News in 2023

President Diane Dumashie attends 2023 ESRI International Event:
National Geospatial Executive Forum & User conference

8-14 July 2023, San Diego, USA

President Diane A Dumashie was invited by ESRI to attend the ESRI National Geospatial Executive Forum (NGEF), San Diego, USA 8th July 2023. The forum was held in conjunction with the ESRI International User Conference (10-14 July 20230) that attracted over 15,000 visitors throughout the world.

The high-level NGEF of up to 100 leaders from Ministries, Government departments and leaders responsible for survey, mapping and land management organisations came together to discuss, share and learn from each other about applications of GIS to land surveying and wider issues connected to benefitting society.

The one-day forum covered topics and discussion associated with the evolution of the mission of geospatial authorities in the professional work of Land administration, national mapping agencies, and government Statistical offices.  This inspired discussion about opportunities and challenges with the esteemed presenters and panellist and involved interactive audience discussion sharing their perspectives. (See NGEF Program)

Diane Dumashie FIG, Tim Trainor ICA, Mark Cygan ESRI

In the final 30 minute panel session, President Tim Trainor, International Cartographic Association, and President Diane Dumashie FIG, gave their respective summary report of the day’s take-aways.
Diane Dumashie’ key take aways:

  • Commented that much was heard about the progressive evolution, innovate projects and platforming opportunities with perspectives supported by the voices of the users. 
  • Heard insights that addressed two key areas of interest to the FIG community. Namely, what are the biggest barriers to modernising our geospatial land and data infrastructure? and
    What can be done about improving the agencies mode of working?  Critically modernising is a step-by-step evolution.
  • A consistent message is that people are key, and modernization is through people, in particular noting that the young professionals is so adaptive to the future way of working
  • The key takeaway thought is that as professionals, yes we capture, yes we convert (analytics) but we do need to be better at communication.

Participants were further invited to the Senior Leaders forum on the 9th July, attended by circa 300 leaders, and the full ESRI User conference (up to 20,000 attendees) during Monday to Friday.

The ESRI 2030 User conference attended by representatives from commercial sectors, government organisations, academic institutions and nonprofit organisations come together to share their GIS experiences and inspire innovative idea.

The 2023 theme “Visualize, Imagine and Communicate’ did not disappoint.  The main highlights were the plenary sessions headlined by Jack Dangermond, President of ESRI showing how GIS has a profound effect on our society through the use to design and mange our resources and help improve our world.   This was followed by the Map Gallery Reception, a great place to network with industry and colleagues from around the world.

Other plenary keynotes were given by Richard W Spinrad (Under Secretary pf Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere NOAA) presenting “shaping the New Blue Economy with GIS”; Dr Steve Boyes, National Geographic Explorer presenting “The sources of life: Exploring the Okavango Delta’s Watershed revealed more than expected” and many more presenting on climate resiliency, government operations, infrastructure modernisation and sustainability.

The week-long activities were packed with presentations divided into an array of sessions types including; moderated paper sessions a goof way to see how organizations are successfully using GIS; the Demo Theaters; and Technical Workshops that look at specific aspects of the technology; finally, the Special Interest Groups bring users with commonality (whether topical or by geography, etc.) together to share experiences, best-practices, and to network. 

Dawn Wright ESRI chief scientist, Dr Steve Boyes, National Geographic Explorer

The Conference had many presentations and events with hundreds of topics covered. The stand out sessions included the daily focus on Land records and cadaster sessions and events. And the Esri Science Symposium hosted by Dawn Wright (Chief Scientist, ESRI, Prof Oceanography and geography at Oregon State University and first African American woman to explore the sea bed in a deep submersible). Through the ESRI science portfolio six science disciplines can be explored: Open, weather and climate oceans, solid earth, GIS and social science.

Meeting the GIS community, seeing so many overlaps with our own FIG survey professional community (across all FIG disciplines) was an informative experience. Seeing that we have so much professionally, in common and many opportunities to work in partnership to serve society for the benefit of people and planet.



Diane A Dumashie
25 July 2023