ASPRS 2007 Annual Conference – A Huge Success!

The ASPRS 2007 Annual Conference was held May 7-11 at The Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel and Marina with over 1400 attendees.

This year’s conference, Identifying Geospatial Solutions opened with the Keynote Address on Wednesday, May 9 delivered by Michael Jones, Chief Technologist, Google Earth, Google Maps and Google Local Search; and, John Curlander, General Manager, Microsoft Boulder. Jones’ address “The Neighborhood Geospatial Agency” pointed out the popularity of Google Earth and the new questions in national security, privacy, business and governance it raises. He offered some suggestions on how these issues can best be handled.  Curlander spoke about “The Virtual World Online — Mapping as a Web Service,” pointing out the emergence of web-based mapping services that allow individuals with little or no GIS experience to visualize critical data over the internet while gaining unprecedented insight into environments and situations. He demonstrated the pros and cons of this service using Microsoft’s Virtual Earth web service. An audio recording of Curlander’s address is available at An audience of more than 750 found both of these presentations very timely.

Thirteen workshops, many filled to capacity, were offered on the two days preceding the conference, and covered a wide array of topics including Professional Airborne Digital Mapping Systems – an Overview; Advanced Topics in Orthophoto Production; Telegeoinformatis: An Introduction to Mobile Mapping; Making SAR Accessible; Emerging Technolofies in Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, and Assessing the Accuracy of GIS Information Created from Remotely Sensed Data, as well as a specially designed workshop for those seeking ASPRS certification. User group meetings were also held on Monday and Tuesday sponsored by BAE Systems, DIMAC, E. Coyote Enterprises, Optech, Microsoft, Merrick, Intergraph, GeoCue, ENVI, Dat/Em, Inpho, Definiens and ESRI.

A classified session “The Petapixel Revolution” was held on Tuesday, May 8 at the Davis Conference Center, MacDill Air Force Base. This too was a sold out event. Curlander and Jones also spoke at this session, which brought together participants from the classified community.

A General Session opened the conference on Thursday, May 10 with presentations by Jack H. Dunnigan, NOAA Assistant Administrator for Oceans and Coastal Services, and Marguerite Madden, ASPRS President. Dunnigan’s talk focused on “Linking Geospatial Solutions to Societal Benefits – NOAA’s 200 years of Experience,” which covered NOAA’s local and global geospatial solutions. Madden outlined her vision for expanding opportunities and advancement for student within ASPRS. Both of these talks are available on line at available at

Nearly 300 technical papers covered many diverse topics including DEM Accuracy Assessment; Calibration Issues in Photogrammetry; Earth Remote Satellite Systems; Wildlife Habitat Analysis; Wetland Mapping; Lidar/SAR Application Processing Methods; Noise/Clutter/Cloud Removal; and Social and Environmental Mapping Issues. Daily panel sessions included Airborne Digital Mapping Cameras Systems; Trends in Digital Aerial Imaging; Re-engineering the National Spatial Data Infrastructure; and IFSAR Digital Elevation Data Acquisition/Processing Flow: A User’s Guide.

Back by popular demand, the Hot Topics segment of the conference was an extremely well attended event. This open discussion, one-hour format, introduced at the 2006 conference, was continued this year. A poll taken approximately 90 days before the conference of the then registered attendees identified the topics they wished to discuss — The Future of Land Imaging; Stat Licensing of Geospatial Professionals and Related Issues; Future Commercial Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles; Challenges and Opportunities in Remote Sensing Education; The Landsat Data Continuity Mission and Geo-Object Based Image Analysis. These sessions were filled to overflowing and many attendees requested that more time be allocated to them at future conferences.

An Exhibit Hall of more than 85 booths showcased the latest in products and services of suppliers worldwide. Exhibit Hall traffic was brisk during the entire conference. Sales of exhibit space for the 2008 Annual Conference in Portland, Oregon were vigorous, indicating the success of this year’s event.

The ASPRS tradition of honoring members who have contributed greatly to the field and to the Society continued this year with a Memorial Address for Ta Liang. Dr. Liang, a long-time faculty member at Cornell University, was a pioneer in aerial photographic interpretation. His research resulted in seminal reports that became standard references for recognizing and assessing landforms, landslides and tropical soils.  Warren Phillipson, a former student of Dr. Liang. presented the highlights of his life.

Two new student activities, which resulted from Student Advisory Council suggestions, were both well received. The first, a “Speed Networking” session, was held on the evening prior to the Keynote Session as an opportunity for students and young professionals to meet. Attendees exchanged introductions during a three-minute timed period, then moved on to meet someone else. Many made acquaintances that carried them through the week and may encourage them to keep in touch in the future. The second activity was a guided tour of the Exhibit Hall, designed and hosted by the ASPRS Sustaining Members. Students met the exhibitors face-to-face and were able to ask questions about software, services, and possible job openings.

Numerous awards were made throughout the conference to many deserving recipients including three ASPRS Fellows, student scholarships, and ASPRS Region awards. Several social events rounded out this stellar conference for 2007, including the Florida Region Welcome Reception on May 8, the Exhibitors’ Reception on May 9 and An Evening at the Florida Aquarium on May 10.

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 ASPRS, visit our web site at