3rd successful Central Asia GIS Conference was concluded by conference
chairs Akylbek Chymyrov and Josef Strobl from the Austria-Central Asia
Centre for GIScience (www.aca-giscience.org)
on August 28 at the University of Construction, Transportation and
Architecture in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic. The two-day conference
program brought together speakers from Central Asian countries with
their counterparts from Central Europe, with representatives from
Russia, India, Iran, USA and several other countries making this a
truly international event.
Within and beyond the conference theme of "GIScience for Environmental
and Emergency Management" 28 paper presentations were highlighting
current trends -like the building of spatial data infrastructures- and
innovative applications ranging from environmental monitoring, risk
assessment and planning for sustainability to logistics and navigation.
Over 100 registered participants had the opportunity to continue
building a Central Asia - focused network of GI experts and
professionals at the social events supported by conference sponsors
Trimble Navigation and SAFE Software.
A keynote on 'Thinking Spatially' by ESRI's Michael Phoenix recognized
the importance of capacity building and human resources development as
the single most important success factor for geospatial methods and
technologies in this region. This was further supported by educational
workshops facilitated by SAFE Software and various other learning
opportunities for participants, like access to exhibits of publications
and technologies by GIS companies.
Pre-conference workshops were attracting particular attention. The UN-SPIDER (www.unspider.org)
program for the first time in this region invited to an expert meeting
on "Managing Disasters using Space-Based Technologies". The three day
openSolar-Workshop attracted 25 participants to assess and evaluate
'Solar Energy Potentials in Central Asia', but actually reaching far
beyond this topic and aiming at a sustainable energy concept for this
The openSolar event as well as GISCA'09 were made possible through
generous support from the Austria-based Eurasia-Pacific Uninet (www.eurasiapacific.net).
Its president, Prof. Brigitte Winklehner spoke at the GISCA opening
ceremony together with KSUCTA Rektor Akymbek Abdykalykov and Austrian
ambassador HE Ursula Fahringer, emphasizing the value of international
cooperation to manage environments, resources and societies at the
ancient crossroads of Central Asia with modern geospatial technologies.
Participants received a copy of the conference proceedings at
registration (jointly published by KSUCTA and Salzburg University's
Centre for Geoinformatics), this volume and further information is
available from the conference website at www.aca-giscience.org/gisca.
Plans for the 2010 conference are currently being finalized for late
May 2010 - striving to recognize GIS as an indispensable technical
resource for the development of the emerging Central Asian economies.