Intergeo 2009: Detailed Final Report

"Geo is in!" – three-day leading world trade fair in upbeat mood exceeds expectations

Karlsruhe, 22 October 2009. For three days, geo experts from all over the world came together in Karlsruhe to find out about current trends, showcase innovations and participate in lively discussions at Intergeo. Visitors and exhibitors at the world’s largest and most important conference and trade fair for geodesy, geoinformation and land management were in upbeat mood at Karlsruhe Trade Fair and Exhibition Centre from 22 to 24 September. "Geo is in!" – those were the words of Dr. Hartmut Rosengarten, Chairman of the Intergeo Exhibitor Advisory Board. "Here in Karlsruhe, Intergeo has once again demonstrated very impressively that it is the industry’s most important international meeting point, even in difficult times." With over 16,000 visitors and a further rise in the proportion of international visitors to a total of 22 per cent, this world leading trade fair and congress exceeded the expectations of the organiser, the Deutsche Verein für Vermessungswesen e.V. – Gesellschaft für Geodäsie, Geoinformation und Landmanagement (German Association of Surveying – German Society for Geodesy, Geoinformation and Land Management (DVW)). The DVW’s expectations were also exceeded by the conference and the associated 57th Cartographers’ Day, where 1,450 participants attended an interesting and topical series of presentations on subjects ranging from architectural surveying, INSPIRE and emerging technologies to web mapping and the issue of attracting future generations to the industry.

The majority of the 475 exhibiting companies surveyed also gave very positive feedback, with a good 85 per cent stating they had achieved their objectives. One of the key messages from Intergeo was a clear indication that using highly developed sensor technology opens up a new dimension in data capture, offering great potential for a continuous stream of new software applications.

Intergeo is a unique forum where supply and demand come together. Some 85 per cent of exhibitors praised the high standard of discussions. Their key objectives included forging new contacts and fostering existing ones, representation, image building and presenting innovations. For their part, the visitors surveyed were looking to learn about innovations, get a general overview, find information on products and also establish and develop contacts. Just under 75 per cent of exhibitors stated they had reached all or the majority of their target groups. And according to the survey data, two thirds of visitors also find that Intergeo is an important platform for making investment decisions.

Company representatives viewed the overall economic situation in a somewhat more positive light than the previous year, even though fairly average forecasts continue to dominate in the industry as a whole. Respondents reported positive progress from the fair, with 74 per cent of exhibitors expecting good post-trade fair business.

All aboard – innovation park and Open Source Park for start-ups
For the first time, eleven particularly innovative start-up companies showcased their portfolios under the innovation park banner. The companies in the joint presentation were sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi). The integrated presentation forum helped forge contacts, prompting exhibitors such as Ulf Teller, owner of newly founded company Ulf Teller 3D-Druck, to say: "Although I was conscious that one of the target groups among Intergeo visitors would be interested in physical landscape, urban and building models generated from GIS data, this was also very much a testing ground for me. My expectations were exceeded. The response was very high in terms of volume and quality. I was able to make very interesting contacts offering a high probability of contracts being awarded and this has encouraged me to take part again in Cologne next year." The Open Source Park, under the patronage of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo), also met with a warm reception as in previous years. The Trend and Media Forum too enjoyed a successful launch, where experts used presentations to focus on the latest developments and cutting-edge solutions, while Trend Notes provided visitors with a glimpse into the future. Intergeo TV covered the Trend and Media Forum, offering all those interested the opportunity to see programmes again. Intergeo TV has been an additional prime communication tool in the geo industry since May 2009.

In focus – sensors, recording systems and 3D applications
Key themes at Intergeo attracting media attention included the success of sensors that use complex systems to simplify data capture. Street cars for 3D recording of neighbourhoods provided a striking example. Their high volume of data capture has created new opportunities for the software industry. Initial new or advanced application developments are expected in 2010. Market leaders in the instrument sector such as Leica, Topcon and Trimble showcased new combined recording systems. In the strongly represented field of 3D applications, the focus was on web-based applications, with an increase in opportunities for testing and comparing 3D applications for use in town planning and the environmental sector.

GIS is vital, and this was made clear once again at this year’s Intergeo, where the geoinformation system sector exhibited a whole raft of interesting innovations and developments. The opening day saw the release of WebAtlasDe, a web-based map application that automatically generates a map from the latest official databases. Companies also presented an update on progress in producing the 3A model. The trend towards geo web solutions, particularly important in the context of INSPIRE and implementing the German geodata infrastructure, was in particular evidence.

On the rise – the international dimension
"This year, participation by companies from 30 countries saw us break the ’30’ barrier for the first time and increase the proportion of visitors from outside Germany by 5 per cent over the last two years to a figure that now stands at 22 per cent," said a delighted Olaf Freier, CEO of HINTE GmbH and Intergeo Project Manager. The continued growth in Intergeo’s international flavour was reflected in the fact that over 80 per cent of exhibiting companies focused on visitors from outside Germany, who travelled to Karlsruhe from some 54 countries.

Looking ahead – Intergeo 2010 in Cologne
The international dimension is set to increase further at the next and 16th Intergeo. The facilities offered in Cologne, where Intergeo 2010 will be held at the exhibition centre from 5 to 7 October, make this the perfect venue. Anyone who was in Karlsruhe will be able to meet familiar faces again. Almost 95 per cent of companies, public authorities and associations said they were looking to showcase their capabilities once more at Intergeo in Cologne. Exciting subject fields will also await visitors next year, as Intergeo in Karlsruhe has already amply demonstrated. Exhibitors and visitors expected to see a rise in technical innovations, particularly in the areas of GIS applications and data capture. 3D visualization, the geoinformation and real estate industries, the environment and satellite positioning still have considerable potential that geo experts are looking to harness. And Intergeo has undoubtedly helped ensure success in this area time and time again.