FIG President Stig Enemark attends the GSDI-12 World Conference

Singapore, 15-19 October 2010 

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Singapore skyline with the old city centre and city hall tower (white) to the right.

President Stig Enemark attended the GSDI-12 World Conference entitled “Realising Spatially Enabled Societies”, Singapore, 19-22 October 2010.

GSDI is the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure Association that is an inclusive organization of organizations, agencies, firms, and individuals from around the world. The purpose of the organization is to promote international cooperation and collaboration in support of local, national and international spatial data infrastructure developments that will allow nations to better address social, economic, and environmental issues of pressing importance, see: 

FIG and GSDI signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the FIG Congress in Sydney outlining a framework for co-operation between the two organizations and identifying a range of activities for mutual benefits: The FIG contributions to the Conference are in line with this agreement. The MoU is available at: 

The GSDI-12 World Conference was attended by about 600 participants from 65 countries throughout the world. It included a range of workshops, 5 plenary sessions and 35 technical sessions with about 150 presentations. Proceedings are available at:

The plenary sessions were all focused on the conference theme. An inspiring keynote presentation “A Personal Vision for Spatially Enabling Society” was given by Mr. Jack Dangermond, Founding President of ESRI who was also awarded the GSDI Global Citizen Award. This was followed by a comprehensive paper on “Global Spatial Data Infrastructure (GSDI) Visions for Spatial Enablement” presented by GSDI President Abbas Rajabifard.

The second plenary session included a presentation of FIG President Stig Enemark on “Spatially Enabled Land Administration: Addressing Societal Needs and Responding to the Global Agenda”; and a very comprehensive presentation on “An Exemplar Regional Vision” from Latin America given Mr. Santiago Borrero, Director of Pan American Institute of Geography and History (PAIGH).

The conference included three Joint FIG/GSDI sessions. Paul Kelly, Chair of FIG WG 3.2 organised a very successful session on SDI and Cities based on the new FIG publication no no 48 on Rapid Urbanization and Mega Cities: The Need for Spatial Information Management. The session included three short presentations of Paul Kelly, Hartmut Müller, and Yerach Doytsher, followed by a panel discussion with Abbas Rajabifard, GSDI President, Stig Enemark, FIG President, and Victor Khoo, Singapore Land Authority. Proceedings are available at the conference website under session 4.1.

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Presenters and panel members of Session 4.1 on SDI for Cities. From the left: Victor Khoo, Singapore Land Authority; Stig Enemark, President, FIG, Abbas Rajabifard, President, GSDI; Yerach Doytsher, Incoming Chair of FIG Comm. 3; Hartmut Müller, German delegate to FIG Comm. 3; and Paul Kelly, Australian delegate to Comm. 3 and Chair of WG 3.2.

Furthermore President Enemark chaired a joint FIG/GSDI session on GSDI in land administration (session 5.2) and presented a paper on “Land Administration Challenges in Bhutan: The need for a National cadastral resurvey”. Finally Yerach Doytsher chaired a joint FIG/GSDI session on SDI in Land Administration (session 6.2)

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The GSDI-12 world Conference was very well organized by the Singapore hosts and provided some excellent social activities including a welcome reception in the Singapore Flyer and a conference dinner at Asian Civilisation Museum with lion dance performance.

The GSDI-12 World Conference provided an excellent opportunity of networking and strengthening the cooperation between GSDI and FIG. This should lead to joint efforts and strategic cooperation towards realising spatial enabled society.

The conference also included the 16th PCGIAP Meeting (Permanent Committee on GIS Infrastructure for Asia & the Pacific) with delegates from the Mapping and Land Administration Agencies in the Region. The meeting included presentations of progress reports from the three PCGIAP working groups, and also presentations from the Liaison organisations such as FIG, ICA, GSDI, and GSDI.

Furthermore President Enemark attended a meeting of the Joint Boards of Geospatial Information Societies (JB-GIS) and a meeting on the United Nations Initiative on Global Geospatial Information Management (GGIM) leading to adoption of a mission statement for a new UN organization on Geospatial Information Management, see the GGIM website: 

The closing session including a sum-up presentation of Prof. Ian Williamson, Australia, with a very catchy statement:

…Spatially enabled society is about managing information spatially – not managing spatial information…

Further readings:

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Abbas Rajabifard, President of GSDI and Stig Enemark, President of FIG – in front of the conference poster

19 November 2010