ASPRS celebrated its 70th anniversary at the 2004 Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado, May 23-28 with a record attendance of nearly 1,900. This figure reflects a 65 percent increase from the previous year’s event. This year’s conference, “Mountains of Data > Peak Decisions,” was launched with a futuristic keynote address by Dr. Ahmed K. Noor, professor of Aerospace Engineering, Old Dominion University. His description of coming technology was exciting and thought provoking.
Fourteen workshops were offered on a wide array of topics including “The National Map Hazards Data Distribution System;” “Performance, Accuracy, and Economics of Imaging Sensors, Lidar and IFSAR for Surface DEM Generation;” plus two workshops on Preparation for ASPRS Certifications. User group meetings were also held by PCI Geomatics, DigitalGlobe, ESRI, Z/I Imaging Corporation and INPHO.
With over 430 technical papers covering many diverse topics including “Urban Applications of the Geospatial Sciences – Remote Sensing and Urban Sprawl,” “Agricultural Applications of Remote Sensing and GIS – Techniques Used in Countries Throughout the World,” “NIMA Academic Research,” “Lidar Sensors and Applications in Forestry,” and “Career Development – Current Trends and Activity in the Geospatial Technology Arena,” this conference provided educational opportunities to all in the industry. Over 90 percent of the attendees completing the evaluations rated the technical papers in the good to excellent range. Comments included “continue the mix with industry and government,” “great variety of topics” and “Please continue the educational track – it was excellent!”
This year, each conference day was opened with a general session. The first plenary session, on Wednesday, May 26 led off with incoming ASPRS President Dr. Russell G. Congalton, followed by Keith Lenard of The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. The Thursday plenary session featured two presentations. The first by Lynne Sherrod of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust, Arvada, Colorado and the second by Steve Lee, Research Scientist from the University of Colorado, who discussed What’s New on Mars? A Mars Exploration Rover Mission Update.
An Exhibit Hall of more than 80 booths showcased the latest in products and services of suppliers worldwide. Traffic in the Exhibit Hall was constant. “The ASPRS conference was very successful for us,” said Wendy Watson, Vice President of Product Management & Marketing for Leica Geosystems GIS & Mapping. “The turnout was fantastic and appeared to flow smoothly between booths. We were happy to meet and talk with the diverse group of professionals in attendance.” Another exhibitor was “extremely pleased and walked away with several promising leads, so much that they are anxious to lock in their space for the Baltimore 2005 exhibit hall. "The ASPRS 2004 Annual Conference in Denver was a major success. The exhibit hall, user group meetings, presentations and hospitality night combined to provide a unique opportunity to meet with a substantial number of people who are literally shaping the future of remote sensing technology" said Jim Kelley, Vice President Global Services, RSI.
This year’s conference introduced a new series of presentations on Career Development. These were designed to interest young people in the conference and the Society and to aid current ASPRS members in furthering their careers. These sessions will very well attended with most having standing room only.
A Classified Symposium consistent with the overall conference theme took place on Friday, May 28 at Northrop Grumman, Aurora, Colorado and provided an innovative perspective on integration and
analysis of satellite imagery and geospatial data. Technical Tours to Spectrum Mapping, Digital Globe and Jeppesen took place throughout the week.
The ASPRS tradition of honoring members who have contributed greatly to the field and to the Society continued this year with Memorial Addresses for Tamsin Barnes and Amrom Katz. ASPRS Executive Director James Plasker and ASPRS Fellow Ronald J. Ondrejka, respectively, gave these presentations.
In addition to all of the conference activities, ASPRS celebrated the retirement of the mortgage on the Society’s National Headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland at the Opening General Session. The remarkable accomplishment of retiring a debt of over $726,000 in only 15 years was accomplished through the generous support of ASPRS individual and sustaining members.
Several social events rounded out this premier conference for 2004, including a 70th anniversary party in the Exhibit Hall, an Exhibitors’ Reception, and an evening at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science included two showings of the IMAX film “Lewis & Clark: Great Journey West.”
Founded in 1934, ASPRS is an international professional organization of 6,000 geospatial data professionals. ASPRS is devoted to advancing knowledge and improving understanding of the mapping sciences to promote responsible application of photogrammetry, remote sensing, geographic information systems and supporting technologies. For additional information about www.asprs.org.