Intergeo 2016 is almost getting started, this year being held in the vibrant German port city of Hamburg. An excellent location, especially given the fact that this year’s edition of the world’s leading trade show and conference on geomatics has a very dynamic key topic: Smart City. Other main topics are big data and digital construction. All of this will be fuelled by new processes, solutions and business models – e.g. the Internet of Things (IoT), self-driving cars, virtual reality and much more. The world around us is evolving rapidly and, to handle all these challenges, spatial data is indispensable.
GIM International took the opportunity to ask Daniel Katzer, project leader at Hinte GmbH, the company that organises Intergeo, a couple of questions.
This year, Intergeo has chosen ‘Smart City’ as a key topic. Why?
"‘Smart City’ is a key topic at Intergeo 2016 because there is an obvious connection between this subject, geodata and the 550-plus exhibitors. As the agenda-setter for the conference, the German Surveying Association (DVW) always aims to cover socially relevant future topics. Geoinformation is used in several key areas and is thus also at the heart of smart cities and digital construction. Of course, Hamburg is the perfect venue for this topic since, in both Germany and Europe, it is one of the pioneers when it comes to digital cities. The port is one key feature of the city that is already well on the way to becoming ‘smart’. Along with other cities such as Rome and London, Hamburg is involved in the EU’s ‘Smarticipate’ project, which is also recognised in the conference and trade fair. The conference includes various fascinating sessions on the subject, most of which will be bilingual (English and German) to do justice to the European nature of the issue. The trade fair also includes an area on this subject, and new companies are finding their way to Intergeo all the time."
What role does the geomatics industry play in the smart city concept and what are your expectations of the smart city focus at this year’s Intergeo?
"Smart city has brought drive into geobusiness and of course this works both ways, because geodata plays a vital role in the concept of a digitally networked city. Virtually all applications require some kind of spatial reference. Every major technological trend has a part to play in smart cities – IoT, digitalisation and Industry 4.0, cloud-based big data solutions and the huge issues of mobility and open data. In this regard, both the Intergeo conference and the trade fair – particularly Smart City SOLUTIONS, an Intergeo topic park – are specifically addressing solutions for the city of the future. Smart City SOLUTIONS, with its high-profile forum, will also highlight the requirements and opportunities for developing urban areas, both this year in Hamburg and in the future. The smart city will be a key focus of the conference, too, with topic slots such as ‘Sustainability in the resilient city’, ‘Smart cities – supporting decision-making and involving inhabitants’ and ‘Pathways towards the digital city’. The presentations of numerous Intergeo exhibitors will show how geosolutions can speed up administrative processes.
Hamburg is the perfect place to showcase the smart city. Many of the officials, businesspeople and scientists in the city are working to ensure it retains its appeal with the aid of digitalisation technologies. This mixture of topics will continue for many years as we work together to capture every aspect of life digitally and find a sustainable response to issues such as energy, mobility, geoinformation, communication/IT, health, urban planning and production – plus much more besides. A thrilling growth field lies ahead!
We’re looking forward immensely to seeing this topic develop."