Dr. Derek Clarke (National Geo-spatial Information), and Bruce Chaplin (Intergraph). These representatives from the international and local geospatial industry, sat on panel discussions to debate issues of interest including collective intelligence, crowd sourcing and volunteered geographic information; standards for spatial data infrastructure; developing remote sensing capacity and skills; continuing professional development and the needs of the South African geospatial industry; and GIS business models for South Africa.The event featured an exciting line-up of international speakers who shared their views on the latest geospatial trends and participated in panel discussions with representatives from across the South African geospatial industry. The keynote address by Dean Angelides, Corporate Director for International Operations at Esri, entitled “Geography as a platform” was a particular highlight of the conference.

A VIP executive briefing was held on 3 October to sensitise high-level executives in the public and private sectors to the importance of GIS for effective infrastructure development and service delivery, and to encourage investment in GIS human resources and technology. Briefings were presented by: Dr. Derek Clarke (National Geo-spatial Information); Dr. Herman Booysen, (GISSA); Morena Letsosa (City of Ekurhuleni); and Paul Marshall (PLATO). Letsosa’s presentation on “Smart GIS for municipalities” resonated with many of the government representatives at the lunch.

Some 60 peer-reviewed academic papers, general papers, short papers and poster papers were presented at GISSA Ukubuzana 2012. A particular hit with the delegates were the local government, demographic and mobile streams. Delegates were provided with hardcopy and digital copies of the conference proceedings to facilitate knowledge transfer back to their working environments. Computer-based training and knowledge transfer workshops were conducted in three training rooms on day 2 and 3 of the conference. The Esri and Google workshops were popular choices, as were the University of Pretoria’s SDI workshop and National Geo-spatial Information’s digital aerial imagery sessions.

Sponsors for GISSA Ukubuzana 2012 included Esri South Africa as the Platinum sponsor, the SA Post Office as the Gold sponsor, MapIT as the Silver sponsor, the City of Ekurhuleni as the diamond sponsor, and Epson as the bronze sponsor. In addition, the conference was endorsed and supported by the South African Geomatics Institute (SAGI), the South African Council for Professional and Technical Surveyors (PLATO) the Institute of Mine Surveyors of South Africa (IMSSA), the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, and Statistics South Africa. The following universities also endorsed the conference – the University of Pretoria, the University of Johannesburg, Stellenbosch University and the University of Cape Town.

An all-expenses-paid heritage tour was organised by the City of Ekurhuleni for GISSA Ukubuzana 2012 delegates on the day preceding the conference. The tour embarked from Emperors Palace taking delegates around the OR Tambo airport precinct, Johannesburg Park Station, and the landmarks of Soweto where they were treated to a sumptuous township evening dinner to experience the real taste of “Africa on the move”.

Entertainment at the conference was provideded by Afro-jazz group, Nomfusi and the Lucky Charms. The group wowed delegates at the opening day champagne breakfast and at the gala banquet with delegates dancing until midnight.

GISSA Ukubuzana 2012 was accredited by the South African Council for Professional and Technical Surveyors (PLATO) under its recently adopted Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme. Delegates attending GISSA Ukubuzana 2012 qualified for three CPD points (one CPD point per day), while presenters qualified for an additional one CPD point. Certificates of attendance were issued for CPD purposes.

Photos taken during the conference can be viewed on the GISSA Ukubuzana 2012 Facebook page.

To view the GISSA Ukubuzana Proceedings click: here

Contact Clare van Zwieten, EE Publishers, Tel 011 543-7000, clare.vanzwieten@ee.co.za

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