ASPRS Holds Very Successful 2005 Annual Conference

The ASPRS 2005 Annual Conference was held March 7-11, 2005 at the Marriott Waterfront Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland, with over 1500 attendees. This year’s conference, “Geospatial Goes Global: From Your Neighborhood to the Whole Planet,” was opened with a keynote address from Dr. Chip Groat, director, U.S. Geological Survey. Groat’s remarks included discussion of the Earth Observation Summit Activities, the goals of which are to create agreements among the space faring nations to integrate their Earth observation programs more effectively and data to benefit all nations’ understanding and management of the planet.

Fourteen workshops were offered on the two days preceding the conference, and covered a wide array of topics including Hyperspectral Image Processing and Feature Extraction: Maximizing Geospatial Information Retrieval; Fundamentals of Geodesy in GPS Surveying Applications; and Utilization/Integrations of Lidar for Mapping and GIS, plus two workshops on Preparation for ASPRS Certifications. User group meetings were also held on Monday and Tuesday by Applanix Corporation, EAGLE Mapping, ESRI, INPHO, Intergraph, NIIRS10, Inc., PCI, RSI, and The MathWorks.

Plenary sessions opened the conference on Thursday, March 10 and Friday March 11. Thursday’s session included an addresses delivered by Alan R. Stevens, FGDC, on the “Relevance of a Global Spatial Data Infrastructure: A Developing World Perspective” and Karen Schuckman, ASPRS 2005-2006 President, on “Mapping the Way for the Next Generation of ASPRS,” along with Jack Dangermond, ESRI, whose remarks were directed to “Can Distributed GIS Efforts Become a Global System?” On Friday, Paul Rooney, FEMA, and Bertram Beaulieu, NGA, spoke about “Geospatial Preparedness for Homeland Security.”

With over 400 technical papers covering many diverse topics including “Geospatial Data for Urban Planning and Decision-Making – International Experiences,” “DEM Technologies and Applications: Alternatives for Surface Modeling,” “Alternative to Traditional Photogrammetry,” this conference provided excellent educational opportunities to all in the industry. Over 80 percent of the attendees completing the evaluations rated the technical papers in the good to excellent range. Comments included “The conference was spectacular,” “A very good conference with a well-balanced mix of exhibitors,” “Good coverage of topics.”

The Education Special Sessions which dealt with “Education in the Geospatial Sciences” covered a wide gambit from K-12 to the University level collaboration with national laboratories, to “Grand Challenges in GIScience: A University/Industry Perspective” panel discussion. The final session addressed “GIScience Employment Trends in Homeland and National Security.” Attendees reported these were extremely informative sessions with much needed details presented. The area devoted to job postings and resumes was heavily used throughout the conference.

An Exhibit Hall of more than 80 booths showcased the latest in products and services of suppliers worldwide. Exhibit Hall traffic was brisk during the entire conference. Sales of exhibit space at the 2006 Annual Conference in Reno were vigorous on the last day of the conference indicating the success of this year’s event.

A Classified Session consistent with the overall conference theme took place on Tuesday, March 8 at the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency Headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland. This session dealt with an innovative perspective on integration and analysis of satellite imagery and geospatial data. Technical Tours to State of Maryland Emergency Operations Center directed at GIS, Emergency Management and Homeland Security; NASA- Goddard Space Flight Center focused on USGS Landsat and NASA EOS Terra, Aqua and Aura Satellite Operations; and the National Security Agency National Cryptologic Museum 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 Duane Brown and Hugh B. Loving. John Brown, Duane’s son, and Roy Mullen respectively, gave these presentations.

Numerous awards were made throughout the conference to many deserving recipients including an ASPRS Fellow, student scholarships, and ASPRS Region awards. Among these were the newly established BAE Systems Award and the Kenneth J. Osborn Memorial Scholarship.

Several social events rounded out this premier conference for 2005, including the ASPRS Potomac Region Opening Reception, A Taste of Baltimore, the Exhibitors’ Reception, and An Evening at the National Aquarium in Baltimore.

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