Friday, March 23, 2012

GISopen conference in Szekesfehervar: a qualitative contribution from UNIGIS graduates.

The GISopen conference was initiated in 1997, just after the first UNIGIS intake was graduated from the University of West Hungary, Faculty of Geoinformatics. The annual GISopen conference is the longest GI related conference series in Hungary. The main aim is to involve the faculty alumni into the active lifelong learning process, to give a forum for the ex-students and to offer them an opportunity to share their experience after several years of professional activity.

From 12 to 14 of March 2012, the 16th GIS open conference was organised in Szekesfehervar. The number of participants was 200+ like in the previous years.

The motto of the conference was “answering the basic questions”

In our profession, in the recent years, a major paradigm shift was the transition from editing of maps to the development of databases. By the analysis of the databases we can provide answers to the basic questions of GIS, serve our users with value-added products and information services. The presenters were asked to speak not only about the technical aspects, but more on the economical and strategic background.
• What is this? Associated with metadata services appear geodata services. But how much does it cost? The systems often look for complex solution to a simple question. What are the issues to be related to practical solutions?
• Where is it? Many people at the land administration are working on the repartition of undivided common land property. Where are the parcel boundaries, and how do we perform it?
• Where to go? Everybody is using navigation systems. But where are we going? The new surveying law will define our tasks for years.
• What has changed? In the world, the only constant is the change itself. Let’s look in concrete! What is the building monitoring?

All the conference participants (keynote speakers, presenters of research papers, GI industry software and hardware companies) tried to answer these questions. All the attendants realized that in spite of the simplicity of the questions, the answers required much more than technical concepts and could only be answered with indirect and quite complex considerations.

8 papers were delivered by UNIGIS graduates out of the 47 presentations.

Among the keynote papers, László Gombás delivered a presentation about smart building-surveying technologies. Leica is starting a new family of custom-built solutions for building and site construction, called iCON. More than a new product line and a software package, it enables construction companies to enhance their performance, and increase their profitability through perfecting their construction workflow.

Hardware and software companies could promote their products in a forum and do presentations as well. GeoCalc GIS 2.0 software was introduced by Attila Kulcsar. He presented the main functionalities of this GIS developed on open source software.

On the afternoon of the second day a UNIGIS session was held with the following presentations:
• Quality management in iGO ( navigation database development (Lukács Lilla)
• In-door data acquisition technologies (László Gombás)
• GIS use in climate modelling (Norbert Móricz)
• Run-off control for soil protection (Margit Horoszné Gulyás)
• Underground water flow monitoring as a base of remediation (Béla Finta)

Wednesday morning Tibor Márfai delivered a presentation about informatics of digital maps by introducing basic definitions.
Next year the focus will be on future cadastres. How to include the 3rd dimension into the current land administration system? How to move from static databases to dynamic cadastral modelling? How social networks will transform the cadastre? How cadastre will be part of the geospatial infrastructure and serve the society? etc.

Gregory Lucas and Bela Markus