GSDI Conference Underway16/06/2009
|The GSDI conference is underway in Rotterdam, Netherlands, with the theme ‘Building SDI Bridges to Address Global Challenges'; included is the 11th International conference of the GSDI Association, the INSPIRE Conference, and a national conference on Dutch SDI results and challenges. Young SDI professionals are specially catered for on Friday, with a Geo Youth Capital programme.|
The municipality of Rotterdam hosted a welcome reception at the City Hall for all speakers, participants, exhibitors and partners in the GSDI 11 World Conference and Exposition, when Lucas Bolsius, Alderman for Finance, Sport and Outdoors, proposed a toast welcoming everybody to Rotterdam - from 15th to 19th June the beating geo-heart of the world. "We invite all our important guests here; kings, queens and you". The hall looks very old but is actually not so; less than a hundred years in fact. It is, however, one of the very few buildings in Rotterdam to have survived the bombings of World War II.
Mr Bolsius, before rushing home for dinner with his family, entertained the audience with subtle remarks such as, "Rotterdam is in fact the biggest port for Germany". Because Rotterdam is below sea level, the city is seeking solutions to deal with water. One discovered solution is the use of ‘green roofs' to store water and Bolsius believes geo-information can help Rotterdam find these.
The GSDI conference is happy to have registered 1,200 visitors to the conference, each uniquely originating from one of 77 countries. Most delegates are from the Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Nigeria, Sweden and the USA.
On the Tuesday morning, Noud Hooyman, head of GI at the Dutch Ministry of Housing, Special Planning and Environment, read the speech of absent minister Jacqueline Cramer, in which she declared herself "...very much in favour of European member states sharing data. INSPIRE speeds things up; I'm convinced of that." Speaker Jacqueline Meerkerk, director of Ruimte voor GeoInformatie, told the audience about online opportunities, for example the geo-report channel on Youtube. Reporters are provided with Flip video cameras and videos are used on the channel. ‘Get Flip and tell the rest of the world what you have to say', works during GSDI, where reporters are encouraged to add their content to the channel.
(Photo Courtesy: Erik Schilt, Geonovum)
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