ASPRS 76th Annual Conference – Very Successful with Large Conference Attendance

The American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) 2010Annual Conference was held April 26-30 at the Town and Country Hotel and Convention Center in San Diego, California with many and varied conference activities and an attendance of nearly 1,300.

There were 11 workshops held on the two days preceding the conference covering a wide array of topics including, Airborne GPS and Inertia in Support of Triangulation and Orientation of Airborne Framing and Push Broom Sensors; Modeling with Google Sketchup; Introduction to Polarimetric SAR Classification; A Do-It-Yourself Approach to Lidar and Imagery Processing and Analysis Using Open-Source Tools; Topics in Orthophoto Production and Marketing Your Business, as well as a specially designed workshop for those seeking ASPRS certification.

User group meetings were also held on Monday and Tuesday sponsored by ASD, Inc., BAE Systems, DAT/EM Systems International, ERDAS, ESRI, GeoCue, Intergraph, ITT Visual Information Solutions, Microsoft, Optech, PCI Geomatics, QCoherent and Trimble,

This year’s conference theme of Opportunities for Emerging Geospatial Technologies was carried throughout and particularly with the keynote address on Wednesday by Nobel laureate and IPCC co-author Jonathan Overpeck of the University of Arizona. He focused his remarks on “Predicted Consequences of Global Climate Change on Land Surface Processes and the Role of Remote Sensing for Detection and Adaptation”. A blue ribbon panel composed of Marguerite Madden, Director of the Center for Remote Sensing and Mapping Science, University of Georgia; Thomas Mace, Senior Science Advisor for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center; and, James Hoffman, Technical Director for Space Instruments, Inc. followed Overpeck with a discussion on the role remote sensing is playing in meeting these needs.

Thursday’s general session included an address by newly elected President, Carolyn Merry. She focused on ASPRS – Leading the Way. A presentation by Mike Renslow, a photogrammetric consultant specializing in application of advanced technologies, followed with a presentation on The Impact of Technology Development, Innovation and Nontraditional Mapping Applications.

The Student Advisory Council (SAC) continued their participation in this year’s conference by organizing and moderating a number of sessions directed at students and young professionals. The Student Assistantship program also grew and additionally over 35 student volunteers played a very vital part. There were many opportunities for students to meet including a Speed Networking session and a Student and Employer “Meet and Greet,” as well as the popular tour of the exhibit hall designed for students to become acquainted with the exhibitors.
More than 250 technical papers covered many diverse topics including; Sensor Design and Development: Ground-based Sensors; Ecosystem and Ecology Applications; Improved Remote Sensing Mission Tasking and Image Acquisition for Emergency Response; Geospatial Education; Data Processing and Analysis: Data Fusion; Data Collection and Management: Accuracy and Error Assessment; and Data Processing and Analysis: Data Visualization.

More than 30 poster presentations were well viewed in the Exhibit Hall throughout the conference.

A number of special sessions included in the program covered Commercial Data Licensing; Opportunities for Emerging Geospatial Professionals; Global Croplands and Their Water Use; Forest Fire Fuel Monitoring with Lidar; and Preserving our Geospatial Footprints.

Continuing the very popular feature of Hot Topics established several years ago, found open discussion of “The Use of Unmanned Airborne Systems Sensors for Mapping and Remote Sensing;” “Meeting the Continuing Educational Needs of the Geospatial Labor Force through Workforce Development Programs,” “Landsat Status and Future Directions” and “An Update on New and Current Remote Sensing Satellites.”

To allow vendors the opportunity to present their products and training in a well-defined format, the program committee set up a one-hour segment on Thursday for these presentations. Four concurrent sessions were held with a total of nine companies participating. Good responses from their audiences were reported.

The Exhibit Area was filled with 80+ worldwide vendors showcasing the latest in products and services. Exhibit area traffic was brisk during the entire conference. A very well attended Exhibit Hall Reception sponsored by the Exhibitors on Wednesday evening was, as always, a conference highlight. Sales of exhibit space for the 2010 Fall ASPRS/CaGIS Conference and the 2011 Annual Conference were vigorous, indicating the success of this year’s event.

The ASPRS Southwest Region sponsored a Trolley Crawl on Tuesday evening as a conference kick off event. Numerous awards were made throughout the conference to many deserving recipients. 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 Uuno (Uki) Vilho Helava. He was honored with numerous awards and citations throughout his lifetime. Scott Miller of BAE Systems presented the highlights of Helava’s life.

A major social event of the conference took place Thursday evening on the USS Midway, permanently moored in San Diego harbor. The evening included extensive tours of the aircraft carrier as well as a buffet barbeque served on board. Over 600 conference attendees took part in this evening.

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